Faculty Example: Research Methods Course

Interview with Ruth Martin, Instructor of Distributed Health Research Methods (DHRM C11)

ruth_martin-spphHow did you use Edge/edX in your course and what made you decide to do this?

With TLEF funding, we employed a team of 5 students project assistants over the winter of 2015 to help to create content for a Distributed Health Research Methods (DHRM) course in Connect Blackboard Learn. They were an enthusiastic, creative and hard working team and I named them ’team awesome’. The students strongly recommended that we switch to Edge/edX, because they so much preferred the Edge/edX interface.

What has been the result?

Working in Edge/edX has brought me in contact with the expertise and support of the CTLT team (Emily and Manuel) in implementing our ideas, which I have greatly appreciated. We piloted DHRM on Edge/edX as SPPH481a with 20 students in Winter Term, January 2016!  We ran this first iteration of SPPH 481a completely ‘on-line’ without any face-to-face contact with the students. The students appreciate working in this on-line platform that is so user friendly. This edX/Edge platform has great potential for eventually offering the DHRM to a worldwide audience.

The students appreciate working in this on-line platform that is so user friendly.

What are some challenges/successes in using Edge/edX?

Some of the challenges is there no connection between student registration in the UBC faculty server with the Edge/edX platform, so that faculty communication with students is awkward, especially in the beginning two weeks before the student registration is finalized. Edge/edX doesn’t reflect an up to date class list; it just has every student that registered for the course. Another challenge is the grading system, which is cumbersome. It does not connect with the UBC faculty system.

Edge/edX doesn’t reflect an up to date class list; it just has every student that registered for the course.

On the upside, I found the Edge/edX platform easy to use. I modified the content, I uploaded videos, and I adapted the modules weekly or as needed in response to the students’ progress.

What is your advice for new users of Edge/edX?

I am new to being a faculty of an on-line course, so I can’t compare this Edge/edX experience with, say, being a faculty of a Connect Blackboard Learn course.  However, one piece of advice (especially if you’re a grandparent like me!) is to immerse yourself in the wisdom, expertise and advice of student assistants as you develop your course  – listen to their feedback because they understand what works, and what does not work, for on-line learning with today’s learners.

Immerse yourself in the wisdom, expertise and advice of student assistants as you develop your course  – listen to their feedback because they understand what works, and what does not work.

Faculty and staff looking for Edge/edX support, please visit the Learning Technology Hub