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    Archive for the 'ABC Learning Design' Category

    Effective Curriculum Design Planning: Arena, Blended, Connected.

    By Alan Y Seatwo, on 17 February 2017

    Arena, Blended, Connected Curriculum Design Model

    Arena, Blended, Connected Curriculum Design Model

    Planning is a vital part of the curriculum design process. In 1984, David A. Kolb published his experiential learning theory, which stated that the importance of learning enabled taking the new understanding and translating it into predictions as to what would happen next or what actions should be taken to refine or revise the way a task was to be handled. Providing advice for the planning of curriculum design is an integral part of the role of a learning technologist. It is also one of the most rewarding experiences because it involves working closely with subject matter experts. During planning meetings, discussions on modes of learning, structure and the use of learning technologies are at full flow. Last week, I worked with the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP)’s Head of Department, Dr Jason Blackstock, and Senior Teaching Fellow, David Wright, on digital content development for the department’s 2-week challenge for undergraduates, How to Change the World (HtCtW).

    At the start of the term, some staff in the department attended the ABC Curriculum Design Workshop delivered by Digital Education Team. We decided to use it as a framework for our planning of HtCtW. The two-week intensive programme uses a problem-based learning approach. It requires students to understand a complex global challenge and enables students to demonstrate a variety of their competencies (problem solving, creativity, communication and collaboration) to approach the issue. As part of our planning session, the programme leads laid out a series of learning activities on a chart and put them into different categories: knowledge acquisition, discussion, collaboration, practice and production. The simplicity of the model visually demonstrated the concentration on each type of activity through colour coding and highlighted misalignments in the learning cycle. We could easily see the types of learning content and technologies that will be required at the start, during and end of the programme. This finished plan is also a useful communication tool to explain the structure of the programme, learning objectives, assessment and feedback. The plan will be presented to the next meeting of cohort leads of HtCtW from across the Engineering faculty.

    Feedback from the staff on the usefulness of this model has been very positive. Although they were aware of the model, this is the first time they have used it to structure a programme. Everyone found it very easy to understand and apply. I have no doubt that this curriculum design model will be used again in the department and I look forward to learning more from using it by other colleagues.

    Find out more about ABC Learning Design workshops…

    Rebooting Learning for the Digital Age (report)

    By Clive Young, on 10 February 2017

    hepireportThe HE ‘think tank’, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), has just published Rebooting Learning for the Digital Age (PDF 58pp) written by three JISC leaders Sarah Davies, Joel Mullan and Paul Feldman. The report reviews best practice around the world to show how technology is benefiting universities and students through better teaching and learning, improved retention rates and lower costs and though a list of seven recommendations calls on universities to embrace new technology to meet the various challenges faced by the sector.

    While the actual approach is maybe less ‘reboot’ and more ‘refocus’, the report is an astute summary of the main issues and opportunities surrounding digital education in UK HE. It is more grounded than for example the OU Innovating Pedagogy 2016 report and provides a useful benchmark against which an institution such as UCL can gauge progress.

    A range of UK and international case studies indicate how digital initiatives can be used to improve student satisfaction, boost outcomes, retention and employability but still manage costs (so-called ‘win-win’ methods). However this inevitably requires strong leadership and the development of suitably-skilled staff.

    Two underpinning themes are threaded through the report, learning design and learning analytics.  On the first of these, the report comments, “when ‘designed in’ as part of the overall pedagogic approach, technology can be used to enable great teaching and improve student outcomes” and the first recommendation is Higher education institutions should ensure that the effective use of technology for learning and teaching is built into curriculum design processes. UCL has been particularly active in this area with ABC Learning Design, a bespoke rapid-development method that has already been very successful. The second recommendation identifies a real need, UK HE should develop an evidence and knowledge base on what works in technology-enhanced learning to help universities, faculties and course teams make informed decisions, plus mechanisms to share and discuss practice.

    Learning analytics which correlates patterns of student activity with learning outcomes and offer staff the opportunity to identify disengaged and underachieving students is the second main theme of the report. The next two recommendations suggest universities adopt learning analytics and research how the big datasets can be harnessed to provide new insights into teaching and learning. Digital Educaton has of course been looking into this e.g. From Bricks to Clicks: the potential for learning analytics and 8th Jisc Learning Analytics Network. Steve Rowett’s second post links the two themes of the report and the Open University published The impact of 151 learning designs on student satisfaction and performance: social learning (analytics) matters last year showing the remarkable potential of this combined approach.

    The third section of the report provides a useful reflection on the potential role of technology-enhanced in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). It recommends Digital technology should be recognised as a key tool for HEIs responding to the TEF. Providers should be expected to include information on how they are improving teaching through the use of digital technology in their submissions to the TEF. Recognising the risk involved in new methods and the sometimes conservatism of students it adds, “The Department for Education (DfE) and the TEF panel must ensure the TEF does not act as a barrier against institutions innovating with technology-enhanced approaches”.

    The final two recommendations reinforce the institutional prerequisites mentioned above to realise the opportunity of digital education HEIs should ensure the digital agenda is being led at senior levels – and should embed digital capabilities into recruitment, staff development, appraisal, reward and recognition and finally academic leads for learning and teaching should embrace technology-enhanced learning and the digital environment and recognise the relationship with other aspects of learning and teaching.

    2016 was a busy year for ABC LD!

    By Natasa Perovic, on 22 December 2016

    We facilitated ABC LD workshops in UCL, Glasgow, Aarhus (Denmark), Bruges/Kortrijk (Belgium), Santiago (Chile) and Brisbane (Australia). We presented at two conferences and published a paper about ABC LD.
    Colleagues from other universities also facilitated ABC LD workshops (with our guidance).
    A full list of activities (with nice images!) is available on the ABC LD blog, 2016 summary.

    It seems that 2017 will be an even busier year for ABC LD. Our community members and the workshops planned for 2017 are indicated on the map below.

    ABC_LD community map

    Best wishes for 2017 to all!

    ABC LD blog/

     

    An exciting start of a new academic year!

    By Alan Y Seatwo, on 2 December 2016

    STEaPP ABC Workshop

    STEaPP ABC Workshop

    The Department of Science Technology Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) kicks off new academic year with ABC (Arena, Blended, Connected) Workshop, one of the panned activities to enhance the use of learning technology across our teaching programmes.

    In the department, our teaching philosophy is that the use of technology in the learning experience must be driven by pedagogical considerations, and not the demands and availability of the various technologies themselves. To enhance the use of learning technologies, we must first reflect upon curriculum design.

    With the support from the Digital Education Team, teaching staff from the MPA programme attended the ABC (Arena Blended Connected) curriculum design workshop. We used paper card-based approach in a style of storyboarding to assist participants to reflect on structure, modes of delivery, learning outcomes and assessment methods etc.

    Our colleagues loved the simplicity of the approach and the effectiveness of the workshop model. Although learning technologies were not explicitly ‘called out’, it was firmly embedded in all six common types of learning activities during the exercise: acquisition inquiry, practice, production, discussion and collaboration.

    Following on the workshop, Dr Ann Thorpe (the department’s E-learning Champion) and I set up a series of meetings with individual module leaders to further explore the use of learning technologies in their teaching programm.

    We have been excited to see that the consideration of how technologies can enhance learning has already embedded in their design processes, for example producing videos as part of “Flipped Classroom”, streaming guest speakers to present and engage with students in classroom, and use of audio assessment feedback are some of the ideas currently developing following the workshop.

    While providing continuing support for the above mentioned activities, we’re also scheduling some bespoke workshops throughout the academic year. Since the department leads the organisation of How to Change the World (HtCtW) (part of UCL Global Citizenship Programme for undergraduate engineering students), we are interested to explore new ways in presenting engineering ideas during HtCtW. Augmented Reality (AR) has been identified as one of the emerging learning technologies over the past few years and the popularity of Pokemon Go have helped influence us to choose AR as our first lunchtime workshop topic. Watch this space for an update report soon.

    Alan Seatwo

    Learning Technologist, STEaPP

    UCL’s new HEFCE-funded curriculum enhancement project

    By Clive Young, on 1 December 2016

    natasaFollowing our successful bid to the HEFCE Catalyst Fund, which aims to drive innovation in the higher education sector, Digital Education and CALT launch a new project today called UCL Action for Curriculum Enhancement (ACE).

    UCL ACE is one of 67 new HEFCE-funded projects which will develop and evaluate small-scale, experimental innovations with specific cohorts of learners and will run for a period of 18 months.

    The project links to our commitment in the UCL Education Strategy 2016-21 to the development and implementation of the Connected Curriculum and the ABC learning design process. It aims to develop and evaluate UCL’s innovative rapid-development approaches to blended curriculum design, which focus on a framework for research-based education (Connected Curriculum) in order to make a curriculum development pack available to all HEIs interested in improving programme design and engaging students in research-based learning.

    The project will evaluate the impact of our ABC rapid-development approaches to programme development on student outcomes and experience via case studies, produce an online and downloadable pack which can be adapted and used by any higher education institution and establish a supportive community of practice around its implementation.  

    Across UCL programmes of study are being re-designed and developed to engage students much more actively in enquiry-based learning with the Connected Curriculum (CC) framework introduced to facilitate these changes. In parallel we have seen growing use of digital resources and approaches to support new modes of study such as blended learning.

    UCL aims are to ensure that educational intentions, outcomes, activities and assessments are aligned to form a cohesive, connected and effective learning experience for our students, and that programmes of study enable students to connect more effectively with researchers, with the workplace, with each other, and with local and wider communities.

    However we recognise planning rich and complex learning environments requires a structured, dialogic approach to effecting change in programme and module design. UCL has therefore piloted an integrated set of ‘light touch’ but focused learning design approaches, including workshops, CC guides, digital benchmarks and online support.

    One key component is ABC, our effective and engaging hands-on workshop trialled with great success over a range of programmes. In just 90 minutes using a game format teams work together to create a visual ‘storyboard’ outlining the type and sequence of learning activities and assessment and feedback opportunities (both online and offline) required to meet the module’s learning outcomes. ABC is particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format. This approach generates high levels of engagement, creative informed dialogue and group reflection about curriculum design among even time-poor academics. This is a highly transferrable methodology already trailed at Glasgow and Aarhus (DK) Universities. There are versions in Spanish and Dutch following other workshops run in Chile and Belgium.

    In addition, we are introducing workshops to enable programme leaders and teams to work with students to benchmark their programmes in line with the descriptors of the Connected Curriculum framework, using a published Guide.

    For this project, we aim to continue to deliver this range of dialogic workshops but track their effects and impacts carefully, using a combination of focus groups (with staff and with students), individual semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, and analysis of programme-level and module-level metrics. We will use this focused analysis to develop a resource pack to enable these developmental activities to be scaled up, both with and beyond UCL.

    Clive Young (UCL Digital Education), will lead the project team which will include ABC co-developer Natasa Perovic (UCL Digital Education) and CALT colleagues.

    HEFCE Press release HEFCE supports experimental innovation in learning and teaching

    Introducing the new E-Learning Baseline

    By Jessica Gramp, on 7 June 2016

    UCL E-Learning Baseline 2016The UCL E-Learning Baseline is now available as a printable colour booklet. This can be downloaded from the UCL E-Learning Baseline wiki page: http://bit.ly/UCLELearningBaseline

    The 2016 version is a product of merging the UCL Moodle Baseline with the Student Minimum Entitlement to On-Line Support from the Institute of Education.

    The Digital Education Advisory team will be distributing printed copies to E-Learning Champions and Teaching Administrators for use in departments.

    Please could you also distribute this to your own networks to help us communicate the new guidelines to all staff.

    Support is available to help staff apply this to their Moodle course templates via digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk.

    We are also working on a number of ideas to help people understand the baseline (via a myth busting quiz) and a way for people to show their courses are Baseline (or Baseline+) compliant by way with a colleague endorsed badge.

    See ‘What’s new?’, to quickly see what has changed since the last 2013 Baseline.