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Appears in:
Pages: 1133-1141
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

EVALUATING A TEMPLATE STRUCTURE FOR ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UNITS

A. Doig, L. Mann

Southampton Solent University (UNITED KINGDOM)
Southampton Solent University (SSU) is working hard to ensure that it meets the needs of employers, employees and professional practitioners by demonstrating a commitment to lifelong learning. As part of this drive, SSU’s Design School has this year launched its Online Professional Accredited Learning (OPAL) courses relevant to the fashion industry. These are short, credit bearing Professional Development Units (PDUs) for people who want to upgrade their professional skills. They are delivered fully distance and entirely online, built on 12 weeks of structured study and assessment.

In this project we developed a framework for 12 weeks of online activities and interactive communication events that can be used as a template for the development of PDUs on a variety of subjects. One immediate benefit of the template approach was that it made the process of writing the content much more structured for those academic staff and consultants recruited to do so. It was also the aim in developing the template to create a learning experience equal to one that happens in a classroom – a similar personal, interactive experience. To do so, we schedule the use of study partners, web conference seminars and one-to-one tutorials, with plenty of online and off-line research and reflection activities. The structure has developed through collaboration between subject experts, learning technologists and instructional designers.

We have chosen to evaluate the template in three phases:

Initially, we carried out usability testing on a unit prior to launch, combined with student feedback activities.
The second phase has been to carry out a live test, using non-fee paying students completing the full 12 weeks of a unit while contributing to feedback and focus group activities. This evaluation has been used to refine the selection and sequence of the communication events, learning activities and support structure.

This paper will report on the success of this project through to completion of the second phase.

The next phase of the project will be the launch of the 11 units developed to date. We shall continue to monitor the participation and completion levels of the students, along with their feedback on the sequence of the tasks, allowing us to evaluate the suitability of the template components across a variety of subjects, cohorts and tutors.
@InProceedings{DOIG2012EVA,
author = {Doig, A. and Mann, L.},
title = {EVALUATING A TEMPLATE STRUCTURE FOR ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UNITS},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {1133-1141}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Doig AU - L. Mann
TI - EVALUATING A TEMPLATE STRUCTURE FOR ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UNITS
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 1133
EP - 1141
ER -
A. Doig, L. Mann (2012) EVALUATING A TEMPLATE STRUCTURE FOR ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UNITS, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 1133-1141.
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