Purpose of the Project
The purpose of the protocol project is to produce a transferable, research-informed protocol for the transition of face to face-delivered programmes to web-deliverable formats through transition of one ESPRC-facing Masters programme. The final format of the protocol and programme will be informed by best practice in e-learning and will reflect strongly the research-led teaching ethos of the University of Exeter. Rigorous testing and evaluation of the quality of the student learning experience will be undertaken during a pilot of one core module in semester two of the 2008-9 academic year. Lessons learnt as a result of this research will underpin the protocol and inform the development of the programme over the course of the project in an iterative and incremental process. The resulting programme will articulate the research-like learning pedagogies expected of an institution with aspirations of joining the country’s top-10.
The programme that has been identified for transition is the MSc in Urban Water Systems and MSc Bioinformatics within the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics. Staff within the Education Enhancement unit have been working closely with lecturers and students on the programme to gather materials for conversion. Contact has also been made with companies within the private sector and additional material has been provided.
The conversion of two modules within the Masters programme is due to be completed by December 2009.
The protocol project will deliver the following outputs:
- A scalable, transferable transition protocol
- Course content for one M-level programme suitable for web-based, distance delivery
- A report evaluating a variety of online learning techniques suited to M-level learning
- A transferable research methodology for assessing the quality of students’ experience of learning online
- Qualitative data on the student experience
- A small number of student case studies
- A final report assessing the transitioned programme, application of the protocol and any further areas of research