13) Building an Exemplary Course in MOLE

Danny Monaghan (CiCS), Mark Morley (CiCS), Dr Jenny Owen (ScHARR), Dr Martin Hughes (School of Education), Peter Castleton (Sociological Studies).

Third Session (14:00 – 15:00) 
Discovery Room 3

What is this about?
Building a course in MOLE is easy, or is it? MOLE has many features that can enhance the student learning experience; courses can be rich and engaging, interesting yet easy to navigate, dynamic and rewarding both to create and to study from but sometimes these features are overlooked. This workshop will begin building an evaluation framework surrounding the design and development of such a course. It will investigate best practice in four major areas:

  • course design
  • interaction and collaboration
  • assessment and feedback
  • learner support.
This session will also include an example based on a project that began in 2007 with a TUOS 'learning and teaching development grant'. The grant supported the development of a complex online scenario about child welfare; over the ensuing 6 years, we have continued to adapt the scenario to new policy and practice contexts. The scenario includes audio, video and text elements, offering multidisciplinary student teams a series of 'clues' about a family. Following up these clues online, teams decide whether the children in the family are at risk of abuse or neglect, and then present their conclusions face-to-face to practitioner panels. Through qualitative analysis of archived online interactions, we trace the ways in which 'real-life' scenario elements affect decision-making. We conclude with reflections on the strengths and limitations offered by MOLE for experiential learning.
During this workshop, you will work with your academic colleagues from across the University to investigate the criteria surrounding best practice in designing and building online courses. The ultimate goal will be to identify and set out some of the key elements that deliver an exemplary course design that can be used to develop new and enhance existing courses in MOLE.

How will colleagues benefit?
By increasing the awareness that colleagues have regarding online course delivery, and by having a better understanding of the best practices that can guide the planning and creation of content in MOLE, we can help support the goal of delivering high quality undergraduate and postgraduate learning and teaching using MOLE as a platform.
Colleagues will benefit through taking a critical and reflective look at an in-depth example of interactive, experiential learning via online resources, and having time to compare this with their own learning and teaching interests and experiences. The session will include a wide range of practical illustrations from MOLE materials, with opportunities for participants to try out and comment on some learning activities from an online scenario themselves. The session will also offer an example of the ways in which archived MOLE discussion forum material can be analyzed qualitatively, as one strand in an evaluation.

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