Quality development practices
Having a great design is one thing. Having the knowledge and skill to bring that design to fruition is the next step. Whilst you may have a learning destination and a map, you also need the tools and means to get there. Developing the online and physical learning environments is the ‘means’ to enable your students to successfully undertake the learning journey designed.
Good organisation and presentation of course information and learning support resources helps orient students to their course of study, and helps achieve a consistent student experience. Selecting a diverse range of high quality learning resources and experiences, coupled with careful planning of how they are organised and presented will motivate students by maximising their opportunities to engage in ways appropriate to their learning preferences. Learning resources should support knowledge building activities, be informed by learning outcomes and focused on enabling students to achieve them
Upskilling teaching staff
When developing online learning resources, activities and overall learning spaces, consider the knowledge and skill required of teaching staff to develop and facilitate such. It is a bit like asking someone to drive a front end loader and operate the various digging arms, but they have only ever driven an automatic car. Just like students, staff require support in the ongoing use of learning and teaching technologies. Contact your Associate Dean of Teaching Quality or your School’s Learning Designer to arrange a professional development session to support your online design, development and/or facilitation of learning.
The video below shares the experiences of academic staff around the world on some of the challenges of implementing a blended approach to learning, and some of the considerations in achieving quality development practices.
Developing Moodle sites
Use master shells
Risk free area for development with no students enrolled, allows for collaborative development environment with CLIPP, colleagues and other support services, can make changes as you become aware they’re necessary, allows for ‘back up’ of what is in the delivery shell, can automatically be copied into delivery shell via CYOM (remember delivery shells only trigger 4 weeks before delivery).
Switch your role to student view
Switch your role to student view in the master shell to ensure the course appears the way you have envisaged it. You can also seek CLIPP assistance to check over items before they go live to reduce the chances of things not going as expected and the barrage of student complaints that tend to accompany it.
Keep a running document of suggested changes
You can add to this throughout the semester when you are too time-poor to make the changes, and revisit it at the end of semester to ensure the course is ready for the next iteration.
Ask for a second set of eyes
Invite a colleague, Learning Designer or Learning Skills Advisor to look over your Moodle site – especially assessments – and ensure that instructions are clear, and organisation of materials is appropriate. This will help reduce student enquiries regarding what they are supposed to do.
Communities of practice – Sharing sustainable practices
Moving approaches to learning and developing quality resources takes time and energy. Thus it is important to ensure that the processes and products are sustainable and can be shared. The video below shares the experiences of academic staff around the world on their approaches to building a sustainable blended learning culture.
Resources, strategies or assistance
- Federation University Learning Technologies Hub
- Teaching Practice - Developing spaces for learning
- Teaching Practice - Structuring online spaces
- Teaching Practice - Structuring physical spaces
- Contact your School’s Associate Dean of Teaching Quality or your School's Learning Designer to arrange for the upskilling of our teaching team to help develop the necessary components of your online and physical learning spaces.