|Earth and Ocean Science: Developing Blended and Distance Education Models
This project aimed to enhance the flexibility, quality and efficiency of learning and delivery for related distance education (DE) and face-to-face (f2f) courses. The approach was to apply current DE best practices to f2f courses, adapt f2f best practices for use online, and introduce new resources and pedagogies that work in both settings. Choosing related sets of courses ensured that learning tools and strategies will be consistent throughout the Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) departmental curricula. DE and f2f courses were chosen based on opportunities to share existing content and research-based instructional strategies in the two modalities.
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Sara Harris, Professor of Teaching
|Year 1: TLEF Showcase
Products & achievements: Readings for f2f based on DE content; improved online and f2f assessment tools and strategies including sketch-based tasks; enhanced use of clicker questions; new in-class learning activities; new or enhanced learning activities and resources including peer-supported active learning strategies in asynchronous online settings; digitized specimens for lab work including video and interactive high-resolution imagery; virtual reality elements including virtual tour of the Pacific Museum of the Earth with interactive specimens and use of VisibleGeology (tm. see visiblegeology.com.
Evaluation approach: Data was collected through a variety of methods and sources:
Instructors of eosc326/116 and eosc118 (DE sections) have both begun incorporating lessons learned during this project into their own online teaching practices. The project has caused instructors to recognize that fundamentals about how people learn do apply regardless of the teaching “medium”.
Dissemination (selected publications):
Future: A paper is planned for Journal of Geoscience Education; several workshops and presentations directly related to this work are anticipated during the upcoming year(s); the team hopes to contribute with a conference on distance education or learning analytics within the upcoming year.
Sustainability: Instructors continuing to carry out modifications and improvements on their own after participating in this project is perhaps one of the strongest indicators that their practices have changed permanently. Enabling new instructors and teaching assistants to effectively teach in the impacted courses requires supporting resources; to meet these needs, each DE course has a space within the LMS with stored guidelines, rubrics, videos of task steps. Cross-fertilization from DE into corresponding f2f courses is expected to occur. Team members are also participating and contributing in three UBC communities of practice, enabling transfer of lessons learned to other units, groups and individuals. Project outcomes are also being incorporated into newly approved learning improvement projects at UBC, including large and small TLEF grants and internal Faculty and Department supported projects.