The Education Portfolio recently undertook a review of all HE courses that moved online this semester due to COVID-19 impacts. 54 courses in the SoEd were reviewed against 7 dimensions covering instructions, content, readings, learning activities, collaboration, teacher support and assessment. Course Coordinators, PMs and Associate Deans have now received feedback from the review.
I was pleased to see that 100% of our courses met or exceeded expectations on all seven dimensions. The reviewers identified the following themes across our courses as evidence of good practice:
- Use of explanatory white board and other tools to explain course scope, purpose and expectations – how to engage as well as what the course is about
- Active discussion board moderation and incorporation of self-paced resources, such as quizzes, and media resources to promote engagement, such as Studio videos with comment function
- Use of tools such as Studio and Padlet to enable asynchronous participation
- Recording essential information in Collab U
- Offering synchronous opportunities for engagement apart from class, e.g. drop-in sessions
- Chunking of course materials to promote engagement, e.g. through use of podcasts
The reviewers also noted some overarching opportunities for our consideration as we prepare for sem 2, including:
- Instructional design: Overview of course design, explanation of expectations, how to engage, when and how often. Organisation of content into user-focused modules; use of multiple modalities for course content
- Engagement: Need to provide synchronous and asynchronous engagement opportunities; need to chunk down content, e.g. via video, podcast, flipped learning
- Teacher presence: Need to use multiple communications channels for communication to create active teacher presence, including active moderation of discussions, use of open Collab U drop-ins as well as dedicated classes
- Recording essential information for those who can’t make it to class, either within Collab U, or using Studio
- Assessment: ensure CLO alignment, clear assessment brief (consider use of video/audio as well as text instructions) and provision of rationale and benefits of assessment
- Rubrics: inclusion of performance standard descriptors for assignments worth 20% or more
The review outcomes provide external validation of the hard work our staff have undertaken to support remote learning. This work gives us a strong base on which to build for sem 2.