DLF Lunchtime Series – A Course Director’s perspective: Mapping assessments course-wide. Why, how and what was achieved?

DLF Lunchtime Series – A Course Director’s perspective: Mapping assessments course-wide. Why, how and what was achieved?

DLF Lunchtime Series – A Course Director’s perspective: Mapping assessments course-wide. Why, how and what was achieved?

29

MAY, 2020

Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Assessments

DLF Lunchtime series event, 26 May 2020

 Presenters:

  • Professor James Armitage, Course Director, Optometry and Head of Vision Science
  • Dr Alison Booth, Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning), School of Exercise, Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Dr Kate Hill, Lecturer, Faculty of Health Pod

Why might you map assessment (and curriculum) across a Course? In this presentation three academics reflected on their purpose and processes for their mapping projects, and provided very useful insights about the outcomes of mapping in their respective courses.

James Armitage described the work of his course team (Deakin’s accelerated optometry program) in examining their curriculum critically with a view to addressing all Graduate Learning Outcomes. The design of the optometry program is an integrated one, where the various knowledge disciplines (pathology, physiology, anatomy) and clinical practice are integrated both horizontally and vertically. This course has a focus on work readiness that is linked to very specific external competencies that tend to preference GLO 1. So how did this course team begin this GLO mapping project?

James described his involvement in Jo Caldwell Neilson’s Digital Literacy Project where Jo was developing a framework for teaching and learning digital literacy. This project helped James to view the curriculum from a pedagogical perspective where the processes of learning can be made explicit for both the educator and the student (and one result was the development of their Optometry Digital Literacy Tool). Using such frameworks allow educators to audit a course curriculum for specific purposes. For example, using a case by case approach with each Unit, it was possible to use a simple matrix (based on a framework) to establish where digital literacy was taught and what was assessed, what was explicit and what was implicit and where change needed to occur.

Similarly, James explained that using appropriate models from the literature such as the Sharpe and Beetham digital literacy development pyramid (2010) and the Calgary Cambridge Model (for mapping and teaching GLO 2, Communication), and a Diagnostic Thinking Inventory (for GLOs 4 and 5) provided clear structures for identifying what is taught and assessed and importantly, addressing what explicit teaching and learning strategies and resources should be developed for teachers and students over the three and a half years of the degree.

Currently, James’ team is working on GLOs 6, 7 and 8 and expects the GLO mapping project to be completed in 2022.  Importantly, James emphasised the importance of having passionate educators in his team, and the value of teaching and learning mentors (in this case Darci Taylor and Susie Macfarlane). James recommended building research into the process of mapping the curriculum. While acknowledging that it does slow the process of a mapping project, undertaking a research-led approach does validate the curriculum changes that result, and, can be shared with the broader Academy through publication.

Alison Booth and Kate Hill set out to map the Bachelor of Nutrition Sciences with a number of priorities in mind. Alison was mindful that some core Nutrition competencies had changed and it was necessary to identify missing or misaligned competencies, and there was also a desire to create a greater career development focus in the degree. Kate was particularly interested in a pedagogical evaluation of assessment; she wanted to look at authenticity, student engagement, and appropriateness of the types of assessment for the degree’s AQF level. Kate created a highly detailed mapping document that provided rich data for making recommendations for immediate and longer-term consideration by the Course team.

Our presenters have shared their models and a mapping document in their presentations, and you can see them in the recording provided here.

 

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here and for workshops and events please refer to the What’s On page for DTeach.

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ACEN Critical Conversations – Assessing Online WIL

ACEN Critical Conversations – Assessing Online WIL

ACEN Critical Conversations – Assessing Online WIL

27

MAY, 2020

Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
WIL

The second ACEN Critical Conversation was held last week. These sessions are a virtual platform for discussion of current issues facing WIL practitioners as we respond to COVID-19.

The guest speakers were Associate Professor Rola Ajjawi, Dr Joanna Tai and Professor David Boud, who presented on CRADLE’s guide for assessment in WIL.

The guide is in final development, having been progressed through an ACEN funded project last year.

A number of discipline groups then entered break oput rooms to discuss recent challenges and strategies for assessing WIL and any new thinking prompted by their responses to the CRADLE guide. The webinar concluded with reflections on reported themes from the discipline group discussions and the CRADLE team’s comments on feedback from the group as an impetus for refining the final guide to be released soon.

Slides from the presentation can be downloaded here: ACEN Critical Conversations – WIL Assessment Guide Slides

Please visit and bookmark the Transitioning Teaching Online site which contains helpful articles to help you transition your practice to the digital space and the What’s On page of DTeach to stay up to date with events and workshops you can attend.

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DLF Lunchtime Series – Making connections with and between students online

DLF Lunchtime Series – Making connections with and between students online

DLF Lunchtime Series – Making connections with and between students online

30

APR, 2020

Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Team Communication

DLF Lunchtime series event, 28 April 2020

A panel of five Deakin educators and three students talked about strategies they had found to work well to develop learning relationships online with and between students, amidst the shift to wholly online learning and teaching during Trimester 1.

The Zoom event was hosted by A/Prof Barbie Panther and panellists were faculty first-year coordinators Dr Wendy Webber, Dionne Holland and Dr Petra Brown; teachers in Digital Media Dr Adam Brown and Emily Wade; and students Lauren Antonysen, Zara Wicks and Mia Driller.

Download accessible transcript here.

Some of the strategies raised were:

  • Phoning students who aren’t connecting: this has elicited more questions than simply inviting students to phone or email teachers. It has enabled teachers to address problems, particularly around assessments, and encouraged students to make further contact. First year students benefited especially from this strategy.
  • Posting short, friendly videos: posting a video to explain clearly how the unit is going to work online, inviting questions and explaining expectations has helped ease students into the new mode. Posting weekly short videos with encouraging memes or messages along with instructions for the week’s work has helped students know you are on top of things and able to help.
  • Buddy system: setting up a buddy system to connect more confident with quieter students has become necessary this trimester, to encourage timid students to participate.
  • Social media options: Setting up or encouraging social media such as Twitter hashtags for the unit, unit Facebook sites or Teams sites has helped students connect informally around unit work. Not all students like using unit discussion forums and email.
  • Keeping videos and mics on: asking students to keep their videos and microphones on in online seminars encourages a more natural flow of conversation and sense of an engaged community, and reduces the temptation for students to do other things during a session. Students valued this over the problems it could cause with overloaded bandwidth.
  • Showing you’re human, and trying: trying different platforms and posting videos that show your human side send a message of ‘safe failure’: that it’s ok to operate out of your comfort zone and that ‘we’re all doing our best’.
  • Designing for active online learning: units already designed for online learning are working well. These have a lot of weekly chunked content and opportunities for students to check and discuss their learning each week. Students left without direction and tasks to complete each week can tend to procrastinate over big tasks.
  • Scaffolding technologies: recognising students may not be confident on certain technologies and platforms, and supporting them to learn to use them, is vital.

For more see the detailed notes here.

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

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Coordinating responses: A team approach to facilitating online discussion forums

Coordinating responses: A team approach to facilitating online discussion forums

Coordinating responses: A team approach to facilitating online discussion forums

24

APR, 2020
Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
Getting Started

Managing online discussion forums with a large group of students can seem overwhelming. Employing sustainable facilitation practices to encourage students to lead the discussions (social learning), rather than relying on the teaching team, is key.

You’ll find tips some useful tips on how to engage students in discussion, and keep conversations going, on the DTeach website.

In this guide, we’ll look at how teaching teams can coordinate facilitation of discussion forums to provide a consistent experience and make best use of your team’s time.

For more information and updates please refer to the Transitioning Teaching Online homepage here.

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Inclusive Teaching Online: Community of Practice Panel

Inclusive Teaching Online: Community of Practice Panel

Inclusive Teaching Online: Community of Practice Panel

16

APR, 2020

Digital Learning
Teaching & Learning

Learning Innovations
DRC

‘Accessibility is always going to be challenging but having a really friendly interface is good. Design for easy access to lectures, and name Week 4 or Week 6 rather than lecture 6 or 5 etc. Regular contact is needed. I really appreciated one lecturer who reached out to me as I was quiet in the online seminar. I was fine, I like to be quiet but it meant I knew the teachers were watching’.
(Kim Koelmeyer, Student)

 

A panel of experienced academics, Deakin Learning Futures experts and students gave their take on the most effective, inclusive ways to teach online in a lively Q and A style Inclusive education community of practice Zoom discussion on Inclusive teaching online just before Easter.

COVID-19 conditions were on the minds of the 97 staff who attended, well aware of the heightened importance of using inclusive methods to ensure their students’ learning despite the financial difficulties, noisy, crowded, chaotic study environments, poor internet connections and computers, heightened mental health conditions and other challenges many of them are facing.

Students Kim Koelmeyer and Erica Adams combined with Jaclyn Broadbent (Psychology), Jan West (Life and Environmental Sciences), Naomi David (Education, NIKERI), Peter Vuong (Deakin Business School), Jo Elliot (Digital Innovations DLF), and Brett McLennan (Learning Analytics, Office of the DVCE) to offer their thinking and practice examples to this critical teaching and learning topic.

Accessibility was a key theme throughout the discussion. Recent graduate Erica Adams recalled her online challenges; as a regional student she needed to travel to a library to connect to the internet. Erica experienced system crashes especially when viewing video and when in an online seminar. ‘Downloadable and accessible PDFs are critically important in that situation.’

For others, accessibility was about clarity of the interface, the consistency of communication coming from teachers and importantly, the opportunities to learn and complete assessment via a number of avenues. Fifth year BA/Law student Kim Koelmeyer appreciated it when academics ‘gave very clear objectives, instructions and support. I can drop in and drop out at regular intervals. There is a responsiveness that when quite quick, is really good’.

Panel member Naomi David spoke about making her seminars accessible for her diverse cohort of students by telling a story of vulnerability about herself. ‘I always start with a story of my own that begins with, “I can remember…” This story could include thinking, feeling and doing elements. My own migration story is a good example. Students get a glimpse of you. Then you can say, “Do you remember feeling…”’

Jaclyn Broadbent works hard to provide a safe learning environment for her students by providing multiple avenues to engage in discussion with other students and their teachers. ‘Students can live chat, use discussion forums or use Facebook groups – they have preferences, and these are all good social engagement opportunities. I do use an intelligent agent to detect who has been missing and I send a message that says just want to know how you are going. Multiple avenues in online assessment are also important. Students benefit from ‘three pieces of assessment that are scaffolded with feedback after each piece. Students have choices. There are written and video components and video feedback for students on how to improve. We create exemplars and link assessment to a real-life situation. The more pathways we offer, the greater the inclusion.’

Steve Morgan, from DSA – Access and Inclusion, spoke about the importance of avoiding online assessment assumptions. ‘You could think being able to do an exam at home will help a student struggling with mental health or physical disabilities. But at home there might be less support, and the new routine itself could create stress.’ Importantly, Steve believes lecturers’ attitudes are critical. ‘Patience, flexibility and understanding – these attitudes are strategies for lecturers to support students experiencing isolation and changes of circumstances in unpredictable times.’

For further information on this subject:

The DLF Transitioning Teaching Online blog provides regular updates, FAQs, links to workshops for online delivery and a lot of other useful information for Deakin teachers.

The Inclusive Teaching Toolkit is also packed with tips and examples of inclusive teaching at Deakin, including an online/blended teaching page.

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The Asia Pacific FutureLearn Academic Network

The Asia Pacific FutureLearn Academic Network

The Asia-Pacific FutureLearn Academic Network (AP FLAN)
12
JUL, 2019
Teaching & Learning
FutureLearn
Event Recap
Digital Innovation
By Associate Professor Margaret Bearman, Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE), and Wendy Palmer, Director of Global Studio.
The inaugural Asia Pacific FutureLearn academic network (FLAN) held June 6 at Deakin Downtown was a great success with over 30 people attending, in person and virtually, from both Australian and Japanese Universities. With an insightful mix of presentations and panels, the event concluded with a shared live streamed session with the European FLAN event, with Professor Mike Sharples discussing practical pedagogy.

Wendy Palmer, Director of Global Studio who leads the partnership with FutureLearn noted that one of the interesting themes was the increased use of video for interaction between students and lecturers. 

“Keio University are using daily video blogs to address loneliness for students and Murdoch University are trialling video and audio feedback for assessments to enable more authentic feedback. Keio are trialling this currently and are expecting reduced marking time and a truer sense of feedback than text where tone can be lost, it will be interesting to see the outcomes.”

Associate Professor Margaret Bearman from Deakin’s CRADLE has been involved in evaluating the impact that Deakin’s initiatives on FutureLearn have had. Professor Bearman conveyed how fortunate she was to listen to Professor Emerita Beverley Oliver’s keynote, which explored new ways of thinking about micro-credentials.

“Beverley discussed why they mattered in a world of increasing focus on flexibility and work-skills, and what needed to be done to transform them from ‘random’ learning to credentialed learning.”

For Margaret, this is the start of a very interesting conversation that she is looking forward to exploring further.

Wendy echoed Margaret, stating

“Beverley’s presentation on Micro-credentials was indeed thought provoking especially the focus on shared value across students, educators and employers – how do micro-credentials work for all these stakeholders. Beverley also made the interesting point that universities have been doing micro-credentials all along – they’re called units. It is fascinating to see how this global conversation on the shape of education is evolving.”

Watch Deakin’s Dr Nick Patterson give his FLAN presentation on the Master Information Technology Leadership, and Goki Miyakita on Enhancing Learning Experience Beyond MOOCs below.

Above: Videos of the proceedings from FLAN
Margaret had the privilege of hosting a panel with Professor Kylie Readman from Murdoch, Professor Nick Barter from Griffith and Dr Clare Lloyd from Newcastle.

“While the starting point was the strategic value of researching MOOCs (or “open courses” to use Clare’s term) in the University sector, the message I took away was that “digital is coming”. While MOOCs offer the opportunity to make what universities do (teaching and research) matter in the community, we still need research to understand this opportunity.”

 

Looking for more?

Watch keynote speaker Mark Sharples’ presentation below on Pedagogy at Scale.

 

For more updates around FutureLearn courses and news, follow @FutureLearn on Twitter.
Useful Resources

For more on FutureLearn at Deakin see here.

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