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Journal Article

A Case Study: Developing Learning Objects with an Explicit Learning Design  pp41-50

Julie Watson

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 50

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Abstract

In learning object design an emphasis on visual attractiveness and high technological impact has seemed to persist while content frequently reflects a lack of clear pedagogical basis for the application of learning objects for online learning. Most apparent is the absence of supportive scaffolding for the student user; interactivity built on an exploratory approach can fall short of achieving its learning objective if support and guidance are missing for the student user who fails to grasp the learning point being offered. Research into developing an effective learning design for learning objects, undertaken by a research and development group in Modern Languages at the University of Southampton, has evolved an explicit pedagogic design for learning objects in English for Academic Purposes and study skills for international students and English native speaker students. These separable learning objects can be aggregated into resource sets or toolkits with multiple usage options for students and teachers. Moreover, this approach to designing effective online language learning materials is based in a defined pedagogy, which also has applicability in developing discipline‑specific learning objects. It seeks to draw on key elements and processes identified in Laurillards Conversational Framework for teaching and learning (Laurillard, 2002). This paper will present a case study of the development of a toolkit of learning objects with an explicit learning design. It will present the pedagogic basis for the development of these learning objects; outlining how they operate both as micro learning contexts and as components within the wider teaching and learning framework of a face‑to‑face or online course. It will also describe research findings showing how learning objects have been received by students and tutors.

 

Keywords: Learning Objects, learning design, blended learning, teacher development, pedagogy

 

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Journal Article

Teacher‑Student Perspectives of Invisible Pedagogy: New Directions in Online Problem‑Based Learning Environments  pp235-243

Wendy Barber, Sherry King

© Nov 2016 Volume 14 Issue 4, Editor: Guest Editors, Rozhan M. Idrus and Nurkhamimi Zainuddin, pp233 - 290

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Abstract

Universities and institutions of higher education are facing economic pressures to sustain large classes, while simultaneously maintaining the quality of the online learning environment (Deming et al, 2015).. Digital learning environments require significant pedagogical shifts on the part of the teacher. This paper is a qualitative examination of the nature of teaching in the digital age, and the significant changes facing teachers in the 21C. The authors describe key features of quality distance pedagogy that were exhibited during 12 weeks of a synchronous undergraduate course held in Adobe Connect. The central research questions are 1. How can problem‑based learning pedagogy enable instructors to form smaller cohesive groups of students that take greater responsibility for their own learning? 2. What strategies can be used by teachers to develop communities of practice and inquiry? 3. How can an instructor in a large virtual class co‑create the level of social capital that is required to build and maintain the relationships that are a necessary condition for a high quality learning experience? and 4. What are the perceptions of teachers about the challenges and benefits of facilitating a high quality problem based learning environment through invisible pedagogy? The research is grounded in literature through the work of Cousins and Bissar (2012), Kaufman (2013), Badge, Saunders and Cann (2012), Flavin (2012) and McNeill, Gosper and Xu (2012). These authors examine how teachers and learners adapt to the digital age. In addition, more recent work by Bowers and Kumar (2015), Hoadley (2016), Deming et al (2015) and Gunduz et al (2016) are examined.In these digital spaces, teachers become facilitators, guides, collaborators and learners themselves, thus making traditional pedagogy virtually invisible. Further, the paper uses qualitative semi‑structured interviews of two assistant professors who instructed the two groups of undergraduate students The teachers identify challenges and successes to using problem based learning as a tool for attaining 21C learning outcomes in digital learning spaces.

 

Keywords: Teacher Development, Online Pedagogy, Problem-Based Learning

 

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