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Assignment 2: Analysis & Scoping

Stuart Anderson

How?

References

Intro

What?

Why?

Who?

The Who of Learning

Commentary

Student A

Student B

The Why of Learning

Business Problem

Commentary

Learning Gap

Learning Outcomes

The What of Learning

5

Commentary

Designing Academic presentations

Understanding Reflective Thinking

Researching Assignments

Planning Argumentative Essays

Introducing and Concluding Research

Referring to Sources

Structuring Arguments

Understanding Academic Writing Conventions

1

Course Introduction

Delivering Academic Presentations

2

3

9

4

10

6

7

5

8

The How of Learning

Mode of Delivery

Building Blocks and Formats

Learning Flow

Commentary

Building Block and Formats

Assessment and Feedback

Facilitation Technique

Formative feedback: Quizzes and ePortifolios

Summative assessment: essay and presentation

Virtual classroom

Content

Self-managed multimedia eLearning

Building Block and Formats

Content

Pre-class content is a mixture of text, video, audio, visuals, and interactive exercises within a multimedia eLearning course

Assessment and Feedback

Formative assessment is an ePortifolio submission using OneNote class notebook

Facilitation Technique

Facilitation consists of a live virtual 2-hour class

Content

Pre-class content is a mixture of text, video, audio, visuals, and interactive exercises within a multimedia eLearning course

Sample: Module 6

Learning Flow: Semester 1 Weeks 1-5

Week 3

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 4

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 5

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 2

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 1

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Live virtual classroom

ePortifolios

Live virtual classroom

Live virtual classroom

Live virtual classroom

Live virtual classroom

Learning Flow: Semester 1 Weeks 6-10

Week 8

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 9

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 10

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 7

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

ePortifolios

Week 6

Live physical classroom

Quiz

Multimedia eLearning

Multimedia eLearning

Live virtual classroom

ePortifolios

Live virtual classroom

Live virtual classroom

Live virtual classroom

Live virtual classroom

Learning Flow: Semester 2 Week 1

Essay

Presentation

As with the learning outcomes, the modular framework was influenced by a need to adopt a bottom-up approach. Therefore, the topics within each lesson represent important sub-skills that are necessary for the students progress and had to be included. These were then grouped according to main, overarching skills to form the basis of each lesson. The topics themselves were reduced from ten to the recommended six topics per module to avoid overwhelming learners, which has been a problem in the past. With regards the sequence, topics and skills primarily associated with writing constitute modules 2-7 because the essay is the more substantial assessment in terms of time, work, and weighting. These are followed in modules 8-10 by presentation skills because the content follows on from essay since the majority of the sub-skills learned in modules 2-7 are also required for this assessment.

Business Problem

The university relies heavily on the income generated from the tuition fees for international students, particularly postgraduates. However, many of these students lack the academic skills necessary to succeed on their degree programmes. To avoid large numbers of failing students, which would reflect negatively on the university's reputation, many departments encourage their students to attend academic skills and English language classes. This course is unique in that it is a credit-bearing module on an MSc Chemistry, and this indicates the level of importance placed by the Chemistry department on the need for strong academic skills. This is a result of past issues with international students struggling with scientific writing and the demands of this Master's degree, which provides essential income for the department. The department also encourages students to remain at the university for PhD studies and research should they graduate, and this also provides vital income.

Module 4

Module 9

  1. to plan an outline for a research-based argumentative essay.
  2. to select and critique reliable academic sources.
  3. to apply academic conventions in their research writing.
  4. to construct coherent arguments at sentence and essay-level.
  5. to use the Royal Society of Chemistry's referencing rules when citing sources.
  6. to author concise introductory and concluding paragraphs when writing up research.
  7. to appraise their own research using self-reflection.
  8. to design professional visual aids for presenting research to an academic audience.
  9. to use appropriate verbal and body language techniques when presenting research.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

Learning Outcomes

Module 3

Module 10

Blended Learning

The mode of delivery follows use the following sequence for weeks 2-10.Asynchronous: pre-class content via multimedia eLearmingSynchronous: live physical 2-hour classesAsynchronous: post-class content via multimedia eLearmingAssessment and feedback: ePortfolio.

Module 1

Personal Data

Name:

Technology Considerations:

Who is it?

Short Bio:

Perception of Digital Learning:

Barriers to Learning:

Main Goals and Drivers:

Digital Learning Preferences:

Technology

Goals and Aspirations

Yugi Sun

An intelligent and ambitious international student from China. She is studying in the UK to improve her English and further her career.

Age: 21 Degree: MSc Chemistry Location: Manchester Time at the University of Manchester: New student

  • Studying the programme in order to move to a PhD.
  • Keen to learn UK academic conventions and improve research writing skills.
  • Cultural drivers (family pressure).

  • New to UK higher education.
  • Little or no experience of asynchronous study.
  • Different cultural perspective on teaching and learning.

  • No previous engagement with digital learning.
  • Negative perception of blended mode of learning.

  • Access to personal laptop and campus PCs.
  • Uses 360 browser (Chinese) on laptop.
  • Uses an iPhone with UC browser (Chinese).

  • Social learning.
  • Written articles.
  • Preference for WeChat.
  • Uses ChatGPT for general internet queries and assistance with studies.

The University Centre for Academic English (UCAE) provides English language and academic skills support for students across all faculties within the University of Manchester. This support is provided via classroom tuition, multimedia eLearning, or a combination of both. Whilst many of UCAE's courses are optional for students, there are some which are credit-bearing modules on larger programmes. This analysis and scoping presentation is for one such course: a Research and Communication Skills module on an MSc Chemistry. This courses takes place over 10 weeks in Semester 1 of the academic year (October to December), with the final assessments submitted in the first week of Semester 2. The grades for these assessments then contribute to the students' overall grade for the Master's degree.

Module 8

Module 5

Learning Gap

Skill: Planning and writing argumentative essaysEntry level: No knowledge of planning and writing argumentative essaysTarget level: Level 6 (Create)Skill: Searching for informationEntry level: Level 2(Understand)Target level: Level 5(Evaluate)Skill: Academic Writing ConventionsEntry level: Level 1(Remember)Target level: Level 3 (Apply)Skill: Writing structureEntry level: No knowledge of advanced writing skillsTarget level: Level 6 (Create)Skill: Academic ReferencingEntry level: Level 1 (Remember)Target level: Level 3 (Apply)

Skill: Introducing and Concluding ResearchEntry level: No knowledge of the correct content for introductions and conclusions in academic writingTarget level: Level 6 (Create)Skill: Reflective thinkingEntry level: No knowledge of the applications of reflective thinking in researchTarget level: Level 5 (Evaluate)Skill: Professional visual aids for presentationsEntry level: Level 3 (Apply)Target level: Level 6 (Create)Skill: Presentation language and deliveryEntry level: Level 1 (Remember)Target level: Level 3 (Apply)

The following are the key skills or knowledge the students need to have acquired by the end of the course.

Module 7

Module 2

Armstrong, P. (2010). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/.CAST (2018). "Checkpoint 2.4: Promote understanding across languages". Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org.Stein, J., and C. R. Graham. (2013). Essentials for Blended Learning : A Standards-Based Guide. Taylor & Francis Group. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/manchester/detail.action?docID=1588647.Vaughan, N. D., Dell, D., Cleveland-Innes, M., and D. R. Garrison (2023). Principles of Blended Learning : Shared Metacognition and Communities of Inquiry (1st ed.). AU Press. Retrieved from https://www.aupress.ca/books/120324-principles-of-blended-learning/.W3C. (2023). "Technique G153: Making the text easier to read". Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/general/G153.

Two personas are included because the cohort usually consists of a mix of international students and British students. This means that, in terms of design considerations, it was important to analyse their different experiences with and attitudes towards digital learning. For example, Chinese students tend to be less familiar with tools such as VLEs, whereas British students use these throughout most of their education.

The How of learning is influenced by timetabling constraints and student expectations. Firstly, a departmental requirement for 20-hours of live teaching, combined with a considerable amount of content means that blended learning is the obvious choice since it can "fuse the distinct capabilities of synchronous and asynchronous communication" (Vaughan et al, 2023). Multimedia eLearning and live physical classrooms are the main formats used throughout the course. Multimedia resources are preferable since content can be chunked into more manageable chunks that will encourage the student to commit to the learning. The live classes are not only a requirement, but are important to review and reinforce independent study, to cover more complex topics that require a tutor's explanation, to answer questions, and to encourage collaboration and discussion. In terms of assessment and feedback, ePortfolios - using OneNote class notebooks - are the main source of formative feedback because "they can express both the breadth and depth of learning" and "the act of creating an ePortfolio itself can increase learning through reflection and revision", which are "both key components of learning" (Stein and Graham, 2013: 107). Finally, a linear path is the most appropriate learning flow because it "provides structure that can sequence content, activities, and assessment" that is easier for learners to follow (Stein and Graham, 2013: 163), especially international students who are more familiar with this approach. Overall, this process has enhanced my existing practice because it has taught me a more methodical and detailed approach to planning coures than I had used previously.

Personal Data

Name:

Technology Considerations:

Who is it?

Short Bio:

Perception of Digital Learning:

Barriers to Learning:

Main Goals and Drivers:

Digital Learning Preferences:

Technology

Goals and Aspirations

Sara White

A socially-concious and energetic graduate. She studied her undergraduate degree in Manchester, where she has decided to continue her postgraduate studies.

Age: 22Degree: MSc Chemistry Location: Manchester Time at the University of Manchester: 3 years

  • Studying the course to increase her employability.
  • Goal is to work in the private sector, not remain in academia.

  • Other subject-specific modules.
  • Research and assessment deadlines.
  • Part-time work.

  • Positive perception based on undergraduate studies.
  • Previous experience of university’s VLE (Blackboard).

  • Access to personal laptop and campus PCs.
  • Uses Firefox as main browser on laptop.
  • Use Chrome as browser on Android mobile phone.

  • Independent learning
  • Asynchronous materials
  • TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter user.
  • Video content

Module 6

The learning gap and outcomes were developed using a bottom-up approach, starting with the key skills and knowledge that the students need. Bloom's Taxonomy (Armstrong, 2010) was then used to identify target levels, entry levels, and the learning outcomes. For example, the following process was used to develop LO1, "to plan an outline for a research-based argumentative essay".Entry level: The students have no prior experience of planning and writing argumentative essays because this genre of academic writing is more common at postgraduate level.Target level: Students are learning to plan, research, and write a literature review, which requires the higher order thinking skills at level 6 of the taxonomy.The SMART model was also used to develop the outcomes because this is better suited to aims of this course than the ABCD model. For instance, LO1 the first outcome can be broken down in the following way.Specific: LO1 is written in unambiguous and concise language so students know what they need to study (argumentative writing genre) and to demonstrate (planning techniques).Measurable: the skill of 'planning' is observable in that students will receive formative feedback on draft essay outlines..Achievable: scaffolded activities are used to guide the students through the process of planning their essays.Relevant: this skill is crucial to their academic and professional careers, and lessons include activities that encourage the students to think about the value of planning and writing logical argumentation.Timely: the students will apply this skills immediately when they begin planning and researching their essays in week two.