Kim Bailey is an experienced Solicitor who specialises in Insurance Law. Working as Course Discipline Lead for CSU’s Centre for Law and Justice Studies, she has devoted considerable time over the past 2 years transforming her expertise-as-practitioner into expertise-as-educator in the online space. Working collaboratively with EDs and ESCs from the Division for Learning & Teaching, Kim’s traditionally text-heavy Law subjects have become solid examples of best practice for Teacher Presence and engaging online students in this challenging learning and teaching dynamic.
Kim’s Recipe for Teacher Presence Pie:
a) Dynamic landing page
- A weekly digest video (CSU Replay – 5 min catch up canvassing the big ticket items for that week)
- A shopping list of ‘things to do’ each week (based around itemised expectations of the students)
- Subject timeline (H5P interactive student planning tool, which provides a snapshot of each week of the session – topics, readings, important tasks & events)
b) Introductions Wall
Embedded Padlet wall as a first up activity for students starting the subject – quick and easy way for everyone to visually ‘meet’ their peers and see who else is in the subject, their own motivations / aspirations etc. This is surprisingly important, because many first year students in this subject feel isolated or odd being mature aged – they soon realise they are not alone.
c) Subject Welcome page
Separate item on the nav bar (as distinct from the landing page), which includes:
- Academic pic, bio and contact details
- Subject Textbook details
- General information about the subject and tips / strategies for successful completion
- A welcome to subject ‘Orientation’ video (CSU Replay) – introduces the subject site interface, in addition to canvassing critical items in the subject outline
d) Embedded Video, Highly Structured Learning Modules
One of the affordances of (most) Bachelor of Laws subjects is the ability to organise the content for students to ‘consume’ in chunks, based on the time available. Each module has a commentary-esque video introduction by Kim, which is attentions the material being canvassed in the Weekly Readings, some tips on how to conceptualise this and an orientation to the content covered in the module. It’s a visually engaging and personal start to a traditionally text-heavy body of knowledge (Torts Law).
e) Weekly Online Meeting Session
Given the Learning Module Embedded ‘lectures’, Kim flips her weekly Adobe Connect evening session with students to focus specifically on the application of the content covered in the readings and learning modules. For Torts Law, this results in authentic use of the learning materials and in-practice workplace models. The problem solving skillset modelled and practiced in the online meeting are the same skills that students are required to demonstrate in their end of session exam and in later legal practice. Whilst getting attendance up in the Online Meetings can be challenging, the sessions are recorded and all materials used are provided to students after the session via the subject site. Kim feels that this student focus in her online meetings is having a genuine impact,
“…I think the problem solving is attracting a higher number of live time attendees than traditional online lectures and the SES feedback from students has been very positive in terms of this method equipping them with skills they have taken forward into other subjects. The structure of flipped problem solving is explicitly communicated to students in the orientation video, where they are reminded as online learners they are responsible for working through content, and the teacher is there to help them understand how to apply and use that content”.
f) Interactive Activities within Learning Modules
Kim has been playing around with some of the interactive activity types available via the H5P platform. A number of her Learning Modules now have these visually engaging tasks embedded within them.
g) Selective use of the Announcements Tool
Kim is quite careful about the information and frequency of information provided to her students via direct email. Given the detailed weekly information provided to students via their dynamic landing page, Kim uses the Announcement tool to draw student attention to important events & activities (Assessment workshops, guest speakers, residential school etc.).
h) Structured Video Response to Student Assessment
After specific assessments have been graded, Kim prepares and distributes (Landing page + Announcement) a structured screencast (CSU Replay recording + Powerpoint), addressing the common issues and successes for this task experienced by the students. Considering that her assessments have been designed to progressively inform subsequent assessment – this then provides the students with particularly valuable feedback, which can then be acted upon.
Kim Bailey teaches LAW114 (Torts Law) for the Centre for Law & Justice Studies in Session 201860.