I have been very busy creating content for the new midwifery practice skills course that I am co-developing with Lorna Davies. We had developed a clear structure for the content grouping it into modular components to make sense of it and give context to the material but I have been feeling increasingly anxious about how the students will actually interact with the modules and work through the course material. We know what parts we want to deliver face to face in the larger class groups, what content we want to deliver face to face in the smaller tutorial groups and what content we feel can be learned online. Clearly there needs to be a structure to when these various components will be taught.
In the old model we did all skills teaching face to face and students have had access to lecture notes and power point presentations through the blackboard learning management system. In the new course the only face to face teaching that will be done will be actual hands on instruction of the skills. Students will be expected to learn the theory components prior to attending the face to face sessions. Various learning resources are being used. Our online moodle modules are composed of learning units breaking down into individual skills, explanations of why these skills are required for midwifery practice, what context they may be used in and any basic bioscience that is required, to be able to understand the important safety aspects of the skill. The learning units link to youtube videos, interactive learning resources and other freely available online learning resources as well as presentations we have developed ourselves. We are using power point presentations with voice over converted into flash for compression. In this way we can make the most of the face to face sessions for the important hands on components that cannot be learned online. It will be very important that the we have a clear plan of how and when these topics will be covered.
Some students will prefer to follow their own plan for learning the course material and that is fine. However they will need to come to the face to face components having covered the required material. Other students will want a more formal guide about how to work through the course material.
To satisfy these needs I have been working on a framework for the course and a learning guide for students . both of these are still in a draft form. You can see the framework here . Although the formatting did not come through 100% correctly into google docs. The learning guide needs some more work doing and I will post later.
I feel a little happier now that I have this structure for the course which I felt I was lacking previously. I feel now that all we need to do is get the content complete and feel certain that this can now be done within the time frame. Particulalry as we do not need to rush with the resources required for the end of the year.