This week, iLearn Open House examines a unit predominately catering to international students. A new search block in each staff members’ iLearn home page now makes unit searches easier.
ICOM815 Global Power and Justice falls under the Master of International Communication and the Master of International Relations and is convened by Dr Sabine Krajewski. The unit teaches about different forms of power and how it is legitimised and communicated in different parts of the world.
This postgraduate unit successfully caters to a largely international cohort. It is an example of curated content management in iLearn. Krajewski has filtered out superfluous information to ensure students are focused on the weekly task at hand, and not distracted or overloaded. iLearn is used to communicate announcements, provide a discussion forum as well as weekly notes and for assignment submission.
Her post graduate students usually attend each session and are particularly engaged in face-to-face teaching. There are no traditional lectures, instead there are two-hour ‘lectorials’. The teaching style is interactive and students are encouraged prepare and teach each other about their own culture’s approach to power and legitimacy. Krajewski also regularly invites guest lecturers who upload a mini-lecture prior to their visit and then engage with the group during the face-to-face session.
Each week’s tutorial slides are uploaded to iLearn prior to class so students have time to prepare. Students are also encouraged to actively get involved in discussion forums. Krajewski says that some of her students have never used a Learning Management System (LMS) before.
“They’re almost all international which means you have different linguistic and cultural differences, there are some students who don’t use any electronic equipment like [iLearn] in their home countries, so they really have to learn how to do it. They say, “what’s Echo and how does it work” and “how do I logon, how do I find my marks?”
Along with staggered release of weekly content, Krajewski holds off allowing students access to the major assignment until more than a month into session. While eager students still ask for the essay question, she says this strategy helps them digest information and not get ahead of themselves without understanding the content.
Krajewski’s mindful approach to teaching caters to her students and while such minimalism may not suit every unit, tailoring content to the unique characteristics of your student cohort can enhance the learning experience.
An additional resource that may be useful for teaching to students with limited experience in a learning management system (LMS) is a unit such as LEAP UP, the university preparedness unit. This unit was specially developed to support students from a refugee background, but provides a comprehensive explanation of online learning tools and resources.
Fantastic features of this unit include:
- Student support links and information
- OneHelp/IT service desk contact information
- A section explaining iLearn and its functions – What is a page? What is a file? What is a unit guide?
- A welcoming address from a teacher and a student
SEARCH BLOCK UPDATE – An open iLearn search block has been added to your staff iLearn homepage. To search any open iLearn unit simply type the unit or keyword into the search box.