Active learning through Digitally Enabled Education

There are a variety of tools available to you that can facilitate active learning in the physical and online learning environments. 

The Enabling Active Learning (EAL) approach at USW outlines that the VLE  should be used to facilitate active learning which is inclusive and flexible. Whether you are teaching online, on campus or a combination of both, you will need to develop some asynchronous learning activities for your students that promote communication, collaboration and interaction. 

Communication, collaboration and interaction

The communication and collaboration tools infographic will help you identify the full suite of tools that are available to enhance communication and collaboration online. Please find below a selection of tools that will help you with getting started.  

If you have any ideas, questions or you would like to find out more about active learning online please contact the DEE team who will be able to help. 

Vevox is an audience response tool which can allow you to interact with your students via polls, text responses or multiple-choice questions via their mobile device. Vevox enables instant feedback from learners and is a great way to enhance engagement and interaction in face-to-face environments. 

Blackboard includes blog and journal tools which can be used for reflective blogging and are a great way to encourage student expression, reflection and communication. Blogs are visible to staff and students, and Journals are visible to staff. 

Discussion boards are a great way of enabling students to work and interact with each other asynchronously. Discussion boards can also help with community building and increase student confidence with sharing their ideas among the group. 

Blackboard groups allow you to provide groups of learners with their own space containing tools for collaboration (e.g., discussion boards, blogs, wikis, file share).

Office365 offers a range of tools that can enable sharing of work and collaboration. Many file types and collaborative workspaces can be shared and edited both synchronously and asynchronously using OneDrive, OneNote Class Notebook as well as other Office 365 applications. 

Blackboard Collaborate and MS teams can facilitate group work and discussions through breakout rooms, screen and application sharing, and whiteboards during any online synchronous activity. Don’t forget to record sessions if appropriate and let learners know that recording is happening. Collaborate and teams can also be used to facilitate social events such as coffee mornings and team quizzes.