Introduction to the eDAT (10 mins)
How does learning design impact retention?
Online distance and blended learning is now embedded in the normal practice of many university teachers, both in the UK and internationally. However, there are concerns about poor retention and success rates (Simpson, 2013). Despite research we cannot yet identify the specific impact of learning design on retention nor have we developed a universal tool to describe and analyse some of the key learning design features of online courses (Mor, 2013).
Research suggests that there are a few key learning design features of successful online courses that lead to high attainment and high retention which include:
- The level of interaction between students, peers and the tutor (Croxton, 2014)
- Student’s feelings of participation in a learning community (Shea, Sau Li, & Pickett, 2006)
- The amount of feedback given to students (Hattie, 2012)
These features are difficult to quantify as we have few tools to represent them and previous research has suggested that it is difficult to categorise learning activities without universal tools (Rienties, Toetenel, & Bryan, 2015).
The eDAT has been developed as a simple way to analyse the key features of online learning designs that will facilitate quantitative analysis to support publication with an agreed taxonomy and to enable the use of learning analytics between courses and institutions. This session will overview the eDAT and the taxonomy to explore how it can be used to analyse learning designs, to map against retention data and to review and reflect on the learning design.
Discussion (10 mins)
This part of the session is an opportunity for participants to review and feedback on the eDAT. The tool will be introduced and participants invited to use it to explore and categorise some sample data. Discussion questions:
- How clear are the categories? Is this a viable taxonomy for sharing designs?
- How useful is the eDAT to review online learning designs?
- Could you use the eDAT for comparing online learning designs?
Croxton, R. A. (2014). The Role of Interactivity in Student Satisfaction and Persistence in Online Learning. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(2), 314–325.
Hattie, J. (2012). Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. London: Routledge.
Mor, Y. (2013). Editorial: The art and science of learning design. Research in Learning Technology, 21.
Rienties, B., Toetenel, L., & Bryan, A. (2015). “Scaling up” learning design: impact of learning design activities on LMS behavior and performance. In 5th International Conference on Learning Analytics And Knowledge. Poughkeepsie.
Shea, P., Sau Li, C., & Pickett, A. (2006). A study of teaching presence and student sense of learning community in fully online and web-enhanced college courses. Internet & Higher Education, 9(3), 175–190.
Simpson, O. (2013). Student retention in distance education: are we failing our students? Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 28(2), 105–119.