The dynamics of online learning delivery have evolved from a pdf delivery to utilizing a learning management system such as Blackboard or Moodle. There was always a focus on the technology involved with hosting, storing and presenting learning materials but increasingly attention has started to point towards the effectiveness of engagement between students and the learning process. Paul and Cochrane (2013) maintain that the creation of content and delivery is becoming more sophisticated but there is somewhat of a disconnect as lecturers attempt to use the required technology. Higher Education Institutions have a range of sophisticated resources to engage lecturer and students in online learning but lecturers have limited direction to appropriate pedagogical innovation necessary to engage the resource (Salmon, 2013).
In the Faculty of Education at Charles Sturt University an approach is being trialled where lecturers use a mobile application (Technology for Online Interactive Learning (TfOIL)) and learning framework when they develop and teach their subject. This paper will focus on the structure and use of the TfOIL app in a pilot program at the university. The development of the mobile application at Charles Sturt University is linked to the Confluence of Learning (author, In Press) with the design of the application based on the major structural components of the theory, information, interaction, reflection and assessment. The initial motivation to develop the application was to provide lecturers with easily accessible assistance in selecting technology for use in a particular learning purpose.
The app was trialled in a pilot program that was linked to the re-design of two teacher education degrees in the Faculty of Education. One degree is fully online whilst the other has approximately 90% online study The degree re-design involved lecturers working with an educational designer and course leader to redefine the subject content for online delivery and the app was used to suggest different technologies for lecturers to use. The successful use of the app in the pilot has encouraged a larger trial with a reworked interface with a view to using the app across all faculties in the university.
Paul, J.A. and Cochran, J.D., 2013. Key interactions for online programs between faculty, students, technologies, and educational institutions: a holistic framework. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 14(1), p.49.
Salmon, G., 2005. Flying not flapping: a strategic framework for e-learning and pedagogical innovation in higher education institutions. Research in Learning Technology, 13(3).
Author., ‘In Press’. Teaching university subjects online, changing technology and pedagogical practice. Advances in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning journal.