How Design of Online Learning Materials can Accommodate the Heterogeneity in Student Abilities, Aptitudes and Aspirations

Bates, Simon, Hardy, Judy, Hill, Jon and McKain, David (2008) How Design of Online Learning Materials can Accommodate the Heterogeneity in Student Abilities, Aptitudes and Aspirations. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (2). pp. 3-25.

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We describe the challenges facing higher education in terms of the heterogeneity of the cohort of students that arrive at university. The reasons why such diversity exists are many: students differ widely in terms of their preparedness for study at university, their degree choice aspirations and the issue of motivation for study of a particular subject. We illustrate how well-designed e-learning course materials can support many of the particular facets of heterogeneity by offering an inherently non-linear pathway through a collection of materials, so as to offer a degree of personalisation of the learning experience. Drawing on our own experience of several years’ development of extensive online materials to support the traditional teaching methods of a large first year physics course at the University of Edinburgh, we highlight three aspects of the design of e-learning materials that facilitate this personalisation. These are: a highly granular source of individual learning objects; online constructions (‘one-downs’ and ‘popups’) that provide additional depth and breadth of material; and the ability to import external resources adapted to the local context.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LATHE) was published by the University of Gloucestershire between 2005 and 2011. LATHE was edited by Phil Gravestock and Michele Hills. Publication has ceased, the final issue was issue No.5
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Professional Services > Academic Development Unit
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2016 11:08
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2021 06:37

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