Our course, ‘Designing E-Learning for Health’ introduced learners to the HELM methodology for designing high quality e-learning resources covering pedagogy, design and technology. We use this method to design and develop our own set of Health e-Learning RLOs (Re-useable Learning Objects) available in our HELM Open repository which currently hosts over 200 standalone health-related resources.
MOOCs are no longer novel, so what made this course different?
At the heart of our methodology (the ASPIRE framework) is collaboration and co-creation. Our stakeholder groups – teachers, students, service users, charities, clinicians, social enterprises, and members of the public – have been involved in various stages of our RLO development processes (participatory storyboard workshops, content review and evaluation). Also, wrapped around the process is iterative peer review, again, involving many of these groups so as to ensure accuracy, quality and usability.
When designing our course we wanted to ensure we adhered to our own ethos, so built it around ASPIRE1 principles. We will present our journey in developing the course, from the course design stage to writing and delivery, as well as examples of learner collaboration and co-creation on the course itself.
Some key aspects we will cover are:
- Whole Team involvement: how the whole HELM team, from Professor to Apprentice, were involved in aspects of the course, and how writing and delivery was shared between 6 team members using collaborative technologies.
- School/Institutional involvement: encouraging staff and students to sign up for professional development. The course also followed a project team within the School of Health Sciences who developed their own e-learning resource concurrently with course participants.
- Learner participation: The 6000 learners were encouraged to connect with each other and collaborate on creating storyboards and e-learning resource specifications. Virtual groups sprung up around certain topics and they sourced technologies enabling them to design storyboards together, often across international borders and different professional backgrounds.
- Reflection and lessons learned from developing and running the course in this way.
In promoting a sense of community amongst course participants we were inspired somewhat by the connectivism theory. Siemens writes “The starting point of connectivism is the individual. Personal knowledge is comprised of a network, which feeds into organizations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, and then continue to provide learning to individual.”
On a practical level, we built in the following:
- A high level of responsive facilitation
- Weekly topic reviews referring explicitly to the learners’ discussion points
- Use of Twitter and Storify to summarise social media interaction
- Use of Padlet for learners to share work
- Licensing course content as Creative Commons
The session will comprise 15 minutes presentation and 5 minutes discussion.
- Dr Richard Windle. (2011). Understanding and Supporting the Reuse of OER with Health Sciences. Available: http://www.open.ac.uk/score/files/score/file/Richard%20Windle%20SCORE%20Fellowship%20Final%20Report%20Web%20Version.pdf. Last accessed 27 March 2016.
- Siemens, G (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Available:
http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm. Last accessed 27 March 2016.