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Using collaborative design methods to create active, authentic online learning experiences for health practitioners

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 11 – 303-B11 Sem



Dr John Davies
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Annette Dickinson
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Herewini Easton
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand



When teaching staff work collaboratively to design courses it can lead to learning experiences that are more student-centred and authentic (Toetenel & Rienties, 2016). In this co-design process, it is important to start by identifying the teaching and learning issues you are working to solve (McKenney & Reeves, 2019). However, lack of time, professional learning or support for staff often mean that courses are designed in isolation and without pinpointing the challenges (Childs, Blenkinsop & Walton, 2005).

This showcase will present the findings from a review of courses and practices on a postgraduate nursing programme in Aotearoa New Zealand that led to a change in approach to course design by the teaching team. The ‘challenge’ identified by the programme lead was that the current design of online spaces may offer a relatively limited range learning activities. The programme lead also wanted to explore how the team could be better supported to work collaboratively to design more active student learning experiences that integrated Māori worldviews and philosophies.

 To evaluate how the challenges outlined above could be addressed, we:

  • used an established learning design model to systematically analyse the online spaces and identify the range of activities with which students were asked to engage;
  • conducted semi-structured interviews with teaching staff to understand their approaches to blended and online course design and how they could be better supported.

As a result of the findings from our research we, as a multi-disciplinary team (learning technologist, academic developer and expert in Māori educational approaches), are now working with the teaching team in a way that supports a co-creative and evidence-informed approach to learning design. Courses designed in this way have the potential to offer a greater range of learning activities, integrate bicultural practices and give staff confidence to teach effectively in online and blended environments.

Childs, S., Blenkinsopp, E., Hall, A., Walton, G. (2005). Effective e-learning for health professionals and students—barriers and their solutions. A systematic review of the literature – findings from the HeXL project. Health Information & Libraries Journal 22, 20-32.
McKenney, S. and Reeves, T. (2019). Conducting educational design research. Routledge.
Toetenel, L. and Rienties, B., (2016). Learning Design – creative design to visualise learning activities. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 31(3), 233-244.


Presentation topic

Academics – Changing Academic Practice

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