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Presentation at the USP VC L&T Forum

Online learning is in its infant stages in our region and both the student and teacher have yet to fully comprehend its dynamics, demands and the pedagogies associated with this mode of learning. The Orientation Activity in UU204 was designed (using standard Moodle tools) to alleviate this problem and also address the issues encountered in the previous offerings; it provides students with a preview of what to expect in this online course in an innovative and fun way. The orientation package uses a game based approach (Amazing Race). When a student has finished unpacking it, they would have answered most of their queries about the course and online learning. Students would also have accessed the support structures available within the course and the University, acquired the skills required of an online learner, and had a hands-on experience for the core Moodle tools that will be extensively used in the course. Preliminary findings via a survey in Moodle suggest that the anticipated outcomes when playing the game are achieved at the end.

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Presentation at the USP VC L&T Forum

  1. 1. Online orientation • Learner readiness for Online Learning • Supporting the Online Learner, academic and non-academic support (Hughes, J.) Athabasca University • Gilly Salmon 5 stage Model – First 2 stages are critical, a proper orientation needed.
  2. 2. UU204: Pacific Worlds • First offered in Semester 1, 2012 (Blended Mode) • Orientation via drop in consultation on the first week, turned into the first version of the Amazing Race - Jacki • First few face to face sessions occur around weeks 2 and 3 • Orientation to the content and online pedagogy covered in these sessions • Regional students oriented through REACT • Transition to online version of the Orientation (Sem 2, 2014 Fully Online)
  3. 3. Why Orientation so important for Online students • Ease the transition from a face-to-face mode to an online mode • No one around to show ‘the ropes’ • Literature on e-learning (Gilly Salmon’s Five Stage Model) Orientation helps students transit into the first 3 stages of the model.
  4. 4. The Amazing Race • Why Game Based Learning for the Online Orientation Package? • Alleviate Information Overload for students • Ensures that students have fun and are continuously engaged with the content • The different stages (checkpoints) arouses curiosity and eagerness
  5. 5. The Amazing Race What are the Objectives of the Race? • Orientate students to the online environment • Answer most of the FAQs • Introduce students to the core Moodle tools used in the course • Develop technical, social & personal skills required of an online learner.
  6. 6. Snap Shot of the Amazing Race • There are 4 Checkpoints, Honiara, Apia, Tarawa and Nukualofa • The race utilizes conditional activities in Moodle
  7. 7. Snap Shot of the Amazing Race
  8. 8. Checkpoint Apia (Quiz)
  9. 9. Checkpoint Tarawa (Forum) & Nukualofa (Assignment Drop Box)
  10. 10. Student Feedback Student Feedback, 7 major themes emerged 11.4 16.9 31.4 22.2 5.5 6.8 5.8 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Interesting & Fun Gaming Concept Acquired Skills for Online Learning Creative Dissemination Information Compels Them to read all Awareness of Pacifc Cultures Clearly articulate the expectations Percentage % Aspects of the Race you liked
  11. 11. Student Feedback • It is structured in such a way that i enjoyed getting acquainted with my new unit and i already love learning about the Pacific way even though i am doing science. • It made me post on forums etc which i usually do not like doing as i am a shy person and i guess at the end it wasn't so hard so pushing boundaries and trying new things :D • It was good that you cannot move onto the next stage until you have completed the current stage. This way you fully understand the section before advancing
  12. 12. A work in progress… • What next? • Analyse Retention and Completion Rates • Plans for further development of the Amazing Race based on Student Feedback

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Online learning is in its infant stages in our region and both the student and teacher have yet to fully comprehend its dynamics, demands and the pedagogies associated with this mode of learning. The Orientation Activity in UU204 was designed (using standard Moodle tools) to alleviate this problem and also address the issues encountered in the previous offerings; it provides students with a preview of what to expect in this online course in an innovative and fun way. The orientation package uses a game based approach (Amazing Race). When a student has finished unpacking it, they would have answered most of their queries about the course and online learning. Students would also have accessed the support structures available within the course and the University, acquired the skills required of an online learner, and had a hands-on experience for the core Moodle tools that will be extensively used in the course. Preliminary findings via a survey in Moodle suggest that the anticipated outcomes when playing the game are achieved at the end.

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