WILNZ 2023 PPT Presentation


It often takes years for an innovative practice with technology to show evidence of impact and benefit. A decade ago, we claimed “existing online systems for fostering collaboration are limited in the sense of enabling a distributed community of practice to engage and exchange to learn together. We created [the OB3] app in which conversations happen around content, not separate from it. Online discussions in context are needed for facilitating [the] establish[ment of] connections among concepts as well as relevance” (Gomez & Tamblyn 2012b).

The bachelor of Midwifery at Ara Institute of Canterbury has been using OB3 since 2013 (Daellenbach, Davies, Kensington, & Tamblyn, 2014). Recently, they published on their networked distributed model for teaching and learning (Daellenbach et al., 2022) and described how OB3 1) supports their model’s implementation, 2) is used to “network learners with other learners, with lecturers and experts” (p. 341), and 3) has helped them meet the aim to ensure their students could access distance education in provincial and rural areas.

Ara midwifery’s experiences provides evidence in support of our decision to address disconnection between lectures and online forums in distance education through functionality design. To enhance student engagement, content and discussions were brought together into the same interface. To enhance timely updates of lecture content, academic staff were enabled to author their own teaching content with familiar computer skills. This functionality aimed to improve forum communication impeded by delays, lack of clarity and absence of feedback (Daellenbach et al. 2014).

OB3’s implementation was informed by design research undertaken from an interaction design perspective (Gomez et al. 2022; Gomez & Petsoglou, 2021; Gomez & Tamblyn, 2012a, 2012b; Gomez et al., 2020). Its educational foundations are drawn from the fields of study skills for academic success (Bandura, 1986), good visual design that facilitates metacognition (Kirsh, 2005), networked learning for promoting connection between people (Goodyear, Banks, Hodgson, & McConnell, 2004; Goodyear & Steeples, 1998), and networked learning technologies (Kyza, 2013).

Ara Midwifery (Daellenbach et al., 2022) also reports on participatory action research outcomes demonstrating how OB3 supports online network learning (that is lecturer- or student-led) and e-portfolios (record of hours, births, and skills, feedback, reflections, personal learning outcomes) (see p. 340). Survey results show that students prefer OB3 for sharing experiences about Midwifery practice placements undertaken in community, hospitals, and virtual reality (see p. 342). This preference could be because OB3 reduces administrative tasks, offers more autonomy than traditional LMS, and is particularly well suited for independent, lifelong, and self-directed styles of learning.

OB3 seems to improves work-integrated learning practice by contributing to our users’ (Daellenbach et al., 2022) aim to “ensure that students could access programmes in provincial and rural areas… to improve recruitment and retention of health workers outside of main urban areas…” (p. 335). This aim appears to have been achieved as in their report they claim their graduate destination outcomes statistics indicates “… most of the students have remained in their home areas after graduation” (p. 340).

Keywords: Student engagement, Interaction design, Online distance education, Midwifery education, Network learning, Educational technology, Student placement

Source: Gomez, G. (2023, 20-21 April). Enhancing engagement and connection in online distance education through the interaction design of a technology Work Integrated Learning New Zealand 2023 Abstracts

WILNZ 2023 PDF Version