TEL Communities

Helen Caldwell and Anna Cox | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
TEL Communities
Definitions: Theoretical background relevant to technology facilitated social learning
Research evidence: Systematic literature reviews on the theme of technology facilitated social learning

Technology Outdoors MOOC structure

Course navigation imageThe use of the LearnDash plugin meant that the course had a clear structure with four weekly themes, each containing 7 units. The first 5 units began with an introductory video, followed by a case study, lesson plan and Padlet of examples.

A high proportion of visual content and videos introducing the MOOC units helped the authors to capture their ideas and share them with an international audience. This made the ideas more accessible and set a precedent for how to share examples from practice in the online community accompanying the online course. After browsing the content, participants moved on to units 6 and 7, which encouraged them to reflect and share in the online community.

The Teaching with Tablets MOOC was multi-modal in both the way content was shared as well as within the material produced and shared by participants. This sets it apart from the other online MOOCs currently available. The visual nature of digital artefacts both drew in and inspired other participants resulting in a community of practice developing quickly for a core group of users.

Example unit from the Art in the Environment week:

Technology outdoors introduction video link

Wild writing video link

There was a balance of talking and doing in the course design, with 4 weekly themes each with 7 units asking participants to browse, reflect and share. Multimodality was important given the international audience and authors, and also in the light of the theme and context. Visual examples showed technology tools in action, together with examples of digital artifacts as a prompt for transfer of ideas to practice. The structure gives our learning community a life cycle, as a cohort engages with the materials and moves through the process of talking, reflecting and doing together. Pace and mutual engagement are important in order to create a responsive and fertile online community.