Kear, Karen; Woodthorpe, John and Moss, Nicky
E-learning for Networked Living.
In: EADTU (European Association of Distance Teaching Universities) Annual Conference 2006, 23-24 Nov 2006, Tallin, Estonia.
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Networked Living is a Level 1 course in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offered by the UK Open University. The first two presentation of the course, in 2005 and 2006, attracted over 3000 students between them. Networked Living introduces students to ICT concepts and issues in a range of contexts. The course adopts a blended learning approach, using printed texts, web resources, DVD and computer conferencing.
All the above media are used where appropriate to support students' learning. About 60% of the material is print-based – teaching texts, together with selected third-party articles. About 20% is web-based – using a comprehensive course web site, but also requiring students to find and use third-party sites. The remaining 20% is based on offline computer resources (e.g. spreadsheets) and collaborative activities using computer conferencing.
The course web site contains short animations, quizzes and several interactive activities where students contribute information and commentaries, and can then see the collated contributions of other students. The DVD contains longer animations, simulations and software. Computer conferencing is used for tutor-group and whole-cohort conferences, and for online tutorials, with both asynchronous and synchronous discussion. The course web site provides a new, shareable 'online journal' facility, where students can record their work for the course.
This paper discusses the various e-learning elements of Networked Living, based on the first two presentations of the course. The paper considers how e-learning can be combined with printed resources to create a successful blended learning experience for students.
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