Short case study: Using an integrated study model


Context

An integrated study model draws together a variety of online resources including course content, assignments and communication within a stand-alone module site, which may be prefaced or followed up by face-to-face interaction between students and the course instructor. The online activities and content make up the main part of the course.

Case Study Overviews

Core Knowledge, Values and Engagement Skills (KVE) (Health Sciences)Screenshot of the VLE for the Core Knowledge module

Core Knowledge, Values and Engagement Skills (KVE) is a new module in the Mental Health branch of the pre-registration nursing programme in the Department of Health Sciences.

Yorkshare was used to host key course materials including lecture materials and relevant reports on mental health issues to support group research and collaborative study while students were on work placements. Students were also provided with two blogs – one whole group blog and one personal blog. The personal blog was only visible to the student it was assigned to, so they could communicate privately with the lecturer about problems with the course materials or group processes.

In the initial class session students chose three topics from fifteen available. Students were grouped into fifteen topic groups with different memberships – each of which was embodied in a wiki within the module site. Wikis were preferred for their relative transparency of user participation and version history, in addition to ease of use and flexibility of access. Each topic wiki, while belonging to its members, could be seen by all other students who could also leave comments. Groups researched their topic and developed an increasingly concise resource within the wiki over the duration of the module. Students were inducted to the wiki tool in a whole class activity in which wiki construction was modelled by the tutor, and students summarised the assumptions that could be made about the cohort’s nursing practice in a class wiki. Specific ground rules were also agreed for the wikis including not attaching files or inserting hyperlinks to ensure efficient reading.

The online group work and collaborative writing still proved challenging to students who had experience of both online group work and the VLE, particularly where negotiations and debates took place without the immediacy of face to face communication. The success of the approach relied on supportive, frequent guidance from the tutor, along with well-considered links between class, online and placement environments.

Time Management (Graduate Training Unit)

In this 4-week Time Management course for postgraduate students, participants met face-to-face at the beginning of the course but primarily worked online. Extensive reading materials were deployed via Yorkshare. Students were provided with a discussion forum for each week and posted responses to set questions here and discussed the issues with the group. In addition, students were given a wiki and asked to write 200 words relating the course to their experience, before working together to produce a summary of ideas.

Next Steps

Case study last updated: December 2008

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