What’s next after you’ve developed a series of lessons and activities for your students? This was the point that Dr Kelly Linden reached, culminating in the development of a beautiful interactive “Learn Space” through which her anatomy students would access the modules.
At Charles Sturt University, where Kelly teaches, a proportion of students studying anatomy undertake their studies via distance education. These students simply don’t get the same access to donated cadavers, used for studying anatomy, as their on-campus peers. As a replacement to semester-long access, distance students spend a week on campus undertaking the laboratory work. This concludes with a “flag” exam, where students are asked to identify features indicated on cadavers. Through comparison of the two student groups, it became clear that distance students needed further support and resources to compensate for their reduced time in the laboratory.
As a result, a series of Smart Sparrow lessons were developed. These modules quizzed students on images of body structures. In the interest of equity, these modules were also made available to on-campus students for their revision. For the first time ever, all distance students passed the exam.
Initially, these lessons were accessed by students through Blackboard, CSU’s Learning Management System. However, last year Smart Sparrow were engaged to develop a “Learn Space” which students will use to access all the modules this year. The well-designed portal enables individual students to access the modules from one place. A schematic human model highlights the region of the body that each module focuses on and pop-up boxes provide feedback regarding student progression through the module. The Learn Space is integrated into the Smart Sparrow Classes system so that course coordinators and tutors are able to track student completion and results for individual modules as well as across the course as a whole.
Kelly has made a number of her modules available for use or adaptation through the BEST Portal. If you’re interested in developing a similar Learn Space contact the Smart Sparrow team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top row: The interactive Learn Space through which students navigate the collection of modules
Bottom row: Example screens from the tutorials.