AU Case Studies - E-learning Techniques in Practice

Last modified by AndyGreenway on 24/02/2011

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 DepartmentInternational Politics
 Staff memberDr. Richard Jackson
 YearAY 2009/2010

Dr. Richard Jackson is Lecturer in Critical Terrorism Studies, International conflict resolution and security studies.

Richard has been pioneering a number of e-learning methods and techniques, including Papershow, e-learning logs, wikis, blogs and Quizdom, which received full appreciation and supportive engagement amongst his students.

Richard is a true revolutionary in the area of academic teaching-and-learning. His ideas go well beyond his novel learning methods and call for re-visiting of some traditional forms of engagement and student assessment.

Discussion Boards

Using the Discussion Board feature on Blackboard, Richard gave a topic to the students ("Should we talk to terrorists for peace?").

The students were then able to comment on this and debate and discuss it between themselves, giving links to prove their points.  The fact that it was all online meant that the students were able to engage with the course and the issues raised wherever they were and at any time.

Richard points out that "This plugs in to the sort of culture that we are currently in, particularly with young people who use these technologies all the time anyway. So this is a way of drawing them together in the class and I think that it works really, really well."
 
 
  

Learning logs

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Richard utilised the Journal feature of Blackboard to create "learning logs" for his students.

Students were required to submit an entry once a week, describing what they had learnt that week, what they found interesting and any other comments they wished to make.

Richard could then view all these logs and comment on them directly to the student.  The students could then come back to him with answers or questions.  In this way, you can easily get one-to-one feedback with students.  It also helps to engage them and promotes independant research and interest in the topics.

 
 

 

Wikis

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At the start of a module, Richard created a Wiki within Blackboard, based on several of the key themes throughout the module.

Students could then collaborate and work together to build, edit and refine the wiki pages.  They can cite sources, give evidence and edit each other's pages.

Using this technique, the students are encouraged to carry out independent research and correct mistakes with articles.

By the end of term, the pages should end up with a good, long, detailed description of the themes.

Created by AndyGreenway on 07/10/2010
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