King’s (Western University) recently switched Course Management Systems from WebCT to OWL (Sakai). OWL has more features available to allow for an easier transition to a blended course format. There are more tools available to allow for greater opportunities for engagement and collaboration online.
I have chosen a graduate level Social Work course for my redesign project. The course will be offered in the summer term and traditionally has been structured as an in-class only course that meets once a week for four hour blocks.
Your Target Audience
Implications for Design
|Learners’ ages and age span||Graduate Level studentsEarly 20’s +||Collaborative and engaging techniques to allow for deeper learning|
|Reading level||Graduate Level||Readings from textbook and journals available in the CMS|
|Writing abilities||Graduate Level||Discussion Board – rubric for quality over quantity responsesMajor Research Paper – rubric|
|Grade level||Graduate Level||Collaborative and engaging techniques to allow for deeper learningDiscussion online and in class|
|Gender split||Mostly female|
|General aptitude regarding instruction||High||Use assignments to encourage student engagementUse f2f time not just for lecture delivery|
|Percentage of foreign language learners||Low||Having readings and discussions posted online allows for ESL students a greater opportunity to read through material on their own time and fully understand|
|Level of computer skills||Low-High||Professor to provide basic knowledge on how to use the CMS and basic tech supportProf to explain the value of the online component and how it relates to the learning objectives of the course|
|Motivation to learn the content||High||Opportunities to engage with the materialDiscussions in class and online
Groups to moderate online discussions weekly
|Attitudes toward subject matter||Positive||Opportunities for students to engage with the material, share resources and ideas in an open and receptive environment|
|Level of anxiety||Low-High||Opportunities for online and f2f engagement to allow students to contribute in a way that is more comfortable for them|
|Identified disabilities||Possible vision, mobility, psychiatric, learning disabilities, etc.||Opportunities for online and f2f engagement to allow students to contribute in a way that is more comfortable for themHaving content online allows for greater accessibility for those that use computer software to assist with learning or vision disabilities|
The focus of the course is on social work policy and practice, particularly the Canadian welfare system policy formulation, implementation, and change.
Learning Objectives – Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Define the impact of political ideology on recent developments in Canadian social policy;
- List and explain current environmental conditions affecting the field of social policy in Canada including the impact of globalization;
- Identify and apply frameworks for policy-making and the dynamics of policy change;
- Recognize policy resistance and response; and
- Identify and describe ways social workers can influence through social action, advocacy, and intellectual and philosophical commitment to social policy-making the course and shape of social policy in Canada.
I will be using the Replacement Model which reduces the number of face-to-face hours and replaces them with online activities (The National Centre for Academic Transformation, 2005). F2F class time will remain mostly the same, being used for lectures and small discussions. F2F hours will be reduced from four hours to two hours per week.
Activities using technology will include:
- Online Discussion Board – Weekly discussion boards will be set up where students are required to reflect upon and answer questions based on that week’s content. Students will also be broken into groups and expected to moderate one discussion week. Discussion Boards will also be set up for FAQ and Assignment Questions.
- Blogs – Students will be required to submit 3-4 blog posts throughout the course of the term. Their first blog response will be a short introduction of themselves. Then they will post a summary of their discussion week to their blog, as well as answering reflection questions where they will be required to apply what they have learned so far in the course.
- Online Quizzes – There will be a short, multiple choice quiz to be completed before each class with questions that are based on the readings that should be completed before class. This will ensure students are prepared for class, have had time to review the material and apply their knowledge, and will come to class prepared with questions on areas of confusion. The professor will be able to review the quiz answers before class to apply Just In Time Teaching (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008) in order to focus attention on areas where students are having difficulties.
In-Class activities will include:
- Discussions based on Online Quiz results
- Discussions based on Discussion Board summaries
- Discussions about Assignments
Rubrics will be created outlining the expectations for each assignment. Quality over quantity will be encouraged. Students will be expected to contribute frequently, and share ideas and resources in a respectful and open manner.
The success of the redesign compared to the traditional format will be evaluated by:
- Analyzing contributions to the Discussion Board – using the rubric, Discussion Board responses will be analyzed for quality over quantity, moving through phases (triggering to resolution).
- Analyzing blog responses – using the rubric, blog responses will be analyzed in the same manner as the Discussion Board responses student evaluation, comparison with previous years.
- Reviewing the results of the Online Quizzes will be assessed
- Reviewing the SSW Mid-Course Correction Surveys. The School of Social Work always implements Mid-Course Correction Surveys which are anonymous surveys administered to students to get their feedback on the course and instructor.
- Reviewing the SET results. King’s administers Student Evaluation of Teaching surveys at the end of each course to obtain feedback on the course and instructor.
- QOCI Evaluation Rubric http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/initiatives/qoci/rubric.asp
Garrison, D.R., & Vaughan, N.D. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
The National Center for Academic Transformation, (2005). Five Principles of Successful Course Redesign. Retrieved January 22, 2013 from: http://www.thencat.org/PlanRes/R2R_PrinCR.htm