7) Collaboration, Communication and Interactivity: Developing a new collaborative online learning experience

Anna-Leiza Barthorpe (Human Metabolism), Dr Gavin Boyce (Research and Innovation Services), Professor Ilaria Bellantuono (Human Metabolism)

Second Session (12:20 – 13:20) 
Discovery Room 3

What is this about?

The first section of this session will be a presentation about the experience of developing an online course across three institutions, which was accessible to all three cohorts of students via a mutual virtual learning environment. The course was developed and designed to be an interactive experience, with key elements being communication, collaboration and creating a sense of community. Using a variety of delivery modes, we created a course where learners could work together using discussion forums, wikis and live discussions via the virtual classroom. Staff created screencasts instead of static slideshows, which helped to provide a sense of the lecturer’s personality and to encourage communication between staff and student. We also wanted the learners to communicate with each other, to work together and discuss the content, to provide that sense of an online community. The main focus was not really the technology used, but how and why it was used and how it enhanced the learning experience. We are extremely proud that this course was not another virtual file store of word document handouts and empty forums; that it was interactive and alive, and that the students felt part of that collaboration with staff as well as their peers.
The second half will include looking at the tools and applications available, and how we can best use these as communication methods in not only distance learning courses, but also for physical/blended learning courses, non-structured cohorts (e.g. PGRs) and Public Engagement.
We hope that this experience and our methods of delivery will be of interest and can help colleagues who may be considering developing and delivering online material.

How will colleagues benefit?
Colleagues will be able to see the different modes of delivery used:

  • Examples of screencasts, (quick demo on how easy it is to create one) how you can use the virtual classroom (for lectures, discussions, demonstrations, etc.) how to use the discussion forums effectively (focusing on responding to posts, keeping the discussion going, etc.)
  • Getting regular feedback and being able to respond early in the course using forums, etc. 
  • Looking further afield at how we can use this knowledge to help communications for non-standard cohorts, public engagement, research collaboration, etc.

It will be explained how all of the above centre around effective online communication. Colleagues will hopefully benefit from experiencing different delivery methods in action and discussing communication for non-standard cohorts.

No comments:

Post a Comment