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Denise Kirkpatrick Director, Learning & Teaching. Learning together online: towards an understanding of online collaboration. Learning & Teaching Online. Potential Innovation or adaptation? Collaboration examples Issues Strategies. The online role-play evolution.

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Denise kirkpatrick director learning teaching l.jpg

Denise Kirkpatrick Director, Learning & Teaching

Learning together online: towards an understanding of online collaboration

Learning teaching online l.jpg
Learning & Teaching Online

  • Potential

  • Innovation or adaptation?

  • Collaboration examples

  • Issues

  • Strategies

The online role play evolution l.jpg
The online role-play evolution

  • Middle east politics simulation (Vincent)

  • Pollutsim (1996-1999) [task & tool analysis]

  • Technology assessment involvement in Middle east politics (1999 – 2000)

  • Mekong e-Sim (2000 – 2004)

Mekong e sim motivated by l.jpg
Mekong e-Sim motivated by:

  • Create student experiences involving multiple perspectives, authentic learning & context,

  • Address internationalisation,

  • Develop generic skills (communication, collaboration, leadership, decision-making, IT)

  • Develop discipline specific content knowledge

  • Link geographically distributed students

  • Create an interdisciplinary experience- understand other perspectives

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  • Participants adopt a functional role or persona within a simulated environment or scenario. They are problem-based units of learning set in motion by a particular task, issue, policy, incident or problem.

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What happens in a roleplay-simulation?

Reflection &


Adopt a role

Issues & problems occur

Interaction & debate

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Mekong e-Sim

  • Online roleplay- simulation

  • Students collectively take on persona relevant to scenario

  • Personae respond to key events and triggers as events unfold

  • Persona groups comprise same discipline/institution and mixture

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e-Sim Stages

Briefing/Familiarisation (1 Week)

Role Adoption (1 Week)

Interaction (2.5 Weeks)

Public Inquiry (0.5 Weeks)

Debriefing/Reflection (2 Weeks)

Assessment l.jpg

Issue paper: group task, issues specific to persona, student drop box

Participation: group task, email, public inquiry, news events, group and peer assessment

Critical learning incident: individual task, observation, interpretation, knowledge outcomes

Debriefing essay: policies, e-Sim dynamics, group dynamics, reflection

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  • High level of student engagement with ideas (via learning activities)

  • Structured interaction

  • High level of interaction within and between personae

  • Accountability

  • Interdependence

  • Flexibility

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Mekong e-Sim supported collaboration between:

  • Staff

  • Students

  • Disciplines ( Engineering, Geography, Economics, Media, Arts)

  • Institutions (4 universities)

  • Inside the e-Sim


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e-Sim Collaboration issues


managing LMS across multiple sites

Academic Issues:

  • Teaching & learning practices & philosophy

  • Assessment practice & policy

  • Distribution of workload & W/L policies

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e-Sim: Academic issues

Negotiation was required

  • Low level of funding allowed minimum changes to existing practices & resources

  • High level of student interdependence across institutions required standardisation of practices

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e-Sim: Shared Assessment Practice

  • Assessment governance varied between subjects

  • Agreed assessment criteria/outcomes/frameworks

  • Needed agreement on process: level of feedback,marking time, grades or marks, turnaround time

  • Inter-marker variability & moderation

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Cross Institutional Collaboration

  • Genuine commitment to collaboration

  • Mutual dependence between all parties

  • Alignment of learning outcomes and assessment

  • Shared responsibility

  • Clear (& shared expectations)

  • Flexibility & willingness to adapt

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Encouraging Learner Collaboration

  • High level of positive interdependence

    • Between students sharing persona;

    • Among personae within the RPS scenario (in relation to information & actions);

    • Independent and group work tasks

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Encouraging Learner Collaboration

  • Individual accountability

    • Online self and peer assessment of contribution

    • Statistics on participant access

    • Facilitator access to discussion groups

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Masters/DPsych- Adult Mental Health

  • Online case base approach (PBL principles)

  • Extensive use of student collaborative work

  • Seven increasingly complex cases

Cases l.jpg

  • 7 cases (patients) representing key psychological disorders

  • Scientist-practitioner model

  • Raise professional problems raised in & by the cases

  • Exemplified range of possible approaches to treatment

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Text based cases

  • Provide original input – case (patient)

  • Students respond to original information, preliminary diagnosis

  • Student discussion of opinions and justifications

  • Individual and group activities

  • “Expert comment”

  • On-going information provision – students revise diagnosis

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  • Formulate treatment plan

  • Evaluation of treatment

  • = complete treatment cycle

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  • Sequenced through year

  • Scaffolded

  • Trigger information relating to client & disorder released to progress case development & initiate learner activities

  • Individual and group activities - structured

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  • Need for organisation – staff & student

  • Structured activities and sequence

  • Making the personal connections

  • May be more time consuming

  • Need to design meaningful tasks

  • Students need a legitimate reason to collaborate- clear purpose for collaboration

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  • Flexibility vs structure and accountability

  • Development time vs staff ongoing involvement

  • Alignment of assessment & process

  • Student training & familiarisation

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  • High level of student motivation & engagement

  • Improved student learning outcomes

  • Improved understanding of complexities of practice

  • “Managed” staff workload and input

  • High retention rate

  • High levels of interaction

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In Conclusion

  • Not just the technology but the design

  • However technology supported particular activities and interactions

  • Technology made some things possible