Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

University of Hull – Online MEd in e-Learning programme

A good starting point to analyse the different case studies is to try to answer the question in the title: Does Investment Yield Interest?.

The MEd in online learning at Hull places

“specific focus and emphasis on (participants) professional working context”.

Tapping into participants’ professional scenarios is a logical way to stimulate interest and make their learning relevant. This is not always the case on Masters courses, which may be abstract rather than practical. Teaching, like nursing, is one scenario where ‘situated’ learning can be applied through periods of ‘practice’, in this case ‘e-practice’.

A common approach across the case studies seems to be the inclusion of an ‘e-dossier’ as either a personal or collaborative document on a negotiated theme. This kind of personal record is an effective way of encouraging learner autonomy but, from an institutional point of view, I wonder whether investment in specific software is needed for these portfolios and, if so, whether blogs like this one would be just as effective a record of students’ progress.

The opportunity for ‘significant informal interaction between staff and students’ afforded by the online environment alleviated the constraints of time, space and delays with student registrations. It also had a ‘democratising’ effect. At Hull, people from different departments gained a voice within the VLE and were then instrumental in implementing online modules in their own departments. The programme had a positive effect in and outside the course:

‘E-learning had a significant impact on the continued reputation of the department as well as our ability to attract and maintain ever increasing student numbers.’.

This is evidence that investment in the E-learning programme was successful in yielding both internal and external interest.