Learning Enhancement and Development
  1. About & Contacts
  2. Events
  3. Learning spaces
  4. Qualifications & accreditation
  5. Establishing a Teaching Persona
  6. Learning & teaching
  7. Learning Success
  8. Counselling & mental health
  9. LEaDER Centre
  10. LEaD projects
  1. Past Events
  2. Learning at City Conference 2017
Learning Enhancement and Development

Poster 3

Designing a structure and activities to support students’ Directed Independent Learning online

Ms Olivia Fox - Learning Enhancement and Development, City, University of London
Mr Peter Kogan - Learning Enhancement and Development, City, University of London
Mr Thomas Hanley - Learning Enhancement and Development, City, University of London
Mrs Lisa Baker - Learning Enhancement and Development, City, University of London
Ms Natalia Czuba - Learning Enhancement and Development, City, University of London

Gibbs (2015) in his 53 Powerful Ideas series notes that while students may spend most of their time on independent study activities, this part of a module is often the one that receives least or no attention from lecturers. For this reason we developed guidance to support staff in designing and structuring independent learning activities online. Our guidance was informed by feedback from students on how they engage with learning activities on Moodle.

This poster will outline how technology can be used to structure and design learning activities to support and prepare students for directed independent learning.

Thomas, Jones and Ottaway (2015) in their research study on Effective practice in the design of directed independent learning opportunities highlighted a number of benefits of directed independent learning including:
●Extends subject knowledge, by covering more material than could be covered in face-to-face teaching.
●Engages students with real world problems personal and academic development: enabling students to learn.
●Provides mechanisms to monitor students' progress.
●Provides flexibility in how students engage with the subject knowledge.
●Provides mechanisms to monitor students' progress.

Thomas, Jones and Ottaway (2015), noted that effective approaches to supporting and preparing students for independent learning can be facilitated through the use of technology as well as face-to-face activities.

This poster will present an overview of how Moodle can be structured and used to realise some of the benefits of directed independent learning. This work was informed, in part, from feedback from students during user evaluation sessions at City’s Interaction Lab. As part of these sessions, exploring the usability of Moodle, students outlined how they how they undertake independent learning activities and how they expect this information to be structured to help them to effectively engage with learning activities outside of face-to-face teaching sessions.

This poster will provide some prompts to encourage participants to reflect on how they currently structure and design independent learning activities and provide practical ideas on how to improve directed independent learning online.


Gibbs, G. (2015) '53 Powerful Ideas All Teachers Should Know About: Courses work as integrated systems' in SEDA http://www.seda.ac.uk/resources/files/publications_184_34%20Courses%20work%20as%20integrated%20systems.pdf (Accessed 06.03.17)

`Thomas, L., Jones, R., & Ottaway, J. (2015) Effective practice in the design of directed independent learning opportunities. York: The Higher Education Academy. [online] Available from:https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/resources/effective_practice_in_the_design_of_directed_independent_learning_opportunities.pdf (Accessed: 06.03.17)