Redesign of unit delivery: An opportunity for collaborative research to improve the student experience
Osborne, J and Smith, Lindsay, Redesign of unit delivery: An opportunity for collaborative research to improve the student experience, Sustaining Futures: Considering sustainability across the learning and teaching divide, 4 December 2012, Launceston, Australia, pp. 33. (2012) [Conference Extract]
The University of Tasmania has 12 years experience of using a learning management system as part of its learning environment. With some 2000 units utilising the Blackboard-based system in 2012 there is much we can learn from this background in rethinking learning delivery to capitalise on affordances of the new MyLO (Desire2Learn) system rolling out at UTAS. Researching student and staff experiences is aiming to:
„h inform delivery choices to improve the student experience;
„h encourage opportunities for the scholarship in teaching and learning in discipline areas by demonstrating possibilities for innovation, research and publication; and hence
„h demonstrate development in teaching performance.
In this presentation a current study is outlined. Project Management for Health Professionals, a postgraduate unit available for health practitioners across the Faculty of Health Science, involves significant collaborative group work. Participants across Australia are all studying online at a distance and have varied appreciation of collaborative tasks and peer feedback. Through numerous eActivities, students present their project idea to fellow students in small online tutorial groups; collectively brainstorm; and critique fellow student‟s assessable work. The group work and brainstorming form an integral part of the assessment process.
Evaluation of the unit indicates these learning strategies enhance student capabilities yet a student understanding of this group work is largely unknown and not formally assessed. Evaluation of the student experience is underway, expecting to inform the best way of translating collaborative group work into the new MyLO setting. Some suggestions are made for matching online methods to satisfy expected outcomes.