Online Learning Model (OLM)

The Online Learning Model

One of the key components of the CSU 2015 Distance Education Strategy was the articulation of an Online Learning  Model (OLM) consisting of a set of elements which are known to result in increased student engagement. Increasing student engagement and connectedness is an important goal because of its link to measures of teaching quality, retention and overall satisfaction. Increased consistency in learning and teaching approaches across courses at CSU will also support more consistent marketing of CSU online courses and ultimately improvements in applications and enrolments. An overview of the model in the CSU Learning Exchange identifies the 7 elements of the model and its theoretical underpinning.

The OLM Element Pilot Project

In 2015, the faculties of CSU (four at that time) selected seven subjects each to target the enhancement of one of the elements of the OLM. These 28 subjects were supported by a team of OLM Element specialists : Gerard Bourke, Bec Acheson, Kerri Hicks, Stewart McKinney and William Adlong and an Online learning leader, Lindy croft-Piggin. Faculties were also provided with time release and additional support from the Media Resources Unit and faculty Education Designers to prepare subjects for presentation and evaluation in 2016. The pilots were established to evaluate and refine the model, derive design and implementation guidelines, and provide evidence for further implementation. For further information go to the OLM pilot project.

The Scale up of the implementation of the OLM

Following an initial evaluation, the model was revised prior to scaling it up into eight larger courses across CSU during Session 2 of 2016 and into 2017 under the leadership of three faculty-based Quality Learning and Teaching Online (QLTO) leaders Julie Lindsay, Carole Hunter and Judy O’Connell working with the Director Professor Barney Dalgarno.

Judy O'Connell
QLTO - Faculty of Science
Carole Hunter
QLTO - Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences
Julie Lindsay
QLTO - Faculty of Arts & Education

Seven large courses including: the Bachelor of Accounting, Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), Bachelor of Business (HR Management), Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare), Master/Bachelor Of Social Work, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Medical Science, comprising about 190 subjects were initially targeted for attention. Subject revision was carried out over three sessions with revised subjects phased in over a 12 month period.One hundred and sixteen subjects were revised in this period. Lindy Croft-Piggin, the Manager of Online Learning and Teaching Quality, worked across the Faculties and the DSL support teams to coordinate the work within the project. To learn more about this project go to the OLM Scale up site.

Strategies to implement the OLM

A range of strategies were used in each faculty to enhance the quality of the subjects being offered. Some of these included:

Enhancement of Content Delivery

I2 Subject & module organisation:

  • Faculty templates for icons and appropriate layout (this includes structuring of modules to enable provision of more comprehensive learning analytics)
  • Landing pages – static and dynamic
  • Welcome recordings – using mobile and other devices
  • Adaptive release
  • Multiple Choice Quizzes
  • Discussion Forums – branding, organisation, management, use of tools such as to foster enhanced questioning. Maximising use of settings to enable different kinds of forums for different purposes.
  • Online meeting template
  • Groups

Creating lectures, tutorials and support materials:

  • Using CSU Replay
  • Converting from CSU Replay to Youtube
  • Uploading presentations to SlideShare
  • Podcasting of lectures using the U!magine podcast generator

Creating videos and tutorials and uploading to Youtube or relevant sites:

  • Screencast-o-matic
  • YouTube playlists and analytics

Creating artefacts and/or collaborative spaces:

  • Padlet (as a community engagement tool)
  • Flipgrid
  • Adobe Spark
  • H5P interactive content
  • Voicethread
  • Use of creative commons for images, sounds etc.
  • Google Maps
  • Facebook

Communication, collaboration and reflection

Adobe Connect:

  • Management of rooms
  • Presentation techniques
  • Organising and managing groups
  • Recording, editing and sharing
  • Adobe Connect apps

Collaborative learning:

  • Google forms
  • Adopting Open Educational Resources and open assessment

Course resources and learning products

Library Skills:

  • E-Reserve
  • Google Scholar
  • Libguides

For examples and elaborated strategies go to the CSU Online Learning Exchange.

Project evaluation

This process has been further evaluated towards the development of the latest version of the OLM. An Evaluation Report led by Sarah Hyde was tabled in August 2018.

Click here to open the OLM Project Website (CSU uImagine hub)

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