This learning design involves an online collaborative strategy
referred to as a "Jigsaw" approach.
The learning experience provides the opportunity for students
to work in groups online to investigate six examinable topics
on teaching and learning theory.
The online group work is to encourage collaboration, interdependence
and purposeful sharing of resources and knowledge. In addition,
face-to-face activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops
allow opportunities for networking beyond the online environment.
In undertaking the major task student teams reach consensus
as they construct a single report on their investigations
and develop mastery of their particular topic. The groups
then share their knowledge with other teams who have investigated
different topics. Students are then able to become familiar
with all topics through access to each team report.
Towards the end of the semester the students sit an exam
that requires them to write an essay based on one of six topics.
At the beginning of the semester, the students are given the
six questions from which the content of the exam paper will
be drawn. Of these six questions, three questions appear in
the exam and students are required to write on only one of
these questions. The students are however expected to study
all six questions as these relate to the content of the entire
There is a set textbook which covers the content of the six
topics. Students are directed to further readings for supporting
and counter argument. As learning to become proficient with
computer-mediated communications is an aspect of the unit,
students are provided with the WebCT student help in print
form and online.
Students are supported in the following ways.
- Attending lectures, workshops and seminars based on each
topic prior to the online jigsaw.
- Undertaking a library orientation program to improve their
- A Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) workshop that
provides students with the necessary skills for using WebCT
and to become familiar with the technology.