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Running from April 2009 to March 2011 http ://learning-maps.ncl.ac.uk - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Dynamic Learning Maps. Running from April 2009 to March 2011 http ://learning-maps.ncl.ac.uk Funded as part of the JISC programme: Transforming curriculum delivery through technology. Project funded by. Dynamic Learning Maps. Stephen Ball (Project Director)

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Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

Dynamic Learning Maps

  • Running from April 2009 to March 2011

  • http://learning-maps.ncl.ac.uk

  • Funded as part of the JISC programme:

  • Transforming curriculum delivery through technology

Project funded by

Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

Dynamic Learning Maps

Stephen Ball (Project Director)

Simon Cotterill & Gordon Skelly (Project Managers)

John Peterson & Paul Horner (Project Officers)

Project funded by

Overview of dynamic learning maps
Overview of Dynamic Learning maps

Personal Learning

Personalised, sharing , reflective notes and evidencing outcomes

Curriculum Maps

Overview , Prior learning, Current & Future learning

Linking Learning Resources

Curriculum & External Resources

Interactive ‘Web 2.0

Sharing , rating and reviews

Harvesting multiple sources (‘Mashups’ )

Facilitating communities of interest

Technical overview newcastle
Technical Overview (Newcastle)








Student Information




Curriculum map



Learning Maps


adding resources,

rating & reviewing

Personal learning






/ blog





Aims and objectives
Aims and objectives

  • Core objective: to develop navigable curriculum maps, which will:

    • Support learners, teachers & curriculum managers by enhancing understanding of complex curriculua and connections between different elements of the curriculum.

    • support personal learning(mapping, making connections, reflection & portfolio learning)

    • be interactive/participative(appropriate to the changing experience & expectations of modern learners)

    • support extra-curicula opportunities & transferable skills(e.g. Graduate Skills Framework)

    • provide an extra source of data to enhance curriculum management/QA (longer term)

  • Technical objectives include:

    • Draw on existing curricula data and learning resources (where available)

    • Use established standards & specifications, including life-long learning

    • Produce a ‘generic’ tool that will support different curricula/curriculum elements, & be available to the JISC community


  • Baseline description and 5 user scenarios

  • Short review of Web-based mind mapping and other graphical information mapping tools

  • Engagement with JISC programme activities

  • Pilot evaluation with MBBS stage 1(n=69) and stage 2(n=124)

  • Technical developments:

  • initial developments based on a ‘connected nodes’ approach

  • interface (text and ‘mind-map’ views)-tool for curriculum managers to map programme outcomes to modules- initial links with portfolio (latest UK specifications for LLL)

Mapping mbbs


& Conditions

Mapping MBBS




  • Learning maps:

  • interconnected nodes

  • strength of connections

  • - types of ‘nodes’



















Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

Why Community Maps as well as Curriculum Maps?

Community Map

-diseases and conditions

An individualstudent’s encounters

including rotations, electives & SSCs

-diverse experience

Curriculum Map

-core conditions



Ability to filter

maps to show only

curriculum content

Diseases & Conditions

-reflects broader student experience

-’gaps’ to map: curiosity / exploratory

-gateway to additional sources of reference

Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

Initial Focus Group(following viewing concept demonstrator)

  • Informal focus group: year 4 medical students:

  • Very keen on concept

  • Would need training, especially for those less confident with IT

  • Could it be used as additional feedback from students to lecturers?

From a students point of view, one could be much clearer on ‘the big picture’, as you have a curriculum map laid out in front of you, it is simpler and easier to find out curriculum content, learning outcomes and formal resources, all linked together, and also seeing how similar topics are interlinked throughout the course.”

 “This idea has engaged me from the outset and has potential, I believe, to revolutionise the MBBS course (as well as other courses) in many ways.”

“It seems a really good idea but it important that we get training on how to use it.”

Short review of web based mind maps
Short review of Web-based mind maps

and related information mapping software

Simple mind maps

Organisational diagrams

Buzan style mind maps


mind maps

Concept maps

3D topicscapes

Initial interfaces user preferences
Initial interfaces & user preferences

Text-based interface

Mind-map style interface

Forthcoming focus groups:

explore options e.g. colour coding

terminology e.g. ‘nodes’ or topics

Next steps
Next steps

  • Refining the Learning Maps application

    • Student input, focus groups

    • Input from curriculum leaders & support staff

    • Populating the curriculum maps

  • Focus Groups, late 2009 / early 2010

    • Psychology

    • Medicine

    • Speech Therapy

  • Initial Piloting and evaluation (curriculum maps for a single academic year)

    • Piloting in Medicine in Semester 2, 2009

    • Piloting in Psychology & speech & language sciences?

  • Evaluation

    • Questionnaires based in goals & baseline + focus groups

    • BOS approval , ethics approval

  • Sustainability Review

  • Larger piloting from Sept. 2010 (Medicine, psychology, speech & language sciences)

  • Curriculum maps elsewhere
    Curriculum Maps: elsewhere…

    Willett T.G. Current status of curriculum mapping in Canada and the UK. Medical Education, 2008, 42, 786-93

    • survey of Canadian and UK medical schools to determine the current status, characteristics, and challenging and successful aspects of their efforts in curriculum mapping.

    • 31 Medical schools responded to a questionnaire:

      • the majority of schools are in the process of building maps

      • only 20% of schools have managed to complete them

    • Great variation amongst Schools:

      • software used to construct the maps

      • educational elements included in the maps

      • variety of educational outcome frameworks are employed for curriculum evaluation.

    • Major challenges include:

      • complexity

      • human resource demands

      • use of medical ontologies,

      • faculty development

      • interface design

    Challenges for curriculum mapping 1
    Challenges for Curriculum Mapping ♯1

    Challenge: the curriculum changes over time

    • e.g MBBS: between major restructuring of the curriculum (aprox. every 5-7yrs):

      • stable: units (modules), programme outcomes

      • minor adjustments: sessions, cases, unit outcomes (responsive to evaluation / QA)

      • more variation in assessment & differences in delivery by 4 ‘Base Units’ (stages 3 & 5)

    Student journey

    through the


    ‘here and now’

    teaching focus

    Challenges for curriculum mapping 2
    Challenges for Curriculum Mapping ♯2

    Stepped availability of study guides, cases and timetable data

    i.e. a fully detailed / data-driven curriculum map for the current academic year would not be available until Semester 2.

    A partial map would be no good at all! (Needs to be a semi-persistent map but drawing on latest information as it becomes available).

    Resources (presentations etc) are uploaded into the VLE on a ‘just in time’ basis.

    Challenges for curriculum mapping 3
    Challenges for Curriculum Mapping ♯3

    • VLE / curriculum databases (baseline)

      • designed to support complex curricula with large number of contributors

      • using familiar Word documents (well formatted ‘portal documents’)

      • these populate databases and structure the VLE when they are uploaded

      • supports changing curriculum with views by multiple academic years

    • Fit for purpose, but raise challenges for online curriculum maps:

    • Codes used in VLE and timetable are not persistent

      • e.g. ‘PPD2.15’ may referrer to completely different teaching sessions from

      • one academic year to the next

      • Problematic as resources are linked to these non-persistent codes

    • Key data is in the form of non-standardised text

      • e.g. learning outcomes, core presentations / conditions etc.

      • language is inconsistent between study guides (modified for context)

      • hard to differentiate between unit-specific and programme outcomes & content

    Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

    Challenge: Key data is in the form of non-standardised text

    • Demonstration:

    • Mapping outcomes to modules

    • Contextualising language

    Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

    Challenge: overview of the curriculum

    – connecting it all together

    • Demonstration:

    • connecting different elements of the curriculum

    Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

    • Occasional teachers: quick overview of where a given topic in the curriculum

      • better contextualisation & appropriate level

      • reduced duplication (unintended)

    • Curriculum Managers: QA + External inspections

    Example of what a list could look like:

    Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

    Challenge: personal learning

    Challenge: cross modular learning

    Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

    Challenge: graduate skills framework

    / transferable skills

    Challenge: community & changing nature and expectations of modern learners

    -sharing, rating and commenting on external resources

    Running from april 2009 to march 2011 http learning maps ncl ac uk

    Add, rate and

    comment / review resources

    Challenge getting the right balance
    Challenge: Getting the right balance

    Specificity &Granularity


    Initially relianton manually making connections(curriculum & community)

    • Saturation (too many Connections – ‘hairball’)

      • e.g. MBBS: 50+ learning outcomes

      • per module. High-level outcomes

      • present in virtually every module.

    • Search

      • High volume

      • of results

      • mixed

      • relevance

    • Maintenance costs

      • as the curriculum changes

    Data on connected topics

    used to improve future automation/specificity

    (related keywords / strength of connections)

    Refine relevance


    Further information
    Further Information

    • S.J.Cotterill@ncl.ac.uk

    • Gordon.Skelly@ncl.ac.uk

    • http://learning-maps.ncl.ac.uk

    Stakeholders diversity of requirements
    Stakeholders & diversity of requirements

    Differences in perception of what curriculum maps are/should be

    Group work

    1. Individually read handout of ‘high-level’ educational objectives

    -rate in accordance of their relative importance to you (5 mins)

    In groups:

    2. Discuss the objectives and importance to stakeholder groups

    Pick 5 to ‘unpack’ and discuss in detail

    Feedback key points to the

    I understand the concept of learning maps
    I understand the concept of Learning Maps?