Following the implementation of the Bath Baseline by the University, the Skills Centre (Foreign Languages) has embraced the task of following its recommendations for Moodle and Online Teaching.
The Baseline sets out minimum recommendations for enhancing the student experience of online teaching, learning and assessment across the University. In order to familiarise our staff with these recommendations, we organised workshops and provided individual training sessions. We also developed a bespoke Moodle course to set a model for our colleagues to follow. This model page showcased online tasks and signposted guided readings on how to enhance Learning and Teaching using Moodle.
We are very grateful for the valuable support of various colleagues, in particular Kevin Renfrew, Technology Enhanced Learning & Digital Resources Development Officer in the Skills Centre and Marie Salter, TEL Digital Education Development Manager in the Centre for Learning & Teaching.
Implementing the Bath Baseline in our Moodle courses also gave us the opportunity to reflect on our own teaching practice and on the use of technologies to increase student engagement, maximise time in the classroom and encourage learners’ autonomy through Blended Learning.
The use of technologies is proven to be an effective complementary tool for language teaching and learning and we trialled a number of external tools in Semester 1, including:
As we offer an institution-wide, co-curriculum programme and students meet with their teacher only once a week, we put particular emphasis on ensuring that all Moodle pages have key contact details, course statement outlining how students are expected to learn and engage with the course, assessment dates, course information and learning outcomes. This is in addition to ensuring that learning resources and activities are relevant and engaging for students.
In order to evaluate the impact of these changes for our students, we carried out quantitative and qualitative research. The result of our research indicates that 98% of our students rated our Moodle courses Good or Very Good. We obtained 100% satisfaction for the following categories: ‘Orientation and Communication’, ‘Structure and Navigation’, ‘Resources and Content’. The key area for improvement identified was ‘Student Active Participation’. This highlights the need to offer students more opportunities to reflect on their own learning and engage with each other online. Furthermore, this result implicitly draws attention to the importance of providing interesting, motivating self-study content and meaningful descriptions to any on-line links recommended for autonomous learning.
In conjunction with the development of our online practice, and in line with the University Peer Review of Teaching practice, we conducted a Peer Review of our Moodle Courses. This process gave members of staff the opportunity to observe, feedback, reflect and share good practice in relation to their online provision.
Implementing the Bath Baseline on our Moodle courses presented some challenges, especially at the very start; however, it is obvious that both students and teaching staff have benefitted from it. This is encouraging and it provides the motivation to continue to perfect our practice.
Isabella Stefanutti, Head of Foreign Languages
Véronique Davis, Foreign Languages Course Leader
Ana Bertolossi, Teaching & Learning Enhancement Advisor