How this course works

A description of the course, its aims and the course schedule can be found on the Wordpress site - http://openbrookes.net/firststeps12/.

Broadly speaking the course aims to develop and extend your knowledge, understanding and skills of teaching and learning in Higher Education. It also aims to model the kind of learning environment in which you might find yourself working – one in which your learners will use a variety of distributed learning technologies. So you may find the course an unusual experience for the following reasons:

  • A key principle of the course is learner autonomy. As such you can choose whether or not to engage with the activities and whether or not to interact with fellow participants, or the degree to which you want to engage and interact.
  • Each week we will offer synchronous and asynchronous activities and discussions. The activities are practical and focus on developing the teaching and learning skills. This course provides a safe environment in which to practice and develop these skills and receive feedback from your tutors and peers. Suggested discussions will focus on relevant issues, which have been, or are being, discussed on the internet more widely. We will also suggest some readings. You are encouraged to suggest your own activities, discussions and readings.
  • Learner autonomy brings with it responsibility. You will not have time to engage in everything. We expect you to pick and choose and follow your own lines of enquiry by reading, reflecting, collecting, creating and sharing ideas.
  • Whilst a key principle is learner autonomy, so too is social learning. The course has been designed to encourage participant interaction and open sharing of resources, learning, thoughts and ideas. It is hoped that participants will add to the course materials, initiate discussion and individually or collaboratively create learning resources, but your level of interaction with the course remains under your control. Having said that, we believe that learning is enhanced through cooperation, collaboration and open sharing.
  • We recognise that learner preferences extend to the use of learning technologies. The Wordpress and Moodle sites provide ‘home bases’ for the course. We have provided a basic structure and the use of a limited range of technologies. However, you are free to meet in learning environments of your choice. For example you may wish to set up Facebook, Second Life or other groups. All we ask is that you openly share with all course participants by providing links to these sites.

Finally, learner autonomy does not mean that we are casting you adrift to sink or swim on this course. The course will be facilitated by experienced tutors  who can be contacted by email or in the discussion forums at any time during the course. Participants are also encouraged to support each other. If you have a problem, just shout!

We look forward to working with you.

George, Marion, Jenny, Sylvia, Liz and Joe

Last modified: Saturday, 12 May 2012, 10:22 AM