Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Adapting traditional course structure to the online environment

As part of the free Innovation in Education Showcase at the Australian National University in Canberra, I am giving a repeat performance of my "A Green Computing Professional Education Course Online using eBooks", 12:30pm, 19 September 2012, in the Ethel Tory Centre. Curiously when the program for the event came out, I did not recognize my topic, as it was listed as "Adapting traditional course structure to the on-line environment". I assume I wrote that as the topic and the description (appended).

Recently I have been thinking about how courses can be improved, particularly for e-learning, by what is removed, rather than added. Each time there is a new requirement added or a student queries a point, the tendency is for the teacher to add some more wording or another reading to the course notes. When this gets too complex the tendency is then to add an index or table to explain all the material, thus adding more complexity. Research (and my own recent experience of being a student of education) shows that what students want to know is what is what is required for assessment and what do they have to do next.

Converting a course to a new format, such as on-line, provides the opportunity to consider what is really needed by the student, how much they can be expected to do and what is the logical order to put the material in. The on-line format allows for easy cross referencing, so that for example, an assignment can be described once, with all requirements, including the marking rubric, and then referred to.
12.30 – 1.00pm Adapting traditional course structure to the online environment

Tom Worthington is an award winning online course designer who teaches ANU postgraduate
students how to measure and reduce carbon emissions using computers and the Internet.
Tom discusses how he adapted a traditional course structure to the online environment, with regular integrated assessment, to make an academically sound product which is also popular with students.

Ethel Tory Centre Computer Laboratory 4 (Red Lab)

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