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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

Denise Kirkpatrick Director, Learning & Teaching

Learning together online: towards an understanding of online collaboration

learning teaching online
Learning & Teaching Online
  • Potential
  • Innovation or adaptation?
  • Collaboration examples
  • Issues
  • Strategies
the online role play evolution
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
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
roleplay simulations
  • 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.
what happens in a roleplay simulation
What happens in a roleplay-simulation?

Reflection &


Adopt a role

Issues & problems occur

Interaction & debate

mekong e sim
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
e sim stages
e-Sim Stages

Briefing/Familiarisation (1 Week)

Role Adoption (1 Week)

Interaction (2.5 Weeks)

Public Inquiry (0.5 Weeks)

Debriefing/Reflection (2 Weeks)


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

  • High level of student engagement with ideas (via learning activities)
  • Structured interaction
  • High level of interaction within and between personae
  • Accountability
  • Interdependence
  • Flexibility
mekong e sim supported collaboration between
Mekong e-Sim supported collaboration between:
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Disciplines ( Engineering, Geography, Economics, Media, Arts)
  • Institutions (4 universities)
  • Inside the e-Sim
e sim collaboration issues
e-Sim Collaboration issues


managing LMS across multiple sites

Academic Issues:

  • Teaching & learning practices & philosophy
  • Assessment practice & policy
  • Distribution of workload & W/L policies
e sim academic issues
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
e sim shared assessment practice
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
cross institutional collaboration
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
encouraging learner collaboration
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
encouraging learner collaboration17
Encouraging Learner Collaboration
  • Individual accountability
    • Online self and peer assessment of contribution
    • Statistics on participant access
    • Facilitator access to discussion groups
masters dpsych adult mental health
Masters/DPsych- Adult Mental Health
  • Online case base approach (PBL principles)
  • Extensive use of student collaborative work
  • Seven increasingly complex cases
  • 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
text based cases
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
  • Formulate treatment plan
  • Evaluation of treatment
  • = complete treatment cycle
  • Sequenced through year
  • Scaffolded
  • Trigger information relating to client & disorder released to progress case development & initiate learner activities
  • Individual and group activities - structured
  • 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
  • Flexibility vs structure and accountability
  • Development time vs staff ongoing involvement
  • Alignment of assessment & process
  • Student training & familiarisation
  • 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
in conclusion
In Conclusion
  • Not just the technology but the design
  • However technology supported particular activities and interactions
  • Technology made some things possible