Tagged: ucsvalidation

How to provide staff development to deliver online parts of the course?

This question is relevant to all our validations and approvals. It would be really useful if a number of the sessions outlined below were completed pre validation. The actual question was recently asked by a validation panel. So, what should be our approach?

Our approach needs to:

  1. reflect the programme is bespoke for each course team and discipline, however, we need to ensure the topics are generic, map (where possible) to the strategic objectives of UCS, ie., innovative and assessment, etc.,
  2. use innovative workshop designs, ie., Serious Lego Play
  3. adopt good practice from across UK HE
  4. involve more than one event and move from general to specific
  5. acknowledge staff are different stages on their development paths
  6. place the student learning experience at the heart of the process

A suggested model would include:

Pre meeting activity:

Kick start meeting:

  • Course Leader plus course team – what are you currently doing, what like to do, what think you should be doing? Informed by Validation documentation (30-45 mins)

Generic Sessions:

  • a whole team session on technologies for learning (1 hour)
  • a whole team session on opportunities with TEL enhanced assessment and feedback (1 hour)

Specialist Sessions:

  • specialist sessions on what ever is required (1 hour)

Individual Sessions:

  • arrange and align with the one to one sessions we offer

Added thoughts post conversation with Course Leader: Add a list of generic titles to inform the likely direction

  • How can I enhance my classroom teaching through innovative technologies?
  • Getting started with using LearnUCS in your teaching and learning
  • How might you use objective testing in your teaching and learning?
  • Enhancing collaborative and group learning through innovative technologies
  • Using social media tools to enhance your teaching and learning
  • Designing effective e-learning activities
  • Getting started with using Mahara e-Portfolio in your teaching and learning
  • What does mobile learning offer me?
  • Effective ways of using multimedia in your teaching and learning
  • How might I enhance learning through innovative technologies?


How are we going to monitor students on our online (face to face) courses?

Blackboard Retention CentreA number of recommendations came from a recent course validation event for an online only programme. One of the recommendations was the need to provide information to students and staff around the tools which would be used to monitor progress and allow use to be more proactive with respect to retention. I thought I might work up the answer in this space, and if you are a Blackboard Learn user, please add comments 🙂

The course is designed to integrate a number of short and regular formative tasks through the semester / module. With the real time, online webinars needing to integrate feedback slots for students to see worth in the activities and close the loop. These will use a range of tools within Blackboard, including a strong reliance on the Blackboard Quiz (with subjective questions), the Reflective Journal, and in the later modules the Wiki and Discussion Board. An advantage of the tool sets is they include the option to include them within the grade centre. This is the key for successful ongoing monitoring. Information, around completion, grade etc., can be drawn into Blackboard’s Retention Centre. This allows rules and conditions to be set to highlight students who meet certain conditions, ie., not completed a piece of work to a certain level, or below average course activity data or missed deadlines. The screenshot is from Blackboard’s Guide: Using the Retention Centre.

The screenshot illustrates the way the Retention Centre integrates the information, clusters individuals based on conditions and criteria, and allows you to easily contact these students.

The requirement for the successful use is the course team needs to design meaningful formative activities and create the right motivation focus for their students to engage within the activities.