Designing Quality Learning for Online and Distance Education

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Presentation at Open Learning and Distance Education Summit, 30 July 2013 in Rosebank Johannesburg

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  • 1.Designing Quality Learning for Online and Distance Education Greig Krull Saide Open and Distance Education Summit 30 July 2013

2. Agenda Current technology trends and challenges Drivers and constraints of technology integration in education The quality challenge Consider appropriate mode(s) of delivery Factors to consider in elearning design Discussion 3. Openness is becoming a value (open content, open data and open resources, along with transparency and easy access to data) Massively open online courses (MOOCs) are being explored as alternatives and supplements to traditional courses Workforce demands skills from graduates that are more often acquired from informal learning experiences Increasing interest in using data for personalising the learning experience and for performance measurement Role of educators continues to change due to the vast resources that are accessible via the Internet Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning, and collaborative models Key Trends in Higher Education The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition 4. Significant Challenges The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition Staff training still does not include the rise of digital media literacy as a key skill Emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing and researching outpace sufficient and scalable modes of assessment Educations own processes and practices can limit broader uptake of new technologies Demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to the traditional models of higher education Most academics are not using new technologies for learning, teaching and research 5. Context 1. What are your biggest drivers to integrate technology into your teaching and learning? 2. What are your biggest challenges to integrate technology into your teaching and learning? 6. Motivators CC-BY-NC-ND 7. Constraints CC-BY-NC-ND 8. The Challenge Poor Quality Learning Design Dissatisfactory use of Technology Decontextualised Information Dumping of Content 9. Consider Modes of Delivery Mode of delivery will impact on the design 10. Quality Factors What are some practical things you can do to ensure the quality of the online learning experience? 11. 8 Quality Factors Learning Environment Learning Pathway Teacher Presence Feedback Activities and Assessments Information Presentation Social Presence Background of Technology Adapted from Renshaw (2012) 12. Learning Environment Interface should be understandable and consistent Aim for simplicity of navigation Consider usage of colours, formats, s p a t i a l a r r a n g e m e n t s and images Various types of support are made clearly available (academic, technical etc) 13. Learning Pathway Organise into units or sessions that work through a series of objectives Provide sense of progression Appropriate content + learning activities + assessment activities = students enabled to achieve the specified outcomes Support the development of critical thinking skills (cognitive presence) Be flexible to the needs and situations of the learners Ability to adjust content and activities as course progresses 14. Teacher Presence Role of the teacher in learning is to mediate between the learner and what is to be learned Create a learning environment where learners reflect upon their experiences in order to master more complex academic knowledge Introduce yourself Use synchronous communication such as virtual classrooms Use asynchronous communication such as screencasting Anderson (2008) 15. Feedback Regular pause in delivery to check understanding Build-in feedback comments Ensure prompt daily feedback from facilitators Make use of quizzes or surveys Encourage students to evaluate the learning experience 16. Activities and Assessment Use variety such as interactive games, role plays, challenges Purpose of activity clear to enable students to understand what knowledge, skills and values they are expected to learn or demonstrate Provide instructions on how to undertake activities and what resources to use Provide guidance on time to spend on activities Provide timeframe and format of feedback Chunk activities e.g. limit activities to 60 90 minutes 17. Information Presentation Provide opportunities to discover rather than receive information Beware information overload Make use of multimedia elements where appropriate Video clips Podcasts Simulations Animations 18. Social Presence Facilitate learner socialisation Tools: Facebook, Twitter feeds, chat Encourage collaborative learning through forums and blogs Provide opportunities for interaction with the facilitator, other students and the content 2012 Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies 19. Background of Technology Teaching and learning approach should guide the use of technology and not the other way around Different tools and technical elements should integrate seamlessly Ensure hyperlinks are all active 20. 8 Quality Factors Learning Environment Learning Pathway Teacher Presence Feedback Activities and Assessments Information Presentation Social Presence Background of Technology Adapted from Renshaw (2012) 21. Summary Review your student needs, technology options and your skills Customise learning content appropriately Use sound instructional design principles Learn from experiences and collaborate with colleagues Design effective interactions for students with content, fellow students and teachers/tutors during learning 22. Underlying Principles for Success Open Education Principals Adequate Infrastructure Adaptive to Change Look to add value Collaboration Professional Development 23. Thank you greigk_za Greig Krull Discussion Unless otherwise specified, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. 24. References Anderson, T (ed) (2008) Theory and Practice of Online Learning 2e, pp.343-365, Athabasca University, Athabasca. Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies. (2012) Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 Isaacs S (ed) (2013) The eLearning Africa Report, ICWE: Germany Johnson, L, Adams Becker, S, Cummins, M, Estrada, V, Freeman, A and Ludgate, H (2013) NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. ECB Check (2013) Quality Improvement for eLearning Renshaw, J (2012) Taking your course online? Beware the belittling 'information dump'! Available: your-course-online-beware-the-belittling-information-dump.html Saide (2012) Refining the Distance and Face-to-face Continuum. Available: