STEMM festival – Online course design

Posted on 11 March 2020

Open Polytechnic opened its campus doors to a number of organisations, community groups and individuals with an interest in online course design as part of the 2018 Hutt STEMM Festival.

Teachers, trainer’s and education designers from a variety of organisations were in attendance, including the University of Otago Medical School Wellington, Victoria University, St Orans, knowitinc, Fusion5 and Zauled.

Attendees were able to explore the tools and features in the learning management system, iQualify, as well as observe how online courses are built and designed.

Executive Director School Strategy Alex MacCreadie ran the STEMM workshop, teaching participants how to create an interactive course and apply design principles and thinking into creating an online course.

“Having the tools and systems to deliver high-tech online learning is fantastic, but it is important to apply design principles to create courses that are engaging and fit for purpose,” says Alex.

“With the development of new systems and technologies it is important for educators to embrace the 21st century learning environment,” says Alex.

Careers Consultant Millie Douglas found the STEMM workshop valuable, as she was interested in understanding how educational institutes operating in an online learning environment such as Open Polytechnic utilised digital technology to engage learners.

“It was great to have the expertise and perspective of professionals wholly concerned with, and immersed in the online learning environment,” says Millie. “The workshop was very valuable”.

Attendees were impressed with how easy it is to build an online course using the tools and features available in the iQualify platform.

Tools and features within the platform include the ability for facilitators to embed interactive elements within a course that will keep learners focused and engaged. A range of assessment activities are available ranging from quizzes, video submissions peer evaluation and group submissions.

One of the tools that Alex highlighted during the interactive workshop was the engagement tools that track a learner’s progress allowing teachers, assessors or trainers to focus their time on learners who need that extra support.