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Anthea Wilson: My dream: Learning design project proposal - level 1 inexperienced learners”

Producing a more seamless design for level 1 students

Cloud created by:

Anthea Wilson
12 January 2013

Tags: OLDSMOOC, Dreambazaar

Your situation (context)


I’m based in an office at the Open University. I work at home a couple of days a week, so need to adjust to different physical environments as well as different IT facilities. I’ve just set up a new laptop with Windows 8 which has caused me to lose days of time simply getting the different software programmes to work together. Much of my communication at work is by email with colleagues. We also connect by telephone and face-to-face meetings. With students, and associate lecturers, I rely heavily on online forums. I work in several different teams, sometime across different faculties.
I would most like to explore how we can better integrate forums, Elluminate (or equivalent) and our text-based materials. Our students seem to be increasingly time-poor and averse to engaging in any activity that isn’t related to assessment. Introducing technology can create a drain on students’ time, which is echoed by my own experience of making technologies work.

The change you would like to see (challenge)


I’d like to achieve a blend of learning activity and use of technology that makes reasonable demands on our students and tutors. It needs to be presented in a way that is absolutely clear what needs doing and what people will get out of it. I would feel a sense of satisfaction that we are presenting our students with an excellent learning experience. We’d improve our retention rates. Example

How you might go about bringing that change


Our modules are based on distance learning using a blend of print, audio and video, and collaborative opportunities through forums (moodle) and Elluminate.  We need to decide how much reading we can direct students to do online, when the majority is currently in print. Health and social care is a constantly changing landscape not least with every new government bringing in rafts of new policy. We are really stuck when this is in our print resources, but we know students prefer to read print. I’d like to try out ways of making the online material as accessible and brief as possible. Example

Extra content

Embedded Content


Suzanne Aurilio
3:34am 13 January 2013

"Our students seem to be increasingly time-poor and averse to engaging in any activity that isn’t related to assessment."

Assessment can be the activity, no? I mean, if we're designing with authentic tasks and assessments in mind, then everything students do is related to assessment. 

This is where that thinking comes from.

You mentioned the drain on students' time introducing technologies. I've become increasingly, how shall I say it....cautionary in my technology recommendations. I'm becoming less and less "tolerant" of the space technology occupies in the learning endeavor. I notice how much time the mechanics of the technology require, and this hasn't dimished as technologies have matured. 

Jane Challinor
3:33pm 13 January 2013

Hi Anthea

I also want to teach level 1 health and social care students something around digital literacies. They are mainly traditional UGs,  classroom based, with access to VLE but I want to help improve their understanding of social media in professional contexts, how to do effective research  on line (and stay in touch with developments in the field) as well as develop their own PLE as they go along....

Paige Cuffe
6:26pm 13 January 2013

Hi Anthea

Not quite what my project idea was, (see my cloudscape for more but I was looking at tools for desiging sessions in Elluminate) but would be happy to alter to something broader.  I also work for the OU, but mostly with pscyhology and science Level 1 students.  I have quite a bit of practitioner experience with integrating forum, face to face and now increasingly Elluminate environments within modules, but also work on induction forums and the like.  I see the introduction to meaningful use of technology as a part of what students should be learning, but am typing this on the 'spare' laptop leant to me when I experienced my annual laptop crash in November... These always help to remind me how students feel!

Would love to chat further.


Anthea Wilson
10:19am 14 January 2013

Suzanne, Jane and Paige

It's great to see your comments on here. I have to admit I've found it very difficult to find my way around this site and to browse everyone's 'dreams'. I hope to get back here this evening and consider your comments a bit more - it would be really good to get a group interested in level 1 and/or HSC students!

Best wishes


Michael Bromby
11:13am 15 January 2013

I think your idea might relate to mine as I'm interested in teaching law to non-lawyers (so this is type of inexperienced learner in a new subject) whilst they are studying for another subject.  There is the issue of engagement and time-poor / assessment-related which is exacerbated by new-to-me and is-this-really-relevant?

Paige Cuffe
2:09pm 15 January 2013

Anthea I do now have someone looking to team up on my original dreambazaar idea, so will quietly bow out of this team.  I would though like to maintain contact here with a team looking at Level 1 students' experiences, so will still be following this cloud! 

It might be useful to form an OU study group (collection of teams or individuals who limp through a mooc together?) please do yell.

Jane Challinor
8:24am 17 January 2013

Hi Anthea

I am very interested in working with you on this idea of teaching digilit to health and social care. helen Crump and I have agreed to work together on developing something.... would you care to join us? 


Anthea Wilson
6:47pm 17 January 2013

Hi Jane

I have to apologise to everyone who has commented here, as I've already found it difficult to keep up with all the MOOC discussions, even in the first week!

I lke the idea of joining your group focusing on health and social care/ digital literacy. I don't know whether Michael would want to join too?  The same principles would apply, as you've pointed out. I'm now going to try and find my way to the right place. You might need to send out a search party!


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