Topic outline

  • Introduction

    Teaching in the Virtual Environment

    This course will develop knowledge and skills in producing virtual learning environments for schools and organizations. Dimensions of blended learning will be explored from kindergarten through adult, distance learning, web-based training, constructivist and flexible approaches to learning at educational institutions, at home and in the workplace. 

    Infrastructure topics will include delivery systems, content management, standards, proprietary versus open source software, the applicability of virtual worlds to education, and the constraints upon the successful production of a blended learning environment.

    Pedagogy and best practice topics will include the facilitation of social constructivism, the evaluation and use of learning objects, the alignment of assessment and learning activities with desired learning outcomes, the application of the SOLO taxonomy to writing outcomes and assessment, the management of online discussions, the building of communities of practice, and the design and delivery of blended learning activities.

    Course Intended Learning Outcomes - at the end of this course, students will be able to:

    • Synthesize and apply current literature on best practice to the evaluation of a variety of virtual learning activities and environments.
    • Evaluate, analyzeand apply current pedagogical theory and best practice relevant to the development and management of a virtual learning environment.

    • Design, implement, and manage a virtual learning environment intended to address specific learning needs within a selected context, based on current theory and best practice.

    • Critically evaluate and reflect upon theories, practice, content and concepts learned in this course.

    Course Assessment

    20% - Formative activities (online discussion of lectures, readings and projects, online glossary)

    20% - Learning Portfolio (cumulative reflection blog) - 温故而知新,可以为师矣。

    60% - Project (design / implement / manage a blended learning Moodle course in your own context)


  • Session 1 - Introduction to eLearning

    Session 1 - Introduction to eLearning

    Unit Aims
    • Review the course agenda
    • Introduction to key concepts and issues
    • What makes a good discussion?
    • Develop groups and commence interaction with Moodle
    • Why use Blended Learning?
    • Commence online discussion of topics, learn participation-based peer-assessment methodology

    Intended Learning Outcomes - after this unit, students should be able to:

    • list and describe factors affecting eLearning
    • list typical VLE functions and relate them to PBL
    • list the advantages of eAssessment and explain why formative activities are popular with students
    • reflect on concepts learned and exposure to other opinions
    Files: 7URLs: 8Choices: 2Chat: 1Wiki: 1Forums: 2
  • Session 2 - Introduction to Moodle and eLearning Design

    Session 2 - Introduction to Moodle and eLearning Design

    Unit Aims

    • What is Moodle? What are its advantages?
    • How could you use Moodle to create an e-Learning environment?
    • Could learning to use Moodle alter your pedagogy? In what ways?
    • What are ILOs?   What are the three "domains of knowledge"?
    • Why care about writing good ILOs?
    • How does the SOLO taxonomy help scaffold learning?

    Learning Outcomes - after this unit, students should be able to:

    • list the advantages of Moodle over other LMSs
    • compare Moodle to other LMSs
    • hypothesize about using Moodle in their own teaching context
    • define ILOs and classify domains of knowledge
    • explain why well-written ILOs can improve the learning environment
    • identify the "sinister 16" internal verbs
    • identify the five SOLO levels and relate them to progressively complex student understanding
    • reflect on concepts learned and exposure to other opinions

    Files: 3URLs: 7Pages: 3Chats: 2Wiki: 1Forums: 3Folder: 1
  • Session 3 - eLearning Design and Theory

    Session 3 - eLearning Design and Theory

    Unit Aims

    • Review the pedagogical principles needed to develop sound eLearning environments
    • Review the characteristics and elements needed to support a theoretical framework for your eLearning environment
    • Investigate the concept of ‘Learning Designs’

    Learning outcomes: at the end of this unit, students should be able to:

    • compare and contrast Instructivism and Constructivism and how these Learning Theories affect pedagogy and use of ICT in education
    • identify examples of these learning theories in this course, and relate them to TLA design
    • compare and contrast TLAs in a blended learning environment to F2F, and relate the affordances of blended learning TLAs to ILO design
    • apply understanding of Learning Theory frameworks by identifying examples of concepts in a cartoon (Agent OSO) and describing how they are being used for education
    • analyze other cartoons for use of Learning Theories, identify and relate how concepts are being used for education
    • hypothesize and then apply Learning Design by generating unit-level ILOs and assignment ATs in their eLearning course design
    • describe and analyze key concepts from the Reading #3 and relate them to Biggs' concept of aligned system of instruction
    • reflect upon what they have learned about relating Learning Theories and Learning Design to the design of blended learning environments
    Pages: 3URLs: 27Files: 2Chats: 3Forums: 2Wiki: 1
  • Session 4 - eLearning Design and Management

    Session 4 - eLearning Design and Management

    Unit Aims

    • introduction to the P3 Model of eLearning design
    • issues and solutions involved in managing eLearning environments - the Seven Principles
    • designing and implementing formative and summative assessment activities

    Learning outcomes: at the end of this unit, students should be able to:

    • analyze the P3 Model of eLearning design, compare to their own design process experience
    • reflect upon their design process experience, describe their cycle of evaluation
    • analyze the seven Principles of eLearning Management, compare to their own experience
    • hypothesize about applying these principles to their own eLearning course designs
    • describe and justify the learning activities they have already incorporated which exemplify "Good Practice"
    • within their own eLearning course contexts, design and create formative and summative assessment activities
    • reflect on concepts learned and exposure to other opinions
    • review and reflect on the previous learning session, collaborate with groupmates to analyze and develop reflection which demonstrates qualitative levels of SOLO understanding
      URLs: 15Files: 11Chats: 2Forums: 2Wiki: 1
    • Session 5 - eLearning Quality Assurance

      Session 5 - eLearning Quality Assurance

      Unit Aims

      • Develop students understanding of what quality means in eLearning.
      • Enable students to make judgements about quality in eLearning.
      • Have students apply quality standards to their own eLearning courses.

      Learning Outcomes - after this unit, students should be able to:

      • Describe what quality means for an eLearning course.
      • Critically compare different quality standards and make a judgement about which standards have the greatest utility for judging eLearning developments.
      • Apply quality standards to an eLearning course and evaluate the course relative to the standards.
      • Reflect on concepts learned and exposure to other opinions.

      Files: 8URLs: 10Chat: 1Quiz: 1Wiki: 1Forums: 2
    • Session 6: Managing online communication

      Session 6 - Online Session: Managing online communication

      Unit Aims

      • What is CMC? Features? Theoretical Frameworks?
      • Explore CMC assessment criteria based on the SOLO taxonomy
      • Incorporate forum assessment into student eLearning courses

      Learning Outcomes - after this unit, students should be able to:

      • classify and analyze what CMC is, compare different types
      • analyze transactional communication in relation to other factors
      • relate terms to the features, theoretical framework, and management issues of CMC
      • design discussion forums to host CMC in their eLearning courses
      • follow the procedure of adding discussion forums to their eLearning courses
      • develop appropriate discussion forum topics for their eLearning courses
      • apply their understanding of the SOLO taxonomy levels of understanding to assess example CMC posts, and produce and analyze CMC posts in their own eLearning course context
      • hypothesize appropriate CMC assessment techniques for their eLearning courses
      • reflect on their learning about learning as a social system and CMC
      URLs: 10Pages: 4Chats: 2Files: 4Wiki: 1Forums: 2
    • Session 7: Leveraging Technology & the Social Web for Learning

      Session 7 - Online SessionLeveraging Technology & the Social Web for Learning

      Unit Aims

      • What is a Learning Object?   Characteristics?
      • What is a learning object repository?   Access and use?
      • How to leverage technology to create engaging and sustainable learning activities?
      • How is Web 2.0 different?
      • How to create a constructive alignment diagram?

      Learning Outcomes - after this unit, students should be able to:

      • identify a Learning Object and list the important characteristics

      • identify and relate the constructivist perspective to the design of engaging and sustainable learning activities

      • compare and analyze the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0

      • relate Web 2.0 affordances to social negotiation of knowledge, and hypothesize about application to project courses

      • follow the procedures for designing and developing their own eLearning courses

      • identify characteristics and hypothesize how to create a constructive alignment diagram for their own course context

      • reflect on concepts learned and exposure to other opinions

      Chats: 3URLs: 22Files: 4Forums: 2
    • Session 8 - The future of eLearning

      Session 8 - ONLINE SESSION - The future of eLearning

      Unit Aims

      • Distance Learning technologies
      • What is Open Learning?
      • envisioning the future of educational technology

      Learning outcomes: at the end of this unit, students should be able to:

      • list and compare the affordances of various distance learning technologies
      • relate their affordances to hypothesize about an impact on the learning experience
      • identify characteristics of Open Learning, hypothesize about potential impact on education
      • relate Open Learning to this course, and hypothesize about how Open Learning could affect the learning experience of students in project courses
      • identify and describe interesting future technologies, research for applicable resources online, generate opinions about affordances based on those resources, and hypothesize about affects on student educational experience
      • within their own eLearning project course contexts, design and create a course outline
      • reflect on concepts learned and exposure to other opinions
      Chats: 4Choices: 3URLs: 13Pages: 2File: 1Forums: 2