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UCD TEACHING AND LEARNING / Projects
Module Enhancement
Blended Design for Large Classes
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Project: Blended Design for Large Classes
Project Team: Aine Galvin, Geraldine O’Neill, Brendan Dixon
Collaborator(s): Diane Cashman, Sara O’Sullivan, Colm Reid, Margaret Daly, Crystal Fulton, Claire McGuinness, Loretta Crawley, Jacqueline Burke, Michael Casey, Gerry MacRuairc, Aisling Reynolds

Timeline:

March 2013-September 2015
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background:

Teaching classes with large number of students can be challenging. More effective and efficient use of the blended learning environment can be one approach to enhancing the experience for staff and students in this area. In order to assist staff and learn more from the experiences in this area, in February 2013, there was a call for expression of interest in designing blended learning modules for large classes.  Eight module co-ordinators applied for and are participating the project. 

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goals:

The objective of the project was to (re)design a sample of UCD modules which would use a ‘blend’ of online and face-to-face learning opportunities to achieve active student learning while still being efficient (more efficient) for staff. The redesign process was guided by a set of overarching teaching and learning principles for the blended learning environment  and would adopt the new Bb default structure and associated content guidelines.


This project was part of a wider initiative, led by UCD T&L, which aims to enhance student learning experience through more effective and efficient use of the Bb environment. The focus of this initiative is on supporting significant numbers of academic staff to implement basic good module design within Bb for on-campus students and in so doing, become more familiar with Bb functionality, navigation and tools.

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Methods:

The eight module co-ordinators (noted in collaborators) attended a series of three workshops, run by UCD T&L in conjunction with IT services, that worked through international and local practices in the area of blended learning design for large classes. These included topics on: blended learning design, large class cases studies, appropriate technologies; e-tivities; assessment in on-line and face-to-face environments.  The modules involved in this design were: Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 00010); Introduction to Counselling Psychology (PSY 30280); Transport Economics (ECON 20150); Sociology of Gender (SOC 20040); Digital Judgment: Truth, Lies, & the Internet (IS10050); Leadership for Quality Learning(EDUC 41640); Perspectives on Nursing  (NMHS 10080): Intro to the Practical Apps of Veterinary Anatomy & Comparative Topographical Anatomy of the Thorax(VET10100).

Ethical approval was submitted and approved to research into these modules as they are implemented over the next two-year period.

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Results:

The eight modules were implemented in the 2013/14 academic year and their progress will be evaluated and disseminated in 2014.

Some immediate resources from the design phase have been made available for all UCD staff through the UCD T&L E-learning webpages, in particular:


Planning Your Module Design for Online or Blended Modules
Blended Learning in Large Classes
E-tivity Design Template
Enable student collaboration : wikis, blogs, on-line discussions
Assessment and Feedback (blended)

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Next Steps:

The module co-ordinators implemented their initial ideas for blended learning approaches in 2013-2014 and make any further changes in 2014-2015. The students and staff views and outputs are being analysed to explore both the effectiveness and the efficiency of these approaches. Interim results were presented at the Irish National Forum for Enhancement and the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) Conference in May 2014. The final results will be disseminated within UCD and in peer-reviewed publications in due course.

In February 2014 module coordinators were invited to submit expressions of interest for the re-design of modules using bleneded approaches. A number of additional modules have been redesigned on foot of this invitation and these newly designed modules were implementded during the 2014/15 academic year.