This session will take the form of a workshop where participants can learn more about and explore the Course Resource Appraisal Model (CRAM). CRAM is a digital design tool that helps innovators understand the costs and benefits in offering programmes of study in different formats. Increasingly, educational institutions are contemplating offering more innovative programmes aiming to recruit beyond their traditional pool of full-time, on campus students. For the most part, taking the decision to launch an online or blended programme entails taking a step into the unknown. Setting up and running an online course requires more substantial investments of time and effort from traditional face-to-face study, and it is not always clear that a decision to move online will result in a better learning experience for students. Educators need a way of predicting the costs and consequences of such a move, and to understand more about how changes to the mode of study can be managed in terms of staff workload and student experience.
The CRAM tool has been developed in the context of higher education, and tested with managers and lecturers, and it can be used to analyse the costs and benefits of teaching at further, higher and adult education, as well as for professional development courses. CRAM asks users to provide information relating to predicted student numbers, course duration, daily teaching costs and income from student fees. Users are then guided to model the learning experience the course will provide, either drawing on the tool’s library of pre-designed Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs) or by creating their own. Users are prompted to estimate tutor preparation and teaching time for each TLA. The tool calculates the difference between expenses and earnings over three iterations of the course, and presents a pedagogical analysis of the learning experience provided as proportions of different learning types and degrees of uniform, personalised and social learning. This feedback enables the user to modify their teaching plan according to their aspirations and constraints.
We hope that the CRAM tool will create better equip educators to ride the wave of technologically enhanced learning. Teachers will understand more about the type of learning they are providing in relation to the time it will take to prepare and teach. Course leaders will be in a better position to take decisions about the direction of their provision. Institutions will have a more realistic view of the capabilities of technology to transform teaching, and its implications for staff workload. This workshop will provide a hands-on opportunity to work through example course models and analyse their implications for institutional resource and student learning.
Structure of the session
Please bring your own laptop.
1. This session will commence with an introduction to the rationale for the development of the tool followed by a short demonstration.
2. In small groups of 2-3, participants will then be invited to explore a module that has been costed by the tool. You will be able to modify the module (for example, by adding a new teaching and learning activity) and consider the resulting effects on the analysis of the costs and benefits provided by CRAM.
3. Participants will then have the opportunity to discuss, reflect on and evaluate the ways that the tool might be used within the education sector – for example, to inform the transition from face to face and online modes of teaching.
|Affiliation||Institute of Education, University of London|