This poster and GASTA talk are a reflective commentary on the steps and collaboration undertaken to redevelop the VLE pages of the University of Glasgow Dental Programme. There are two primary aims of this project, the first is to improve the usability of Moodle by altering the structure and layout. The secondary aim is to facilitate creativity from academic staff by removing barriers that are present in the confines of the current platform and enabling them with a more tailored and functional Moodle. Staff will receive support in the development of more interactive teaching methods, such as interactive videos, flipped classroom, active and blended learning techniques.
Moodle is currently primarily used as a repository for lecture slides and lacks a sense of cohesion as each lecturer formats their folders in different ways. Staff experience confusion over what they are responsible for and which files belong to which academic, resulting in increased clutter over many years. For some time, students – through staff/student liaison committees – and staff have complained about the difficulty of navigating and finding resources within our Moodle section. Also, as the current layout does not lend itself well to enabling staff wishing to try innovative active or use blended learning approaches only a few early adopters have tried. So, at the beginning of academic year 2018/19 a decision was made to consider a full redevelopment of programme Moodle structures with a ‘blank slate’ philosophy.
Utilising Adekola et al’s (2017) framework for guiding transitions into blended and online education we identified the key factors, stakeholders, and barriers & enablers to making this scale of change. As part of engaging stakeholders, the project would initially be carried out as a collaboration between early innovator academics, technical support, and students. The Dental School already has many years of experience in engaging students in e-learning development (McKerlie et al, 2016) so could engage with the student experience through our established Technology Enhanced Learning & Teaching Partnership staff/student forum. As we also already had extensive School experience in the use of flipped classroom techniques (Crothers et al, 2017) we could use these structures and lessons learned as a starting point from which to develop templates.
Using the ABC Learning Design technique (Young & Perovic, 2016) to support lecturers to build their content around the Biggs (2003) model of Constructive Alignment the aim was to utilise the Clinical Dentistry course to create Moodle pages organised both chronologically and by subject, with active and blended learning elements embedded throughout. With the development of these structures and templates we expect more lecturers will find it easier to engage with and utilise TELT techniques.
This poster and session will reflect on the journey and experience of collaborating to redevelop the Clinical Dentistry section into the new model and offer insights into how to support academic staff to utilise creative approaches through online and blended learning.
Adekola, J., Dale, V.H. and Gardiner, K., 2017. Development of an institutional framework to guide transitions into enhanced blended learning in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 25.
Biggs, J., 2003. Aligning teaching for constructing learning. Higher Education Academy, pp.1-4.
Crothers, A.J., Bagg, J. and McKerlie, R. (2017) The Flipped Classroom for pre-clinical dental skills teaching – a reflective commentary. British Dental Journal, 222(9), pp. 709- 713.
McKerlie, R., McAllan, W., Ritchie, M., Hudda, S., Rennie, E., Taha, A., Wasige, C., Al-Ani, Z. and Bragg, J., 2016. Student Partnership in E-learning: the Development of Online Resources for Students by Students in Dentistry.
Young, C. and Perović, N., 2016. Rapid and creative course design: as easy as ABC?. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 228, pp.390-395.