I attended the first few presentations of an e-learning colloquium on campus last Tuesday. Here are a few short notes I took during the short time I was there.
Begin a section of work with a short test to evaluate pre-intervention knowledge. The questions should be aligned with important content from the module. This will identify for students the areas that they need to focus on during the module. Following up with the same short test after the intervention allows you to evaluate immediately following the lesson / module whether or not students understood the main concepts.
Make sure that this isn’t seen by students as “busy work” i.e. something we want them to do that’s meaningless.
Sometimes “e-learning” seems to be be about moving content online. Even if it is interactive content, does it change behaviour, or do students use the same learning techniques they would use with offline content? I think that often “e-learning” for many teachers means using a computer and the internet to do the same thing they’ve always done i.e. there’s no change in practice.
Less than half of dentistry students accessed the e-learning site that staff spent ages creating. 4th year students would go if it was useful for exams, to get notes, curiosity. 5th year students see opportunity for advanced learning. Big disconnect between 4th and 5th year students in terms of how they see / perceive the service.
Students wanted to see more clinical cases on the e-learning site. Dentistry uses OSCEs (maybe we should contact them to discuss our implementation next year). Students also wanted mock tests with memos (seems like a good idea, but most participants thought that this was paramount to giving students the tests and answers)
Suggestions to ban access to social networks, as it slows down the servers. Evidence of a lack of understanding on the part of academics as to the value of incorporating a social component to the teaching and learning process?
Including new teaching techniques requires a change in student mindset. This needs to start in 1st year.