Blog: The Learning Cog
Integrating video assignments into learning can increase students’ engagement. It introduces a new type of assessment that enhances students’ creativity and digital capabilities. Videos also help turning assignments into reflective practice, improving the way students think when transforming the knowledge into audio-visual materials.
Teachers’ communication strategies in online and blended environments are a significant determinant of students’ performance and learning outcomes.
In our Learning Designer and Course Builder roles within Learning Enhancement and Innovation (LEI) we recently approached the challenge of designing and developing an online short course (OSC) for road engineers and managers. This course aims to increase their ability to determine what road design is and is not well- aligned with the Safe System philosophy.
Technology is now very much a part of the teaching and learning landscape, but most would agree that it should not be the driving force in designing a sequence of learning. Pedagogy always comes first, and indeed, often we aspire to use technology in a way where it becomes invisible in enhancing the learning environment. But what about mixed cohort learning? Surely the technology is driving this a lot more than the pedagogy?
Quite often university courses are comprised of lectures and tutorials. To determine if course learning outcomes have been achieved, assessment may include quizzes, a mid-semester test and a final exam. The number of quizzes and tasks weighting may vary but what stays the same is the fact that all course assessments are summative - they count toward the final grade and are supposed to provide academics with an overview of a student’s overall learning/ achievements. In this blog we will explore why sometimes, despite our best intentions, such an assessment design can lead to a number of academic integrity issues.
Following a successful application for a Learning Enhancement and Innovation (LEI) Grant in 2020, Dr Cheryl Pope, School of Computer Science, shares the new Parsons Puzzles H5P learning activity built collaboratively with students as partners.
Collaboration is a highly desirable graduate attribute, and peer and group learning are both effective means to achieve it.
Previously in the Learning Cog blog we’ve looked at benefits that students derive from working together in groups. An investigation into group work in MyUni and final grades in semester 1, 2019 found that students who were active group members achieved an average course mark that was over 3% higher than their peers who either weren’t group members or weren’t active within those groups. Furthermore, those extra few percent resulted in a higher grade in a third of cases.
To scaffold student performance and improve their experience in courses, course coordinators are asked to take an intentional, thoughtful approach to instructional design, development, and on time publishing in MyUni. This will provide the students with the early opportunity to learn about course syllabus, course materials, learning outcomes, learning activities, and more importantly, engage more effectively with their instructors and peers.
It’s well documented that students derive great benefits from working in groups. From increased individual achievement to enhanced communication and professional development skills, students with experience of Group Learning are likely to find themselves better equipped for whatever path they choose after graduation.