Developing learning resources and activities
When you start to plan how you’ll work with your students in the unit, the number of resources you have at your disposal is likely to be much greater and varied than first comes to mind. Whether you’re teaching a unit that is offered on-campus only, wholly online, across multiple campuses or in an intensive mode, the resources you develop, and the way in which you guide your students to interact with those resources, will make a big impact to how they engage with the unit.
What constitutes a learning resource?
- Readings (including text book chapters and articles/papers)
- Videos (those you’ve recorded, YouTube)
- Audio (including podcasts, other sound recordings)
- Interactive online activities (surveys, quizzes, matching, drag-and-drop, etc.)
- Simulations or games (in person or online)
- Lectures (both the experience itself, recordings)
- Teaching plans for seminar activities
- Software tools
- Physical tools (classroom prompts, markers, and large sheets of paper)
When sequenced coherently, a combination of quality learning resources can provide students with a the building blocks they need to learn effectively.
Note: when using resources it is important you meet copyright obligations by ensuring you cite any resource you include on your unit site (this includes readings, You Tube videos, podcasts etc. For more information on how to manage this see the information on the TALIS Reading/Resources List.
How many learning resources are needed?
It can be quite easy to overwhelm students with resources, particularly with the ever-increasing amount of information available digitally. When planning your resources it’s important to think about what specifically you want the students to gain from each resource and how much time it will take the average student to achieve that goal.
You may find you have to prioritise certain resources over others; and potentially set some resources as additional or optional, rather than prescribing everything.
Communicating the amount of time it should take to complete each reading or task is also very useful to students. By flagging that a reading will take approximately 30 minutes, or a set of revision questions 15 minutes, students can plan for when they will do that activity and are more likely to get it done before the lecture or seminar as you’ve asked them to.
In this section, you will be guided through ways to effectively plan and prepare resources for a unit of study.