Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Online Course Design: What can we transfer from Colchester Institute?

Yesterday, I chaired the JISC RSC Eastern Advisory Group Meeting. Part of this meeting included a number of update presentations around staff development programmes. One of which was by Kathy Chilvers, from Colchester Institute on an online staff development initiative they are rolling out. There were a number of drivers, including low attendance at face to face sessions, the need to expose staff to being a student within the VLE, and widen the range and topics covered. These are very similar needs for us at UCS.

The learning design was very simple. It covered eight weeks (a task a week), with a minimum requirement of one hour per week.  Each week included an optional or further task, to push those who wish to take the ideas further. Each task was stand alone. The learning design was based on a d0 (create), why might you use it, further resources model. With each task requiring the product or reflections to be completed on the discussion board.

Their initial evaluation was positive, with high completion rates (70%) and staff suggesting they will use some of these ideas within their teaching.

I thought this model might be appropriate for our masterclass sessions. These are usually delivered in a 30 minute session and focus on the ICT digital literacies. A typical session is designed to answer the following questions; what is the learning technology, how is it being used in teaching, learning and assessment, and how can you get started.

I also like the idea of encouraging a gathering of those who participated to encourage some social connections. For instance, at the end of week 9, a tea and cake based Q&A around how people will use this in their teaching. So, potentially, there is much we can transfer from Colchester Institute :-)


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