The first Leiden-Delft-Erasmus training courses on online education will be launched in February
The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Education and Learning will launch its first three training modules for lecturers from these three universities in February, and will focus on online elements in education such as active and blended learning, videos and digital assessment. ‘Online learning forces people to take a fresh look at their education.’
Some examples of assignments for participants in the first three training modules at the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Education and Learning (CEL) include drawing up a storyboard and script for a video they want to use during their lecture, designing an online assessment, or devising an activating and blended lecture.
The modules themselves are blended as well: they are a mixture of online and ‘live’ education. They are available to lecturers at Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam, and will commence in February. Specialists from ICLON in Leiden, OC Focus in Delft and Risbo in Rotterdam have contributed their know-how and expertise to the rapidly-expanding field of online education.
Participants finish up with a tangible product at the end of each module, which they can put to practical use in their lectures. This is always based on questions such as “What is the best way for students to learn? What helps them learn the most? How can I find out what’s going on in their minds, and what choices should I make in this respect?”
All three development team leaders have observed the same phenomenon: the emergence of online education has served as a wake-up call for universities and lecturers. ‘It gives people a new outlook on education,’ says Margie Grob of Delft University of Technology. ‘Digital assessment means you really have to consider your assessment very carefully,’ adds Floris van Blankenstein of Leiden University.
Alice van de Vooren (EUR) led the team that devised the DesigningActive and Blended Learning module. ‘We know that students can achieve more in-depth learning if they are actively involved in the subject matter,’ she says. ‘For example, if a lecturer includes an online quiz in a session, they immediately know what students have difficulty with, and can respond to this. And we want students to have done their homework and work efficiently. Nowadays it’s self-evident that we use online resources for this. Students think this is completely normal too, because they used these online resources at secondary school. But design and organisation are still difficult in many cases and we want to help lecturers in this respect. The end result is something they can really work with. It starts off with a pitch, then they make a prototype that they test out on each other, and finally they put this into everyday practice.’
Margie Grob, who led the team that devised the module on the effective use of videos, says: ‘The best video doesn’t always have to be the most catchy or appealing one. In our module, we first learn to establish our aims and what format fits in best with these. There are so many options available, from video clips on knowledge to cartoon films. But we’ve noticed that very little research has been done on the educational aspects. It usually focuses on technique.’
'We teach lecturers practical things and back them up with theory,’ says Floris van Blankenstein of the Online Assessment module. ‘Once participants have decided what kind of assessment fits in best with their aims, choosing the right software is essential and we help them do this. Our respective universities can learn a lot from one another. For example, Delft is already using a lot of software for adaptive learning, while Leiden uses a program that enables peer feedback.’
The Centre for Education and Learning is one of the multidisciplinary centres that come under the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Alliance. It concentrates on research into university education and its application in practice, with additional focus on online teaching and learning.
(5 February 2015)