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eLearning Why Bother?. Dr Max Jones University of Manchester max.jones@manchester.ac.uk. Challenges. How to improve teaching and learning in large humanities courses with reduced contact hours? How to make seminars more effective? How to support Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)?.

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Elearning why bother

eLearning Why Bother?

Dr Max Jones

University of Manchester

max.jones@manchester.ac.uk


Challenges

Challenges

  • How to improve teaching and learning in large humanities courses with reduced contact hours?

  • How to make seminars more effective?

  • How to support Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)?


Vles strengths i

VLEs - Strengths I

  • Course Outline (& Skills Info) Easily Accessible

  • Improve Access to Secondary Sources

  • Harness Online Resources. Some online resources may only be used on secure Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)

  • Direct Seminar Preparation of Students – Active Learning

  • Provide Framework for GTAs

  • Good for Career Progression


Vles strengths ii

VLEs - Strengths II

VLE Tools:

  • Discussion Boards

  • Quizzes

  • Essay Submission & Feedback

  • Plagiarism Checker

  • “Wiki” Tool

  • Podcasts

  • Surveys


Vles weaknesses

VLEs - Weaknesses

  • Substantial initial investment of time

  • Hidden workload maintaining VLE

  • Reliance on technology beyond your control

  • Perception that new technology is intended to replace contact with staff

  • Humanities students become overly reliant on online resources, and don’t learn how to use library

  • Rigid Framework?

  • Staff Resistance


Project

Project

Revamp Level 2 Modern British History course – c.120-students.

1 lecture + 1 seminar per week.

Students must complete a “Seminar Worksheet” before each seminar


Seminar worksheet

Seminar Worksheet

Single A4 Sheet with 4-6 questions.

The questions direct students’ engagement with assigned primary and secondary sources.

Students email a copy of worksheet to GTA before each weekly seminar.


Seminar 6 the people s war 1939 45

Seminar 6. The People’s War?: 1939-45.

  • How does Rose explain the particular anxieties provoked by “good-time girls” in wartime Britain?

  • Why does Rose believe inter-racial sex provoked particular tensions?

  • Choose one example from the article, which you could use in an essay to illustrate Rose’s argument.

  • How could you use Fires Were Started to support or challenge Rose’s argument?

  • How is the period 1914-39 presented in the Labour Party manifesto?

  • How does the manifesto describe the Labour party’s attitude towards “freedom”?


Questionnaire results

Questionnaire Results

‘The material available on-line significantly enhanced my learning’

Mean score of 1.81

Highest score of 140 UG course units with over 30 students in 2007-08


Online survey 1

Online Survey 1

‘I learned more in my weekly seminar, if I had completed a Seminar Worksheet’,

  • 38 ‘Agree’

  • 7 ‘Mostly Agree’

  • 6 ‘Neither Agree nor Disagree’

  • 3 ‘Mostly Disagree’

  • 5 ‘Disagree’


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