Designing the future through e-learning

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Designing the future through e-learning

E-learning once meant putting programme content online and leaving students to access it, but online learning has since become a lot more dynamic according to researchers from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) who visited CPIT to run a two-day Course Design Intensive (CDI) workshop this week.

Dr Sara Hammer and Dr Megan Kek from USQ’s Learning and Teaching Support use an approach that engages students and develops their practical skills while they learn online.

“Our philosophy is that putting content online doesn’t make students learn. You have to engage them,” Dr Kek said.

Their approach is also cross disciplinary, which means that the programme designers are supported by educational designers and learning management system people such as librarians, careers advisors and so on. At CPIT the new online delivery will initially focus on a programme from the Commerce Faculty. Tutors from the programme came away from the intensive two-day workshop with new plans for implementing 2012 online programme delivery options and specific online activities.

CPIT Academic Director Dr Shirley Wilson said the new approach suited CPIT. “USQ is one of our international benchmarking partners for academic quality and we are very grateful to USQ’s Learning and Teaching Support for presenting this workshop for us. This design for learning approach is aligned to CPIT’s objectives of being learner-focused, collaborative and using learning technologies.

“The CDI approach allows rapid course development and contextualisation for future learner groups, which makes us more nimble and flexible so we can respond to market needs, including the demands of the recovery of Christchurch,” she said.

Dr Hammer and Dr Kek were inspired by the work of e-learning expert Gilly Salmon, who joined USQ earlier this year, from the University of Leicester, as Professor of E-learning & Learning Technologies. Adapting and sharing their knowledge of the new approach with CPIT staff was proving rewarding, they said.

E-learning approaches and technologies continue to evolve globally and continue to grow in popularity, providing greater flexibility for distance learning and meaningful options for mainstream learning.