Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Translating Learning Outcomes in e-learning

Greetings from the Australian National University "Wattle Wednesday Seminar" where Lauren Kane is talking about "Translating Learning Outcomes in Moodle". This was a recap of the presentation given at Moodle Moot Au 2010, a few weeks ago.

Lauren described a four step process:
  1. Select an outcome for the course.
  2. Identify the characteristics of the outcome.
  3. Using the online instrument, identify Moodle resource/activity or associated technology which supports the development of these characteristics.
  4. Develop the Moodle activity/resource to satisfy the outcome.
What stuck me about this and the previous presentation wast that these are highly structured processes. These would be natural for engineers and computer scientists who are teaching. But it may feel a little rigid for those in the humanities. However, as a computer programmer, I would like to have even more structure, with a set of course templates to select from and then customise. As an example, I used a course in IT Service Management as the template for a course in Green IT Strategies.
We present an approach to course delivery informed by Biggs' constructive alignment theory. Constructive alignment requires that the teacher aligns the planned learning activities with the learning outcomes (Houghton, Warren, 2004).

It is generally quite difficult to translate learning outcomes into an effective course design using tools provided by a Learning Management System (LMS). This is further compounded by the difference between the language of learning outcomes and that used by an LMS.

Within our College we've identified the need for a process that provides a link between the pedagogy and the implementation in Moodle. To do this we have developed online instruments that help teachers link Moodle activities to learning outcomes.

We believe this not only enables teachers to leverage educational technologies to the maximum extent but also to effectively deliver a quality course that meets its identified goals and intents.

Houghton, Warren (2004) Engineering Subject Centre Guide: Learning and Teaching Theory for Engineering Academics. Loughborough: HEA Engineering Subject Centre. Accessed 30th June 2010 from:

From: "Translating Learning Outcomes in Moodle", Srinivas Chemboli, Lauren Kane, Lynette Johns-Boast, ANU, for Moodle Moot Au 2010

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