Week Two: Learning Outcomes #FlemingBlends

Week Two sounded simple by its title but we considered it to be the most important one for building the foundation of each redesign project. Our learning outcomes workshops follow a simple rule:

With the ABCD rule in mind we worked in small groups to rewrite and refine the learning outcomes for each participants course. We wrote and edited as a group until each person was satisfied with their learning objectives.

Again a simple format, a seemingly simple exercise; but it had major impact and lasting implications for each of us.

Week 1: Overview and Analysis #flemingblends

Above is the overview for Week 1. The emphasis for this week was to remind them that this course was about redesign, not tinkering or fixing a current course but redesigning with the intention to put part of their course online. We were going to focus on what the online environment would look like AS WELL as plan for their face-to-face sessions with their learners.

We started with the participants sharing who their learners were, an overview of the course itself and how it has been taught previously, as well as what their initial redesign plans were.

Here is a summary of what was shared in week 1:

1. Career and Workplace Essentials: Currently delivered to our Natural Resource students at our Frost campus. It is a communications course that students take in their second semester. The plan for initial redesign is to allow the students to do their self-assessments online instead of in the classroom.

2. Supervision (Hospitality Program): This is a 4th semester course in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program. Most of the students in the program are working while attending school. Blended learning would suit this group of learners and would free-up class time for more time for applying skills they need to use in their workplace immediately.

3. Hair Removal (Esthetician Program): This is a first semester course. Putting content regarding theory online will free up more class-time for practice before they work in the campus spa in semester two.

4. Auditing (Business Administration - Accounting): This is 6th semester course in a 3 year program. Accountants need to work, learn and thrive independently. They are good candidates for online learning. Idea is to put the lecture content online in order to come to class understanding the procedures required. Class time will be spent in case-based and problem-based learning.

5. Field Experience Preparation for Occupational Therapist Assistants and Physiotherapy Assistants (OTA/PTA program): This is a 2nd semester course to help prepare students for their first field placement. The plan for this course is to allow students to complete some training and competencies online to schedule more time for shadow sessions with therapists, field trips, etc., Topics or competencies to go online are: health & safety, infection control etc.,

6. All of Third Semester Forestry - This has been a work in progress for the past two years. Instead of offering individual courses in third semester the faculty have been working on an integrated plan for teaching and learning. The approach has been to have ‘one course’ with many modules so that students see and demonstrate that their ‘course work’ is all connected. Course has the following formula: Work in teams, get their ‘project on a Thursday’ and present the next Wednesday. Every week is setup this way to develop a work routine: collect, record, analyze and present. This approach has real-world application. With this modular design students must pass each component of the course to pass the year. Key concepts are highlighted online leaving more time and space for field work and presentations. Special emphasis on the course Forest Ecology and Silvics as this is also part of the Urban Forestry Program.


7. Emergency Management (Post-Grad Certificate): The whole program (2 semesters) could benefit from a Blended format redesign but they are concentrating on ‘Emergency managment Continuity Standards”. Key skills of these grades are critical thinking and professinalism. The certificate is basically “How to make good decisions in an emergency situation”. The initial plan is to make good use of the online space to make documentation available and key concepts and allow for case-based learning in the classroom.

8. Legal Research and Writing (Law Clerk and Paralegal program): Learners need to be able to apply and communicate about legal legislation. There are lots of components that make sense to make available online to the learners so that they are able to spend the time in class applying what they have learned in cases, scenarios etc.,

9. Preparation for Placement Course - Adjustments and Duty Relief: Students have to practice, practice, practice how to do these procedures before they go on placement. Theory will be delivered online and class time will be used for scenarios and practice.

10. Psychology of Sport: This course is a mandatory General Education Elective in the Recreation and Leisure Services Program. Learners take this course in their first semester. The initial plan for redesign would be to put the theory and prepatory work online and allow for more time for case-based learning in class.

11. Environmental Issues for Industry (General Education Elective): This is a mandatory Gen. Ed. in first semester for our Skilled Trades programs. The goal of the redesign is to make the course more accessible, transcend geographical boundaries and delve into tensions between global and local interests and issues.

12. Forest Ecology and Silvics (Urban Forestry): Goal of the redesign is to make the course more accessible to learners working in the field of urban forestry. Needs to make appropriate use of online and face-to-face, with the f2f being offered in a compressed or weekend format.

13. Aabnormal Psychology (General Education Elective - SOCI 001): This course is a mandatory Gen. Ed. for the Drug and Alcohol Counselling program. Learners need to understand the different approaches to mental health issues and be able to apply them appropriately. Learners need to understand the approaches and practice modelling complex skills.

14. Drug Distribution Process: This program is 3rd semester course in the Pharmacy Technician program. These learners are young and require lots of practice in the lab, especially in regards to lab safety. Redesigning the course will allow for more time to be spent in the lab with hands-on learning.

15. Professionalism in Pharmacy: This is a 1st semester course in the Pharmacy Technician program. As mentioned these learners tend to be a younger audience and this 1st semester course provides them with practice and information about the professional conduct required in their role in a pharmacy or lab setting. Students will be blogging and learning about their use of social media and how it helps to inform their professional online reputation.

We have a wide variety of courses participating in this project and have faculty from all of Fleming’s academic schools except for Skilled Trades and Technology who were unavailable at this time.

Our second week will have us focusing on the course learning outcomes and their importance as the foundation for learning and assessment.

Getting caught up… #flemingblends

Now that our 7 weeks of #flemingblends has finished I have time to complete and post about our weeks of learning and creating.

The 7 weeks were busy ones so I only had a chance to document, take pics and write draft posts… this week I’ll post what we learned… stay tuned!!

The start of something new… #flemingblends

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything in this space, its not that I didn’t want to or that I didn’t have anything to share but because my intention for this space had changed. It wasn’t a place to just share resources and links about different ‘edtech’ tools and I think I got stuck for a bit…

But now… a new intention… a new focus…

2014 started with an idea and a commitment to develop a course that would provide context for our faculty. It could help them gain experience in a blended learning environment as a LEARNER. In this experience they would ALSO redesign a course to be delivered in a blended learning format WITH their own students. WE were going learn as a cohort/community of learners.

Four of us in our Centre for Learning and Teaching worked together using the templates and tools we were going to use with the faculty to create this blended learning ‘course’ that was eventually named the “Blended Course Project”. Terry Greene (my very awesome colleague) and I got started on this early in the new year and came up with our framework. We were then joined with our two curriculum consultants Kris McBride and Wendy Morgan and we worked together to develop the learning outcomes, materials, and activities for the course.

Our main tool for collaboration was a Google Drive folder and a series of templates that we had found based on conversations and work with our sister colleges. We decided to use a workbook that was beautifully designed by the curriculum unit at Georgian College and repurposed it for our own context with permission. Our little development team used a google docs version of the workbook to create the learning outcomes, learning objectives, resources and the module layout for each of the 7 modules. We have shared our completed workbook with the faculty as well as other completed templates so they can see completed examples (how can you ask them to use design/development tools if you haven’t used them yourself :).

The first two weeks are very structured to get us started on the redesign process. The final 4 weeks are mostly ready to go but we anticipate needing to add and adjust what we are doing based on our learner needs. Our final week will be spent showcasing the redesigned courses and celebrating our work.

We have a pattern in our modules of introducing the topic, providing them with some pre-work to do before they come to the face to face session. The intention of the pre-work is to help them ‘dig in’ with the redesign process. There is lots of opportunity to interact with each other and with the facilitators. We are also using twitter so if you are interested, please follow and feel free to join the conversation via the hashtag #flemingblends.

On Friday we kicked off the ‘course’ (I really want to refer to it as an experience) with a group of 16 faculty who represent 5 out of 6 academic schools at the college.

It was a two hour face to face session where the group (including the 4 facilitators) worked together to come up with what resulted in our 6 rules/keys to success for our course/experience:

It was a very active and fun exercise that we hope provided them with an example of what they could do with their own learners to help them get started with the right frame of mind for learning in their blended learning courses.

For the next 7 weeks we will be working together towards the end goal of redesigning 15 courses to be ready for delivery in the 2014-2015 academic year. Each faculty has 100 hours of release (we have a pair of faculty working together on one course who are splitting the release hours – which is a great idea).

Our course schedule is:

Week 1: Overview and Analysis
Week 2: Learning Outcomes and Course Blueprint
Week 3: Your first module
Week 4: Evaluate, Revise, Design
Week 5: Student Success
Week 6: Course Outline
Week 7: Getting Ready

We will meet every Wednesday to share back, work together and push each other forward. Each Wednesday session will be spent in the learning space and a lab.

This is where I’ll share the story of our experience…

Stay tuned…. and please, if you have any advice or questions… you know where to find us… #flemingblends

My lesson for today from my 8 year old :)

I was Inspired to start using SocialCam by Rodd Lucier @thecleversheep and Darren Kuropatwa @dkuropatwa :)