learning.futures is about re-engineering subjects to enable students to experience a seamless integration of the best of online and face-to-face on campus learning.
learning.futures is characterised by practices that began development through the Learning2014 initiative. These practices aim to combine the best of online and face-to-face teaching and make use of the new spaces on campus that have been designed to accommodate approaches such as flipped learning and collaborative learning.
Professor Shirley Alexander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students), explains the practices that characterise learning.futures.
So how are learning.futures practices different? The table below explains.
|EARLIER WAYS||LEARNING.FUTURES PRACTICES|
|LEARNING AT UTS||Practice-oriented learning||UTS Model of Learning: practice-oriented, global and research-inspired|
|WHAT IS IMPORTANT||What students know||What students can do with what they know and how they do it|
|SUBJECT DESIGN||Dot point list of content||Linking 'what students can do with what they know' to objectives, learning activities and assessment|
|GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES||Largely not identified or included||Faculty or course-specific attributes identified, embedded and assessed|
|LEARNING ACTIVITIES||Primarily lectures, with tutorials, labs or studios with UTSOnline||Best of online learning combined with best of face-to-face collaborative learning with UTSOnline engagement|
|LEARNING RESOURCES||Notes from class, readings from Library and textbooks||Podcasts, screencasts, YouTube, Open Education Resources, online learning resources, readings and digital resources from Library, social media and text books|
|ON-CAMPUS LEARNING EXPERIENCE||Primarily lectures and tutorials, strucured labs, individual studios||Primarily collaborative learning activities. Some lectures/guest presentations, inquiry-based and research labs and studios|
|OFF-CAMPUS LEARNING EXPERIENCE||Assignments, studying for exams, UTSOnline engagement||Engaging in "real life" experiences including work placements, community projects, competitions. Preparing for on-campus learning, including engaging with podcast, online material, pre-readings, online tutorial, group work, doing assignments, undertaking research|
|ASSESSMENT||"What can you remember?"||"What can you do with what you have learned?" Authentic assessment tasks that develop graduate attributes.|
|FEEDBACK||Lecturer and tutor feedback on completed work||Diagnostic feedback. "Benchmarking" and discussion of criteria. Feedback on draft work. Lecturer, tutor and peer feedback. Self-assessment and reflection.|
|TRANSITION TO UNIVERSITY||Orientation before week 1, peer support||Orientation. Transition activities in faculties prior to the session. Transition activities in subjects in week 1 and support during the session. Numerous "First Year Experience" project outcomes, peer support.|
In the ‘flipped education’ model, rather than attending lectures, students access digital resources and undertake preliminary tasks prior to coming to classes where they engage in collaborative, mentored activities.
Melissa Edwards explains the benefits of using video in the flipped classroom.
Open education resources (OER)
The increasing development of open, digital libraries enables students to engage with extensive educational resources and tutorials in different fields, from anywhere, at anytime, and often in a rich media format. Such resources enable students to access diverse ideas, and test their understandings of key concepts.
Globally, there are a growing number of initiatives in digital education (such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or KhanAcademy) that enable students to access free online courses and to participate in interactive, peer-to-peer learning. MOOC environments include edX, Coursera and Udacity.
Various approaches to learning use different forms, models and techniques to engage students in learning.
Teaching and learning strategies
Higher education teachers are embracing technologies and using online platforms to introduce different learning opportunities for their students.