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Tom Cheek's Design Narrative - Anatomy & Physiology

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Tom Cheek
30 March 2015

My Role:  I support a team in delivering Apprenticeships across a broad geographical region, focusing on Sport, Fitness and Leisure.

Situation: We deliver Advanced Anatomy & Physiology to prepare the learners for an external assessment (Multiple Choice test) as part of the Apprenticeship.

Task: The delivery of this learning relies on a blended learning method with limited contact time.  A total of 2 hrs is available face to face so the majority of the learning takes place through and facilitation of a Virtual Learning Environment.

Action:  I designed a number of learning resources to support a range of learning preferences and through development focused on collaborative tools to encourage the learners to learn by sharing ideas and research learning objects.


  • Crib revision notes supported with MP3 and WMA Audio Revision Notes
  • Popplet Mind Maps
  • Web 2.0 Collaborative Resource
  • Quizdini Games
  • Kahoot Quizzes
  • Utilising OER's (Videos)

The results have been great.  Learners love the range of learning tools and feel empowered to select and individualise their learning path.  Tutors enjoy having access to a range of learning tools and being able to express content in different ways to support their learners.  The college likes it as it is encouraging collaborative work with the learners, building a community, reducing face to face visit but improving the overall learning experience.  Achievements have been strong since the developments with the last year performance over 10% above national benchmark.

Reflection - The two key things I have learnt from this design:

1 - Get learners to connect and collaborate - they can learn so much from each others ideas, experiences, research and discussions.  Provide platforms that allow them to connect both in simple forms (forums/chat rooms on moodle) and through collaborative tools such as where learners can upload learning objects and together form a collage of learning opportunity

2 - Utilise Open Educational Resources - information is out there in abundance.  The key is identifying Big and Small (High and Low Production Values) resources that can contribute to a strong learning experience

Extra content

Example of Popplet Mind Map Designed:

Example of a 'Endocrine' learning object:!/#/tomcheek/1369403052917/view/1210340009

Tom Cheek
12:20 on 30 March 2015

Embedded Content


Kate Lister
6:09pm 30 March 2015

Great narrative, Tom! So much more succinct and well organised than mine... I particularly like how you gave examples in your extra content section. :)

6:44pm 30 March 2015

Like the narrative, succinct and well explained.  Loved the popplet and murally.  

Philip Odeny
5:40am 31 March 2015

Brilliant work Tom. I am impressed by the wide variety of learning tools you use and popplet is one I am certainly going to try out.

Anna Orridge
3:27pm 1 April 2015

I think it was great that you allowed learners a choice in learning tools. This would make them really think about their preferences and boost their autonomy. I think the learning object is just brilliant. It would make it so easy for learners to focus on particular aspects of the subject. Did it take a very long time to produce this? I noted with interest your comments about chat rooms and forums. At my previous workplace there was a real drive to encourage learners to participate in chat rooms, but many of them would quite simply not be persuaded. Was it mandatory on your course, or did you have other ways of encouraging them? Perhaps in the case of our learners, they were less inclined to contribute because they had so many contact hours.

sarah dain
5:07pm 1 April 2015

Hi Tom

I think your popplet is a great visual which would really help me revise a topic. In my finals I used great pieces of paper on which I created mindmaps of topics etc Your popplet reminds me of this- where you can place the pieces together. Also, the fact that you can move around it and zoom in and out, means that you can test yourself on certain aspects by putting them out of site...Next time I have to sit an exam, I think this method would be really useful. Also, great for students to create their own revision materials.

Thanks for this!


Sophia Eco
12:43am 2 April 2015

Very creative choice of subject, Tom. 

I was wondering how did you measure the results? Did you get feedback from the users (students/ teachers)? What was achievement like before the implementation of the tools? Were there any unexpected outcomes (either positive or negative)?

Robert Avery
10:15am 7 April 2015

Hi Tom,

I like the flow of this and the range of tools is excellent. Like the others, I think it is great that the learners have choice built in. Did you consider Universal Design as concept?

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