February 8, 2018 - 10:45am
Mobile friendly class provides students flexible learning options
Accessing assignments for Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Math 047 online course can be as easy as picking up a phone.
The course allows learning to happen anywhere and at any time. Students can access course materials on their cellphone while they are waiting at a bus stop, late at night after a long day of work or while they are taking a stroll in a park.
The idea is to make learning more accessible to students who may live in remote areas, may only own a mobile device or require more flexible learning options. Course assignments can also be done on desktop and laptop computers and tablets.
Lisa Lewis, VIU’s Acting Chair of Adult Basic Education, and Stephanie Boychuk, Online Course Development Support, partnered to create the course. Boychuk handled the technical aspects for a mobile friendly course and Lewis designed the assignments and is the instructor. There isn’t a textbook. Instead everything is online. Lewis said she didn’t want students to have to buy anything extra.
Lewis designed the course with Boychuk so that as soon as a student submits an assignment they receive the answer key. It allows the student to check their own work and move on to the next assignment if they choose. Lewis later sends students guidance on the work submitted. The course is divided into modules and students must receive 64 per cent on each module test to move onto the next section.
Lewis said that within the first few weeks she begins to understand the student’s learning style and how much contact they will need.
“It’s really tailoring it to what students want and usually in a couple weeks I know how much support students need,” said Lewis. “An intentional part of the course is students taking responsibility for their own learning but I help them get there. It really helps them learn how to schedule their time and they are responsible for checking their own work. Students have the ability to be as completely independent as they want or to receive as much help and feedback as they need”
Lewis checks in with students to see if they need help periodically or want to meet face-to-face. Students can also email her or contact her on the online math course Facebook page.
Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University
Tags: Teaching and Learning