It was great to have an opportunity to meet with other like minded professionals and talk about not just whats new in flexible and online learning but how this reflects in our experience within our own institutions and teaching practice.
Bill unpacked the theory behind CRAM (Course Resource Appraisal Model), showcasing it as a tool that can help provide a framework for us to analyse the design and quality of our online courses. He advocates for it to be used as a reflective tool for inquiring into the quality of our teaching and not as a tool for institutional efficiency. From the newsletter:
'CRAM is an acronym for Course Resource Appraisal Model. Doesn't exactly sound 'sexy' does it?
Yet, CRAM is a little online tool that I think is really interesting, and well worth a look. It attempts to support tertiary teachers (and maybe others) who want an answer to the question
“Can we improve the quality of students’ learning experience without increasing staff
workload, even for greater student numbers?” and I think does a pretty good job helping them There is a caveat. To use the tool effectively (even to consider using it at all) you have to be familiar with Diana Laurillard's work on learning and technology – especially her most recent work “Teaching as a Design Science”, although a quicker read is the article “Making meaningful decisions about time, workload and pedagogy in the digital age: the Course Resource Appraisal Model” published in Distance Education here (Caution: You'll need library access or else be prepared to pay!)'
There were lots of good ideas to follow up on around learning design of online courses and support for teacher professional development. In following up on Diana's work in learning design, I found myself at this website http://learningdesigner.org/ an early release version of an online tool for learning design. For the learning designers out there - do you have a particular model or framework that you use and/or specific tools that help you pull it all together. Please share, i would be interested to know.