Reflections, Lessons Learnt, and Conclusions
Louise Mackay (University of Leeds, UK), David Martin (University of Southampton, UK), Philip Rees (University of Leeds, UK) and Helen Durham (University of Leeds, UK)
Copyright: © 2009
In this book we have illustrated the materials, software, and experience of developing and delivering geography e-learning courses and learning activities. In this chapter we summarize how the teaching of a variety of geography topics has benefited from the following set of activities: creating media-rich online materials that take full advantage of linking to digital libraries; developing and adapting online, collaborative, and design software; and internationalizing materials through geography teachers in different countries working together. We take a moment to reflect on the experience of material development and the prospects for facilitating exchange of resources and student access. We provide advice to the aspiring geography e-tutor and describe how to access the wealth of materials that have been introduced in the preceding chapters. We then explain how the materials created will continue to be relevant beyond this book. We envisage that teachers, including ourselves, will download and then adapt the materials, borrowing content, techniques for presentation, or learning style. There will be an ongoing process of teaching and review that incorporates tutor and student feedback. The material, its delivery, and its style will not remain static but we hope new developments will be shared via learning repositories. It is important to sustain good online resources. This can be achieved by readers updating the geography e-learning materials and depositing improved versions in the new UK academic learning material depository Jorum.
Lessons For Collaboration
A common characteristic of the work described in Chapters I-XIII of this book, dating from the earliest discussions of the DialogPLUS collaborators, has been the concept of the learning “nugget” (Chapter I). From the outset, the underlying reasoning behind the nugget was that it would comprise a recognizable component of learning, less formally defined than a “learning object” (Wiley, 2002). The learning nugget would be readily recognizable by geography teachers and would therefore form a natural basis for the sharing of learning content between individuals and courses. Certainly the nugget concept has proved very useful, providing a common language for teachers to communicate with one another about the elements comprising their courses and the technologies used to support them.