Blended Learning; The 'Stop, Reflect, Plan, Repeat’ session

The Blended Learning Pilot ‘Stop, Reflect, Plan, Repeat’ session at the end of February was an exciting afternoon to see what effective pedagogical changes can be made in a short time period. With a range of technologies being trialled like Twitter, Flipgrid, OERs, H5P, InteDashboard, and Mentimeter to name a few, the project demonstrates our commitment to a move towards blended learning to engage and enhance the learning of our students.
The Pilot kicked off at the beginning of the year with project lead, Lisa Curran, Academic Developer, SEH ADG Learning Enhancement Team (LET), supported by LET colleagues, mentoring our ‘superstar academics’ who are participating in the pilot. Five of those academics shared their innovative projects at the session after a fun ‘rich picture’ activity.
Enhancements have been varied and demonstrate the power of working in the blended space. Four key areas were identified to provide a framework for the projects; engage, connect, unlock, and assess.
The ‘Engagement’ presentations included Dr Alexander De Foe from Psychology who explained “Incorporating the ‘Muddiest Point’ classroom assessment technique as part of online tutorials, has the potential to enhance student learning and reveal student misconceptions.”
Dr Jessica Danaher from Food Science also adopted an engagement approach through an exciting initiative in assessment design, “Let the students play a role in determining the assessment that they think is more suitable to their needs and interests.”
‘Connect’ presentations included Ass. Prof. Johan Du Plessis from Physics. Johan explained how his authentic assessment project inspired students; “Transformed face-2-face time to enable students and staff to work together as a community of inquiry. Co-creation of a working robot helps to understand complex concepts.”
Ass. Prof. James Harland, our Textbook Hero, demonstrated his project in the ‘Unlock’ category. James has embraced a number of technologies including Open Educational Resources (OERs) which has seen an overwhelming impact for students, he explained he “Substituted prescribed textbook with OERs in multimedia formats, resulting in an estimated cost saving of $34,862 to students”. What an effort!
Dr Daniel Gomez took a brave step forward when he “Eliminated the exam to design a more authentic assessment to inspire greater learner engagement and prepare students for industry, ready for life and work”. Daniel’s authentic assessment design see students following nanotechnology leaders on Twitter to select a current topic for their assessment. Each of the chosen assessment formats aligns clearly with the building of RMIT Graduate Attributes.
The support of this project by the library staff, lead by Frank Ponte, has been outstanding. They are involved in each of the 14 current projects and it was pleasing to see so many of them at the session.
We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the projects at the end of the semester. For information on the project, contact Lisa Curran or Dr Suneeti Rekhari. To read more details on all projects, see Dr Suneeti Rekhari’s earlier post.

Fun with ‘rich pictures’ at the Blended Learning Pilot Project session.

Engaged academics discussing Blended Learning at the session

Project participants showcasing their work