Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started

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‘Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started’ is a free course, run by a partnership between UCL Institute of Education and University of Leeds, along with a range of colleges and organisations, on the FutureLearn platform.

The lead educator is Professor Diana Laurillard from UCL, and, while the course is focused on vocational education, you will find much to connect with your own work. We are looking for interested staff to form a UCL cohort to take the course together.

The course will be in two parts, run over 8 weeks in total. The first part of the course ‘Getting Started’ will ‪start on November 2nd 2015.

We will be putting together a programme of events to support the UCL cohort and make links with teaching at UCL.

If you are interested in joining the UCL cohort add your name and join the course at FutureLearn.

UCL Arena Digital Unit 3: How can we involve students with Campus Pack blogs, wikis and podcasts?

A new unit of UCL Arena Digital is coming!

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There will be some new additions to UCL Moodle from September 2015. Campus Pack will provide a suite of tools comprising blogs, journals, wikis and podcasts that can be used to support students’ reflective, social learning and collaboration, as well as enabling tutors and students to record audio directly into Moodle.

This unit will guide you through these new Moodle tools, and discuss ways of using them in your teaching.

The unit will last two weeks, taking 1-2 hours of your time, culminating in an interactive webinar which will allow you to explore advanced features and take a look at what colleagues are already doing with the tools.

UCL Arena Digital Unit 3 will run October 19th – 30th 2015.

Live webinar Wednesday 28st October 2015 2 – 3 pm.

Go to the course.

Arena Blended Connected Curriculum Design

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  • A 90 minute hands-on workshop to help module teams design engaging learning activities.
  • Teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ showing the type and sequence learning activities required to meet the module’s learning outcomes and how these will be assessed.
  • ABC is particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format.

ABC CD workshop resources:

  • ABC CD leaflet (PDF)
  • ABC CD Workshop presentation (PPT)*
  • ABC CD graph blend (PDF)*
  • ABC learning types cards (PDF)*
  • ABC additional online activities (PDF)*
  • ABC CC and learning types (PDF)*
  • ABC CD worksheet  lansdcape A1 (PDF)* (PPT)*
  • ABC CD workshop facilitation plan (Word)*
  • ABC Action plan (Word)*
  • resources checklist*

Asterisked items require UCL login.

The resources are also adapted for ABC CPD and Life learning courses.

Between March and September we had 11 workshops with 37 teams from SLMS and BEAMS.

The feedback from participants:

  • “This process was really useful. It helps us think about the modules in their entirety. It is really good how everything maps out in a clear framework like this.“
  •  “We haven’t had such level of detailed discussion as a team. I think the structure and the materials are facilitated well. “
    “It is a good way of focusing on creating the balance within a course.“
  • “It makes you think about: OK , we are going to use this technique, but where, how, for what and how does it fit with everything else? And this is the way into that, I think.“
  • “It helped us formulate in our own mind the course structure. Yes, very useful.“
  • “Made me more conscious of a formative assessment, which really did not occur to me before. “
  • “This has been extremely useful. Not only that we start to think about individual modules and how we can use electronic resources, but it makes us think about the degree together, rather than as separate modules. “
  • “It reminds you of all different formats that you can use, rather than sticking to the same old same old.“
  • “I think it was good to take a step back from the content and look at the varied type of activity. “
  • “We are not trying to be very innovative, but it is a question of being open to new ideas“

To organise ABC workshop for your programme contact Clive Young and Nataša Perović.

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More 

References:

*Viewpoints project JISC 

**UCL IoE: Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. New York and London: Routledge.

Connected Curriculum

UCL lecturers on video

lectonvidOnce confined to a few teaching enthusiasts and specific disciplines, over the last decade video, audio and interactive media have become an increasingly mainstream part of UCL’s academic repertoire. 

Media has definitely become part of many of our students’ study processes.

Students consistently report that video content assists their learning, either as a revision tool or as a new way of engaging with material. Student demand for example has largely driven the growth of lecture capture. More broadly the success of Khan Academy video-based MOOCs and especially at UCL Lynda.com has helped digital video become recognised as a means to support high-quality academic learning. Key to this is integration with Moodle enabling any media to be enhanced by other online resources and support.

Media itself has become easier and cheaper to produce, edit, store and deliver, enabling both our academics and students to become producers with ‘media literacy’ is widely becoming identified as a valuable education and research asset.

Tony Slade and Clive Young from the ISD Learning, Teaching & Media Services team have been working on a project this year to develop a UCL Educational Media service. The research project investigates how and why lecturers use video and what their future video requirements are for successful student teaching. Interviews have been compiled with staff project examples to form case studies. An education producer, Mike Howarth was commissioned to produce the content for the research project

The team has have found widespread use of media to change the way we design programmes. Media seems to act as a catalyst enabling new blends of virtual learning and conventional delivery to create rich media and face-to-face learning experiences. ‘Flipping’ is also increasingly considered at UCL as a way to maximise the educational opportunity of face-to-face learning.

For examples of these ideas, follow the links below to six short video case studies on UCL’s T&L Portal.

As a bonus if you are asking yourself “Can using free online video tutorials through lynda.com enhance my teaching?” try this additional case study.

Learn with Lynda

lauriebISD E-learning Environments are delighted to be hosting Laurie Burruss from lynda.com who will be running three exciting workshops for us on 3rdSeptember 2015.

Laurie is the director of digital media at Pasadena City College, where she has also been design professor for the past 15 years. Laurie is a professional digital storyteller, and she has developed a rich curriculum in digital and new media. Laurie is also an Education Consultant to lynda.com and will share her expertise and experience with us. Lynda.com is a vast online library of video tutorials supporting learning in software, creative and business skills which is free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students.

These workshops are for anyone who is interested in incorporating video-based learning into their teaching and how to successfully adopt a blended or flipped approach to learning. There will be opportunities to share ideas, discuss different approaches and create your own lynda.com playlist. Laurie will be happy to discuss your programme requirements during any of the sessions.

You are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions, please book using the links below. Refreshments will be available throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to bring their own device and to install the lynda.com app where relevant.

Session 1: The Power of Video & the Moving Image 11:00 – 12:00

Book here

In the last three decades, teachers have moved from the four walls of the classroom to the infinite possibilities of the Internet. Online video resources are becoming fully integrated in the learning space and a matter of choice for the student. As well as this rapid adoption of this technology, witness what we have learned about how online video changes and enhances the way we learn. A great online video structures learning around meaning, presents the big picture of the subject matter, and supports it with granular details and steps. Learn “how we learn with video” and about the factors that affect our learning.

Session 2: Teaching and Learning with Lynda 12:30 – 13:30

Book here

Although many educators use lynda.com personally to “keep up” with technology, few explore the many ways to integrate lynda.com’s library into their course subject matter expertise. Effective technology communication skills paired with subject matter expertise and mastery prepare students for “real world” jobs and innovative learning pathways. In this session, Laurie demonstrates several effective solutions for using lynda.com to enhance and create curriculum. You will leave with a variety of templates and solutions for integrating lynda.com into the classroom at the institutional level, the course level and the project level.

Session 3: Beyond the Classroom Walls: Reinventing Yourself, Your Class, and Your Teaching Methods 14:00 – 15:00

Book here

Teaching and learning is changing from what students need to what students want to achieve personally, from textbooks to online aggregated resources, from classroom to cloud. Innovative changes free the teacher to rethink the “classroom.” In this session, Laurie shares her experiences in a spectrum from face-to-face to online learning opportunities, Discover the infinite possibilities in teaching and learning as you reinvent yourself as a teacher!

ABC (Arena Blended Connected) curriculum design

The ABC curriculum design method is a ninety-minute hands-on workshop for module (and programme) teams. This rapid-design method starts with your normal module (programme) documentation and will help you create a visual ‘storyboard’. A storyboard lays out the type and sequence learning activities required to meet the module’s learning outcomes and how these will be assessed. ABC is particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or a more blended format.

The method uses an effective and engaging paper card-based approach based on research from the JISC* and UCL IoE**. Six common types of learning activities are represented by six cards. These types are acquisition, inquiry, practice, production, discussion and collaboration.

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The team starts by writing a very short ‘catalogue’ description of the module to highlight its unique aspects. The rough proportion of each type is agreed (e.g. how much practice, or collaboration) and the envisaged blend of face-to-face and online.

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Next the team plan the distribution of each learning type by arranging the postcard-sized cards along the timeline of the module. With this outline agreed participants turn over the cards. Each card lists online and conventional activities associated with each learning types and the team can pick from this list and add their own.

workshop team selecting activities

The type and range of learner activities soon becomes clear and the cards often suggest new approaches. The aim of this process is not to advocate any ‘ideal’ mix but to stimulate a structured conversation among the team.

Participants then look for opportunities for formative and summative assessment linked to the activities, and ensure these are aligned to the module’s learning outcomes.

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The final stage is a review to see if the balance of activities and the blend have changed, agree and photograph the new storyboard. graph_s

The storyboard can then be used to develop detailed student documentation or outline a Moodle course (a module in Mooodle).

 

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The ABC team is developing a program-level version based on the Connected Curriculumprinciples.

Participants’ thoughts about ABC curriculum design workshop:

Refererences:

*Viewpoints project JISC 

**UCL IoE: Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. New York and London: Routledge.

This time it’s personal

globe-300x260There is no doubt that blended and online learning developments, including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), are beginning to have an impact on how some universities think about their business model. The Online and Blended Learning Solutions seminar last week was a timely guide through this post-MOOC space. 

Rajay Naik, from the Open University reminded us that the MOOC hype is unlikely to dent the ever-growing demand for on-campus study. What it does though is broaden our horizons and encourage thinking beyond traditional student markets and teaching methods. Some – and one could set the OU is an example – see MOOCs partly as a marketing tool to ‘funnel’ students to fee-paying courses. Others scent a lucrative market in offering targeted MOOC-influenced CPD courses to companies and professionals. A few consider the MOOC format as a way – maybe the only way – of addressing the world’s mass-scale education needs in areas such as health and primary teaching.

One challenge is to bring the best of the on-campus experience to these remote audiences. He felt this was about how to provide tutor time, as he put it “access to minds”. We should therefore imagine “not distance learning but personal learning”. The OU has one approach to this, the army of Associate Lecturers (of which I am one) providing those academic “touch points”. Another speaker, described how academic contact could work even in a MOOC environment, by weekly feedback videos and forum intervention but it required strong commitment and motivation.

UCL’s Prof. Diana Laurillard unpacked the implications of these disruptions for university cultures. It was hard for academics just to keep up with rapid developments in their own research areas, not surprisingly time was limited to explore new learning designs. Her message was that we should “treat academics as if they know what they are doing” but they need models, tools and support to help them navigate and contribute to these initiatives. Teachers urgently require environments that will help both skills updating but also sharing and developing ideas in collaboration – indeed not unlike the process of research scholarship!

An interesting debate then arose from this about how universities should organise themselves to meet these disruptive changes. Should we set up specialist units or attempt mainstream cultural transformation? Neither model was considered ideal, but the feeling was that integration should be the priority; any innovations needed to be diffused into mainstream teaching (maybe via a funded process) “pull-through” from mainstream teaching should also enrich innovation. My own feeling is that while pioneers will always require additional support, developing a two-tier model may delay important mainstream transitions, for example technical upgrading, and risk student (and maybe staff) dissatisfaction by privileging a small group of off-campus participants.

Prof. Helen O’Suillvan described how online medical programme had been successfully developed at the University of Liverpool with partners Laureate who provide student, marketing and outreach support. Another potentially disruptive aspect in the post-MOOC world therefore is clearly the arrival of new players and potential partners. MOOCs themselves were enabled (and driven) by partnership with external platform providers such as Coursera. For much the same reasons of global impact mentioned above, commercial companies, accrediting bodies, professional organisations, government initiatives, broadcasters, charities, NGOs and publishers are all likely to begin to crowd into this area, either working with or competing against traditional universities.

The challenge of embodying and replicating (at least partly) the “traditional strengths” of the campus-based student experience was seen as a huge challenge as this very experience – although sometimes hazily defined- was integral to the student, staff and institutional identity.

However we also discussed how online learning could progress well beyond “replicating” the campus experience and encourage a move from “content-based learning to process-involved learning”. We were reminded that our traditional campus-based students already operated in the electronic world. Online environments can support encourage deeper and reflective “double loop learning”, socially constructed knowledge creation and digital fluency for our campus-based learners, too.

Image: via www.haikudeck.com

UCL Arena Digital – you can still join us for Week 2!

 

Over 200 UCL colleagues have already joined UCL Arena Digital, our free online course to help improve Moodle skills and enhance your online/blended learning.

We are in Week 2 but you are still welcome to join.

The course is fully online and will take only 2-3 hours of your week. The course is made up of three Units. Each unit will last 2 weeks and there will be breaks in between Units. Each fortnight will end with a live online webinar where you can share your experiences with your colleagues on the course.

The course is designed so you can take all three Units, or simply pop in for the Units that especially interest you.

  • Unit 1: multimedia – the current one – find out how to create and embed media and interactive tools in Moodle to enliven the online environment for your students.
  • Unit 2: communication – discover ways of using tools inside and outside of Moodle you can use to communicate with students and support their collaboration with each other.
  • Unit 3: assessment and feedback – explore ways of using the online environment to create new kinds of assessment and give feedback to students.

Unit 1 started last week and will continue to Thursday 12 March, when we will conclude with a webinar.

Even if you missed last week there is still time to get involved and all the materials will also be available afterwards.

You can enrol at https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=29477

Log on using your UCL username and password

Unit 2 will launch in early April 2015 – look out for further announcements.