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Online Interactive Activities to Avoid Death by Powerpoint

Speaker
Mr Ghaith Zakaria, Dr Sonia Wilkie

Victoria University

Abstract

The traditional mode of delivering content to students via face-to-face lectures is one that has been extensively employed at many universities. However, staff at Victoria University raised concerns that this teaching method was no longer suiting

the cohort of students. Attendance to the lectures declined over time, whilst attendance to tutorials and practical classes remained consistently high. These observations align with studies (Freeman et al., 2014) which suggest that the lecture delivery method is ineffective, does not engage students in their learning, and results in poorer student outcomes than active learning experiences.

With these factors in mind, it was decided to transform the curriculum with a design focusing on greater flexibility for teaching and learning, whilst enabling students to learn at their own Pace, Place, and Mode. A blended learning model was adopted and the lecture delivery format was replaced with active learning workshops. One method that was used to deliver the theoretical and technical content previously delivered by the lectures, was the use of Online Interactive Activities with the H5P Toolkit. These activities provided engaging active learning experiences, which could be used as pre-class or in-class activities. Examples of the variety of activities that were developed for use as active learning experiences include Interactive multimedia with Guest Speakers, Case study scenarios, interactive technical demonstrations, 360° virtual lab tours (both videos and still images, that include hotspots, roll- over information, animated .gifs, quizzes), Interactive Diagrams with clickable hotspots and drag & drop activities; templated note-taking study guides; and check your knowledge quizzes.  Student access to the online learning space, activities, time spent on the space, their progress and results were all measured, in addition to gaining student feedback of their opinion of the online interactive activities. These results were compared with the previous mode of delivery (purely face-to-face lecturing with support material provided online). Analysis of the results indicate that student pass rate and retention increased, with positive feedback from both staff and students.  Examples of the activities as well as the qualitative and quantitative analyses on student and academic impact will be presented at the conference.