Ben R. Atkinson

Writer, Musician & Presenter

EDU720 Week 10: Designing Online Learning Environments II

EDU720 Week 10: Designing Online Learning Environments II

I found the learning activities for this week and the focus on the CEG pedagogic framework a very useful way in to thinking about the design of online learning environments and in particular, online programmes of study. This last few weeks where we have focused on ‘online learning’ has been particularly interesting for me, as it’s not an area of teaching and learning practice in which I’ve previously had any experience. Therefore, I have learnt a lot about the way that certain online activities should be ‘staged’ to signpost students through the process of learning online. Often this kind of learning happens individually at any hour of the day or night, so it’s important that students are able to navigate through the resources and associated learning tasks in their own time. Moreover, there are particular benefits to colour coding various activities as they align the framework. Although I have to admit, this is not something I had picked up on within this PGCHE course until it was pointed out to me!

For the challenge activity this week, I chose to focus on fleshing out the online programme I had outlined in the previous week’s task – looking to establish how it might fit within the CEG framework. I found the process of completing this evaluation a useful one, as it helped me to establish exactly how I might deliver a defined element of the programme in a way that would be accessible to online learners. Breaking my topic down along the lines of how this PGCHE course is delivered, I first asked the students to share their own favourite Pixar film (the hook) and use this as a jumping off point for guided practice (watching several videos and engaging with the reading) which would eventually lead them to the learning challenge where they’re tasked with developing their own Pixar inspired story. The six phases of the CEG framework helped immensely with this process, as did the colour co-ordination (Falmouth University, 2019). In phase one the most important points are addressed first, ‘user needs, technology capacity and identification of learning outcomes’, thus ensuring that the groundwork has been completed before developing any ideas for the actual teaching and learning activities. Phase 2 was of particular interest to me and the way in which the different verbs from Bloom’s taxonomy (as studied in the first semester) (The Centre for Teaching and Learning, 2017) are split between blue, ‘development of higher order cognitive skills’, and green, ‘development of lower order cognitive skills’ (Falmouth University, 2019), boxes which help to differentiate between the various activities that students could engage with, each of which has been tested in an online environment. The CEG framework has a number of similarities with our own ABC Workshops at Lincoln (Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching, 2019), which in turn are based on the original workshops from UCL and Laurillard’s principles (University College London, 2019). Alongside the workshops, we have developed a series of ‘Learning Recipes’ at Lincoln, which set out quite clearly the steps that academic colleagues can follow to replicate a successful and interactive use of a digital learning technology in their teaching (Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching, 2018). These tried and tested methods have worked very well in the past and are designed to be cross-discipline and easy to implement. I spent a little time in the webinar for Week 10 sharing some examples of best practice from Lincoln and an overview of our recipes and how they fit into the curriculum.

 

While I feel that I have been challenged a great deal by this activity, it has also shown some strengths in my approach. My 70:20:10 split, for example, was quite accurate, with most of the student activity sitting with the 70% focus on enquiry, practice and production. To improve this, I could try to reduce the amount of focus on acquisition slightly and shift some of this over to discussion as both elements were equally weighted in my final calculations. This 70:20:10 split is another important area of the CEG framework and one that was, again, new to me. However, going forward I will certainly continue to engage with this as a useful way to establish whether I am striking the right balance between the three areas of online course delivery. Although I felt I could improve some of the outlines I had written for my course, I was pleased to see that my peers were positive about my proposal with Jason suggesting I ‘have a valid ratio in [my] division of the specified areas in relation to the topic and what is required to deliver the LO’s which [i] justify nicely in [my] rationale’ (Walker, 2019). James was also supportive, suggesting that the approach would work well in ‘creative media subjects where peer to peer engagement and feedback are vital for the students’ (James C, 2019).

Overall, I have found this week one of the most engaging and informative of this whole EDU720 module and I have been glad of the opportunity to link my work at Lincoln and the approach we take to teaching and learning here, to that which is being outlined in this PGCHE course. This suggests that in my own practice, I am well on the way to being able to develop and deliver effective online learning modules for my students.

Reference List

Falmouth University (2019) Week 10: The CEG Pedagogic Framework – The Six Phases: Developing Flexible Learning Environments EDU720 18/19 Part-Time Study Block S2. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/344/pages/week-10-the-ceg-pedagogic-framework-the-six-phases?module_item_id=19582 (Accessed: 4 April 2019).

James C. (2019) Topic: Week 10:Forum – Share Your CEG Pedagogic Framework Form. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/344/discussion_topics/8471?module_item_id=19585 (Accessed: 10 April 2019).

Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching (2018) Digital Learning Recipes – Lincoln Academy of Learning & Teaching. Available at: https://lalt.lincoln.ac.uk/digital-learning-recipes/ (Accessed: 1 April 2019).

Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching (2019) ABC Curriculum Design Workshop – Lincoln Academy of Learning & Teaching. Available at: https://lalt.lincoln.ac.uk/abc-curriculum-design-workshop/ (Accessed: 3 April 2019).

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (2017) Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives | The Center for Teaching and Learning | UNC Charlotte, University of North Carolina. Available at: https://teaching.uncc.edu/best-practice/goals-objectives/blooms-educational-objectives (Accessed: 21 November 2018).

University College London (2019) Designing programmes and modules with ABC curriculum design | Teaching & Learning – UCL digital – London’s Global University. Available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/case-studies/2018/jun/designing-programmes-and-modules-abc-curriculum-design (Accessed: 3 April 2019).

Walker, J. (2019) Topic: Week 10: Forum – Share Your CEG Pedagogic Framework Form. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/344/discussion_topics/8471?module_item_id=19585 (Accessed: 10 April 2019).

About The Author

Ben R. Atkinson is a writer, musician, and presenter who can be heard broadcasting on radio stations around the world, is known for his novels, radio dramas, and who writes and performs his own music in the country/folk genre. Ben is currently studying for his PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of Lincoln in the UK.
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