During the re-purposing stages of this project, we have been working to re-use and/or re-shape a number of JISC project outputs and use them to enhance an online professional development course that is going to be running here at UoL: E-Moderating at Leicester. In the early stages of this process, however, we found that the vast majority of the resources that were catalogued as part of this project fell outside of the scope of ‘e-moderating’. This presented us with a challenge: how do we showcase these resources to our colleagues so that they are likely to impact on practice at a time when they could be the most useful?
Working closely with our Course Design and Development Team, here at UoL, we decided to take the opportunity to expand the scope of the course to cover the entire process of embedding collaborative activities: Designing, moderating, and assessing. We believe that this will allow us to open participation to a wider population, and facilitate an increase in the uptake of online collaborative activities by enabling those responsible to start by working through the design process, then go on to learn how to moderate their activities as they run, and then to assess student contributions as they close.
By designing our output in this way, however, we raised a number of questions regarding openness and moderation provision. Considering, first of all, moderation, we were faced with the question of how to expand the reach of the course – both in terms of participation and content – without placing too high a demand on the time of the moderator. So, to allow for this, we have designed the initial iteration to forefront ‘e-moderating’ as a compulsary module, while ‘designing’ and ‘assessment’ remain self-moderated. In this sense, the additional two modules are optional for those participants who would benefit from some or all of their contents/exercises, but all of the activities are self-directed and either not assessed or self-evaluated.
The second question we had concerned our options for making the course available as an open resource for the rest of the JISC community, and (hopefully) beyond. For the meantime, we have opted to create and run the course through CourseSites ; the benefits being that registration is not restricted to a single institution, and that the interface matches the version of Blackboard we are currently running here at UoL – meaning that participants would not experience difficulty in moving from one platform to another. While we will be able to export the site’s contents into a format that can be imported into Blackboard, we are still currently exploring other options for our final output format.