Posts Tagged ‘Warwick’

A team-based approach to developing e-resources – Warwick

This was a blended learning initiative to help build staff familiarity and confidence using the kind of online resources included in undergraduate programmes. Self access materials complemented face to face sessions. A staff forum designed to gather feedback about the course represented the collaborative element of the design.  This provided the most tangible evidence that staff were beginning to adopt e-learning techniques in their teaching:

“The benefits of taking a strategic approach to staff development are already becoming apparent in the growth of collaborative (peer-to-peer) initiatives and the dissemination of outputs via the staff forum”

Editing of the resources themselves was limited to ‘a few individuals’ and it seems that, apart from the staff forum, this was ultimately an experiment in transferring paper based materials to an online format for ease of student access. Summary reports of staff training sessions were posted to the staff blog. Session updates and news were posted to the staff forum by the administrators.

I can’t help thinking that this project could have been more thoroughly exploited if staff themselves had been used as a resource and asked to reflect on their own practice in real terms, rather than being asked theorise about abstract questions such as:

‘How would you have felt if you’d been asked to share your clinical issue on the forum where others could read it, rather than submitting it individually? ‘

and

What use do you think you’ll make of the module web-site during this final phase?

Mention is made of the additional costs incurred at having to provide hot lunches as ‘an incentive’ to attend. This implies that extrinsic rewards were necessary to motivate staff to participate.

‘Providing a good lunch as both incentive and reward for attendance also had cost implications.’

The content of online staff development and activities integrates creation of forms, quizzes, forums, blogs, personalised content etc. I wonder if a discovery approach, whereby participants investigate a different resource each and prepare activities for the group would have been more effective in engaging them. Similarly, the online orientation activities planned for new academic year may work best if they draw on the experience of the students themselves.

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