Case study: Mini-lectures and plans for case-based learning
School: Unit: Mode: Context: Academic: Student profile: Students enrolled:
Peter Faber Business School OHSE603 Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Risk Management Online* Bachelor of Commerce/Business administration & Cert/Dip/Masters Dr Kirsten Way Postgraduates with a lived work experience. 40
In this case study Dr Kirsten Way discusses the transition she has made to teaching online and structuring her unit.
*Although this case study is for an online unit (rather than blended unit), we have included it because the topics covered are applicable to blended units.
Creating mini-lectures using Adobe Presenter
Plans for a case-based learning unit
Hear about Dr Kirsten Way's experience.
ACU Case study: Mini-lectures and plans for case-based learning Many thanks to the Faculty of Law and Business for the use of their Pop-up Studio equipment to record this interview. Length: 8 mins.
The unit follows FLB's Digital Core structure, each week commonly has the following features:
Overview (brief outline describing the week's learning intention and a succinct summary)
Why are we doing this? (rationale/links to learning outcomes)
Essential question (key idea)
Concept videos (approximately 6 x 10 mins)
Extra resources (videos, podcasts, weblinks, additional readings)
Activities In each section there are one or more activities to encourage students to engage with the resources in an active and meaningful way.
Knowledge check (individual revision activities to allow learners to assess their own learning levels.)
The Digital Core was created to provide interactive and highly engaging online and blended learning environments for students. The key aspects of learning that it focuses on are:
Expectations: learning outcomes and expected standards of achievement are clearly articulated.
Evidence: the evidence required to show achievement of the learning outcomes through assessment is clearly articulated.
Highly engaging learning environment: learning materials are contemporary and interesting, support achievement of the learning outcomes, and are online-appropriate.
Reflective learning: the learner is prompted and explicitly encouraged, to reflect on the learning outcomes and expected standards. This may feed into the formal summative assessment.
Interaction: a personalised and interactive online experience is created, where learners can connect with peers, academic staff and industry in a structured setting.
Source: Digital Core Position Paper, K. Souter, S.Niraula, L.Burrell, K.Hughes, Faculty of Law and Business.
Live drop-in sessions using Adobe Connect. Varies from a drop-in consultation, discussing assessment or going over practical applications of content.
Asynchronous discussion board activities
Weekly for the first 6 weeks. The team made the discussion board activities part of the assessment for the unit.
Assessment 1: Discussion forum activities
Each fortnight for the first six weeks the lecturer posts in LEO a topic question. Students engage in the discussion and respond to other student's posts. At the end of the six weeks, students choose their best three posts and best three responses, paste them in Word and submit them to Turnitin.
Assessment 2: Assignment - Risk management report
Student assumes the role of a health and safety manager in a medium-sized business and create a 3000 word report for a workplace scenario.
Assessment 3: Online exam
Combination of short answer and/or essay style questions.
The above assessments may have been designed before the latest update to the ACU Assessment Policy. See Assessment Policy for up-to-date advice on designing your assessments.
This is a list of some of the major tools used in this unit.
Kirsten created her pre-recorded lectures using Adobe Presenter. The aim was to cap each video at 10 minutes to increase engagement. Kirsten found this helped 'chunk' the content for the students.
The team also recorded guest expert speakers, which the postgraduate students particularly appreciated.
OHSE603: Thermal environment - introductory video (ACU) 2016
Example assessment overview video:
OHSE603: Assessment overview (ACU) 2016
These are examples of the kinds of support the academic staff building this unit drew on.
Faculty Educational Designer
Faculty eLearning Technical Support Officer
Students weren't engaging in the discussion board activities, so the team made them part of the assessment to increase engagement.
Videos are time consuming to edit and upload.
Take time to not overload students with different technologies in the early units, in order to give them time to familarise themselves to the basic tools used in online learning.
Use the supports that are around you and the expertise within the Faculty.
“...this last subject which you taught was honestly a 100% better than my first unit. Some of the major improvements were the quality of material, the quality of the experts (including yourself), the regular and useful contact with students, the speed of marking, the feedback provided post assessment, and it's clear you are passionate about safety and you have been in the industry long enough to know what is realistic and practicable, but also what is law."
"I really enjoyed OHSE612. It was interesting and a good challenge. The content and resources that you provided were excellent."
There has been a noticeable difference in participation and discussion between the undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts. It has been harder to get the undergraduate students to engage. Kirsten's team are looking at ways to increase engagement by looking at the assessment methodology and the design of learning materials.
Kirsten would like to focus on using case-based learning to embed a realistic, applied context for the unit structure and assessment for future iterations of the unit.
Her team has received a grant for 'Authentic Work-Based Assessment for Online Students’ to apply to these units.
James Cook University. (2017). What is scenario-based learning? Retrieved from https://www.jcu.edu.au/learning-and-teaching/university-wide-projects/past-projects-and-resources/scenario-based-learning-sbl-project/what-is-scenario-based-learning.
Queens. (2017). What is case-based learning? Retrieved from http://www.queensu.ca/ctl/what-we-do/teaching-and-assessment-strategies/case-based-learning.
University of Michigan. (2017). Case-based teaching and problem-based learning. Retrieved from University of Michigan.