Yorkshare (the VLE) supports learning on face-to-face courses at a fundamental level: providing access to content and improving engagement. Learning technologies (including Yorkshare tools) offer opportunities for active learning through designed-in, engaging learning activities that align with learning outcomes of the module and programme. Dr Richard Walker introduces the concept of active learning with learning technologies in the context of the York Pedagogy in the short video below.
First point of access
Before any face-to-face contact, students are likely to visit module sites on Yorkshare. Students’ first experiences of the module are therefore informed by the structure, information and academic content presented to them via Yorkshare.
Clear labelling, expectation setting and sign-posting supports students’ use of the module site independent of the lecturer, empowering them to find content and position their studying within the context of the module as a whole. For example, if students know that lecture slides will be uploaded on certain days of the week, this will help them to plan their work and prepare for class-based activities.
Develop your practice
Link online and face-to-face
Value of the Yorkshare module site comes from the connections made between the online environment with the face-to-face activities. At a basic level, showing the structure of the taught programme helps students see what is coming up, where connections may exist and guides them through the module content.
Embedding preparatory activities or material prior to seminars, tutorials or lab sessions sets an expectation of prior engagement with content. Additional resources in the module site act as springboards to further reading, discovery and deeper consolidated learning.
More sophisticated uses of Yorkshare will ask students to complete tasks online that are then brought into the face-to-face environment, making better use of contact time for discussion and critical analysis.