Technology Enhanced Learning – Good practices, in context

How can we improve on the learning experience for our remote students in 2021? What can technology offer for students in our field, where learning will continue in remote or hybrid modes in 2021?

These were questions Professor Michael Platow from the Research School of Psychology (RSP) had in mind when he approached Dr Joseph Hughes, Manager of the CLT Education Design Team, about co-designing a workshop for his academic team.

The Education Design team were asked to talk and demonstrate in practical terms, which Wattle-based tools and other ANU supported tools could help. Michael was also keen for RSP academics to understand what constitutes good practice in online environments.

The three-hour workshop on 18 November, started from the presumption that there is no ‘best practice’ for online course design and technology enhanced learning, because this is contextual to each teaching and learning situation and discipline area. Rather, the aim was to uncover ‘good practice’ and practical solutions.

Responding to a pre-workshop survey of participants’ needs and wants, the team focused on understanding student needs, developing engaging activities, building a sense of community, employing discussion and reflections during presentations, and also on providing tips, hints and tools for achieving these goals.

Led by Joseph and facilitated by Jill Lyall and Melinda Drummond, the workshop adopted the framework developed by Garrison, Anderson, Archer (1996: 10-11), known as ‘Community of Inquiry‘ for use in online and blended learning environments.

Communities of Inquiry

Feedback from the workshop was positive, with participants sharing thoughts:

“This was a good opportunity for me to experience being a student in this environment”

“A much greater awareness of the range of strategies available for using technology in our teaching (e.g., reducing recorded lectures to 15-minute sections”

“Need to play with Wattle to see how these tools could work in my course, but I have taken notes on some things, e.g. a narrative may work for our work.”

“Thanks so much for a fabulous workshop – you’ve left me buzzing with ideas and possibilities! I’m very appreciative of the team’s generosity in sharing their wealth of expertise with us.”

Interested in developing professional development for your team?

Would you like to organise some professional development for your team in this and related teaching and learning topics? The Educational Design Team can provide workshops for groups, consultation with teams on course design, and individual help and support with designing or re-designing course sites.

Contact for individual assistance, or Dr Joseph Hughes to discuss workshop options.

December 2020

Jill Lyall and Melinda Drummond are Education Designers in the Education Design (ED) team – one of three teams within the ANU Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT).