With organisations looking to enhance the process of teaching and learning, they are discovering new ways of using information and communication technologies.
However, many technology innovations produce learning outcomes that are ‘as good as’ their traditional counterparts in what is often referred to as ’ no significant difference’. Colleges have not yet been able to reach their aim of improving the quality of student learning and reduce costs of instruction.
So what do you need to achieve from technology in course re-design?
Teaching and learning should be significantly more active and learner centred. Traditional face-to-face sessions are replaced with a variety of learning resources that move students from a more passive , note taking role towards an active learning orientation. Students learn about a subject by doing it, not just by someone talking about it.
Computer Based Learning Resources
Instructional software and other web-based learning resources assume an important role in engaging students with course content. Resources include tutorials, video instruction, exercises, quizzes and flash objects that provide frequent practice, feedback and reinforcement of course concepts.
Re-design should add greater flexibility for when students engage with a course, but this does not mean the timings must be dictated by the student. Rather than depending on class meetings, student pacing and progress are organised by the need to master specific learning objectives, which are frequently in modular format according to scheduled milestones and objectives for completion.
An expanded support system enables students to receive assistance from a variety of different people. Helping students feel they are part of a learning community is critical to persistence, learning, retention and satisfaction.
This may be controversial in some organisations. However, the appropriate level of human interventions can be built with support systems consisting of various personnel. For example, there may be particular student problems that can be resolved through moderated peer to peer support. Peer mentors and course assistants can also be used appropriately instead of expensive fully-academic staff.
Target a whole course for re-design
If you don’t do this you risk duplication of effort. By sharing responsibility amongst a delivery team substantial amounts of time will be saved and greater consistency achieved.
By using technology in some of the ways above, you can discover cost-effective ways to enhance your teaching and learning.