It will be challenging to successfully run a course of this nature within a programme that is still largely based around face to face delivery (lectures, tutorials, practical sessions) however I am confident that it is ‘doable’.
I am going to need to up skill in the use of technologies for example Eluminate and Moodle in order to be able to use them well.
Despite my/our best efforts it will not be possible to meet everyone’s needs all of the time.
Although this type of design is likely to enable me to ‘reach’ more students, I believe that it will require more time, especially in the early stages, to prepare material, to get administration issues sorted out, and to ensure that students have access to the materials, wherever they may be.
I will need to make time to re-organize the existing course.
As previously mentioned, given that the majority of students are quite young, it may be useful to make use of podcasts along similar lines to those used by the cookery department at the Polytechnic (hyperlink). It seems that many students have an IPod these days for listening to music and watching movies so these may be a valuable resource for helping students gain access to the course information.
I am going to need to be quite flexible in terms of the resources that I have available for students. This will require me to have a broad range of resources in order to meet student needs from the outset (texts, websites etc).
Do the students have a clear enough understanding of sport psychology and what it aims to achieve in order to help construct a suitable schedule of topics?
I would be proceeding with caution given that I’m not sure how young students will respond to a largely self-directed learning course.
There will likely be students who have special learning needs that I will need to meet so as to help them learn. As such, I will need to be flexible in my approach and prepared to use my imagination come up with ways to meet these needs as we go.
Perhaps I also need to ask how the the students want to learn. Do the students want Moodle, discussion boards, Eluminate, voice over powerpoint presentations, face to face classes etc.
Access, equity, cultural sensitivity and sustainability
I believe that the strategies that I’ve mentioned previously should go a long way to making the PST 1 course available to any student anytime, anyplace, anywhere. However, it is up to me to make the necessary adjustments to my course in order to cater to the needs of the student.
In a previous blog (June 2nd) I discussed the use of self-determination theory, particularly the concept of autonomy and how I thought that it might be useful in terms of helping to develop equity, cultural sensitivity and sustainability. In the development of a more flexible PST 1 course I have attempted to make use of autonomy in regard to decisions as to the content and assessment of the PST 1 course, and perhaps need to also look at group decisions in terms of the course delivery itself. In doing so, I hope to help students develop a sense of ownership over their course, a sense of safety, a sense of opportunity, and all the while help them remain involved in the learning process.
The potential is there, but time will tell as to whether it works.
Constructive comments and feedback on these ideas would be greatly appreciated.