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Leading new teachers to learning technology...


Jan Drysdale & Linda Creanor
Glasgow Caledonian University
Department of Learning and Educational Development
Floor 3, St Andrew House
141 West Nile Street
Glasgow G1 2RN

tel: 0141 331 1271
fax: 0141 332 8214


Theme:Evaluating CMC and Online Courses


Providing an introductory course in learning and teaching has long been a core activity in staff and educational development at Glasgow Caledonian University. However, a fundamental re-appraisal of course delivery was required. The new approach, piloted in semester A 1997/98, incorporated several key features:

  • web-based study guides and reference materials;
  • structured readings to support work-based learning activities;
  • attendance at three tutorials during the semester;
  • a HyperNews discussion group;
  • reflection and self-assessment.

The web site was designed to provide a flexible, easy to use and attractive delivery structure with easy navigation between sections, with links to the course outline, direct email contact with course tutors and online registration. To introduce the concept of computer-mediated conferencing (CMC) to new staff, the HyperNews discussion group has been set up as a forum for discussing the issues in teaching and learning which arise during the course.

Because this was a pilot, evaluation of both content and process was important. Criteria used were attendance and completion rates, quality of assessments submitted and qualitative feedback from discussion with course participants. Responses were mixed. Few course participants completed all of the assessed elements but the self-assessments and feedback from those did were encouraging. Staff involved in delivering the course learned a number of valuable lessons which have been incorporated into course revisions for Semester B.

Evaluation criteria and methods will be similar in Semester B with added provision for online feedback by course participants.

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Last modified: 1 December 1999 (formatting).
Original text 21 May 1998.