You are here

An Online Learning Model Underpinning Institution Wide Quality Enhancement

Charles Sturt University (CSU), Australia’s largest online Higher Education provider, has designed a new Online Learning Model underpinning a major institution-wide quality enhancement initiative. The u!magine digital learning laboratory has taken a lead role in designing and implementing the Model supported by a team of 20 designers and developers. The Model aims to increase engagement while maintaining the flexibility demanded by online students. Following pilot testing, evaluation and refinement, phase one implementation is underway in 190 subjects within CSU’s largest courses. This presentation will provide an overview of the Model, the implementation process, and design features of early example subjects.

Abstract
Charles Sturt University (CSU), Australia’s largest online Higher Education provider is implementing a new Online Learning Model to address student demand for connected learning experiences that harness the affordances of online and mobile technologies. The u!magine digital learning innovation laboratory is leading this institution wide quality enhancement initiative supported by a team of 20 designers and developers.

The Model aims to increase learner-teacher, learner-learner, learner-content, learner-community and learner-institution engagement and includes the following seven elements:
•    Learning Communities,
•    Interaction Between Students,
•    Teacher Presence,
•    Interaction with the Professions,
•    Flexible and Adaptive Learning,
•    Interactive Resources, and
•    e-Assessment.

An Online Learning Exchange has been developed, which, as well as providing supporting literature and elaborating on each element, suggests a series of research supported strategies found to be successful for engaging students and supporting learning. The Exchange also provides Academic staff and Educational Designers with rich media exemplars of the Model, showing the multitude of ways in which the elements of the model can be interpreted and enacted. A feature of the Exchange is the ‘Mixer’ that draws upon the metaphor of a sound mixing board to convey the idea that obtaining the right mix of elements requires a degree of creativity in drawing upon the curriculum needs of the course while being sensitive to the student cohort’s pedagogical needs.

Following workshopping of the initial version of the Model with 200+ staff members, pilot testing and evaluation in 28 subjects, and consultation with senior leaders from the largest Online Education providers in North America, the UK and Europe, a refined version of the Model is currently being implemented in 190 subjects within 8 of CSU’s largest courses.

This presentation will describe the Model and the implementation process and will draw on example subjects to demonstrate some of the key design features and emergent innovations.