The holy grail – getting the blend right

I’m spending lots of time at the moment trying to address the issue of “getting the blend right” interms of how the physical and virtual learning spaces are integrated through designing learning activities which effectively use both spaces. As at the moment, where we see lots of either / or.

The following example (which I’ll be using a version of at the next PGCAPP Unit 1 intensive, and our Moodle day), is based on a DfLTEA project undertaken by a unit in the Dept of Economics at the University of Bath and funded by the HEA.

So, firstly, much thanks for all the exciting input and ideas from Tim, Rania, Cathy and Martin (Econ Subject Centre)

The background is a course redesign based around effective uses of technology. It is on a first year course, over 100 odd students, some outside the department, with a 2 hour lecture and online seminars. The assessment is one piece of coursework and an unseen exam. It is a semester unit (so around 12 teaching weeks).

The following is a learning design sequence based on some of the ideas thrown up.  The ideas where;

  • alignment of learning outcomes with the delivery and assessment methods (this will include a re-design of the assessment methods)
  • creation and release of didatic content to provide a safety net through quality assured educational resources, to creat more time for class based active learning
  • step based integration of activities which build up to online group based learning and assessment activities
  • use of clickers, economic games and debates in the face to face sessions. The content of which will be part influenced by the virtual tasks completed in the online seminar groups (group based discussion forums and/or individual formative quizzes)
  • encouragement of peer support and informal learning networks between the students,which are owned by them but dialogue surfaced in the VLE

A design sequence for encourage the integrated use of the two learning spaces might be;

see attached word doc: http://www.bath.ac.uk/lmf/download/45631

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