Reviewing the use of WordPress for teaching & learning
WordPress is the world’s leading Content Management System (CMS). This means that the phases of creation, display and communication inherent to any digital learning process can be revealed, captured and discussed using WordPress tools and environments. In other words, it’s very versatile.
Review some short overview material from two proven approaches in course design to help articulate teaching and learning and inspire further exploration of these theories.
Go through a series of questions that should help you further define whether WordPress is a solution to any of your course design issues.
1a. Backward Design
Backward Design (BD) is a simple but powerful method to get started on course design. Essentially, you work backwards through a course by envisioning what a successful learner needs to produce by course completion; and the general steps composing the assessment scheme. Understanding what success looks like means you can better employ tools and environments, like WordPress, to facilitate content, communication and evaluation.
Cornell Centre for Teaching & Learning. (2016, May 17). How to Backward Design A Course [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wt58W1bfv8
1b. The Conversational Framework
Dr. Laurillard’s Conversational Framework is similar to Backwards Design as both focus on laying out activities and assessments along a macro-timeline, as seen in the ABC Curriculum Workshop by University College London. However, the Conversational Framework specifically identifies a communication goal to be achieved for each point on that timeline.
This video takes you through a short but insightful overview of the Six Learning Types and some example corresponding activities. As you watch, consider which activities seems like a good match for your WordPress site.
Kennedy, E., & Laurillard, D. (2020, June 15). Diana Laurillard introduces the six learning types [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnERkQBqSGM&ab_channel=EileenKennedy
WordPress can be useful for content delivery and does not always have to involve assessment.
Use these questions to more specifically define how teaching goals can manifest in this technology:
- Are marks awarded for quality of content only?
- Are any marks allocated to process?
- Are there phases in the process that have more weight than others?
- Are marks awarded for only the aesthetic quality of displayed content? e.g. graphically designed webpage
- Is the choice of media and location for display important for assessment?
- Are marks awarded for only responses to content displayed in WordPress?
- How heavily do academic communication skills weigh in assessment?
- Are marks given for intra-group communication? only Instructor-Student? Peer to peer? External review?