As part of the Cascade project one of the things we have been looking at is how to take the best of what we know about supporting our online distance learning students and use it to see how we should use a VLE to support students who are essentially studying face to face courses with the Department. As part of this we piloted this activity with a few courses in over the last academic year, including our Undergraduate Diploma in Archaeology and our Psychodynamic counseling Certificate, Diploma and MSc. We’re still collecting feedback from our students (more on this later) but have finished our initial collection with staff.
Some of the findings have been reasonably predictable – using the VLE to easily contact students (especially during extreme snow) and to share materials are clear winners in the value stakes. However some are slightly less so. We have a lot of courses with many different sessional teachers, and while we did a good job at explaining Moodle to our core staff, piloting partners and students we did a less good job of engaging with these stakeholders, who often remained confused or oblivious about what Moodle was for and how they could use it.
So a new task for the summer to develop materials for this group.