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The University of Southampton
Digital Learning

Benthic Ecology

An underwater scene with rocks and weed
Benthic Ecology - life at the bottom of oceans, seas and lakes

SOES2017 is a marine biology-based, second year, second semester module with a cohort of approximately 90 students. In 2015 it had a traditional, mainly PowerPoint-based, bi-weekly lecture format with assessment that was 40% coursework (a written grant proposal) and a paper-based exam (3 essays from a choice of 6). The academic team approached us for help with a complete module redesign.

Utilising the SAMR model ( Puentedura, 2012 ) we worked with the team to improve opportunities for formative assessment, provide greater efficiency for marking summative assessment, and redefining the coursework so as to develop students’ digital skills. The entire redesign included:

•    Refreshing learning objectives
•    Linking assessment to learning objectives
•    Group video presentations as coursework
•    Developing a computer-based summative exam
•    Articulate Storyline for illustrating key concepts and formative assessment
•    Audience response systems for checking understanding
•    Enhancing Blackboard
•    Additional learning resources

The team was delighted to receive a University teaching award for the module, with students praising the way multimedia resources built on lecture content in “innovative ways” that “fit seamlessly” with lecture materials. Other teaching staff are now adopting these resources and techniques into their modules.

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