Starting dialogue with course teams early does pay off :-)

5984054563_80d236a28d_oI’ve been ranting for a while about the need to start conversations with course teams (and individuals) about the effective use of TEL  much earlier in the process. In fact, I’d suggest I’m starting to sound like a broken record, and people have that here he goes again look in their eyes. So, I’m very pleased to say it does work 🙂

I was invited into a course (programme) team meeting for a BA, being developed with a proposed validation date of March 2014.  So, the programme design was well advanced, however, not set in stone as the team were finalising the individual module content, and starting to review the summative assessment mix. So, from the perspective of a learning technologist, the bulk of the discussion was not directly relevant. However, by being there I was able to help with some developments;

  1. we discussed and agreed to run a session reviewing the use of various supported tools and the VLE for enhancing formative assessment and feedback. I’d suggest given development of the summative assessment mix within individual modules it would be unlikely to see a large shift in the summative assessment model this close to the validation date. However, the discussion with a small group of staff around potential deployments of TEL will help. I’d suggest this is supported by the fact two of the course team where introducing objective testing within their modules based on experiences where we’d supported them on other programmes. Therefore, there is transfer of innovative practice occurring.
  2. within the marketing of the course, we discussed the use of an OOC (open, online course) as a taster which links to the existing open days and face to face taster courses. This has a clear benefit in terms of marketing, however, it also has a benefit in terms of curriculum and staff development. For instance, it should include 5 hours of online learning activities. To create these activities individuals within the course team will need to collaborate with the Elevate Team to work up and implement the design. This will allow staff to engage with online technology enhanced learning designs. It will be pointed out, many of these ideas will transfer to their current face to face teaching through flipping the classroom techniques.

So, overall, I’ll be suggesting to other people (in a broken record sort of way) if you facilitate us getting our foot in the door, we can collaborate effectively and appropriately with course teams. It is important for course leaders to realise, yes the majority of the discussion is not directly relevant for us, however, by being part of it we might see some opportunity to enhance the learning, teaching and assessment models in the short and medium term.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/5984054563/

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