1. FACULTY OF HUMANITIES Flexible Learning Getting started with Flexible Learning and Blackboard
2. Before you begin
3. Before you begin For many units the planning process should include consideration for the various contexts of delivery. Design and develop the unit once – make minor tweaks to adjust.
4. Before you begin After the Comprehensive Course Review process all new units should reflect the requirements of C2010. Full details at http://c2010.curtin.edu.au/
5. Before you beginFLEXIBLE LEARNING POLICY SUMMARY All units must also meet minimum requirements All units expected to have at least the minimum required online presence. of the Flexible Learning Policy Learning experiences should be comparable to face-to-face. Full details at Should incorporate universal design. Should involve collaboration and http://policies.curtin.edu.au/policies/ enriched learning experiences. viewpolicy.cfm?id=9730a43c-0b66- 11dd-8e22-b34a37284ebf Should provide access to administrative and academic learning support systems
6. Before you begin Blackboard is not the enemy – nor is it the total solution. Blackboard is perhaps best seen as the portal to learning experiences. Lots of help at http://flc.curtin.edu.au/blackboard/www.flickr.com/photos/31497348@N05/3510951708
7. Before you beginLots of help at http://flc.curtin.edu.au
8. Before you beginLots of help at http://otl.curtin.edu.au
9. Planning your unit
10. Planning your unit Build upon the foundations: Remember that most students will have completed the common foundation unit “Engaging in the Humanities” and will be primed for socially engaged, collaborative, student-centred learning with expectations for online engagement (especially if they are fully external, OUA or remote/regional). www.flickr.com/photos/31442459@N00/2516648940
11. Planning your unitYou: your own resilience; capacity for learning; ease with technology; subject knowledge; teaching approaches.Collegial support: learning communities; shared concern; collaborative problem-solving.Department/School/Faculty support: meeting time; resource access; school/faculty based web architects; training and professional development; www.flickr.com/photos/79102167@N00/1268746 HITS Help Desk 1University-wide support: Office of Teaching and Learning site; Flexible Learning Community site; Key resources
12. Planning your unit Plan for reuse. Technology allows us to create resources that can be used over time and across contexts. Plan your teaching and learning resources to leverage your time and efficiency. Key concepts, seminal works, and common support materials – are all good starting points for reusable resources. www.flickr.com/photos/22177648@N06/2137735126 Plan for learning engagement over content delivery. The emphasis should be on teaching and learning through collaborative and social engagement not guiding the individual through an online textbook. Let good pedagogy drive the student experience. www.flickr.com/photos/15775662@N00/297923181 3
13. Planning your unit Plan and schedule for resource creation. There are many systems in the university to assist you create resources (see the Teaching and Learning Handbook). Priority is given to higher order, reusable resources rather than one-off instances of www.flickr.com/photos/44124348109@N01/2542450115 presentation and information delivery Factor in your own learning. Professional development, training workshops, personal technology skills and proficiencies all take time and need to be considered when you start developing a unit for online study. www.flickr.com/photos/22417120@N08/3118564555
14. Planning your unit Overestimate the time required when you first attempt to do this. When you start developing units for online or blended contexts you will find that you need to reconsider some of your approaches. Appropriate tool selection, identifying new resources, coming to terms with your own knowledge and skill all require a bit more time. As your proficiency and experience grows the time required is far less than you need now. www.flickr.com/photos/28548387@N00/55665662 1
15. Planning your unit Know your deadlines. Teaching periods are relatively immutable – first day of class is like opening night on Broadway – the show must go on. Use planning and management tools to ensure that you aren’t caught out. www.flickr.com/photos/35034347820@N01/217891033 Be upfront about difficulties and obstacles. We all find that at some point in our working lives we face what seem to be insurmountable difficulties. When working with technology we need to assume that there will always be the potential for things to break. When you begin to struggle, or see a difficulty on the horizon, deal with it early and openly. Ensure the university is working to assist you with doing your job. http://www.flickr.com/photos/59692521@N00/214427544 6
16. Pedagogy >>Andragogy >> Heutagogy
17. Pedagogy >> Andragogy >> Heutagogy Plan to shift from pedagogy to andragogy to heutagogy. Student needs shift from early engagement where pedagogy (teacher direction) is the norm, to andragogy where the role of the teacher shifts to facilitating student engagement in the processes of learning, to heutagogy where students define and organise their own learning requirements.
18. Pedagogy >> Andragogy >> Heutagogy Work in a social context (Connectivism). Many studies show that online learning is most effective when conducted in a social context. As the teacher its as much your responsibility to build community as it is to lecture and mark exams. www.flickr.com/photos/68187942@N00/3287986172 Constructivist approaches engage the group and focus on creation. Working within a constructivist paradigm you will be asking students to work at the highest levels of scholarship. In order to create they will need to find, to analyse and to synthesise.
19. Pedagogy >> Andragogy >> Heutagogy Learner-centredness is about addressing the needs of students. All learners have individual needs and strategies for learning. A key aspect of online learning is ensuring flexibility to accommodate student needs. Student-centred learning also acknowledges the responsibilities of students to http://www.flickr.com/photos/catspyjamasnz/3118564555/ ensure they are learning.
20. Pedagogy >> Andragogy >> Heutagogy Peer support and mentoring should be encouraged. In keeping with student-centred and social constructivism, students should be encouraged to support and mentor each other. Learning is deeper when you are required to teach others. Employ effective collaborative strategies. Think about how to structure learning activities that www.flickr.com/photos/8107002@N03/2805002585 are based in collaborative and cooperative action. The ability to work with groups and function effectively in groups addresses some Graduate Attributes.
21. Developing your resources
22. Developing your resources Limit creation of text based and purely presentational items. Think about ways to create materials that drive high order engagement. Presentation and text have a place and where possible these should be created once and redeployed as required. www.flickr.com/photos/68187942@N00/3287986172 Use iLecture when you can. iLecture is a multi- purpose system. You can record face-to-face lectures, you can record desktop captures, you can create podcasts, narrated slideshows and vodcasts to be delivered via the iLecture infrastructure. Howard Rheingold says “Lectures are about explaining concepts that are so poorly written about they need to be explained.” Short, sharp and engaging are the key to creating multimedia resources. http://ilectures.curtin.edu.au/information/examples.cfm
23. Developing your resources ECHO 360 This little tool allows any staff member to create quick video content – including desktop capture. Great for clarifying a point, introducing a difficult concept, adding to your staff profile in Bb, etcAvailable free to all staff from:http://ilectures.curtin.edu.au/booking/DesktopCapture.cfm
24. Developing your resources Know the best tool for the job. Discussion boards and forums are the public sphere of the internet – everyone gets to voice their opinion. Blogs are generally a single viewpoint with the opportunity to respond, and wikis are sites for collaborative construction. Other tools include Voicethread, Twitter, real-time www.flickr.com/photos/52264959@N00/1351577811 conference/chat. Also know what software and hardware is available to you via the university. Get to know what tools are being used around the world and how they are being implemented. The range of web based technologies changes on a daily basis; knowing what’s on the horizon and how to leverage these shifts to engage learners is to be encouraged. www.flickr.com/photos/90011821@N00/566243279
25. Developing your resources Use / reuse existing resources. Find ways to implement the use of existing resources, both those created by you and those from third parties. Sites like YouTube, Slideshare, Blip.tv, and others can be used to great effect. www.flickr.com/photos/52264959@N00/1351577811 Remember that weblinks, online journals, libraries and other sources are all part of your toolkit. Encourage students to learn to use these to develop their own learning. Teach scholarship as much as content. eBooks. Electronic texts are available in many subject areas and can often cut through issues of access, especially when students are in remote locations or overseas. www.flickr.com/photos/36813960@N00/2073940586
26. Developing your resources Know the people and departments who can support you. The Teaching and Learning Handbook lists many services to support teaching and learning. www.flickr.com/photos/52264959@N00/1351577811 Know what’s possible under Creative Commons, copyright and IP regulations. Know how you can legally use existing works, images, video and text. http://www.creativecommons.org
27. Look and feel of your unit
28. Look and feel of your unit Navigation and location. One of the chief concerns of planning an online space is the ability to work out where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going. Plan to include these elements in your site design. Banners, menus, maps and inventories accompanied by clear directions and instructions all assist students (and staff) finding their way around the unit. Instructions and guides should be clearly evident. Just as road signs around the world have some standard conventions, you can ensure that your design choices make instructions and guides very visible. www.flickr.com/photos/15806048@N00/202506372
29. Look and feel of your unit Audio-visual enhancements can make your unit a pleasant and engaging space. Images and sounds can be used to deliver information, provide context, to add atmosphere and to reflect an aesthetic. Their metaphorical potential can aid with higher order processing of ideas. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54154809@N00/428386965 Provide overviews of structure and content. When you create materials ensure you think about summaries and overviews, these can serve as advance organisers and double as review materials. www.flickr.com/photos/26325011@N00/352439602
30. Look and feel of your unit The look and feel of a site can be part of the learning experience. It is perfectly reasonable to layer meaning into the look and feel of your unit. The tone you adopt will influence student engagement. Writing for an www.flickr.com/photos/11568293@N00/244384064 online community is different to other forms of writing. Where appropriate keep the tone personal, conversational, social and engaging. Ask more than you tell. Read for understanding not just for assessing and evaluating. www.flickr.com/photos/23634892@N07/3029246583
31. Coordinating your unit
32. Coordinating your unit Get to know the software you intend to use and will be asking staff and students to use. Know where to source the applications, where to find help and what support is available. Know some alternatives and keep abreast of developments and new releases. www.flickr.com/photos/42173959@N00/9418153 2 Online Support Materials. Many resources to assist staff and students can be common across departments/schools/faculties – where possible draw on existing packages and resources. If you create something great add it to the pool so others can benefit.
33. Coordinating your unit Know about your hardware, and the hardware you have access to. It helps you to know what physical technologies are available for you to use. This can include scanners, cameras, recording devices, and anything else you might need. Insist on your dept/school/faculty being able to provide timely and reliable information in this respect. www.flickr.com/photos/42173959@N00/9418153 2 Web 2.0 isn’t the enemy. The ubiquity of many Web 2.0 resources means they can become readily available extensions and fall backs to other technologies. The networking affordances alone can be leveraged to help foster student and professional networks that can extend beyond FLECS-Bb, beyond campus and beyond graduation. http://www.flickr.com/photos/luc/1659321885/in/set-72157605210232207/
34. Coordinating your unit Images and graphics. Know where you can have graphics and images made for you, learn how to make your own and learn where to source ready made images and photographs. http://flickrcc.bluemountains.net Video production facilities are available. There is a range of video production facilities available to you. The higher the production value you want the greater the expectation of the university that the product will be operating beyond mere presentation and information delivery. iLecture 360 Desktop Capture tool is freely available to all staff. www.flickr.com/photos/33877233@N06/3275485506
35. Coordinating your unit Staff development is part of the responsibility. Its worth remembering that as your staff get better at working effectively and efficiently in online contexts you will benefit. eVALUate. You should see increased satisfaction being reported though these reports and that should be incentive to keep getting better at the whole game.
36. Coordinating your unit Look at your unit through students’ eyes. Before you release your unit to students ensure you go through it in student perspective. Make certain that all the requisite clarity and guidance will be obvious to students, look for things that don’t make sense, or are unnecessarily complicated. www.flickr.com/photos/26406919@N00/2217375343 Factor in user experience testing. Ensure you have strategies in place for testing the operation of your unit. Does it work on all browsers and all platforms? Will you need to stipulate technology/software required? Does everything work the way you intended? www.flickr.com/photos/25812498@N00/544716512 www.flickr.com/photos/51035700061@N01/313865394
37. Coordinating your unit Self-evaluate the unit. Use established rubrics and evaluation criteria to determine the quality and efficacy of your unit. Notice the strengths in your work and identify areas for improvement. www.flickr.com/photos/13066221@N03/2230391481 Administrative workflows. Be clear about what work is required and who will complete it. Where necessary create clearly articulated workflows to guide staff (and students) through required tasks. Ensure you have the necessary administrative support form your department/school/faculty. http://www.flickr.com/photos/24836433@N00/5921913
38. Coordinating your unit Remember the university has the ability to provide support through a range of Offices and Units. Staff should make sure they are aware of the support opportunities: Office of Research and Development Organisational Development Unit UniEnglish Central AV Support Office of Teaching and Learning Library CITS Curtin University Bookshop START (Student Transition and Retention Team)
39. Learning and assessment activities
40. Learning and assessment activities Be realistic about the time required. Students are expected to invest up to 10 hours per week to complete a unit of study – that gives you about 100-120 hours of time over a study period. Be realistic about what can be achieved in that time frame and plan activities that allow students to best utilise their time. www.flickr.com/photos/21649179@N00/406635986 Scaffold learning activities. Ensure that students are given appropriate support and guidance as required; and as much as possible try to link student participation to assessment. Creative assessment tasks will ensure participation is required without resorting to directly grading attendance. www.flickr.com/photos/67499195@N00/2376198831
41. Learning and assessment activities Provide opportunities for students to practice and rehearse the sorts of activities they’ll be assessed on. The online context is a great place to provide examples of practice and opportunities for rehearsal – virtuality may serve this in some practical areas. www.flickr.com/photos/62827293@N00/2912630824 Provide opportunities for students to engage in interdisciplinary and cross- disciplinary activities. Students benefit from a rich contextualisation of the fields of knowledge and practice they are entering into – a single focus vocational perspective limits capacity for growth. www.flickr.com/photos/71594384@N00/3323819782
42. Learning and assessment activities Use methods that are appropriate to the context. Students should be encouraged to participate in meaningful ways and not in arbitrary or contrived ways. Your flexibility, creativity and familiarity with the context can ensure that the student’s www.flickr.com/photos/7496431@N05/2601423003 experience is optimised. Incorporate skills development, how- to-learn strategies and graduate attributes in active engagement with core content. Integrate the full spectrum of learning in the activities you ask students to undertake.
43. Learning and assessment activities Learn how to weave together the social, academic, professional and personal components of online engagement. You’ll discover that many students have a diverse range of skills and knowledge about the technologies they use; your learning activities can help them map and repurpose skills into new contexts. http://www.flickr.com/photos/45269026@N00/671281689 Incorporate opportunities for peer teaching, peer assessment and self- assessment. Concentrate on addressing interest, relevance, currency, engagement, chunking up, chunking down, social engagement and active participation as you connect students with each other, current practice and practitioners.
44. Communicating and engaging
45. Communicating and engaging Make yourself known in the teaching space. The teacher is the most recognisable person in most classrooms. In the online context you need to develop a pervasive online presence. Photos, video, messages, and information – they all paint a picture of you as the teacher. Use the available tools to ensure students feel they have a connection with you. Ensure all instructions are clear and reiterated. Redundancy can be a good thing in certain aspects of teaching online. Students should be able to clearly identify and interpret instructions. www.flickr.com/photos/53611153@N00/489039977
46. Communicating and engaging Provide checklists for students – have they completed all required activities for the week? Simple methods of ensuring students are all aware of what’s required. www.flickr.com/photos/22848515@N02/351054613 1 Navigation guides, site maps and inventories assist teachers and learners alike. Site organisation is an important component in helping everyone find what they’re supposed to find. Site maps (textual or graphical) can assist and minimise the need for students to bother you with emails about navigation. www.flickr.com/photos/76224602@N00/3487381573
47. Communicating and engaging The type of question you ask will influence the student experience. Asking effective questions in discussion boards will ensure that students engage the way you intended. Questions are also an effective way of guiding students to engage with subject matter. www.flickr.com/photos/51664705@N00/15472267 Respond to general themes first. In discussion forums you run the risk of addressing the same concerns over and over again. Better to assess the main concerns of students and deal with them in a well-considered post that everyone can read. Encourage peer guidance before engaging in individual responses. www.flickr.com/photos/20561948@N00/3315080325
48. Communicating and engaging Encourage peer-to-peer interaction. Use groups and peer engagement strategically and pedagogically. This will improve your time management in the long run. Assume the hive will be proactive in sharing insights. www.flickr.com/photos/70588596@N00/2692666640 Use simple compulsory activities that scaffold learning the interface and practices required for successful online learning – fun, game-like, pseudo-competitive, collaborative. This establishes a tone for the class, fosters effective participation and guides students through the skills and practices required for successful participation. www.flickr.com/photos/94632411@N00/3545819322
49. Communicating and engaging www.flickr.com/photos/32729422@N00/2192411612 www.flickr.com/photos/35468141938@N01/97426906 Understand the technologies and best applications – blogs, discussion boards, wiki, email, announcement, messages, real time chat, voice chat, conferencing, etc. Each technology has its strengths – use them to support your teaching. http://www.flickr.com/photos/luc/472432010/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenextweb/3346248321/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/oceanflynn/315385916/
50. Managing your time
51. Managing your time Lock out time on your calendar to work on unit development. Ensure you realistically assign time to complete the tasks required to develop your unit. www.flickr.com/photos/85515841@N00/698594611 Lock out time on your calendar to engage online. When you are teaching your unit fully online you’ll need 30-45 minutes per day. Make this known widely inside your unit and across your department.
52. Managing your time Use group responses over individual responses where appropriate. There are few situations where students will need to contact you individually – most of the time you will be better served by addressing the collective. Specific personal issues and interactions www.flickr.com/photos/24017046@N05/2415674993 relating to individual achievement may require individual attention. Take time for collegial discussion. Create a staff group within your unit for asynchronous discussion. Also ensure you have adequate opportunity to meet face-to-face for support and administration.
53. Managing your time Develop proficiency with a range of technology tools.Your knowledge, skill and understanding of a wide range of technologies will ensure you become more efficient and effective in the online context. New technologies are released daily and will be continually added to teaching and learning repertoire. Assume constant change is normal and learn to be comfortable with adapting your practices to new www.flickr.com/photos/13066221@N03/2591674271 forms and structures.
54. Managing your time Recognise where time invested now will www.flickr.com/photos/7294103@N03/2887775719 reward you with free time later. Conscious incompetence becomes conscious competence becomes unconscious competence. Speed and efficiency are the pay off for all learning. Be realistic about this – you will get better at it and it will become easier and quicker. You’ll also be better able to articulate your technology needs. Calendars can be used as part of the teaching and learning environment – clear and timely communication will ensure your time isn’t spent reiterating what’s been said ten times before. The technology can be set to release materials when you are absent. www.flickr.com/photos/96941606@N00/132790910
55. Electronic marking
56. Electronic marking Online marking can be a far more efficient process than making hard copy materials, but it does mean being organised. Know how to organise folders, filter emails, and navigate through Bb grading resources. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8592579@N08/2703752397 Know the affordances of FLECS- Bb. Learn to use quizzes and tests, surveys, automated marking, the Grade Centre, Assignment and Drop Box to ensure your time is preserved.
57. Electronic marking Know where to turn for guidance. The university provides many avenues for support and you should be familiar with these resources Online Skills Training pages on the OTL site http://otl.curtin.edu.au FLC website resources http://flc.curtin.edu.au Develop proficiency with the software you have at your disposal. Know what you can do with Word, Adobe Acrobat Professional, Excel, etc. For example: Use Track Changes in Word Templates for grading rubrics Use annotations in PDF documents Formulas in Excel spreadsheets FLECS-Bb grade centre www.flickr.com/photos/21369373@N00/716105598
58. Electronic marking Adopt effective screen strategies. Use two monitors if available, arrange windows to optimise onscreen actions, use rubric documents (automated or templates). Change resolution if www.flickr.com/photos/30787616@N00/244001775 necessary to generate greater screen 1 real estate. File management. Effective file management can help make the process more organised and time efficient. Learn to use filters, tags and other tools to ease your workload. Automate where possible. www.flickr.com/photos/27273974@N00/544031637
59. Electronic marking Encourage students to use Turnitin. Turnitin can help students better understand their obligations when it comes to Academic Integrity. By taking responsibility for assessing their own work they develop a better appreciation of how original work can be represented and how identifying sources of influence can be important.
60. Common pitfalls
61. Common pitfalls Plan without considering the online limitations and affordances. It is in your interests and the interests of your students to ensure that you consider your best options when teaching online. Select activities and technologies that work well within the context of the unit, eg. its appropriate in a unit for preservice teachers to incorporate technologies that might be used in K -12 teaching contexts; it’s appropriate to use collaborative documents for group work; its appropriate to use online animation software in a media unit. www.flickr.com/photos/90646759@N00/1149873101
62. Common pitfalls “Shovel ware” – generating great volumes of text based content and trying to squeeze it into a Learning Management System. The preferred approach is to generate engaging reusable materials that focus on teaching www.flickr.com/photos/48889111471@N01/7206800 and learning rather than dumping tonnes of content. Information is everywhere – learning to find, encounter, analyse and critique information is a better goal. www.flickr.com/photos/41894176272@N01/146229460
63. Common pitfalls✗ Try to individually attend to every student question and enquiry. Approach discussion boards as public space – make public responses where appropriate. Survey the forums and determine key elements to be addressed and address it once. Discourage general email usage. www.flickr.com/photos/75062596@N00/152443312✗ Forget to allow the learning community to be self-sustaining. Classes do need facilitation - mainly with the intent of creating a learning community that operates more and more through social engagement. www.flickr.com/photos/48600091327@N01/1174257667
64. Common pitfalls Omit early activities that teach online skills and practices while engaging and developing community cohesion. Classes need some scaffolding at various stages. Remember your responsibility as an educator to provide scaffolded opportunities for students to learn a range of effective strategies for working www.flickr.com/photos/91312924@N00/2942564830 online. Try to do it without adding your own learning into the equation. At every stage of teaching online, especially in the very beginning, you will find that you need to learn new skills, new beliefs, new ways of working, and that takes time even when embedded in practice. www.flickr.com/photos/37354253@N00/418495671
65. Common pitfalls Believe that technology will do it all for you. Quite simply the www.flickr.com/photos/70874608@N00/2584636703 technology will do none of the teaching and learning but it can help you make your teaching more appropriate to the 21st century. www.flickr.com/photos/29096601@N00/2533948716 www.flickr.com/photos/73662475@N00/265195797 1