Case study: Use of WebCT in a blended approach to developing multimedia
Area: Technology enhanced learning environments
Institution: Leeds Metropolitan University
Author: Stuart Hirst
At first, I’ve struggled to find exactly what exactly is the innovation in this case study. Maybe this due to the fact that I’ve been reading a lot about blended learning and its implementation in various institutions. WebCT’s history documented in this case study spans from 2001 to 2003. Thus one must consider this innovation (as for any innovation) in relation to the timing and what is happening in the institution and around it.
The aim of this case study is to use WebCT in a multimedia module at the Leeds Metropolitan University. This would enable the lecturer of focusing more on the practical aspect of this course, thus shifting away from the usual theoretical lectures and more in hands on lab sessions . The need for this shift was felt as students found difficulty ‘to demonstrate their application of theory’. Also the author mentions the lack of students’ attendance for lectures in previous years.
Use of such an approach is reported of not having any significant effect on the performance of the students although the students’ satisfaction in the learning process improved. Student feedback indicated that they liked this approach mainly due to the hands on approach which enabled each individual student to work at his own pace.
From the author’s writing one can perceive that, although such an e-learning approach required a massive amount of work to manage and implement, the author had an initial enthusiasm for this project which dwindled due to the administration’s lack of support (such an approach was not part of the institution’s strategy) and senior staff’s incorrect perception of e-learning.
Moreover a reflection coming out of this case study is that innovation might be felt as disruptive on its inception, although with time this type of innovation has becoming quiet popular in such institutions.