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Thursday, June 23 • 13:45 - 14:45
PK07.12d - Leveraging Local and Online Software Resources to Create Engaging Learning Modules: A Case Study from the Ontario Online Initiative

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The increasing demand for online graduate programs has sparked a need for the adaptation of current on-site courses to be delivered through an online medium. At the institution where this learning module was developed, many of the graduate programs require a statistics course. Previous research suggests that creating and offering online courses in statistics can be challenging, namely due to “the wide range of abilities that online students demonstrate in logical and mathematical reasoning, complexity of the course content, the difficulty in assessing learner outcomes, and determining the frequency of visibility of the instructor in the online classroom” (Gazioglu, 2013). But what about an asynchronous, instructor-free learning module in statistics? In this session, we present the lived experience of a development team that created an engaging online statistically-intensive learning module that could be presented in an “unattended” environment. This format involved a number of challenges, namely: (1) creating richly interactive materials that engage student attention at an appropriate conceptual level; (2) integrating instructional materials with highly interactive interstitial content; (3) using self-testing material that provides students with corrective feedback; (4) securing an open-access method of disseminating materials to students; and (5) creating tutorials and examples that provide adequate instruction on, and demonstration of, the use of open-source statistical software. We leverage our experience within this project to discuss mechanisms for addressing the practical problems encountered during development, and draw on this experience to provide suggestions as to how program chairs and educational development teams might engage “reluctant adopters” of new technology.


Cortney Hanna

Cortney Hanna is a doctoral student in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program at the University of Western Ontario. She has extensive experience with the creation of engaging online material, most recently with her Leg Up program, an interactive online program designed to... Read More →

Andrew Johnson

Associate Professor, The University of Western Ontario
Andrew Johnson is an Associate Professor with the School of Health Studies at the University of Western Ontario. He has taught statistics and methodology at both the graduate and undergraduate level for 18 years, utilizing both in-class and online instructional tools.

Rachael E Smyth

PhD Candidate, Western University
Rachael E. Smyth, M.Sc. is a Ph.D. candidate at Western University, London, Canada. While her primary research focus is language development in preschool children, she is also interested in evaluation as it relates to disciplines, such as speech-language pathology, mathematics, and... Read More →
avatar for Julie Whitehead

Julie Whitehead

Instructional Designer, Western U
Julie Whitehead is an Instructional Designer with a MEd.in Educational Technology, working in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. Julie's expertise is in researching, developing, and implementing new methodologies for combining multimedia/web technologies for communication... Read More →

Thursday June 23, 2016 13:45 - 14:45 EDT
UCC 146