An Evaluation of Micro-modules Coupled Online Discussion in UGFN1000
Andy Ka-Leung Ng, Derek Hang-Cheong Cheung, Kai-Ming Kiang and Isaac Ka-Tai Wong
Online micro-module aided teaching is a rapidly developing pedagogy in the universities worldwide. Studies in evaluating the synergies between micro-modules and course assessment items could better inform the teaching practice. The present study aims to address this question in the context of a compulsory science general education course, “In Dialogue with Nature”, in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. A set of micro-modules has been produced to supplement basic science knowledge, as well as historical and technical background related to the required readings. In 2017-18 term 1, the micro-modules set was coupled with an assessment item, an online discussion forum, thereby making the micro-modules compulsory. In 2017-19 term 2, the micro-modules were decoupled from the discussion forum so that viewing the videos became voluntary. This study aims to give a comprehensive evaluation of the aforementioned micro-modules aided teaching from both teachers’ and students’ perspectives. The entries in the discussion forum were analyzed in two dimensions. First, the quality of students’ attainment of learning outcomes was assessed. Second, students’ cognitive achievement was analyzed according to the Community of Inquiry Framework. On the other hand, students evaluated the effectiveness of micro-modules using an online survey. It was found that more students have displayed a good reflection towards at least one of the intended learning outcomes in the coupled setting. They were also found slightly enhanced regarding cognitive presence. Besides, significantly more students felt that micro-modules had increased their understanding of scientific inquiry, prompted their reflection and helped them in written assignments.