Tag Archives: quality

What is the difference between strong, thorough and exceptional? – Weeknote #36 – 15th November 2019

BT Tower in Fitzrovia
BT Tower in Fitzrovia by James Clay

One interesting read this week was this blog post

An ‘Edinburgh Model’ for Online Teaching Programme: Notes from a pilot run.

In this post, Dr Michael Gallagher, a Lecturer in the Centre for Research in Digital Education, describes how he and colleagues drew on current expertise and research within The University of Edinburgh to inform and design a new online course…

It was an interesting read, but I find it equally interesting that we are still having difficulty with delivering and teaching online that we still need to run pilots.

There has been substantial amounts of research and practice in this space, this is reinforced by the forthcoming A Manifesto for Teaching Online which, as indicated in the article on the  ‘Edinburgh Model’ was a source for the course, much of what is distilled in the course comes from the outcomes of the Near Future Teaching project and the Manifesto for Teaching Online.

This isn’t though a course which is delivered online, this is a course for teaching people how to teach online and it wasn’t initially delivered online.

This first pilot of the course was run face to face to allow the team to focus on specific areas and get rapid feedback from participants.

In my reading and experience, people really get to understand the challenges and affordances of delivering online if they have first hand experience of being taught online, both bad and good. A similar thing can be said for non-online teaching (or what we sometimes call traditional or face to face teaching. This is something that all teachers will have experience of, being taught in a face to face or traditional manner before they start teaching themselves. Though I wonder can we teach online if we have never been taught online? Should be said though the team are planning to run the course fully online in early 2020.

I suppose there is for me an element of frustration that the concept of online teaching isn’t new, there has been considerable research in this space, but it’s still something that we as a sector struggle with. Hopefully sharing experiences from these pilots will help, but we have been doing pilots for decades now… Continue reading What is the difference between strong, thorough and exceptional? – Weeknote #36 – 15th November 2019

Using e-resources to improve the quality of achievement

In order to improve the quality of achievement, there are various strategies that practitioners can use. One key thing to note is that there is only so much that practitioners can do and learners need to take responsibility for doing more than is just provided to ensure that they get the best possible grade they can.

I know some learners who “believe” that all they need to pass their course is the core text book and the handouts they get in class.

Well, yes in a way that’s right, but they will only pass.

To get that grade A or a distinction they are going to have to do a little bit more. Though some learners will know this, many will not. It is therefore useful for practitioners to support learners to ensure that they have the opportunity and the access to wider range of resources.

Of course practitioners don’t always have the time for this (as they do work hard doing a lot already for the learners) however learning technologies and digital resources can often provide that extra sparkle to allow learners to improve the quality of their work and assessments.

By providing links to e-books, e-journals, relevant e-resources will be placed on the VLE. This will allow students who wish to improve the quality of their assessed work, access to a wider range of resources and links. Learners can then access these links at a time and place that suits them, whether that be at home, at work, whilst drinking coffee or even in college.

Now just providing the links isn’t enough, you also need to ensure that learners are signposted the resources in lessons.

Before any practitioners say “I would like to do that, but I don’t have the time” I have two things to say.

Firstly if quality of achievement is an issue for a particular curriculum area than using resources ie spending time on doing this should be a priority over doing other stuff. It’s not about time, it’s about priorities.

Secondly within most institutions are a bunch of information professionals who are really good at curating and collating these very resources for you. They often live in the library and from experience not only will they know what resources are available for any particular curriculum area, they may also curate and collate them for you.

There are many ways in which digital and online resources can be used to enhance and enrich learning. Using access to a wider range of resources to improve the quality of achievement can be an easy start to solving this issue.