Virtual Agency: making 'groupwork' work online

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Brett Van Heekeren, Charles Sturt University

The BA Communication (Advertising) undergraduate degree program is an industry based, hands-on course that relies heavily on situated learning environments to facilitate the learning outcomes of the course. Adapting subjects in this course to the online environment has posed many challenges, none more than the need to create 'Advertising Agency' situations for teams of students to operate within. ADV205 is a subject that introduces students to the Advertising Creative process, that requires teams to develop idea generation processes, idea evaluation processes and idea publication situations. All of these 'hands-on' subject requirements have been successfully re-created online through Interact, via the mix and match of key tools and the creative branding of these tools. The audience for this presentation will be exposed to the educational design 'thinking' as well as learning outcomes from this heavily 'scaffolded' and interactive online learning model

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Virtual Agency: making 'groupwork' work online

  1. 1. Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case. Brett Van Heekeren School of Communication Charles Sturt University
  2. 2. The Background ADV205 Ad Creative...it’s all about ideas! The Subject Story Advertising ideas Practice-based Authentic environments Team interaction Team member interaction Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  3. 3. The Essential Tools Creating environments for delivery and interaction Instructor to student asynchronous communication Instructor and student media archive and storage Student ‘publication’ space: the Virtual Gallery Podcast delivery of core content and workshop stimuli Visual support for content and workshops Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  4. 4. The Stages of Learning Scaffolding and supporting the learning Stage 1: Delivering the content Podcast & Slides Readings audio files Lectures: topic by topic content delivery Prompting interaction in more ‘authentic’ Workshops: ‘kick environments – the ‘VA’ (Project Worksite) start’ group activities Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  5. 5. The Stages of Learning Scaffolding and supporting the learning Stage 2: Setting up the VA: introducing & navigating the authentic environments Asynchronous group communication(formal) Synchronous group communication(informal) Media and file storage Replicates the hands-on group interactivity of the internal subject. (Think & Do) Ginger Bunnies Virtual Boardroom Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  6. 6. The Stages of Learning Scaffolding and supporting the learning Stage 3: ‘Putting it out there’: developing accountability among the cohort. Using the subject wiki as a virtual gallery for general publication and comment. VA 1 VA 5 VA 2 VA 4 VA 3 ADV205 virtual gallery Ginger Bunnies Virtual Boardroom Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  7. 7. The Stages of Learning Pushing for higher order learning Stage 4: ‘Raising the stakes’: professional outcomes in intimate teams Using the current learning to support a higher order challenge – portfolio construction Creative Teams (CT) of two established Project worksite allocation Site mirrors their virtual agency (VA) environments Teams work independently on authentic ‘briefs’ Design & construct professional creative portfolio Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  8. 8. The Stages of Learning Pushing for higher order learning Stage 4: ‘Raising the stakes’: professional outcomes in intimate teams Using the current learning to support a higher order challenge – portfolio construction The critical ‘construction zone’ Ginger Bunnies Portfolio Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  9. 9. The Evaluation What made the group-work work? Basic Accountable Higher level VG Environment CT Environment VA Environment professional & publication. professional domain Views of skills. knowledge ‘others’. Independent Intro Content online environment Feedback interaction navigation Transfer of learning Transfer of learning Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  10. 10. The Evaluation What made the group-work work? THE AUTHENTIC ENVIRONMENT ARGUEMENT Authentic Assessment Tasks Professional Socialisation (professional + social rhetoric) Sense of ‘place’ & ‘identity’ Engagement of the human dimensions of... ‘Think’ ‘Do ‘ ‘Feel’ (the practice) Intrinsic interest ... ‘fun’ Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  11. 11. The Evaluation What made the group-work work? Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case.
  12. 12. Making group-work ‘work’ online: the ‘virtual agency’ case. Brett Van Heekeren School of Communication Charles Sturt University The Q&A

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