Dr Trish Andrews
Dr Trish Andrews is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education (elearning) in the academic section of the Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI) at the University of Queensland. She has a particular focus on integrating technologies into higher education programs and has been extensively involved in the design and support of innovative learning spaces at the University of Queensland. Trish has been presented with two UQ awards for programs that enhance learning, (2009 & 2010) and she has also received Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) awards for programs that enhance learning in 2010 & 2011. Trish has had several educational development and research grants including two recent successfully completed ALTC grants and is currently working on a new ALTC grant that is exploring on line learners’ use of technology and space. Her research interests include investigating online learner’s experience of ICT for teaching and learning, staff and student capacity building, mobile learning and learning spaces. Trish publishes widely in the area of educational innovation.
Quality, learning spaces, social networking, connectedness and mobile learning: Exploring the Student Voice in Online Education
This presentation outlines a current ALTC/OLT project between The University of Queensland, Gatton campus, the University of Southern Queensland [USQ, Central Queensland University [CQU]) and the University of Adelaide. The primary aim of this project is to develop an informed understanding of online learners’ learning spaces and needs in relation to the use of ICTs for teaching and learning, and to significantly contribute to effective and positive learning experiences for the online learner in distance programs.
The project uses an innovative methodology to explore the learner’s experience with ICT including The Day Experience Method, Charting the Week’s Activities and photos of learning spaces. This project builds on a recent smaller pilot project at the University of New England that developed 12 student voice studies in relation to the online learner’s experience with ICT for teaching and learning. The 12 students who participated in the study represented a wide range of distance programs at both postgraduate and undergraduate level.
The project found that the use and quality of online learning activities varied widely from course to course within and across programs. Students utilise a range of learning spaces, linked by mobile learning, to create a learning landscape that enables continuity of learning. Additionally, the project found that students are appropriating social networking tools to support their learning in a wide variety of ways, to overcome a perceived lack of connectedness and opportunities for informal learning in the design of their courses and learning activities.
Assumptions have been made about distance and online learners that require further investigation. The median age of online distance learners appears to be mid-30s and much of the data available has a focus on the ‘net gen’ or ‘on-campus’ learners which is not reflective of the diversity of online students who pursue study mostly part-time and off-campus. This study is firmly positioned to explore the mature-age, returning to study or ‘up-skilling’ learner. These students have particular needs that are not being addressed in the learning experience. This project will provide insight into their needs.
View recording: Exploring student voice in online learning
Pedagogical possibilities and new learning spaces
In recent years there has been a strong focus on the development of learning spaces in universities. The impetus for much of this development has been the desire to support approaches to teaching and learning that provide greater opportunities for engagement and interaction between learners an d between teachers and learners. Along with these developments has been a corresponding increase in learner mobility enabled by almost ubiquitous access to mobile devices that enable an anywhere, anytime approach to learning.
The workshop provided opportunities to discuss the drivers of new learning space developments as well as the pedagogical possibilities of these spaces. Some fundamental principles for guiding learning space developments will be discussed. Participants explored ways in which new spaces and the different pedagogies they afford might be effectively integrated into the learning landscape to support a range of learning and teaching activities. It also provided opportunities to discuss what we learn from the evaluations of these spaces and how that information can used to guide further developments.
View recording: Pedagogical possibilities for learning spaces