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Scenario Key Design Points

Page history last edited by Hazel Owen 10 years, 2 months ago
Introduction Scenario ICTELT Model Possible Approaches
Key Design Points Programme of Social Services Appendices References

Key Considerations in the Design


  1. Participants can experience ambiguity anxiety (Barroso, & Gómez Cabranes, 2006).  To help support learners the course needs a clearly defined structure which will provide scaffolding for use of the technology as well as for fulfilling course expectations. Facilitators could clarify points during virtual office hours, as well as during timetabled synchronous sessions, and through asynchronous forums. Participants will also be able to add discussion questions, undertake collaborative activities, and post links to resources.
  2. It is challenging to adapt a face-to-face course into a flexible mode course that preserves the dynamic, experience-based-learning environment. Research to date (e.g. Dabbagh, 2004) suggests that there can be ‘disconnects’ between collaborative activities and learning outcomes. Therefore, the flexible course would need to be designed so that clear connections are made between content, concepts, illustrative points and case studies. Furthermore, tutors would need support and training with online facilitation, and would ensure that communication activities are guided and supported. In addition, activities would need to be explicitly purposeful and learning outcome-focused, partly through the careful design of activities and accompanying instructions (including the approximate time tasks and activities will take), communication of outcomes, and, where appropriate, the use of model and examples.
  3. Key, complex theories and concepts can be misunderstood by participants. The  rich semiotic potential provided by the LMS can be exploited with the utilisation of a range of multi-media, icons, graphics, and visual representations that are, as far as possible, culturally neutral. Furthermore, activities (collaborative and individual) have been designed to encourage problem-solving, critical thinking, and mutual construction of knowledge.
  4. Access to technology may be limited and access to the Internet may be by dial-up, or intermittent. Careful consideration of would need to be made of a range of tools that are readily accessible and preferably already in use (for example, Skype is in common use and the tool is flexible enough to allow participants to choose to text chat rather than use audio where there are bandwidth issues. Web-cams may not be used to avoid bandwidth issues). File formats would be selected to minimise bandwidth requirements, and course documents would have a downloadable option. However, multi-media will form an important support tool for the online component of the flexible course. Therefore, those students who have dial-up or limited access to technology would be able to request that the multi-media content be sent to them through the post on a disk. All synchronous sessions would be ‘saved’ and uploaded to the LMS for those learners who were unable to access technology for a session(s).
  5. Distance students may not be able to easily access the support mechanisms provided by an education institution (Wonacott, 2002). Designed into the distance course would be an ‘orientation’ week where learners undertake ice-breaker activities to ‘meet’ their fellow learners, as well as give them the opportunity to set up and practice with the technology in a low-risk environment with support readily available by email and/or instant messaging. In addition, links to further information about enrollment, modules, courses, requirements, assessments, netiquette expectations, and sources of help would be included in the LMS. Furthermore, relevant support would be incorporated in the form of key contact details, Frequently Asked Question forums, virtual office hours, and self-access tools (Plass, 1998) where learners are able to identify and choose the support they require (Schwienhorst, 1998).


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ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching Framework and Model by Hazel Owen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 New Zealand License.

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