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Preparing to Pivot: From Blended to
Online Learning in the time of COVID
Dr. Claire McGuinness & Dr. Crystal Fulton
CILIP Conference 2020
UCD iSCHOOL
information & communication studies
Claire’s digital teaching
IS40480 Information Professional as Teacher (MLIS programme)
● “Pivoted” online in Spring 2020 (for 5 weeks after lockdown), 11 students
● Normal mode is F2F with group exercises and discussion
● Moved to synchronous weekly lectures via Virtual Classroom (Blackboard Collaborate
Ultra via Brightspace)
IS10050 Digital Judgement (BSc Social Sciences)
● First year digital/information literacy module, 185 students
● Fully online Autumn 2020 (government restrictions) - module usually blended
● Synchronous weekly lectures via Zoom, 3 online tutorials, seven e-assignments, group
project, plus independent study
Digital Research Skills in the UG Curriculum
● Managing Your Research with Web-
based Tools
● Understanding Digital Research Ethics
● The Academic Web
● Foundational Social Media Analytics
for Research
● Digital Tools for Managing Research
Data
● Data Visualisation for Novice
Researchers
E-tutorials are OERs, licensed under Creative Commons
license - Attribution - NonCommercial -ShareAlike 4.0
International
Funded project 2017-2018: “Learning
through Research” - embedding research in
the undergraduate curriculum
Created six e-tutorials on digital research
skills for undergraduate students using
Articulate software
Embedded e-tutorials in the VLE
(Blackboard) in Information & Social
Computing modules in the BA/BSocSc
degree (blended learning)
Created digital badges for each e-tutorial
Evaluated student experiences of e-tutorials
and blended learning
What we learned about the students’ experience
● The e-tutorials reinforced students’ understanding of topics &
were perceived as relevant to module content - most found that
the digital badges motivated them to master e-tutorial content
● Strong student preference for blended learning (but face-to-face
still important) - also reflected in other studies, e.g. ECAR*
● Two factors were critical to student engagement with the e-
tutorials:
○Importance of extrinsic motivation (module credit,
quizzes, digital badges)
○Disruptive & frustrating effects of technical glitches
● Essential to embed the e-tutorials in modules as core learning
activities, not optional add-ons (i.e., Oliver & Herrington’s
“Learning Tasks, Resources, Supports” framework)
*EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research
Students’ experience of digital learning
Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey - Autumn 2019
Students and staff who teach in higher education: data collected from 25,484 students and 4,445 staff at
32 higher education institutions across Ireland
● Students said that digital technologies enable them to understand things better, enjoy learning
more, become more independent in their learning & fit learning into their life more easily
● Most useful digital tool was the VLE, most effective digital activity was online polling/quizzing
● Students wanted access to recorded lectures and requested more interactivity in online classes
● Majority now use a smartphone to access learning materials
● Student priorities for digital learning included access to reliable wifi,adequate access to reliable, up-
to-date computers, devices and printers (in classrooms, lecture halls, computer labs, libraries, etc.)
and access to adequate power and seating to support learning and wellbeing
(Survey carried out by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education)
Crystal’s digital teaching
IS20110: DigiLife: Social Media & Participation in an Online World (BSc)
IS40030: People, Information, & Communication (MLIS/MSc)
○ Already digital - came to Covid pre-pivoted!
○ IS20110 involves lectures, exercises designed for the online context
○ IS40030 functions as a virtual seminar with self-constructed learning,
e-guests, student leadership of discussion.
○ Mini-pivot around field trips when pandemic hit.
○ Taught via Blackboard Collaborate
IS20010: DigiComp: Core Competencies for Digital Citizenship (BSc)
IS40530: Information & Reference Services (MLIS)
○ Normally f2f; Planned ahead as a digital roll out for autumn 2020 (just a girl scout at heart!)
○ IS40530 is a core MLIS module worth 10 credits
○ Re-designed module assessment for the virtual world
○ Cool tools! Jamboard, Ask a Librarian, Google Sites, PeerScholar
○ Moved to Zoom to overcome technology issues
BSc Digital Research Accelerator
● Online format: Module is accessible 24/7 to Year 3 students studying abroad or on
work placements/ internships - no F2F classes
● Re-use of Library resources: guides and tutorials which support the College’s
Research Learning Outcomes but are underutilised or unknown
● Self-paced, sequential & interactive: Students work through content in their own time
and at their own pace during the trimester
● To prepare students for in-depth engagement with research, and to complement
Social Science Research Methods modules in Year 4
● Reflective - to develop and enhance students’ metacognitive skills in relation to
learning and research
UCD Academic Fellowship: Designing for
Learning in Brightspace
Oliver (1999)
Student Activities
Observations from a pandemic scenario
● Students are partners in learning
● Sound pedagogy is the foundation for
effective, student-centred learning
● Context, context, context!
● Start where you are - understand your
current level of knowledge and skill,
identify gaps, seek training and/or outside
expertise
● Utilise the tools and technologies around
you, especially OERs
● Excellent learning IS possible in a
pandemic
Want more information?
School of Information & Communication Studies
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
Email: Claire.McGuinness@ucd.ie or Crystal.Fulton@ucd.ie
With thanks to our
funders:
UCD Teaching &
Learning
CoSSL (College of Social
Sciences & Law)
Research Funding, & UG
Curriculum Development
Award
National Forum for the
Enhancement of T&L in
Higher Education
Latest work on learning in the digital context: Technology Enhanced Learning in the
College of Social Sciences and Law: Digitally Transforming Educational Practice,
https://tinyurl.com/y3oumxmj

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CILIP Conference 2020: Preparing to Pivot: From Blended to Online Learning in the time of COVID

  • 1. Preparing to Pivot: From Blended to Online Learning in the time of COVID Dr. Claire McGuinness & Dr. Crystal Fulton CILIP Conference 2020 UCD iSCHOOL information & communication studies
  • 2. Claire’s digital teaching IS40480 Information Professional as Teacher (MLIS programme) ● “Pivoted” online in Spring 2020 (for 5 weeks after lockdown), 11 students ● Normal mode is F2F with group exercises and discussion ● Moved to synchronous weekly lectures via Virtual Classroom (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra via Brightspace) IS10050 Digital Judgement (BSc Social Sciences) ● First year digital/information literacy module, 185 students ● Fully online Autumn 2020 (government restrictions) - module usually blended ● Synchronous weekly lectures via Zoom, 3 online tutorials, seven e-assignments, group project, plus independent study
  • 3. Digital Research Skills in the UG Curriculum ● Managing Your Research with Web- based Tools ● Understanding Digital Research Ethics ● The Academic Web ● Foundational Social Media Analytics for Research ● Digital Tools for Managing Research Data ● Data Visualisation for Novice Researchers E-tutorials are OERs, licensed under Creative Commons license - Attribution - NonCommercial -ShareAlike 4.0 International Funded project 2017-2018: “Learning through Research” - embedding research in the undergraduate curriculum Created six e-tutorials on digital research skills for undergraduate students using Articulate software Embedded e-tutorials in the VLE (Blackboard) in Information & Social Computing modules in the BA/BSocSc degree (blended learning) Created digital badges for each e-tutorial Evaluated student experiences of e-tutorials and blended learning
  • 4. What we learned about the students’ experience ● The e-tutorials reinforced students’ understanding of topics & were perceived as relevant to module content - most found that the digital badges motivated them to master e-tutorial content ● Strong student preference for blended learning (but face-to-face still important) - also reflected in other studies, e.g. ECAR* ● Two factors were critical to student engagement with the e- tutorials: ○Importance of extrinsic motivation (module credit, quizzes, digital badges) ○Disruptive & frustrating effects of technical glitches ● Essential to embed the e-tutorials in modules as core learning activities, not optional add-ons (i.e., Oliver & Herrington’s “Learning Tasks, Resources, Supports” framework) *EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research
  • 5. Students’ experience of digital learning Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey - Autumn 2019 Students and staff who teach in higher education: data collected from 25,484 students and 4,445 staff at 32 higher education institutions across Ireland ● Students said that digital technologies enable them to understand things better, enjoy learning more, become more independent in their learning & fit learning into their life more easily ● Most useful digital tool was the VLE, most effective digital activity was online polling/quizzing ● Students wanted access to recorded lectures and requested more interactivity in online classes ● Majority now use a smartphone to access learning materials ● Student priorities for digital learning included access to reliable wifi,adequate access to reliable, up- to-date computers, devices and printers (in classrooms, lecture halls, computer labs, libraries, etc.) and access to adequate power and seating to support learning and wellbeing (Survey carried out by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education)
  • 6. Crystal’s digital teaching IS20110: DigiLife: Social Media & Participation in an Online World (BSc) IS40030: People, Information, & Communication (MLIS/MSc) ○ Already digital - came to Covid pre-pivoted! ○ IS20110 involves lectures, exercises designed for the online context ○ IS40030 functions as a virtual seminar with self-constructed learning, e-guests, student leadership of discussion. ○ Mini-pivot around field trips when pandemic hit. ○ Taught via Blackboard Collaborate IS20010: DigiComp: Core Competencies for Digital Citizenship (BSc) IS40530: Information & Reference Services (MLIS) ○ Normally f2f; Planned ahead as a digital roll out for autumn 2020 (just a girl scout at heart!) ○ IS40530 is a core MLIS module worth 10 credits ○ Re-designed module assessment for the virtual world ○ Cool tools! Jamboard, Ask a Librarian, Google Sites, PeerScholar ○ Moved to Zoom to overcome technology issues
  • 7. BSc Digital Research Accelerator ● Online format: Module is accessible 24/7 to Year 3 students studying abroad or on work placements/ internships - no F2F classes ● Re-use of Library resources: guides and tutorials which support the College’s Research Learning Outcomes but are underutilised or unknown ● Self-paced, sequential & interactive: Students work through content in their own time and at their own pace during the trimester ● To prepare students for in-depth engagement with research, and to complement Social Science Research Methods modules in Year 4 ● Reflective - to develop and enhance students’ metacognitive skills in relation to learning and research
  • 8. UCD Academic Fellowship: Designing for Learning in Brightspace Oliver (1999) Student Activities
  • 9. Observations from a pandemic scenario ● Students are partners in learning ● Sound pedagogy is the foundation for effective, student-centred learning ● Context, context, context! ● Start where you are - understand your current level of knowledge and skill, identify gaps, seek training and/or outside expertise ● Utilise the tools and technologies around you, especially OERs ● Excellent learning IS possible in a pandemic
  • 10. Want more information? School of Information & Communication Studies University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4 Email: Claire.McGuinness@ucd.ie or Crystal.Fulton@ucd.ie With thanks to our funders: UCD Teaching & Learning CoSSL (College of Social Sciences & Law) Research Funding, & UG Curriculum Development Award National Forum for the Enhancement of T&L in Higher Education Latest work on learning in the digital context: Technology Enhanced Learning in the College of Social Sciences and Law: Digitally Transforming Educational Practice, https://tinyurl.com/y3oumxmj