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Moving a face-to-face course to an online space - reflections on course design and the importance of an iterative approach

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This presentation outlines how the author and colleagues moved a successful, conventional face-to-face course to an online Moodle platform. The course sought to provide education and training for family carers looking after a loved one with dementia. The authtor provides insight into the processes involved in this process and particularly how it is important to follow and iterative approach.

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Moving a face-to-face course to an online space - reflections on course design and the importance of an iterative approach

  1. 1. MOVING A FACE-TO-FACE COURSE TO AN ONLINE SPACE: REFLECTIONS ON COURSE DESIGN AND THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ITERATIVE APPROACH Fergus Timmons, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain 5-7 March.
  2. 2. Presentation Content  Background and Context  Pre-Design Audit & Conclusions  Overview Chronology of Course Development  Course Structure  Maximising Learner Engagement  Openness and Recognition  Conclusions INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  3. 3. Background and Context  Family Carers looking after a loved one with dementia in their homes  Fulfilling but lonely and sometimes stressful  ASI been delivering f2f course for 10 years  Demand for online version  Erasmus+ grant: Home Based Care – Home Based Education project 2015 to 2017 INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  4. 4. Pre-Design Audit Characteristics Learners Emotional, isolated, frustrated; varying degrees of digital literacy; (assumed) various preferred learning styles; hungry to learn about dementia Environment Moodle Learning Management System: closed, private, secure; rich assortment of activities and resources; Google Hangout: private, visual, Email: private, secure. Intended Outcomes Increased practical care skills More knowledge of dementia Better communication skills Empowered and confident Beetham, H and Sharpe, R (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  5. 5. Pre-Design Conclusions The online course had to be:  Informative – providing information on dementia and effects on person with dementia and family relations  Practical – answering queries from learners  Supportive – empathy and understanding  Engaging – learners would want to participate  Empowering – provide a platform for learners to share their experience INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  6. 6. Overview Chronology of Course Development Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 Jan to March 2016 April 2016 Sept 2016 to May 2017 March to June 2017 July to September 2017 Pilot Course Planning First Pilot Course Delivery Further Pilot Course Delivery Develop Showcase Course Final Course Construction Develop materials Develop structure of course Decide which tools to use Learning Management System (LMS) Design the course Build the course on LMS Train tutors on LMS use Enrol participants Deliver course Gather participant feedback on course content, structure, learning experience Gather tutor feedback on teaching experience Deliver 4 further pilot courses in September 2016, November 2016, February 2017 and May 2017 Using feedback from pilot courses, develop final ‘showcase’ version of the course Build and test final course for September 2017 delivery INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  7. 7. Course Structure  Same topics and sequence as f2f course  Plus ‘Induction & Orientation Week’  Regular signposting  Moodle ‘Book’ contains core information  ‘Discussion Forums’ facilitate communication  Weekly ‘Video Tutorials’ allow learners and students to ‘meet’ virtually  Encourage regular learner reflection  Polls & surveys gather feedback in real time INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  8. 8. Maximising Learner Engagement Tutor presence is essential for our course  Empathy, wisdom, experience, continuity, timely Simple, consistent layout  Minimum scrolling/swiping  Moodle Book contains links to all activities Explainer Videos  Screencasts to demonstrate ‘how to’ Weekly Feedback Survey  Learner comfort & respect Laurillard, D (2002) Rethinking University Teaching – A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies Mayes JT and Fowler CJH (1999) Learning technology and usability: a framework for understanding courseware, Interacting with Computers 11 485-497.
  9. 9. Maximising Usability: Implementing Salmon’s Model Stage & Characteristic Application in HBC-HBE Stage 1: Access and Motivation - learner is able to access the online environment quickly and easily Applicants receive a Frequently Asked Questions document prior to offer of place; Moodle administrator sets up a Moodle account for each new learner; each learner receives a welcome email & booklet to support log on process; Technical Support Discussion forum set up during Induction Week; Learning support contact person name and email address clearly visible to learners in Induction & Orientation section. Stage 2: Online socialization – learners need to become comfortable in the online environment Learners asked to introduce themselves to tutor and each other via a Discussion Forum thread during Induction and Orientation Week, where their introductory post say a little about a personal achievement or hobby; Video Tutorial held during Induction and Orientation Week facilitated by tutor and technical support / course coordinator; learners asked during Induction and Orientation Week to edit their profile and upload a photo to identify themselves to each other. Stage 3: Information exchange – learners becoming more comfortable and readily share and exchange information / views with each other Discussion Forum exercises ask learners to share their approach to dementia; Week 1 Choice activity asks learners how long they have been caring; Week 2 Choice activity asks learners to choose and share with fellow learners which dementia their loved one may have. Week 2 Choice activity asks carers to share their dominant ‘care emotion’. Video Tutorials held on a weekly basis which allows learners to see and listen to tutor and fellow learners. Stage 4: Knowledge construction – characterised by higher order learning, facilitated by tutor Learners invited to complete weekly Care Delivery Action Plans, whereby they review what they may have read, heard or seen in the resources provided, or heard in the Discussion Forums teaching materials each week, and then seek to apply this to their own caring situation. Tutor provides feedback on each plan privately to each learner during Weeks 2 to 6. Stage 5: Development – learners take responsibility for their own learning becoming confident, critical thinkers & discussion of ideas at a deeper level In the final Week 7 of the course, learners invited to write a course reflection to encompass some or all of the following: all their Care Delivery Action Plans, Discussion Forum posts & feedback received, and all course resources. Learners invited to ‘sum up’ course in final week Discussion Forum. Salmon, G (2011) E-moderating: the key to teaching and learning online
  10. 10. Openness and Recognition  Course is an open educational resource and available to view here  Course won bronze award at Learning Technologies Awards 2017  Shortlisted for two awards at IITD National Training Awards 2018 INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  11. 11. Conclusions  Importance of ‘the iterative approach’ user feedback, testing and adjusting  Design is a messy, non-linear process  Don’t be afraid to take risks  Keep it simple and consistent  Use a variety of activities and resources  Reduce learner angst  Keep your promises INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.
  12. 12. Thank You! Contact Details: Email: fergus.timmons@alzheimer.ie Twitter: @fergustimmons LinkedIn: Fergus Timmons INTED 2018, Valencia, Spain, 5-7 March.

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