The Centre for Achievement and Performance (CfAP) at the University of Northampton is a student-facing unit that provides personalised academic support, at all levels. The diversification of types of study modes, the need for flexibility and the implications that such requirements will increase in the future, have led to the development of a 100% online course entitled Study Skills for Academic Success. This course, developed in partnership with the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, is based on an earlier version, delivered in face-to-face mode. As part of the development of the online programme, the learning outcomes were thoroughly reviewed and the course was structured using a wide range of task-based, learner-centred online learning tools including blogs, wikis, journals and the creation of videos by participants. These course features were designed to enable the learner to not only develop their academic skills but also enhance their understanding of and confidence with online learning.
A trial version of the course was piloted in late 2013 with 250 Level 4 undergraduate students who started higher education with low entry points. Currently, two versions of the course are available for differing audiences: a Massive Open Online Course, available via Blackboard CourseSites, and an internal Small Private Online Course, available via our virtual learning environment and delivered to specific cohorts of students currently registered at Northampton. Participation in the former is being encouraged among students starting in September 2014, as preparation for their undergraduate studies. However, the course is open to all members of the public. The latter incorporates targeted peer and tutor support that addresses their specific needs in the area of study skills.
This presentation is divided into three parts. First, we will present the results and demonstrate various features of these pilot courses. We will present the findings from research currently being undertaken with previous participants of the course. Namely, their approach to and experiences on the course, how useful they found the content and whether the delivery method heightened or hindered their learning experience. Any measurable differences identified between experiences of the MOOC and SPOC will also be reported and discussed. Secondly, we will give participants an opportunity to experiment with the course. The session will conclude with reflections and feedback on that hands-on experience, and avenues for future developments. Participants will require a laptop to fully benefit from this session.
|Affiliation||University of Northampton|