D1.2: Training Plan

Background to training plan:

A 5-day training event was held at University of Malaysia as part of ACoRD project an Erasmus+ capacity building and knowledge sharing initiative. The idea was to bring together key academic and technical staff belonging to all the three Malaysian Universities involved in Reusable Learning object (RLO) design and development. It was expected that colleagues undergoing this training will themselves become trainers in RLO development at their own universities and faculties. A ‘learn by doing’ approach to training the trainers was implemented by the project leads and, as they considered that this was the most practical way to transfer knowledge across to less experienced project partners.

Introducing the Aspire Framework:

The training consisted of detailed sessions focussing on all steps of the ASPIRE development framework. ASPIRE has successfully implemented to produce over 200 RLOs at the University of Nottingham and will also help to shape the schedule for delivering the training sessions.

ASPIRE is an acronym for all the development stages applied in RLO development. They are as follows:

A – Aim, S – Storyboard, P – Populate, I – Implement, R – Release and E – Evaluate

Model, describing ASPIRE framework
Fig 1: Visual representation of ASPIRE process, highlighting all 6 development steps.

Training event – sessions:

A brief overview of the 5-day schedule for training:

Day OneIntroduction to RLOs – ASPIRE – Aims of project and setting up and running Storyboarding sessions  
Day TwoFurther discussions on ASPIRE process. Looking at Populating specifications for development from concept ideas recorded in Day One’s storyboarding sessions  
Day ThreeImplementing and reviewing content and learning how to select the correct multi-media elements to use and record this in a development specification. Explaining IPR/copyright issues and release  
Day FourExplain the importance of educational theory and pedagogical design frameworks in digital learning design. Introduce theories and frameworks employed in RLO development.  
Day FiveTechnical development – implementing the development of the RLO. Introducing tools and methodologies associated with technical development of RLOs  

Day One:

Fig 2: Professor Heather Wharrad introducing ACoRD project objectives

This session consisted of an introduction to RLO development and ASPIRE along with a brief description of the training scheduled over the next 5 days. All PCU colleagues were split into small groups and placed at different tables and asked to choose a health-related topic to base their RLO development ideas around. The storyboarding session began only after each PCU team had discussed and decided on a topic, aim and title for their RLO.

Each table received a selection of marker pens and an A0 sized wipeable storyboard. They were encouraged by trainers to start discussing and adding ideas for their content in the form of text and rough drawings and sketches onto the storyboard. The trainers spent the session facilitating and providing advice/guidance when requested on how each PCU team could represent and formulate content. It was decided by the trainers that they would try not to interfere with PCU group discussions held around content development. It was hoped this approach would encourage greater creativity and individuality for content creation by PCU colleagues. Specific guidance around the use of multi-media to support content ideas was provided by the trainers only on request.

At the end of the session each PCU group was asked to explain their storyboard ideas to the rest of the group. Trainers and other PCU groups were invited to ask questions on each storyboard as it was presented. At the end of the session the trainers photographed each storyboard, so that the ideas could be safely recorded and taken into Day Two.

Day Two:

The trainers introduced the PCU teams to the task of populating their own development specification using the conceptual storyboard ideas recorded in Day One.

A bespoke specification tool had previously been developed in Nottingham to aid this stage of RLO development. The trainer’s set-up tool access accounts for all PCU colleagues prior to the session and the day’s training focused on how PCU teams could take storyboard ideas and write specification content using the tool.

This session proved very successful with all teams starting to write their own content into the specification tool. Here is an example of one completed  RLO development specification which was created by PCU team during the training.

Day Three:

This session was more theory based than previous sessions and looked at the legal obligations that our PCU colleagues are required to observe during development. The trainers discussed Intellectual property rights (IPR) and copyright law with PCU colleagues and raised awareness of open source/ creative commons content and suggested various sources where this could be found.

Quality control was examined by discussing a two-stage peer review process which had been implemented at University of Nottingham for many years as part of their RLO development workflow. This review allows subject experts not previously involved in development an opportunity to review content before it reaches the development stage. This is crucial as it provides an opportunity to check if the RLO includes all necessary content. It also helps to cut down on development costs by making certain that everything in the specification is required to be developed and by involving stakeholders from outside the project helps to promote a larger RLO community of practice.

Further support to content creation was demonstrated by the trainers who examined the activity tool Here a collection of pre-developed, re-usable activities are available for review and potential implementation into all PCU projects.

Day Four:

This session focused on educational theory and pedagogical design. The PCU teams were encouraged to examine various examples and provide critical feedback. The ASPIRE process was also discussed as a development framework of choice.

Day Five:

This hands-on training session was focused mainly at the technical PCU staff members. All aspects of development were explained from the setting up of a development environment and accessing and downloading of an open source bespoke RLO template, to populating the content with multi-media elements including graphics, audio, animations, and video. The trainers demonstrated various content creation tools and the common processes involved in creating RLO multi-media content. This session promoted a ’learning by doing’ approach to training and explored all the development stages involved in creating an RLO from start to finish.