Using e-learning opportunities to best advantageCentre for Academic PracticeJay Dempster & Piers Nicholls School of Law IT Support Day 21 May 2003
Purpose of the session • CAP’s role in e-learning • Factors of change for HE • Opportunities, concerns, tactics • Implications for learning & teaching • Lessons learned in law teaching • Evaluation & curriculum design • Sharing messages
Tap into CAP • Developing academic staff expertise • Assisting departments • Supporting an e-learning community of practice • Promoting innovation in teaching & learning • Undertaking research & development • Evaluating effectiveness in learning • Providing accreditation & recognition • Encouraging embedding of available ICT • Disseminating good practice in e-learning
Factors of change in academic practice and the student learning experience Piers Nicholls
Factors of Change • Student profile • Curriculum • Sector • Political climate
Development ideas for projects • Using evaluation as a design and development tool • Building the student experience into the processes of innovation • Utilise a range of data to establish success and issues to be addressed • Manage degree of risk
Opportunities, concerns & tactics Jay Dempster
E-learning Shifting academic practice: Inspiring, imaginative & transforming
Potentially … • “The genuinely transformative nature of cyberspace lies not with access but with the potential for the production of knowledge and for new modes of collaboration and communication that can subvert and invert established authority relations, allowing the emergence of a democratising literacy.”Pedagogy, Politics and Power Stokes & Stokes, Computers & Texts, Ch.13 (1996)
Potentially … • The interactive properties of e-learning are capable of creating a community of inquiry that is independent of time and space and with the combination of interactive and reflective characteristics that can stimulate and facilitate a level of higher order learning unimaginable to date. E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice, Garrison & Andersen,Ch. 5, p.53 (2003)
Ideally … • “[Through new technology,] there will be a fostering of • greater student/teacher interactionand the promotion of greaterstudent engagementwherever students are located. There will also be the opportunity to developmore instructional formatsandincrease information resourcesthrough use of the web. • Such systems will provide law staff with functions to help with theeasy management of courseswithout requiring major technical expertise; thus staff will be able tomanage and customisetheir course area from work or from home, via a web browser. Pages will beupdated regularly, and no knowledge of HTML will be required, either by academic staff or by students.” • Professor Diana M R Tribe, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Hertfordshire, Higher education futures, Learning in Law Initiative Conference 2002
Responding to your own professional role: • What e-learning approaches do you see as offering the most possibilities to you (in your role)? • What are your main areas of need or concern in implementing these? • What approaches do you feel would really enhance the student learning experiences?
Implications of e-approaches to teaching & learning Interweaving pedagogy with technology Case studies from law teaching Jay Dempster
Strategically (in Law Teaching) • Benchmarks emphasise: • Generic skills • Understanding of the law • Transferability
Realistically (in student learning) ICT role in developing: • ICT & communication skills • Problem-solving • Critical thinking • Evaluation • Decision making
‘Learning gains’ • Why might it be in your interest to utilise these e-learning tools? • What sort of benefits of delivery mechanisms are seen as good practice?
Cost-benefits Teaching efficiency Learning effectiveness
Flexibility Interactivity Integration Any place, any time access to materials Increased availability of tutor and peer groups Reflective & collaborative approaches Resources – Email – Discussion – Group work Human interactions – tutors/students/group Content interactions– student/tutor/group/content Iterative in real time & delayed time ‘Traditional’ & online Mix ‘n’ match Social & cognitive Mutually reinforcing Pedagogical benefits of e-learning
Tutor focused Student focused Establishing curriculum objectives • CONTENT • OBJECTIVES • PROCESS Non-ICT teaching & learning resources
CONTENT Web-based content management systems E-libraries, databases, gateways Multimedia/CAL resources OBJECTIVES Streaming video Productivity & analysis tools Computer based assessment Simulations & workbooks PROCESS Virtual learning environments Email Discussion lists/newsgroups Student web publishing Conferencing systems Site Builder SOSIG Law Gateway Iolis Law Courseware GroupWise Forums Tutor focused Student focused Mapping ICT to curriculum objectives Non-ICT teaching & learning resources
Email Web (CMS), Iolis Discussion board SOSIG Law Gateway VLE (integrated tools) The Communicator The Deliverer The Debater The Researcher The Facilitator Observations from law staff
Integrating email into a lecture based module • Objectives • High student numbers reduced student interaction • Contact sessions too large to cover required material • Use of ICT to promote student-centred discussion • Approaches • Use of email to facilitate discussion & interaction • Weekly lectures maintained (passive) • Seminar style questions via email (active) • Observations • Flexibility & interactivity • Loss of the physical presence vs. removal of barriers • Delay in responding vs. time for reflection • High demands on staff time (FAQs, 450 emails!) • IT & communications skills, but not oral skills • Low techno-levels required. Poyton, D. Law Lecturer, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Linking Iolis to the Web, Journal of Information, Law & Technology Issue 3 (2001) http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/01-03/poyton.html
Rethinking course design for integrated tools • Objectives • High numbers & volume of material • Produce flexibility in course delivery • Use contact time more actively • Approaches • Weekly contact sessions more flexible • Small block format for varying sessions & student participation • Online delivery of materials (incl. FAQs) • Group presentation tasks – F2F & online • Observations • Flexibility & interactivity (new study practices) • Student-centred sessions enhanced rather than replaced • More efficient use of student & staff time (45 emails!) • Balance of communication skills • ‘Cut & paste mentality’ & plagiarism • Higher techno-levels required & some training Poyton, D. (2001) ibid.
Discussion (and interaction) … encourages active and participatory learning, two cornerstones of effective online learning is the focal point of the Socratic method encourages learners to analyse alternative ways of thinking and acting assists them in exploring their own experiences so that they can become better critical thinkers. Brookfield, S D, 'Discussion', in Adult Learning Methods: A Guide for Effective Instruction, M. W. Galbraith, ed., FL, Malabar, Krieger Publishing Company, (1990)
Evaluation & Curriculum DesignExploring new technology through pilot projects: Piers Nicholls
Developing the curriculum • Analysis and Design • Development • Implementation • Departmental Implications http://www.ltsn.ac.uk/genericcentre/
The Student Experience • Students provide information, data and perceptions throughout project development • The views of students should be used alongside other data/sources (academic, IT, other colleagues etc) • Develop a range of questions to determine whether student learning has been enhanced and why
A Departmental Approach • Departmental commitment & support • What are the natural groupings of staff in the Law School for implementing an e-learning strategy? • How might you go about identifying pilot projects and setting up feedback mechanisms? • How will you share and learn from developments across the School?