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e-learning: innovative teaching and learning or strategic compliance?. Dr Jaswinder Dhillon University of Wolverhampton J.K.Dhillon@wlv.ac.uk. The programme.

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e learning innovative teaching and learning or strategic compliance

e-learning: innovative teaching and learning or strategic compliance?

Dr Jaswinder Dhillon

University of Wolverhampton


the programme
The programme

Aim: to develop individuals who reflect on their practice and apply current research and theory to the design and implementation of learning and teaching in their work with students.

Participants: new academic staff from all subjects/disciplines who teach and/or support learning at the university.

changes to the programme 1
Changes to the programme [1]
  • 2000 Semester-based programme
    • 4 modules , taught as two hour sessions over 15 weeks. Completion - 2 years.
    • All core modules
  • 2001 revalidated still semester-based but
    • 3 modules, taught as two hour sessions, one module = year long. Completion - 18 months
    • Core and option modules
changes to the programme 2
Changes to the programme [2]
  • 2003 Blended learning programme in partnership with CELT
    • 3 core modules , Completion - 1 year.
    • 9 face-to-face sessions , blocks of 1 or 2 days
    • Use of VLE – Learnwise and a set of resources produced by an external consultant, now using home-grown VLE and resources produced by course team, webquests, treasure hunts, podcasts, e-portfolio
    • Learning sets [4/5 students for peer support]
    • Mentor support
why change to blended learning
Why change to blended learning ?
  • Institutional steer led by Director of CELT
  • Promotion of e-learning by HEFCE, JISC
  • Perception that e-learning = innovation
  • Increase flexibility for learners
  • Address perceived low completion
  • Waiting list of staff needing to undertake the programme
  • Enhance and support learning with on-line tasks using VLE
  • More integrated programme – module content is blended though separately assessed
methods used for data gathering
Methods used for data gathering
  • Annual monitoring data – module leaders’ reports, staff/student consultative meetings
  • On-line mid course evaluation using surveyor
  • Formative feedback gathered as part of face-to-face sessions
  • Feedback from mentors, university learning and teaching co-ordinators, university committees, CELT
  • Overall student satisfaction with the programme is consistently high (all iterations)
  • Achievement
    • Numbers achieving award
    • Distinctions awarded
  • Evaluation by externals
students experience of blended learning 1
Students’ experience of blended learning [1]
  • The blend of both virtual and actual conversation is in my view a powerful enabler of learning
  • In my view this approach encourages a more holistic thinking, underpinning the 'joining up' of theory and practice, a very worthwhile combination
  • …helped to show the importance of teaching and TSL and that they are not separate things!
  • Practical, interactive sessions, supported by a well-maintained elearning experience.
  • Great combination. Would not make changes to this and gained greatly from the online tasks
  • It has to be done this way. I feel it is very important that elearning shouldn't be taken out of the wider context of learning and teaching.
students experience of blended learning 2
Students’ experience of blended learning [2]
  • I did not like online collaboration
  • Blended learning is fine but it would work better if staff's differing level of IT skills was considered
  • Rather time consuming, but ultimately worthwhile
  • too many OLTs!
  • Boring, tedious and too time consuming, particularly given the OLT's didn't get awarded a grade and it didn't seem to matter if work/ideas were plagiarised. Also not enough time for people's work to be read by everyone and comments to be made, and this made the exercises seem pointless if no feedback on the work was given
students experience of blended learning 3
Students’ experience of blended learning [3]
  • At the time of teaching I thought it worked well. It was enjoyable and each session was fresh, so you didn't feel too jaded by the end of the day!! However, it did make it more confusing when it came to writing up the assessment tasks as you weren't sure what you had learned as part of which module!
  • It made me feel rather vulnerable at times, being used to more traditional teaching.
  • The early sessions were very difficult and demoralising for someone with few IT skills.
  • Learning experience enhanced for many students - enjoy webquests, treasure hunts though feedback on use of e-portfolio is more mixed
  • Many students incorporate e-learning into their own teaching after completing the programme - some become e-learning champions in their subject discipline/department
  • Offers flexibility - learning and success in assessment tasks is less dependent on attendance at face-to-face sessions
  • Online tasks very time consuming and many students take surface and strategic approach to participation especially if tasks are only part of formative assessment
  • For some students using the technology is daunting – don’t assume that students have the skills to use VLE
  • Monitoring and moderating students’ participation in online takes is time consuming for tutors
  • Feedback on tasks needs to be provided if they are to be effective – again time consuming for tutors

Finally the answer to the question posed in this paper : ?