|The aim of this presentation is to show how an innovative distance learning course can engage practitioners from a wide variety of backgrounds in enhancing their knowledge and skills in child and adolescent mental health. Two experienced practitioners and educators in the field constructed a course which has proved popular and successful. The blueprint for this award could support teachers in developing distance learning courses. It integrates recommended strategies for online courses and uses a wide range of learning and teaching methodologies (Watson et al, 2017). A framework of ‘constructive alignment’ has been utilised which has enabled students to see a clear connection between the intended learning outcomes and assessment tasks (Biggs and Tang, 2007) and has resulted in deep approaches to learning.
The language used on the blackboard site is informal and conversational. This is designed to engage students with the materials. Triggers are used to prompt discussion. These involve extensive use of media resources. Discussion boards have shown rich and diverse use and have been largely controlled by students. E-tivities are short and snappy and feed into the assignment. At the same time more traditional lectures have been videotaped and included on the site. Blackboard collaborate has reinforced the lectures. There has been high engagement and achievement on the modules which has begun to have an impact on practice. We believe that the structure and ideas on the modules could be replicated and may be helpful on a wide range of distance learning courses.
Activities which promote interaction are seen as the most useful learning tools in distance learning. High level interaction with teachers is regarded as very important from the learner’s point of view. Meaningful teaching activities are also valued (Garrison and Cleveland-Innes, 2005). We have learnt how important the input of specialist teachers has been to a learning community of multi-agency practitioners who work in complex family care and how much they have embraced the subject through distance learning methods.
|Type||Ignite – 5 min talk|
|Learning Objective(s)||The aim of this presentation is to show how an innovative distance learning course can engage practitioners from a wide variety of backgrounds in enhancing their knowledge and skills in child and adolescent mental health|
|References||Biggs J. and Tang C. (2007) 3rd ed.Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. New York, McGraw-Hill.Garrison D. and Cleveland-Innes M. (2005). Facilitating cognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough. The American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133–148.
Watson F. Bishop M and Ferdinand -James D. (2017) Instructional strategies to help online students learn Tech Trends 61, 420-427