Deeply dippy


This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Moira Maley 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #16776


      Approaches to learning in relation to online learning

    How might we encourage “deep learning” in online contexts?
    The “Deep Learning Approach” is defined as:

    To understand ideas for yourself.

    Transforming by:
    • Relating ideas to previous knowledge and experience
    • Looking for patterns and underlying principles
    • Checking evidence and relating it to conclusions
    • Examining logic and argument cautiously and critically
    • Becoming actively interested in the course content

    So back to the question how do we encourage this type of learning in online courses?

    After the webinar with Dr Panos Vlachopoulos, lots of ideas and concepts for online learning were discussed and this got me thinking back to wiki based and webinar learning projects that I have set up in the past for CPD (Continuing professional development) students.

    During the course each participant was given their own individual learning “wiki” site on the VLE, on this site the student would be set an individual “learning activity question” relating to the overall topic. They would then view topic research paper links that would be provided and a list of other resources, they were encouraged to search out for themselves either online or via the library. Once their research was complete they would post their results within a set time frame and present their findings on their individual wiki site, including references, images and a write up. This part of the wiki site was only viewable by themselves and their tutor. Participants also had access to a group collaborative discussion board. Along with this individual wiki site write up, to complete the task successfully the participant would present their evidence, findings and a generalised conclusion at a rate of one student per week, whereby the selected student would lead and the rest of the participants would view their session via adobe connect. (Video conferencing software similar to the OCTEL webinar platform’s blackboard collaborate).

    Looking back on this approach I feel that it has met the “deep learning” criteria, due to encouraging understanding of the topic, encouraging expression and views based on prior experience, helps participants search for principles and patterns of evidence, and back these up with relevant research and findings. This process also helps examine student logic.

    On reflection I feel this example of online learning activity is effectively staff guided within an online framework for the participants to use, but essentially student lead as their understanding of the topics discussed and conclusions reached was wide and varied. There were a number of support mechanisms in place, so that the dreaded feeling of being alone was not encountered, support was provided via a dedicated discussion board a weekly webinar session that was staff lead and via email.

    This process will form part of my response to the other activities this week.

    I would welcome any feedback on the points that I have raised.

    This post is replicated on my blog site here:

  • #16888


    This sounds like a good way of scaffolding deep learning online: thanks for the useful example. I’m interested to hear whether or not this activity generated much peer interaction and peer learning: was there much activity in the group discussion board, or on other social media outside the VLE? Did the videoconferenced presentations elecit much discussion? I was intereststed to read in @mhawksey‘s twet this week about, which maps online interactions; this has me thinking about how interatctions work in online learning communities. I like the supported autonomy you allow students in this activity: this aligns well with one of the key messages from this week’s webinar by Pano Vlachopolous.

    • #17211


      Hello thanks to you both @garyvear + @C.collis for your feedback.

      The cohort(s) did interact quite successfully through using the discussion board built into the VLE, the tasks were well received and there were lots of chitter-chatter posts along with cohort catch-ups with other colleagues where they had worked together previously.

      External interaction was initially fostered using Twitter, but this was not as well used and was eventually dropped as the group(s) felt that topics discussed were better catered for internally using the VLE discussion features, there was also concern over privacy of using Twitter for posting responses. This is not to say that for some subjects or other groups that Twitter may not have worked equally as well. We did think about using Facebook too and approaching this activity again this is an avenue that I would now follow up on.

      The Video conferenced sessions were equally received and attended the only difficulty (other than technical glitches) was with time zone differences making it tough-er for some of the participants to interact, but this was helped by moving the time slots to accommodate when necessary.

  • #17018

    Gary Vear

    Hi Glenn

    I too would be interested to know about the participation levels on the group discussion and whether the participants utilised other forms of communication (eg. twitter?) more often than the forum.

    I think wiki/webinar based projects can be extremely useful, however my concern is that they are very much a dedicated HE/ Adult learner centred course. How could we incorporate the ideology of the interactive course to other levels?


  • #17238


    @Gary Vear I think to adopt the same or similar features to “other” users or within business without using wiki sites but say Facebook or Moodle etc, is really best by trial, feedback and improvement. I know this approach is not always available to use, but from past experience working with small groups very closely at the start of a project, listening and trying to meet their needs then rolling out on a larger scale has worked well for me personally. Thats not to say the the feedback and improvement avenues are then closed but listened to carefully and changes or adaptations made as required.

    • #17333


      You’re dealing with several interesting issues here; one of which is interaction.  Particularly when learning is fully online, interaction with the course leader(s) and other participants can be very helpful.  Perhaps this especially helps the surface learners or the strategic learners?

      I recently read a series of blog posts about teaching and learning online (  I’d expected it to be more about tools and techniques (which is why I started reading); however,  the author’s main thrust across the series was how to create an effective social dynamic online, thereby fostering trust, cross cultural understanding and incentive to participate.

  • #18322


    Thanks for the link @ Vanessa

  • #18460

    Moira Maley

    Yeah – and to me Tara’s concluding point that: “Teaching online is both completely different and absolutely the same as teaching in a classroom”  says it all.

    The online dilemma for most teachers who are starting to adopt technology is familiarity with it and confidence in it. They are confident in their f2f skills and so can manage new students OK with those.

    A double whammy is when students are also technology starters. Both parties feel uncertain.

    So @glenn‘s planning/design and balanced modular implementation paid off.

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