This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Considering change options

Home Forums Keeping on Track (Week 9) Why things go wrong (Activity 9.0) Considering change options

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #4781

    I’m using a course I worked on last year, designing 2 modules introducing digital marketing to mature students on a part-time basis, and helping them to use a portfolio to try to develop their employability. Presentation describing more about this course here:


    – flexibility provided for mature part-time students through the technology

    – coaching worked for the most part in terms of the paths of the students beyond the course.

    – formative feedback worked especially an option to resubmit items marked as not completed (reason given) a week later (but that could just be seen as nagging…)

    – persuading learners to experiment with different social media/learn new digital literacy skills

    – provided them with resources and strategies for their own content creation that they did use

    – community of practice through involving visiting or Skype lecturers was created

    – Course Facebook group (optional participation marks) was utilised well (still running a year later though of couse the usage has dropped off a bit).

    – most group work except for pair work mainly due to the students’ other commitments

    – small minority of students with major issues around the privacy element of using social media to complete assessments

    – problems caused by the other modules on the course overrunning

    – in general people find Internet analytics and adwords hard to grasp and do yet these are crucial as well as being the most “employable” skills.

    – Blackboard interface and technology issues such as students personal laptops failing

    – Industry links (due to geography – the employers are not in our region…)

    – blogging: fear of writing publicly (despite starting small and privately/low stakes then moving towards more public and higher stakes options)

    – stress on me/my time

    – inordinate time taken sorting out things like computer lab bookings/passwords.


    ]What could have been done to mitigate?

    Not a lot and that’s the reality for most teachers at the moment.


    – The content had to be written on the fly.

    – There was no budget.

    – There were human issues that I’m not going to go into in public.

    – I had no say in the entry requirements for the course.


    In that situation, after clarifying that the constraints were unlikely to improve the following year, what I did was change jobs, and try to improve my skills for future opportunities.


    I did a three day project management course. I paid for it myself and it was one of the best pieces of business training I’ve ever done (take a bow Pat Lucey). Like the webinar, it majored on stakeholder analysis and risk management but also – not yet covered – on documentation of the project and the importance of the closing and review stages, having a project board and a project charter.


    Closing the project includes getting your stakeholder’s approval of any changes that were made during the project, and confirming the needs of the sponsor, customers (learners) and stakeholders. I think going back to the stakeholders is a stage that is often omitted… due to lack of time/institutional issues.


    I’m trying to learn a lot more about planning group work better using technology. I have more development plans but I’m guessing we’ll be asked about those in the final two weeks of the course so I’m not going to go into those now.
    I’d avoid using Blackboard entirely if I could another time…

    Helen Crump

    Hi Imogen

    I enjoyed reading your post and I especially liked the action you took on evaluating the  experience – change jobs. I was also interested to hear of some students’ reluctance to blog and participate in social media. I wonder, did this prevent them from completing the course or achieving the desired outcomes?



    They all did it in the end (and some were excellent) but a lot of cajoling was required in a few cases… Most teachers are used to writing most days for a public audience. Many learners, particularly mature learners returning to education, are not. They can find the process confusing, painful and uncomfortable at first. I designed the course with low-stakes small posts of one or two paragraphs to start with (initially only visible to the tutor) and ending up with a full public “eportfolio” aimed at future employers. We should remember when designing blog assignments that we are unusual as a group in the amount of public writing that we do and our familiarity with drafting and publishing generally…

    By the way your blog looks lovely, Helen and is very interesting – I’m sure we’ll probably cross paths face to face via NUIG/CELT or ILTA one of these days…

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • The topic ‘Considering change options’ is closed to new replies.