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IBLC11-Abstract-Learning from the Students: It's Time to Move On!

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Nannayi Dakat
16 May 2011

Author: Mr Iain Kitchener

Abstract:

At BLU 2009 we presented on our experience of applying a social constructivist approach through a blended learning course, for 130 first year undergraduate teacher education students at the University of Greenwich.  Students’ initial responses to blended learning showed positive engagement with the course structure and active involvement in collaborative working and use of formative feedback.   Assessment outcomes demonstrated notable improvements in relation to previous cohorts.

The case study being presented at this conference explores how students have helped us to move on.  We are now using the blended approach in second and third year iterations of this and one other course and have added an expanding range of media and digital resources such as wikis, video information and lecture recordings. 

The involvement of students has proved an effective tool for change; enabling the move to blended learning across the department.  We have become increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining engagement with students throughout the courses to ensure their learning is properly paced and that inconsistencies in the quality and regularity of tutor feedback through online submission are addressed.

Staff have identified other limitations such as the lack of a wiki within our VLE and limited options for online staff / student dialogue through discussion forum.

Our findings, coupled with institutional transition to Moodle now act as drivers to embed blended models and enhance learning provision across the programme.  As we move from using the VLE as a repository towards a fully fledged blended learning environment, we also move towards our aim of radicalizing the department’s approach to teaching, learning and assessment using the students as agents of change.  We have learnt from our students; they have told us it’s time to move on!

Keywords: engagement, agents of change, blended learning, social constructivism

 

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