Last Tuesday, numerous brave souls trekked through blustery weather to attend the January Ethical Considerations in Providing Distance Education in the Light of Massification”. In this paper, Michael Sankey and Rod St Hill of the University of Southern Queensland highlight the movement of their facility towards on-line, multi-modal learning in response to an increasingly diverse student population. USQ has found that by assisting students in determining their preferred learning style and by designing learning experiences that cater to a wide range of learners, student success has improved, particularly for those who learn in non-traditional ways. The result has been a more inclusive and engaging curriculum that appeals to visual, aural and kinaesthetic learners.
As SLIP participants discussed the studies at USQ, it became apparent that multi-modal learning is a growing trend at UW as well. Podcasts have made their debut on several course websites this year and student feedback has indicated that they are a very effective study aid. Audio-enhanced PowerPoint presentations have been incorporated into many DE courses and screencasting technology is being explored by numerous faculty members.
Another exciting learning tool is being employed in our own AFM 131. This course, offered by the School of Accounting and Finance, makes use of MikesBikes, an on-line business simulation, to enhance student learning. MikesBikes allows students to virtually manage a small bicycle manufacturing firm. Throughout the term, students are gradually given responsibility for making decisions pertaining to the sales and marketing, operations and finance of their firm. Students work in teams to undertake market research, analyze data, and make decisions just like professional managers in the real world.
It is exciting to see the innovative ways in which technology is being used on campus to provide students with a richer, more engaging learning experience.
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