Creative use of learning platform tools
Radboud has used D2L Brightspace across the university since September 2018. Accordingly, Anne looked at how the tools of the learning platform could be put to creative use to deliver an engaging course for students studying from home.
Anne says: “We wanted to take a team-based learning approach. The assignments leading up to the final assessment were always done in groups and we didn’t want to lose that collaboration. With online learning, we understood the importance of having interaction touchpoints, but also the ability to support self-directed learning. We set out to equip students with the materials they’d need to prepare for lectures, seminars and other interactions.”
The course was structured through D2L Brightspace with student schedules that outlined a clear timeline and expectations. Students self-served, reading uploaded literature and viewing recorded knowledge clips to prepare for online lectures. During lectures, breakout rooms helped students to collaborate.
Before the first lecture, students prepared a vlog or poster that they uploaded to the platform and used to introduce themselves to the rest of the class. To ensure active learning they took quizzes to test their knowledge, first individually and then as a group. Discussion forums enabled peer learning and provided a vehicle for students to put questions to the lecturer. Students created their assignments in the platform and shared their content to discuss with each other.
“The quizzes and assignments created a dynamic learning environment and the range of tools kept students interested,” says Anne. “It was a cohesive programme—each tool fulfilled a specific job and helped students learn independently, together, and from the lecturer.”
“Teaching and learning online requires its own approach. At Radboud, we have faculty-wide discussions on how to plan and deliver courses.” — Anne Sadza, Communication Science Lecturer, Radboud University
It’s an approach that affirmed Anne’s belief in making full use of the learning platform to maximise engagement and deliver a rewarding learning experience. “Get creative!” says Anne. “Don’t use the learning platform just as a content repository.”