A big challenge facing learning technologists is the redevelopment of existing curricula to incorporate digital learning approaches. When whole, complex curricula are involved, this can feel like “turning a giant”. Here we present the holistic approaches adopted and lessons learnt in undertaking this process within a large, traditional, complex pre-registration nursing programme. In September 2011, we were tasked with the development of a radically new programme of which 50% of the students’ learning would occur online. We based our approach around Laurillard’s conversation framework (Laurillard, 2002). We recognised the need to develop a Community of Practice within the faculty for the curriculum development. Therefore, we adopted the workshop-based Viewpoints curriculum development framework (Ulster, 2008). A model consisting of distinct, but flexible learning blocks containing lectures, digital learning and seminars arose. To scaffold the learning process we created a model of 3 core tools to surround the learner. Firstly, we introduced a learner-facing curriculum map to enable learners to review their learning outcomes and the options by which these could be met. Secondly, rich, interactive learning content was created (370 hours to date). The content was delivered within Moodle, but feedback revealed that the VLE did not perform well for the delivery of such an extensive and complex course. In response, we developed a bespoke approach using of novel code to delineate areas of content, integrate module content and to make the existing Moodle tools more user-friendly (http://tinyurl.com/p836c6x,http://tinyurl.com/nm6h86a). Finally, we introduced an e-portfolio tool, PebblePad to complete the learning cycle, by allowing learners to record learning, match this with mapped outcomes, document achievement and share this with tutors and peers.
The impact on student learning has been positive in terms of engagement, evaluation and attainment. Key challenges could easily be identified and monitored through a continuous, informal feedback process enabled by the Community of Practice approach. Responding in a timely manner to these challenges enabled academics to build a sense of ownership and confidence in the process. More formal feedback was facilitated through questionnaire and feedback workshops with tutors and students. Challenges that arose from such a large scale adaptation included training, the level and pace of change and difficulties in adapting administrative practices to support digital delivery. The most significant challenges with academics related to experience with online pedagogy and variable willingness and approaches taken to convert traditional resources. We found the Flipped Classroom model to be extremely valuable and accessible to tutors (Tucker, 2012).
We will demonstrate the model used (10 minutes) and ask participants to apply this to a hypothetical flipped-class activity (10 minutes). Finally we will share the challenges we faced and ask participants how they would adapt their model to address one or more of these issues (10 minutes).
Laurillard, D. (2002) Rethinking university teaching: a conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies 2nd ed. London: Routledge
Tucker, B. (2012) The Flipped Classroom. Educationnext (Winter 2012) 82-83.
University of Ulster (2008) Curriculum Design Workshop Resources. [online] Available at http://wiki.ulster.ac.uk/display/VPR/Home. Accessed 11/04/2014
|Affiliation||University of Nottingham|