This page describes the education principles behind the assessment task and activities.

These activities and assessments were originally designed to meet the requirements of my own assignment within Education Technology which I am enrolled in through Central Queensland University. Within the unit we were asked to design a learning activity for students and to reflect on their participation. Unfortunately I am not able to quite meet this requirement, as I don't have a current student cohort, and so have designed the activities and reflected on the design process itself.

The central theme to the design of the activities has been to incorporate two principles often encouraged within the Education Technology field: Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998)’s Engagement Theory[1] and Oliver’s (1999) ICT learning design framework[2] (see image). Co-learner and educator Richard Hu summarized that the ICT framework: “It is made up of three components of learning tasks, learning resources and learning supports, with assessment as the core in the middle where the three components overlap.”

external image oliverlearningdesignmodel.gif?w=320&h=304
The activities aim to address the design framework directly by including clear sub-headings of tasks, timeline and resources. The sub-headings aim to provide direct support to the students in the learning activities. Support will also include activities during class time as well as contact with the unit convernor in a blended learning approach shown to be effective in a related field[3] .

Another co-learner and educator Jess Parker offered the following for the engagement theory which I thought was quite nice:
  • ‘Engagement Theory’ which provides a framework for technology based teaching and learning. This theory requires three key elements to ensure learner engagement;
  • 1. Emphasis on a collaborative effort
  • 2. Project based assignments
  • 3. Non Academic Focus
  • If these three elements are combined in a learning task, it will result in creative, authentic & meaningful learning experiences. Students will be intrinsically motivated to learn which is required for ACTIVE self directed learning.

An emphasis on collaborative writing is focused in activity 2 and 3 through the construction of the resource on a wiki. Wikis are capable of improving writing skills into a public place but caution must be taken as collaborative writing can become limited due to student's reluctance to edit each others' work[4] . This issue will be discussed in class ahead of time in order to limit this reluctance and agreed terms on editing may become evident. Similar appraoches to collaborative student learning projects on a wiki have been used previously[5] . It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Jess's summary of engagement theory also uses the term active learning, which in itself is supported by educational research. Active participation in activities encourages learning as suggested by the proverb often ascribed to the Chinese[6] :
  • I hear, and I forget;
  • I see, and I remember;
  • I do, and I understand.
The collaborative construction of the resource requires the "doing" and is significantly removed from the traditional lecture format where knowledge was "passed on". The activities have also been assigned as they will assist in the learning of situations that students are likely to encounter in their later professional life[7] . This authentic nature of the task must also be communicated to the students to ensure they see worth in the activities[8] . Students engaging in the wiki process will also develop e-technology skills, increasingly be considered as a generic skill of university graduates, in preparation for their professional life. The principles behind the resource goes further than this however through the construction of a type of open educational resource. Students have the opportunity to generate and contribute to a public resource (DONATE) which, in turn, has the opportunity to be continually edited and kept up to date over time, unlike traditional resources.

Further planning to engage active learning has led to the use of role plays in Activity 3. Role plays create an environment that simulates reality, enabling students to enhance understanding of the situation or event being re-enacted[9] . Students thus have the opportunity to gain deeper understanding in a context that also assists to develop their practical skills for professional practice. Although not exemplified here, it is clear from the literature[10] that the guidance provided for the role play should be well developed in order to promote learning. Deeper learning will be further encouraged through reflective practice[11] after the role play, a skill that is encouraged in the workplace, incuding the Exercise Physiology profession[12].

Student and teacher feedback after the initial cohort will further develop the courework and is due in mid-2011.
  1. ^ Kearsley, G. and Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Version: 4/5/99. http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm. Accessed 19/09/2010.
  2. ^ Learning Design from University of Wollongong. http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm Based on: Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254. Accessed 19/09/2010.
  3. ^ Macaulay, J., Van Damme, M. and Walker, K. (2009). The use of contextual learning to teach biochemistry to dietetic students. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 37(3):137-143.
  4. ^ Wheeler, S. and Wheeler, D. (2009). Using wikis to promote quality learning in teacher training. Learning, Media and Technology. 34(1): 1-10.
  5. ^ Trentin, G. (2009). Using a wiki to evaluate individual contribution to a collaborative learning project. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 25: 43-55.
  6. ^ The Open University. How do people learn: Behaviorism, Piagetianism and social constructivism http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=397777&section=1.5.3 Accessed 10/10/2010.
  7. ^ King, S. et al (2009). Merging social networking environments and formal learning environments to support and facilitate interprofessional instruction. Medical Education Online. 14(5). http://med-ed-online.net/index.php/meo/article/view/4517
  8. ^ Modell, H. (1996). Preparing students to participate in an active learning environment. Advances in Physiology education. 15(1): s69-77.
  9. ^ Manorom, K and Pollock, Z. (2006). Role play as a teaching method: A practical guide. http://www.mekong.es.usyd.edu.au/projects/mli/initiatives_partners/roleplay_manual_ubu.pdf Accessed 10/10/2010.
  10. ^ Type the content of your reference here.
  11. ^ Biggs and Tang (2007). Teaching according to how students learn, In, Teaching for Quality learning at University. McGraw Hill: 15-30.
  12. ^ Boone, T. (1998). The power in critical reflection. Professionalization of Exercise Physiology online. 1(2). http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/pro5.htm