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Internationalisation of Modules: A Blended Online Learning Approach. Dr. Julie Greensmith School of Computer Science University of Nottingham. Overview. Introductions Collaboration with UNMC G53NMD: An Online Module Technological Constraints A reflection of challenges and successes

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internationalisation of modules a blended online learning approach
Internationalisation of Modules:A Blended Online Learning Approach
  • Dr. Julie Greensmith
  • School of Computer Science
  • University of Nottingham
  • Introductions
  • Collaboration with UNMC
  • G53NMD: An Online Module
  • Technological Constraints
  • A reflection of challenges and successes
  • Future blended learning approaches
who am i
Who am I?
  • Lecturer in Computer Science - 5 years
  • Research in Artificial Immune Systems
    • PhD, Anne-McLaren Fellow
  • Teaching modules at all levels
    • Software Engineering (Level 1) - FSE
    • New Media Design (Level 3/4) - NMD
what is g53nmd
What is G53NMD
  • New Media Design covers:
    • interaction design
    • graphic design for computer scientists
    • emerging new and social media technologies
    • advanced webdev and content management
  • 10 Credit Module for final year/PGT
  • 100% Coursework assessment
    • 75% Group Project, 25% Individual component
forming a collaboration
Forming a Collaboration
  • Collaboration formed almost by chance
    • A member of our teaching staff was seconded to UNMC
    • Assigned the same two modules of software engineering and new media design
  • Decided to combine our experience to deliver the modules together
past history
Past History
  • My collaborator is Dr. Tim Brailsford
    • Head of School on UNMC
  • Tim taught the predecessor module - Principles of Multi-Media (2002-2008)
  • Had already recorded a series of online lectures as .avi movies
    • used screen capture on powerpoint and talked over the slides
  • Had experimented previously pairing lecture videos with online learning environment via a class forum
a tradition of technology
A tradition of technology
  • Tim had set a precedence to “teach multi-media with multimedia”
  • The video slide lectures were hard to follow
    • a disembodied voice is hard to listen to for a long period of time
  • Used videocasts instead of formal lectures
    • used the lecture time to hold group meetings and workshops
a blended learning approach
A Blended Learning Approach
  • Initially aimed at MSc Management of Information Technology students
  • Provided a more mature and flexible approach to learning for postgrads
  • Weekly video slide lectures supported by an online forum
    • discuss the material
    • provide additional resources
  • A small amount of credits available for participation in the online forum discussions
  • Teaching materials online
    • easily shared between campuses
  • Web based wiki or forum
    • can be accessed by both UK and MY students
  • Work on the same coursework assignments
    • halved the workload of setting assessments
team teaching
Team Teaching
  • Not a purely online course
    • needs some local supervision
    • running labs and workshops
  • Prepare all online materials together
    • makes for better online material
  • Local coordinator on each campus
    • simply ‘shepherding’ the material
making it work
Making It Work
  • Get together twice per year
    • content review
    • setting assessments
    • recording new and updated materials
  • Try to keep in close contact during the teaching semester
    • weekly email, frequent skype
technical challenges
Technical Challenges
  • Could not run our own server for hosting our videos due to firewall restrictions
    • needed remote access for flexible learning
    • to be available for both cohorts
  • Were encouraged to use WebCT
    • could not access the same resources from UNMC
    • restricted to a different forum
  • Video editing and production may require more specialist software
our first cross campus attempt
Our First Cross Campus Attempt
  • Use web 2.0 to teach web 2.0
  • Used many different public web-based services:
    • blog at to release each video
    • forum at google groups for discussion
    • videos hosted on youtube (comments off!!)
    • course updates via twitter
shared assessment
Shared Assessment
  • Main group coursework to build an interactive multi-media website
  • Use a ‘real’ client
    • musicians, artists, local charity
  • Videolink interview with the client
  • Students at UNMC could discuss ideas with students from UNUK
things that worked
Things that worked
  • Using these high profile services meant better dependability
    • rather than maintaining a server ourselves
  • Did not have the cross campus restrictions as to who could register for the forum
  • Students from both campuses could discuss topical issues
    • increase student awareness of cross cultural design
  • Quite easy to set up!
things that didn t work
Things that didn’t work
  • Semesters are not synchronised
    • UNMC start the semester later
    • Set different hand in dates for the assignments
    • Can lead to confusion on the forums
  • Had to get students to sign up to services using a google ID
    • not ideal if someone has issue with google’s terms and conditions
    • and worse..
you get busy
... you get busy!
  • It can be hard to be diligent and keep in touch with each other throughout the semester
    • (especially if you are a Head of School so I’m told!)
  • Particularly difficult as I need to set my assessment much earlier in the year
    • need to keep talking!
2012 13 the moodle years
2012-13: The Moodle Years
  • Integrated virtual learning environment
    • host and serve the videos
    • have a main discussion forum
    • set a quiz to unlock online material
    • have a discussion forum per video resource
  • Both cohorts can see the same online material and can interact with each other
its a lot of effort who benefits
Its a lot of effort...who benefits?
  • Can help introduce more specialist teaching into UNMC - big advantage
    • local convenor need not know all the material for the video casts (it can help)
    • technical questions can be forward to the specialist at UNUK
  • Share the teaching load with a colleague
    • can even ‘exchange’ with each other for a semester
  • Students have different backgrounds which can enhance discussions
  • (I won a Staff Oscar last year - looks good on my PDPR!)
leaving a legacy
Leaving A Legacy
  • Once the technology is in place and the material is compiled its quite engaging as a convenor
    • spend more time working directly with your students
  • Update of material each year does not take too long
  • In theory its a simple transfer in moodle
    • this is a bit techy, even for me!
the future
The Future
  • I’m moving on to teach a new module
  • Plan to also use a blended learning approach, to run in parallel to formal lectures
  • Get online material in place first before making another internationalised module
    • will also try this out with UNNC
top tips
Top Tips
  • Find a good collaborator who you know you can work with consistently
  • Use online material as the basis of teaching
  • Find a delivery mechanism that you feel you can cope with, allowing access to both cohorts
    • there is tech support if you chose moodle
  • Support online lectures with interactive workshops
  • Be aware of timing differences and local cultural issues
g53nmd thank you
G53NMDThank you
  • Dr. Julie Greensmith
  • School of Computer Science
  • University of Nottingham
  • UK (and sometimes UNMC)