Resource Development: moving a traditional face to face activity online

Based on the principle of active learning, where students are asked to engage in the learning process by doing an activity, the unit lead for Introduction to Neuroscience and Education, Sarah MacQuarrie had been using an in-class activity for students to self-test their understanding of neural disorders. In a face-to-face environment, students had to discuss in groups various scenarios and match the type of disorder with the correct diagnose technique.

Sarah approached the Humanities eLearning team to explore how students could interact with and complete such activity in an online manner. Through discussion and planning between academic (Sarah MacQuarrie) and learning technologist (Jonny Crook), a digital resource was created to replicate what was originally a paper-based, face to face activity

The result was an interactive, drag and drop activity created in Articulate Storyline to correctly match labels which also allowed students to input (type) their own feedback. Students could save/print out a version of their completed activity.

In the following video, Jonny Crook demonstrates this solution, or you can also try out this activity for yourself via this link

From the lecturer point of view the online solution was successful:

The unit can be challenging as it based on neuroscience and understanding the relevance to education students can seem a stretch. Offering a friendly and engaging start to the unit was crucial to get off to a good start.

Students were able to complete the task online, independently. The same concepts could be taught despite using an alternative approach to the teaching method.

E-learning were excellent at helping unpick the purpose of the face ot face activity and providing an equivalent and engaging online version. This was efficient and effective based on a brief conversation.

Expected benefits
  • Students could complete the activity without the need for a paper-based solution or an alternative activity.
Actual benefits
  • Students were able to complete the resource independently as part of an introduction activity for the Introduction to Neuroscience and Education session.
  • Students could engage with the activity multiple times if needed.
Top Tips
  • Discuss any ideas for creating a digital resource or conversion of a paper-based activity with the Humanities eLearning Team. A solution may be found that enhances the activity or provides benefits for online learners/remote learning.
  • Create a clear, basic storyboard that can be  used to create the digital resource.
  • Allow time for the resource to be developed so it can be tested and adjusted before being used within your teaching sessions.


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School: Environment, Education and Development

Academic: Sarah MacQuarrie

Course: EDUC60741 Introduction to Neuroscience and Education (MEd Psychology of Education)

Themes: Online Activity, Enhancing Teaching with Technology, Teaching Innovation

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