When designing online learning sometimes all it takes is a spark of an idea to develop inspiring and engaging activities to benefit our students’ learning. During this session at the ALT Winter Conference we are going to crowdsource a shared open resource of ‘sparks’ – an essential toolkit item for any learning technologist or learning developer!
What’s this about then?
At UCEM we are undertaking an exciting project to transform all our online learning programmes by Autumn 2020. We want our students to have the best possible learning experience during their time with us, and be as successful as they can be in their studies. To achieve this we are redesigning all our modules to be inspirational, assessment-first, student-focused and embrace the opportunities that the Web has to offer. During our design conversations some great ideas for authentic and engaging online learning activities have been sparked by what others have done in the learning tech community. We want to give something back and create a space where we can all be inspired by each other.
Right, so how’s that going to work?
We are going to have a Tweetchat, and ask you to share your ideas for online learning activities. We’ll then collate those, and share them in a visually appealing way. Your ideas will be gathered between 11am-12pm GMT on the 12th December.
For the purpose of this activity consider our students to be fully online – undergraduates (level 5&6) and graduates (level 7). In response to five learning outcomes, we will share ideas for online activities to support our students. The learning outcomes are (but may be refined before the live chat):
- Locate, review and interpret information
- Demonstrate an understanding of concepts, theories and principles
- Appreciate and reflect on new ideas in a spirit of open interaction
- Select and apply appropriate concepts to approach and solve problems effectively
- Identify and construct arguments and communicate them effectively
Just in case you like to please, we are really interested in activities that:
- are good group work activities
- ask students to do something in the physical world and bring that back to the virtual
- provide students with authentic experiences for their future career (e.g. digital capabilities)
Sounds pretty interesting, how do I join in?
If you have ever taken part in an #LTHEchat the format will be familiar to you. The chat will last one hour and the @UCEMOnlineEd Twitter account will post 5 questions to stimulate ideas and discussion. Questions will be preceded with Q1, Q2, Q3 etc, for example:
Q1 What online activities could students do to locate and review information? #altc #GettingSparky
To respond to a question you need to have a Twitter account. In your tweet include the hashtag #altc #GettingSparky and precede your tweet with Q1, Q2, Q3 etc, for example:
Q1 Research and write a Wikipedia article – asks students to consider what constitutes a reliable source and demonstrates how knowledge is created, curated and contested online. #altc #GettingSparky
Responses will be collated on a Padlet ‘Board of Sparks.’ Alternatively, you can add your idea to the board yourself (if you have free Padlet account) which will allow you to use more text, images, links etc. We’ll tag activities with emerging themes to create a wall of ideas to a spark your own learning design conversations.
Can I just ‘lurk’?
Sure, lets call it ‘social listening’. Even if you are not on Twitter you can still follow the conversation via the public hashtag #GettingSparky. If you want to contribute but do not have a Twitter account you can add ideas to our Padlet Board of Sparks (you will need to set up an account first). We’d love you to join in, all ideas are valuable, but the open web is also about learning from others.
Wait, didn’t you say there would be prizes…?
We did. Who will post the most ideas? Which ideas will receive the most ‘likes’? We’ll be asking the ALT community to reflect on all the submissions and vote for their favourite. We have two much coveted ‘pedagogy-first’ unicorn pins to give away courtesy of @DonnaLanclos.
Who is the person behind the Tweetchat?
I am Kate Lindsay (@KTDigital), the newest member of the Online Education department at UCEM. I joined UCEM after a lengthy stint leading digital education strategy, services and projects at the University of Oxford. In my time there I played a part in developing the University’s use of social media and designed a number of crowdsourcing projects, hence this activity! I like openness and sharing, breaking down barriers where knowledge ownership is concerned, and I bring that into my philosophy for teaching in digital spaces.