Week 4 // Open… Site? – Sharing innovations in blended learning

By Matthias Ripp https://flic.kr/p/qtXkoT CC BY 2.0

Week 4 // Open Door is an event where staff from around the University are invited to attend colleagues’ face-to-face classes so that we can build a culture where teaching innovation is open and collegial. When some academics from the Faculty of Health Sciences heard about this opportunity, they asked, why not open our unit websites as well? (Editor’s note: unfortunately it doesn’t rhyme.) So although there isn’t a formal ‘Open Site’ event happening, a few colleagues have decided to open their sites for anyone to observe.

HyperDocs, Padlets, and interactivity in CSCD5022

An example of Andy Smidt’s HyperDoc

Dr Andy Smidt uses embedded ‘HyperDocs‘ in her Blackboard site to provide students with a flexibly-presented set of online resources. Check out an example here. HyperDocs are very easy to edit, being built on the Google Docs platform. Linked from this central resource every week are a variety of interactive activities including Padlets, videos, and readings. Andy explains her approach to unit site design in this short video. If you’d like to gain access to the entire Blackboard site, you can let Andy know by completing an access request form.

Interactive and student-centred online activities in HSBH1010

Engaging students with social media

Dr Mel Keep brings together podcasts, Prezis, and Piazza discussion forums to create interactive online lectures that engage students through multiple senses, peer-learning, and thought-provoking questions. Real world examples like podcasts about online dating, and activities like creating a professionally inappropriate Facebook page, provide stimulus for students to consider the theories of eHealth and cyberpsychology in a personally meaningful and relatable way. All the resources are free (and easy) to use and there are even some great tools supported by Educational Innovation such as Kaltura for embedding multiple choice questions into the video itself. Videos are mostly “home-made” starring Daleks and Owls commonly found in her office.

Trialling a flipped classroom in a large unit, HSBH1003

A/Prof Jen Smith-Merry and Dr Mairwen Jones are trialling interactive recorded lectures in an initiative to improve student satisfaction and streamline workloads for teaching staff. They are taking existing lectures and introducing more interactive elements, such as searching social media or following up other videos on YouTube or SBS On Demand. Supported with guiding questions for students to consider, these activities are designed to engage them with the content in a wider context. (And, if we’re honest with ourselves, our students are probably browsing YouTube or Facebook anyway during class, just not using on-topic content!) Jen and Mairwen would like to offer their unit site for anyone to observe, so if you would like to find out more, get in touch with Tina Barclay who will arrange to grant you access to their site.

Tell me more!

If you would like to ‘observe’ someone’s unit site or have someone observe yours, you just need to add them as an auditor in SEAMS. That way they can see how you have structured your unit site, how students might interact with resources, and the innovative learning technologies you may be using, without the risk of them fiddling with the site itself.

Or, if you would like to share your site on this page, send an email to Danny Liu with a short blurb and image.

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