In my current vocation, the basis for a lot of the work I am involved in is facilitating online versions of courses that have already been taught internally or are new courses. As one would expect, experience of teaching and learning in an online environment amongst academics is varied. So, in the same way as when anyone looks at considering learning in a different way, re-designing courses and changing the way something is taught, often there are difficult steps to take for all concerned. One of the most difficult and arguably the most vital step in the whole process is the first one.
So, basically, we are trying to develop a process for having clear conversations with staff about what their course is about.This is not intended to produce the kind of templates that are tick-a –box in nature. In other words , we want to accurately identify in detail what sort of outcomes a teacher of a course is actually trying to achieve by the end of the course. Seems easy at first glance but not that easy to determine in practice.
Understanding by Design theories as championed by Wiggins and Tighe talk about this first part of this process being the generation of statements of scope / purpose / learning outcomes for courses i.e. ‘What is your course about?’ Romiszowski has a far more taxonomic way in which knowledge and skills are dealt with. Further, @gconole referred me to these resources designed for this area:
At a Blended Learning symposium presentations on the experiences re-building courses for blended and online learning by Shirley Alexander and Shane Dawson, highlighted to me, 3 questions that could be asked in the discussions had with staff on what their course is about:
- Who are the learners?
- How do these learners learn? (or how do you perceive this learners learn?)
- How do your students learn to become ….[profession]….?
Can anyone add anything to where we are going here?
All help appreciated.