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Large Scale Effects (Three Four Short Papers 0054, 0088, 0141, 0139)


09:00 - 10:00 on Wednesday, 7 September 2011 in 8.62
0054 Stakeholder Engagement, Employability and the Responsive Curriculum Tony Toole, Mark Stiles, Peter Bird, Janet Finlay, Stephen Powell
0088 The impact of large scale online delivery; how it works in practice. Liz Bennett
0141 Working with Academic Staff on Podcasts: Scaling creative collaboration between technologists and academics Morris Pamplin
0139 How can we use YouTube to benefit teaching and learning? Lessons for Teachers of the future in Higher Education Claire Mann, Andrew Clifton
0054 Stakeholder Engagement, Employability and the Responsive Curriculum Tony Toole, Mark Stiles, Peter Bird, Janet Finlay, Stephen Powell

Background

This paper will describe how four different universities are working together to develop curriculum design processes that are responsive to the changing needs of both employers and learners, and closely involve them in those processes through the innovative use of technology.

The paper is an action research study of how these universities, two years into projects within the four year JISC Curriculum Design and Delivery Programme, all take radically different approaches but benefit by sharing common issues and goals through a structured schedule of CAMEL meetings. (See www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearningcapital/camelbelt.aspx)

The presentation will focus on the core lessons about technology enhanced curriculum design that came from the CAMEL meetings and how this has added significant value to the work of each of the individual projects and strengthens the transferability of the outputs to other institutions.

Approach

Manchester Metropolitan University has a particular focus on responsiveness to employer needs and is mapping the curriculum to those needs in close collaboration with specific industry sectors and the professions. Bolton University has the goal of optimising the employability of its students through the involvement of both employers and students in the design process. Leeds Metropolitan University is using coaching as a means of allowing students to become independent adult learners and having a significant input to the design of their own curriculum. Staffordshire University, recognising the range of curriculum innovation initiatives that are going on at any one time, is creating a technology facilitated institutional curriculum design system that integrates those initiatives and optimised the benefits they deliver.

Results

The presentation will describe the common issues have emerged from discussions between the projects and how the sharing of solutions has added significant value. It will do this by providing brief examples of the outcomes of this collaboration that relate to the use of Enterprise Architecture, institutional change management, quality assurance processes and sustainable stakeholder engagement.

Conclusion

The paper will demonstrate how each of the institutions has faced significant challenges in their new approaches to curriculum design using technology, but also how working together has greatly assisted them in meeting those challenges.

0088 The impact of large scale online delivery; how it works in practice. Liz Bennett

In current economic climate higher education institutions are looking for ways of teaching and learning more efficiently. One solution appears to be larger cohorts studying online (Fildes 2010). This model of large scale online delivery is something that the University of Huddersfield has been working with for the last 3 years.

The Open University has been a leader in the field of online distance education for the last ten years (or more). However the Open University institutional context is entirely different from that of traditional place based education such as University of Huddersfield. The Open University students make their choice of course knowing that that they will need to operate in a distance medium and Open University staff have a set of roles, policies and practices to support distance delivery which have been accumulated over many years of operation.

An ethnographic study was undertaken to explore the impact that scaling up provision had on pedagogy and to compare how the institutional context impacts on online pedagogy (Coffey 1996).

The key issues which emerged where dubbed “lowest common denominator”, “one voice”, “playing the room” and “nanny state”. They consisted of some closely inter twined issues relating to the technological skills and confidence of both students and teachers and the need for a consistent approach when delivering large scale provision.

The analysis also indicated how the nature of the institution impacts on pedagogical processes in that students in place based institution have very different experiences and expectations of learning are different from those who sign up for a distance learning provider such as the Open University where a higher level of autonomous learning is necessary.

The conclusion reached is that scaling up is no panacea for the challenges of delivering more for less. Indeed it introduces a reduction for some students in levels of interactive features of the learning platform and also introduces a new cost in the form of an additional layer of administration, tutor training and tutor support.

0141 Working with Academic Staff on Podcasts: Scaling creative collaboration between technologists and academics Morris Pamplin

Mobile learning is a hotly debated topic; mp3 players, phones and tablets form a major part of our every day lives, and yet they have not fulfilled their potential on campuses (Reader et al 2010). While e-learning and m-learning may not be universal, and may not have caused quite the disruption in teaching and learning practices which they heralded (Blin and Munro 2008), however, podcasting is now established as an important medium in higher education.

The results of many pilot studies are encouraging, demonstrating that students value the effort academics put into podcasting, that they access recordings, and that this can improve their learning. The number of universities which have implemented institution-wide podcasting initiatives is growing rapidly. Academics’ reactions to using the technology are also often positive, even while they realise that the benefits are not instantaneous (McLean and White 2009). There are a number of theoretical models for educational podcasting, cataloguing the different forms and types of podcasts and levels of engagement with them. There are therefore plenty of models of good practice for initiating and implementing educational podcast projects.

This paper argues that podcasting presents unique challenges to academics and learning technologists, many of which have been documented in case studies (e.g. Robson and Greensmith 2009, DeSantis et al 2010). Conventional change management strategies, however, do not address the issue of how to scale the need for support, encouragement and creative collaboration between academics and other staff (Islam 2008). Aside from issues of media storage and digital asset management, support staff also need to explore ways of working with academic colleagues to create flexible and engaging content. This paper suggests that there are many creative alternatives to the lecture capture method, while recognising the time constraints that result from podcasting's emerging status as a supplement, rather than alternative, to other teaching methods.

0139 How can we use YouTube to benefit teaching and learning? Lessons for Teachers of the future in Higher Education Claire Mann, Andrew Clifton

This short paper reports on a project undertaken to understand ways of using YouTube to benefit undergraduate teaching and learning. The paper builds on previous work which identifies a model showing ways YouTube can be used to enhance critical teaching and learning (Clifton and Mann 2010). The model is demonstrated through a website which can be used in training delivery or self-directed learning. This will be of interest to those who aim to integrate multimedia delivery, such as the use of YouTube, in their face to face or blended learning delivery. The model offers guidance for those who wish to integrate YouTube sites into online subject guides and VLEs.

Training workshops, giving the opportunity to explore this model, were delivered to groups of staff and students in a range of faculties in one University. Attitudinal data was collected through online questionnaires completed by participants before and after the sessions and observational data was collected throughout the sessions. Emergent thematic analysis of the data collected revealed a number of key lessons for Higher Education teachers of the future. Examples of the potential of YouTube to enhance learning, as well as potential limitations are proposed. Findings show some key differences in attitudes to user-generated resources and knowledge. Differences between staff and student approaches to using YouTube provide useful insights to inform teaching development and training. This study has the limitations of the speed of increase in digitality and the rate of change in this field increases the potential for any research to become quickly outdated from its context. The research was successful as an evaluation of attitudes to using YouTube as a learning resource. The findings are useful both as basis for further research and as material for training to develop teachers of the future.