With the rapid transition that has been necessary recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of colleagues are looking for ideas, alternatives and suggestions for developing their learning and teaching approaches online. This series of blog posts are aimed at supporting staff looking for ways to incorporate more blended or online learning teaching whether for the short term or long term.
The Moving Online Series of blog post that I’m currently writing are related to a Menu of Digital Learning and Teaching Approaches that you can download and use within your own learning and teaching as you adapt it for online/remote teaching and learning.
The menu was originally developed by Sheffield Hallam University under the Changing the Learning Landscape programme and has been up dated to reflect the range of digital learning and teaching opportunities available at the University. The menu has also been updated to be accessible and is available under a Creative Commons license. It includes references across the Realising Teaching Excellence blog Vignettes of Practice or other further resources that may be of additional benefit. The extended references will grow over time.
What are the benefits of using the Menu?
The menu can help you understand how to take different approaches to learning and teaching and explore ways you can use digital learning and teaching technologies to adapt those approaches in a blended or fully online context. As with any approach there is usually more than one technology that can be used to adapt that approach for digital learning and teaching (blended or online) and the menu is designed to help with making the best decision for your particular learning and teaching circumstances. Each approach outlines the general benefits and the benefits of using digital learning and teaching technologies that also enable a particular approach. It isn’t designed to be an exhaustive list but rather the menu is designed to aid in some of those initial considerations about where to start with developing digital learning and teaching approaches.
How can I use the Menu?
Most curricula are designed to use a range of learning and teaching approaches, aligned with the aims and learning outcomes of the course and modules. The menu is not a learning design tool intended to be used for full re-design of a course or module for online delivery but certainly can be used as part of the design process. If you are considering how to move online for the rest of the summer term; for courses delivering over a different start/end dates or considering how you might want to adapt your learning and teaching for the new academic year especially if current circumstances continue, then this menu can be of help. Here are some questions to help you consider how to use the menu in a way that might benefit you most:
- Think about the modules on your course or the sessions that you teach on a module, do you currently adopt any of the listed approaches to teaching and learning?
- Pick one approach that you (and colleagues) agree you feel more confident and comfortable adapting to digital learning and teaching.
- Review the different digital learning and teaching technologies that are suggested, pick one that you feel you, your colleagues and your students will be comfortable using.
- Have a look at the further information and guidance about how to introduce that digital learning and teaching approach and familiarise yourself with technology that you’ve decided to use.
The menu provides links to information on the digital learning and teaching technologies available at the university and staff development and guidance are available from the TEL Unit if you’re interested in knowing more about how to use a particular technology.
Where do I begin?
Building up your confidence and that of your students is an important step in developing digital learning and teaching, especially when moving your learning and teaching online. Digital capabilities are those digital skills, competencies and capabilities that allows us to live, learn and work in a digital society and by adapting your learning and teaching to bring more capabilities within the curriculum you are enabling both your students and yourself to develop your digital capabilities further. Gilly Salmon’s five stage model can be applied in this context to help students become familiar with a new digital learning and teaching approach or technology. The model consists of:
- Access and Motivation: Becoming more comfortable and confident in accessing digital learning and teaching technologies.
- Online Socialisation: Feeling confident and comfortable engaging with online digital learning and teaching and interacting with each other
- Information Exchange: Starting to take the online digital learning and teaching further by sharing more, creating more online activities and fostering dialogue online.
- Knowledge Construction: Using digital learning and teaching and technologies to develop more opportunities for learning online and providing students with greater scope for sense making and being a community of learners together
- Development: Students are confident learning and sharing online and are building on their learning to apply in their own context. They can demonstrate the application of their learning through a range of online assessments.
Where can I go next?
Consider where else you can apply the menu or share how you’ve used it with colleagues. How might you involve students in developing your curricula using this approach? Have a look at online course such as The Online Educator: People and Pedagogy from FutureLearn or these courses from Epigeum for further ideas about how to develop your digital learning and teaching online.
Downloading the Menu of Digital Learning and Teaching
The Menu of Digital Learning and Teaching Approaches is available to download in an accessible Word format and is distributed under a Creative Commons license.