My inventory is attached. My comments and reflections on putting it together:
My online learning and teaching context: as an Academic Liaison Librarian, I am usually designing one-shot sessions or activities rather than a whole programme, and dropping them in to modules and courses designed by others. I am rarely if ever involved in programme design, or in setting or carrying out summative assessment.
I therefore often have to work quite hard to find out the context in which I am teaching - I have to try to work out where students will be on Gilly Salmon’s 5-stage model; investigate the intended learning outcomes of the course and the module, look at the assignment brief, and align my planned activities with those. I find it helps to be very explicit with students that I am doing this, as many of them expect “a Library session” to be an optional bolt-on extra (and often have not read the module handbook or assignment information themselves!)
In face-to-face teaching, I am increasingly working to embed bite-sized drop-in micro-teaching sessions (10-15 minutes) in colleagues’ lectures - whenever possible, at a timely point eg in the assignment briefing lecture, where I can align what I am showing students with the assessment. Focus group research I undertook 2 years ago with first-year students for my Learning & Teaching Fellowship underlined the importance of embedded, timely micro-teaching like this rather than annual “one-shots” which students struggled to align with their learning (“we didn’t use the Library for weeks after that so we didn’t remember…”) This year I have begun to offer Reusable Learning Objects (eg short tutorial videos) in Moodle courses in a similar way.
Since I am usually designing one-shot sessions or activities rather than a whole programme, I found Beetham’s model looking at learners, outcomes, environment and other people (quoted in JISC, 2009) and the AUTC Framework (Resources, Tasks, Supports) helpful. I also try to look at each activity or session I plan through Brookfield’s 4 lenses - looking at my design not just through my own eyes but also from a student perspective, through peer feedback and in the context of the literature on information literacy.
Macdonald (2008)’s concepts of Developing e-investigators, developing e-writers, and developing e-communicators and collaborators, are extremely relevant to my context and indeed developing e-investigators, and information literacy, are my daily teaching and learning bread and butter – which makes me rather disappointed that Macdonald could get through an entire chapter on this topic without once mentioning or suggesting liaison with the local expert on the subject, an academic or subject librarian! (what happened to collaboration with peers?...)
All these reflections come together in a quote from the JISC (2009, p.12) report on online learning, regarding online activity design (my emphases):
“Educational theory can help to define approaches that ought to work; educational research can help to describe approaches that seem to work, but only a skilled and reflective practitioner can decide which approach will work best in a given context. The complex art of choosing the best approach is termed ‘design for learning’.”