Supporting students with self-directed learning in an online environment has challenges – especially when teaching occurs across Christmas and New Year!  Readings, videos, lectures and online tutorial activities can mean that students lose momentum, go off on tangents, and find managing all the information a challenge.

What’s important about this learning and teaching story?

The aim was to produce a ‘notebook’ that summarised the various activities for each module in the subject.  Each notebook contained details of the online tutorial activity for that week, with a page for noting key concepts, terms, and definitions, prompts for each designated reading or video, a page for preparation of the tutorial activity, and reminders for assessment items.  The notebooks are Word documents that may be downloaded, either to save or print according to the student’s requirement; the notebooks were included in each Learning Module and also collated into a separate folder.

What were you trying to achieve?

The objective was to support student engagement with the subject material, provide one resource that replicated content from each Learning Module in an accessible form, and assist in the management and analysis of information.  The reading prompts (questions) were designed to guide the student in critical analysis of each designated reading.

What did it look like?

See attached document, an example from Learning Module 1 of JST110 Law and Society:

Activities Notebook – Module 1 History of the Australian Legal System

How can I make this happen?

Prepare a template Word doc for each Learning Module in the subject.  Then edit for each module, updating the online tutorial activity, reading(s) and other content you may consider useful.

Additional generic reading prompts were included in the notebook, being extracts from ‘A template for setting out and writing effective notes from a reading,’ The Learning Centre, UNSW Sydney © 2017