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Robert Farmer, University of Northampton
Kate Littlemore, University of Northampton

In this session we will discuss the way that we have used Blackboard Learn to create the University’s first open, online course, entitled Study Skills for Academic Success. The course is designed to improve students’ academic skills and confidence, and was originally delivered as a 100% face-to-face course. In the session we will outline the way that we took this version of the course and transformed it first into a blended course, and then into an entirely online course.It was very important to us for the online course to be very interactive, participatory and reflective, and for it not simply to be a content repository or video library. Thus, the online course makes extensive use of e-tivities to structure the learning experiences/activities, and provide opportunities for discussion and reflection. We were keen not to lose the sociability of a face-to-face course, and so the online course also makes major use of the collaborative tools in Blackboard (particularly blogs and discussion boards), so that students still feel that they are part of a community of learning and can benefit from the peer-to-peer interactions which are such an important part of the learning process. For private reflection we used the Journals tool. Lastly, we were keen both to monitor progress and also to avoid overloading the students with e-tivities and tasks, so instead of presenting the course components en bloc to the students, the course is structured around eight specific sets of activities, each of which is adaptively released to students via the completion of tests. We have completed delivery of the blended version of the course, and have used feedback from this to create the new fully online version of the course. This version is currently being beta-tested (January 2014) and is due for first delivery to University of Northampton students in March 2014.

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  • 1. USING Bb LEARN TO CREATE AN OPEN ONLINE COURSEKATE LITTLEMORE Head of the Centre for Achievement & Performance ROBERT FARMER Learning Technologist The University of Northampton
  • 2. ABOUT US KATE LITTLEMORE Head of the Centre for Achievement and Performance ROBERT FARMER Learning Technologist We have used Blackboard at the University of Northampton for 12 years.
  • 3. ABOUT MY INSTITUTION THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON 2 Campuses, 6 Schools, 14,000 students 1261: The first University of Northampton 1924: Northampton Technical College (Avenue Campus) 1937: School of Art (Avenue Campus) 1972: Teacher Training College (Park Campus) 1975: Nene College of Higher Education (Avenue & Park Campus) 1993: Incorporation of St. Andrew’s School of Occupational Therapy 1994: Incorporation of Leathersellers College 1997: Incorporation of Sir Gordon Roberts College of Nursing & Midwifery 1999: University College Northampton 2005: The University of Northampton 2018: Move to the new Waterside Campus
  • 4. ABOUT MY INSTITUTION CENTRE FOR ACHIEVEMENT AND PERFORMANCE • Pre-booked and drop-in tutorials | Online tutorials | Study Skills courses | Online study skills materials | Maths GCSE. • Head of CfAP | CfAP Operations Manager | 1 Academic Practice (Maths) Tutor | 6 Academic Practice Tutors | Learning Support Assistant. LEARNING TECHNOLOGY TEAM • Blackboard | Edublogs | Kaltura | Panopto | Pebble+ | Turnitin WizIQ | Xerte. • Head of Learning Technology | 7 Learning Technologists 1 VLE Administrator.
  • 5. WHAT WE ARE GOING TO LEARN TODAY By the end of the session participants will: One: understand more about our process of designing and delivering a SPOC/MOOC. Two: know more about the use of OERs and CC licensed material to create e-tivities and reduce course development time. Three: have viewed and taken part in our SPOC/MOOC.
  • 6. IF YOU’RE ONLINE NOW FEEL FREE TO EXPLORE & INTERACT Enrol on the Bb T&L conference version of the Study Skills for Academic Success MOOC at:
  • 7. OUR CHALLENGE OUR CHALLENGE was to take a 100% face-to-face course and turn it into a 100% online course. WHY? • To meet increasing demand. • To create a sustainable, scalable course. • To meet the needs of learners wanting more flexible study arrangements. • To build the IT competence/confidence of learners. • To engage applicants and prospective students.
  • 8. OUR SOLUTION THE COURSE RE-DESIGN PROCESS • CAIeRO (Carpe Diem) workshop. • Re-use rather than creation of learning materials. • Focus on task, not content. • Constructive alignments. • Design with openness in mind. • Create e-tivities.
  • 9. OUR SOLUTION TIMELINE Feb 2013 Level 4 CAIeRO course development workshop Delivery of 10 week blended course April to July 2013 Feedback and evaluation of blended course Redesign of 10 week blended course to create 8 week SPOC Pilot/test delivery of 8 week SPOC First delivery of 8 week SPOC Launch of MOOC on CourseSites Level 7 CAIeRO course development workshop August 2013 September & October 2013 December 2013 to January 2014 April to May 2014 May 5th 2014 June 2014February to March 2014 Final changes to SPOC and creation of MOOC
  • 11. OUR RESULTS RESULTS FROM THE BLENDED COURSE • Findings from the blended course showed that students enjoyed the course and found it to be very beneficial. • However, it also showed that students found the face-to-face elements very useful.
  • 12. STUDENT FEEDBACK Positives: “... it helped me learn about how to reference properly, and what I need to do in order to improve on any piece of academic work”. “Very flexible approach which was great. Face to face sessions were very well delivered ...” “I felt well supported, there was always help when needed!”
  • 13. STUDENT FEEDBACK What was your prior experience of online learning? I am a regular online learner. I have taken one or two online courses before. I've taken a few online courses before I've never taken an online course before
  • 14. STUDENT FEEDBACK What do you think about this type of blended course? I thought that the mix between online activities and face-to-face sessions was just right. I would have preferred fewer online activites and more face-to-face sessions. I would have preferred it if the course was entirely online.
  • 15. STUDENT FEEDBACK If there were no face-to-face sessions, what do you think your experience would have been? I did enjoy the face-to-face sessions, but it would have been more convenient for me if the course was all online. I would probably have completed the course, but it wouldn't have been as enjoyable. The face-to-face sessions kept me going, and I don't think that I would have completed the course without them.
  • 16. STUDENT FEEDBACK 100% of students agreed that: “Online learning is good because it means that I can fit in my learning around my work and/or family commitments.” and “Online learning is bad because I can't easily ask questions when I’m stuck.”
  • 17. STUDENT FEEDBACK 0% of students agreed that: “Online learning is good because it means that I don't have to attend lectures.” and “Online learning is bad because it means that I have to spend too much time sitting in front of a computer.”
  • 18. STUDENT FEEDBACK Dreadful Poor Disappointing Good Very Good Excellent 0 20 40 60 How would you rate the SSAS course? (%) How would you rate the SSAS course? (%)
  • 19. STUDENT FEEDBACK 0 50 100 I rarely knew what was happening I was lost a lot of the time I got lost quite a bit Some activities were clear It was mostly clear It was always clear Did you feel that the course was clear and well structured? (%) Did you feel that the course was clear and well structured? (%)
  • 20. OUR RESULTS RESULTS FROM THE PILOT SPOC • Feedback from the pilot version of the SPOC showed that in condensing the course from 10 to 8 weeks, we also needed to reduce the overall number of e-tivities. • However, students did not seem to be concerned about the loss of the face-to-face sessions. FEEDBACK VIDEO • Jeni
  • 21. OUR RESULTS FUTURE RESULTS • Research findings from the April-May SPOC will be disseminated at ALT-C 2014. • To date, over 150 students from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan, the Netherlands, UAE, UK, USA, Russia & Singapore have enrolled on the May-June CourseSites MOOC.
  • 22. DO THIS NEXT THE MOOC WILL BEGIN ON MONDAY 5TH MAY 2014 To take part in our first Study Skills for Academic Success MOOC, please enrol at:
  • 23. THANK YOU! KATE LITTLEMORE Head of the Centre for Achievement and Performance ROBERT FARMER Learning Technologist