This case study reports how a project supporting medical students at the University of Dundee School of Medicine to develop peer-led online teaching approaches has led to the development of a mini open online course (mOOC) approach to developing medical students’ skills as digital teachers.
Dundee Medical School has traditionally supported peer-led learning approaches and has a well established peer tutoring programme for years 1-3, taught by year 4 and 5 students. With growing engagement with learning technologies, students also developed their own wikis and blogs badged as DundeePRN. This experience helped develop professionalism as students took responsibility for content and helped them to develop lifelong learning skills (White et al 2011). Whilst successful, the longer term sustainability of this initiative proved problematic as students progressed to the demanding clinical years of the curriculum. Subsequently staff have worked with students to create open educational resources (OERs) which have become embedded within the medical curriculum whilst other students have led peer teaching on digital professionalism and twitter-based clinical case discussions.
The School identified an opportunity to develop a more sustainable approach to embedding these student-led activities in the curriculum by helping students to develop key skills for lifelong learning in teaching to support their future role as “doctor as teacher”. Discussion with students identified the potential to develop a pick-and-mix menu of mOOCs to underpin the development of these skills, whilst at the same time supporting them to develop OERs that would support peer learning in the curriculum. Successful completion of individual mOOCs would be recognised by the award of an open badge with students developing further OERs beyond the mOOCs awarded additional badges and gaining recognition in the annual student led teaching awards.
This concept is now being developed as part of the HEA Students as Partners in the Curriculum Change Programme. This presentation reports on the progress of this innovation which has seen students work in partnership with members of the Technology and Innovation in Learning Team to co-create and alpha test an initial menu of mOOCs covering topics such as copyright and OERs, managing and curating open content, principles of presentation design, developing an OER and feedback. We will present feedback on the initial pilot of the mOOCs running in early 2015 which both staff and students will take part in, along with individuals external to the institution.
Through our reflections of supporting student-led approaches to the co-production of learning and mOOCs with students, we will also highlight how a community of practice in learning has developed comprising students, teachers, educationalists and educational technologists. Furthermore we will outline the potential of this approach to engage students in open educational practice and interprofessional learning activities, which in turn support the development of skills linked with employability and lifelong learning.
White, Margaret, Joshua Scales, and Kiran Jayaprakash. “What can a student-led e-learning site add to medical students’ education and professional development?.” Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences 3.3 (2011)