On Tuesday 28 August, 2021 I presented “Learner revisitation of the same MOOC: formative feedback and its impact”, informally known as Our course could be your life(style): formative feedback edition at the Virtual FLAN Meeting – FLAN is a network of academics and research students based at FutureLearn partner institutions, and the aim of this group is to share research, and explore shared research opportunities.
For expediency, we’ll assume that everyone is familiar with MOOCs, massive open online courses and the hopes and dreams for them to make learning available to everyone at scale, and that there’s some awareness of the huge amount of research on them as a phenomenon.
Our research was to identify the factors that contribute to learners revisiting a MOOC. We asked:
‘What can we discover about the behaviour and motivations of revisiting learners from comments in a MOOC and how can these findings inform the design of MOOCs in the future?’
Although the goal of this research was to investigate enrolment data, learner activity data and themes identified from comments made by revisiting learners between 2015 and 2020 to identify the factors that contribute to learners revisiting a MOOC, this presentation will focus on the contribution that formative feedback made to learner revisiting.
‘Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance’ (known as MIND) and the follow-up complementary ‘Maintaining a Mindful Life’ (known as MINDLIFE) are four week courses, with a time commitment of 3 hours per week to work through the course material and sample each mindfulness exercise.
Each experiential course makes extensive use of video and audio as well as text-based explanations of mindfulness concepts. Quizzes, articles and additional reading are also included to provide learners with opportunities to check their understanding or dedicate more time to explore the science of mindfulness in more depth, and to provide additional information to where claims or references to research are made in the course.
Learners are strongly encouraged to watch the videos, practise the mindfulness meditations and exercises, share their ideas, reflections and experiences and join in the discussions – each run of the course features two course mentors to ensure appropriate facilitation and guidance of learners throughout the course.
So, what’s a revisiter?
For the purposes of our study, we defined a revisiter as a learner who has enrolled in more than one run of either of Monash’s mindfulness courses on FutureLearn between 2016 and 2020.
What we know. Combined, a total number of 33,990 revisiting learners joined a Monash mindfulness offering between 2015 and 2020. It’s worth noting that this number is determined by enrolments (joiners) and does not represent active learners – typically, around 4% of learners leave a course run.
It’s also worth noting the varying number of revisits, so there were joiners who revisited a monash mindfulness course from as many as 14 times (12 learners) incrementally down to revisiting 2 times (21,321 learners).
A lot of time was spent exploring the comments. Initial thematic analysis of the comments revealed core themes of:
Of note are the themes of:
Content approval – identified the value of the course content (videos, written content, mindfulness meditations and exercises, and bespoke weekly feedback videos).
Course team – celebrated and valued the contribution made by the course team – the lead educators and course mentors.
How formative feedback fits within the themes of content approval and course team.
Video is the primary means of content delivery in a Monash mindfulness courses.
Besides pre-recorded course content, video is also created in response to learner activity and plays a critical role in enabling educators and course instructors to provide formative feedback to learners throughout the delivery of the course.
Henderson and Phillips (2015) reported that the affordances of video enable instructors to convey detailed and elaborate feedback as well as encouragement and praise to learners more so than written commentary.
They also reported positive learner response to video-based feedback, where learners felt they had a closer connection with the instructors or educators. Echoing the reports from Henderson and Phillips are learner reviews posted on Class Central, a search engine and review website for free online courses.
The use of video-based feedback in this capacity not only addresses any potential knowledge deficit experienced by learners, ‘makes the massive feel intimate’, but also personalised the course in a meaningful and practical way, while actively contributing to the change in learner perceptions of the course as the type where an ‘instructor is not as available because there are tens of thousands of others in the class’.
Because weekly feedback videos by the lead educators are freshly recorded at the end of each week of each run of MIND and MINDLIFE they deeply personalise the course experience for learners.
Responding this way to learners helps cultivate a unique currency for learners to contextualise their experience to immediately relatable personal and emerging (local and global) situations that may benefit from the application of mindfulness practices.
Formative feedback modality – presence of the course team
For learners in an online course like a MOOC with potentially thousands of learners, a course team presence is a crucial component that ensures the facilitation and guidance of discussions and interaction between the learners so they can have a rewarding experience.
Learner reviews about Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance on Class Central revealed the contribution of the presence of the course team as mode for formative feedback.
A learner review on the course description of MIND noted the course team as being like mindfulness companions.
Revisiting learners greatly valued the efforts made by the course team to connect the conversation in the course comments (with the course mentors) to the conversation (between the lead educators) in the weekly feedback videos.
Typical comments made by revisiting learners in relation to the theme of the course team include references to the lead educator’s capacity to model mindful behaviour and attitudes with their relaxed non-judgmental approach that help build a bond of trust and confidence between them and the learners.
Learners also noted how the course mentors help frame course content and provide additional support (in the comments and in the feedback videos) as the course progresses.
Some clear conclusions about our revisiting learners. First time course participants may join for the content, but then choose to revisit for the community, course team, content updates and the impact that revisiting has on the way they act and feel.
Analysis of the comments revealed learners revisit because they’ve been able to cultivate a greater awareness of emotions, attitudes, stress response and how to manage them, and establish or continue their formal mindfulness practice, but benefit from ongoing participation in the course as a reminder to re-establish their lapsed mindfulness practice.
This highlights the importance of the value that revisiters place on a sense of community or affinity of a group of like-minded people that support each other throughout the course. This is connected to the role of the course team, where the way the course team engages, interacts and models mindful behaviour to learners, which is another contributing factor for revisiting.
What learnings are there for course designers?
Understanding the factors that contribute to learner revisiting is of interest to all organisations that offer online learning experiences (particularly those that are experiential or open-ended with no logical conclusion) because it may provide insights on how to best design, develop and deliver the experience.
When cultivating opportunities for formative feedback, designers need to:
ensure opportunities for conversation and rich discussion and a strong presence of the educators/course team.
consider how different modalities can be used to cultivate an educator presence and interactions between learners.
Know your customer (KYC) – consider learner archetype e.g., FutureLearn’s ‘Flourisher’ and ‘Fixer’ learner archetypes – their motivations go beyond learning about mindfulness, and extend into life outside of the course.
To support this, course design could create opportunities for these learners to further embed what they’ve learned into a lifelong practice by providing access to content (for offline use/outside of course) and tools (apps, journal templates, downloadable checklists) for learners to practice and also reflect on their experience.
Many thanks for attending the session – I hope you found it interesting.
Adamopoulos, P 2013, ‘What makes a great MOOC? An interdisciplinary analysis of student retention in online courses’, In Thirty fourth international conference on information systems, Milan.
Henderson, M & Phillips, M 2015, ‘Video-based feedback on student assessment: scarily personal’, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 31(1), 51-66.
Hew, KF 2014, ‘Promoting engagement in online courses: what strategies can we learn from three highly rated MOOCS’, British Journal of Educational Technology (Online First), http://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12235.
Chambers, R 2020, ‘What is Mindfulness & Why Does It Matter?’, retrieved 18 September 2020, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsIXw4GGZZw>.
Chambers, R & Hassed, C 2015, ‘Mindfulness: how not to be driven to distraction in this modern world’, retrieved 1 September 2020, <https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/mindfulness-how-not-to-be-driven-to-distraction-in-this-modern-world>.
Mindfulness, in its simplest and most universal sense, is a mental discipline that involves training attention (Hassed, n.d). Mindfulness is also about intentionally paying attention to whatever you’re doing and what’s happening around you, which as a practice, can result in improvements to cognitive and academic performance, health and wellbeing and improved relationships. Deliberately paying attention is important, and as research by Sheline, Barch, Price, Rundle, Vaishnavi, Snyder, and Raichle (2009) and Broyd, Demanuele, Debener, Helps, James, and Sonuga-Barke (2009) suggests, when we’re not paying deliberate attention our brain switches to ‘Default Mode’ – a type of attention associated with poor cognitive functioning and impaired performance.
With growing evidence to support the efficacy of mindfulness interventions in improving cognitive and academic performance (Chan & Woollacott, 2007), health and wellbeing (Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, & Oh, 2010) and improved relationships (Gambrel & Keeling, 2010), it’s not surprising that mindfulness is being explored by many education sectors to be part of their health and wellbeing programs. Indeed, these initiatives show promise, and as suggested by Zenner, Herrnleben-Kurz and Walach (2014), mindfulness-based interventions for children and youths are able to increase cognitive capacity of attending and learning.
So, how can a university better equip their students for the rigours of study and ensure they’re less stressed and performing at the best of their academic abilities? Mindfulness programs limited only to face-to-face workshops may impact the continued adoption of mindfulness practices (particularly if workshops require participants to travel or be in residence for a number of days, a retreat for example) – something that the affordances of digital may be able to counteract by providing greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness of delivering programs at scale. Already, there are a number of organisations (Center for Mindfulness, Openground), resources (www.mindfuled.org, www.mindfuleducation.org, Reachout) and digital tools (smilingmind, headspace, The Mindfulness App, Calm) available that share ideas and training opportunities for mindfulness programs as well as the development of a personal practice, but there are few digital solutions that directly support the development and capacity of teachers.
Teachers are probably the best placed to impart mindfulness practices to their students, and according to Zenner, Herrnleben-Kurz and Walach (2014), ideal for promoting mindfulness in their pupils through teaching mindfully, and through teaching mindfulness directly in diverse settings. An alternative to mindfulness-specific programs, would be to make mindfulness an essential component of a teachers unit of study, where practising teachers embed mindfulness as part of their teaching. To do this, they’ll need training.
My digital learning intervention plan describes the specifications for a 6 credit point postgraduate Mindfulness ‘Train-the-Trainer’ online program. Aimed solemnly at practising teachers in higher education, this AQF level 8 criteria program trains teachers how to embed mindfulness practices into their online teaching. This program is not designed for pre-service teachers, although pre-service teachers may benefit from the personal mindfulness practices in the program. This program could also be amended to suit other education cohorts as well as corporate and other professional contexts.
It’s also worth noting that any digital platforms, services, tools or apps mentioned in this digital learning intervention plan are not prescriptive, nor is the plan dependent on any one of these. Any platforms, services, tools or apps mentioned are for reference only, and for the purposes of this plan, it’s assumed that they, and all program content (including learning activities and assessments), meet all organisational requirements for data protection and privacy and the Level AA success criteria of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.
Intended learning outcomes
The following learning outcomes (LOs) describe what the participant* should know and be able to do at the end of the Mindfulness ‘Train-the-Trainer’ program. By the end of the program, the participant should be able to:
relate the history and origins, science and evidence, and underlying principles of mindfulness
describe and demonstrate formal and informal mindfulness practices
formulate appropriate mindfulness interventions to facilitate learning
apply mindfulness practices to unique contexts, including stress, performance, communication, relationships and movement
incorporate mindfulness practices and principles with learning theories and principles to embed mindfulness-based learning experiences.
*Please note, I’ve used the term ‘participant’ instead of learner / student to avoid potential confusion between the context of a learner / student in this online program and the future-state where the participant is teaching learners / students’ in their online program.
Placed within the ‘Relational’ level of the SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs & Collis, 1982), the learning outcome LO1 is critical given the participant’s eventual teaching context, where they’ll need to show a connection, benefit and value of undertaking mindfulness practices to their students (which also benefits the participant’s own understanding of mindfulness) and other stakeholders. The participant’s capacity to relate what it means to be mindful, the cost of unmindfulness, default mode and being able to present a case for being mindful is vital, particularly when faced with the challenge of changing preconceptions towards mindfulness. This is particularly useful when participants are required to justify the benefits any additional efforts of mindfulness practices to students and organisational stakeholders.
Placed within the ‘Multistructural’ level, LO2 prepares the participant to lead a variety of meditations / exercises (formal practice) and elaborate on the spheres of mindful practice as well as the attitudes of mindfulness and its qualities (informal practice). The participant’s capacity to model what it means to be mindful through the demonstration of formal practices is essential, as is the skill to lead students through a meditation that helps cultivate their own ongoing practice. Attitudes and qualities (curiosity, openness, non-reactivity, self-awareness), spheres of practice (mundane moments, leisure time, communicating, movement, working) also known as informal mindful practices, are also aspects of mindful the participant will need to master and demonstrate to their students – informal practices are equally important as they’re the majority of moments that make-up the day.
Placed within the ‘Extended Abstract’ level, LO3 readys the participant to create their own mindfulness interventions relevant to their students and teaching context. Context shape content, and the program participant’s understanding of how mindfulness interventions (which practices, and in what sequence etc) can be assembled in response to their specific teaching context is critical for student learning, not only the mindfulness practices but also the unit of study.
Placed within the ‘Relational’ level, LO4 charges the participant with skills for teaching students how to respond to the stress response, understand the cognitive aspects of stress and mindful stress reduction, which is critical in an educational setting. Of equal importance is performance, communication, relationships and movement. The program participant will be teaching students how to apply mindfulness practices to situations/approaches that contribute to impaired performance, including distraction, multi-tasking, apathy, mindsets and cognitive biases. Communication and relationships can also contribute to impaired performance and stress – with this learning outcome the participant will be able to teach students how to apply mindfulness practices to these contexts.
Placed within the ‘Multistructural’ level, LO5 equips the participant to better understand how students learn and how mindfulness-based learning experiences can be embedded in their teaching practice. As this program is designed for practising teachers, it’s likely the participant will have their own unique approach and preferences for learning theory and principles preferences that informs their existing teaching practice. While this is understandable, this learning outcome is predicated on learning in a digital age and how the affordances of technology can increase the availability of mindfulness-based experiences that can better equip students for the rigours of study and ensure they’re less stressed and performing at the best of their academic abilities.
The Mindfulness ‘Train-the-Trainer’ program contains three summative assessment tasks.
Assessment task 1: Leading a meditation session
For this assessment task (AT), the participant is required to submit a recording of them leading a meditation session (maximum 10 minutes). The purpose of this assessment is for the participant to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in formal mindful practices and the application of mindfulness practices to unique contexts. This assessment reflects the participant’s eventual teaching context, where they’ll need to lead a meditation session within their digital offering and / or provide instruction and support around their student’s use of digital tools.
The meditation session must be based on the participant’s context and must include any additional information that may be needed by the audience prior to commencement of the session. As part of the submission, a transcript of the meditation used in the session must be provided. The submission format is flexible, meaning a video or audio recording of the participant leading the session is acceptable. If audio is submitted, supplementary photographs of the participant demonstrating the desired position / posture are required to provide an equivalent instructional experience. The video hosting service used to submit the recording is also flexible, where the participants can choose from a service that permits sharing of ‘Unlisted’ videos, for example Vimeo or YouTube.
To guide the participant’s submission, the following materials will be provided: expository information (assessment task brief / scope, how-to information, technical requirements, deadlines, academic integrity) including a worked example, assessment rubric, and references to related learning materials.
Word count: Determined by duration of meditation (if 10 minutes, roughly 1,000 to 2,00 words)
Weight (%total mark): 20%
This assessment task aligns with a number of key elements (1, 2, 3, 7 and 9) from a model of authentic learning (Herrington, Thomas & Oliver, 2010) and maps to LO2 and LO4. Refer to Appendix A for the assessment task rubric.
Assessment task 2 – Implementation plan for a mindfulness intervention
For this assessment task, the participant is required to submit an implementation plan for a mindfulness intervention in their teaching context. The purpose of this assessment is for the participant to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in formulating mindfulness interventions to facilitate learning in their specific context. This assessment reflects the participant’s eventual teaching context, where they’ll need to plan, explain and advocate for the mindfulness intervention to be included as part of their teaching. The resulting plan could also potentially be used to inform similar interventions carried out by peers, or even elsewhere within the organisation.
The participant’s plan will need to describe the teaching context, goals and objectives, the resource implications (personnel, budget, tools, equipment and technology, facilities), schedule, management and reporting, any risks (of implementing or not implementing the mindfulness intervention), and associated contingencies.
Like Assessment task 1, this assessment task will provide expository information including a worked example, assessment rubric, references to related learning materials within the program will also be included to guide the participant’s assessment submission.
Word count: 1500
Weight (%total mark): 30%
This assessment task aligns with a number of key elements (1, 2, 3, 7 and 9) from a model of authentic learning (Herrington, Thomas & Oliver, 2010) and maps to LO2, LO3 and LO4. Refer to Appendix B for the assessment task rubric.
Assessment task 3 – Mindfulness intervention business case
For this assessment task, the participant is required to submit a business case for a mindfulness intervention in their teaching context. Building on AT2, the purpose of the assessment is for the participant to demonstrate their reasoning for initiating a mindfulness intervention in their specific learning context and to provide stakeholders with information they need to make a decision. This assessment reflects the participant’s eventual teaching context, where they’ll need to communicate the strategic, economic, commercial, financial and management ‘cases’ of the mindfulness intervention to stakeholders, who are most likely responsible for approving and resourcing the intervention.
The business case must contain an executive summary, finance, project definition, project organisation section (Workfront, 2019) and must provide a clear justification for the intervention on the basis of its expected benefit to students and the organisation.
Like previous assessment tasks, this assessment will provide expository information to guide the assessment submission.
Word count: 2500
Weight (%total mark): 50%
This assessment task aligns with a number of key elements (1, 2, 3, 7 and 9) from a model of authentic learning (Herrington, Thomas & Oliver, 2010) and maps to LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5. Refer to Appendix C for assessment task rubric.
For this program, it’s assumed that all learning activities are inherently social, where participants, as described by Laurillard (2012), learn through peer discussion. Participants can share their thoughts on prescribed discussions, provide their own comments and respond to others, reflect on what they’ve learned, and check their understanding with a quiz. It’s also assumed that participants can engage with content and be provided with ‘mentoring’ from highly responsive members of the course team on the platform, and elicit extrinsic feedback from the lead educators on their activity (which is then provided via email and bespoke summary videos).
Learning activity – What do you know about mindfulness?
For this learning activity, participants need to share what they know about mindfulness with other participants, watch a video featuring mindfulness experts introducing mindfulness and then reflect on any ideas or concepts presented in the video that are new, meaningful or challenge their existing assumptions of mindfulness and mindfulness practices. Participants then share their personal reflection, list ideas or concepts important to them and then briefly explain how these ideas or concepts could be integrated or change their existing teaching practice. Participants then select one idea or concept and then elaborate on how they’re going to practise it / apply it outside of the online program and to their teaching context.
This learning activity adopts the 4-A Model, where participants anchor the content within their experience, add new information, apply the content in a new way or to a new situation and then decide how they will use this learning in the future (Goetzman, 2012). The activity aligns with all nine elements from a model of authentic learning (Herrington, Thomas & Oliver, 2010) and also maps to LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5 and assessment task (AT) 2 and AT3.
For a mockup of the learning activity, please refer to Appendix D.
Learning activity – Out of the chair and into your life!
For this learning activity, participants need to share what they know about formal and informal mindfulness practice and watch a video featuring experts describing each practice, its application, differences, strategies and exercises and digital tools that can help increase an awareness of mindful development. Participants then reflect on any ideas, concepts or digital tools presented in the video that are new, already aware of or are meaningful and contribute to their development. Then, participants share their reflection, explaining how they could apply formal and informal mindfulness practices to teaching context. Participants then share the digital tools they’ve chosen to help support their mindful development and help track their progress.
This learning activity adopts the 4-A Model (Goetzman, 2012) and aligns with all nine elements from a model of authentic learning (Herrington, Thomas & Oliver, 2010). It also maps to LO2, LO3, LO4 and AT1 and AT2.
For a mockup of the learning activity, please refer to please refer to Appendix E, Appendix F and Appendix G.
Learning activity – Flip the script
For this learning activity, participants need to identify an aspect from their teaching context that would benefit from a mindfulness intervention, prepare a script for meditation that benefits the identified aspect and then share it with other participants for review and feedback. After receiving feedback on their work, the participant needs to reflect on any amendments they would improve their script. As part of the learning activity, the participant will also need to provide feedback on a script submitted by at least one other participant.
This learning activity aligns with all nine elements from a model of authentic learning (Herrington, Thomas & Oliver, 2010) and maps to LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 and AT1, AT2 and AT3.
For a mockup of the learning activity, please refer to Appendix H.
My approach outlined in the digital learning intervention supports the learning activities and assessments, and meets the learning outcomes and needs of the participants by the very nature of being digital. Being digital is a direct response to the limited availability or exclusivity of mindfulness training (that’s traditionally been face-to-face / workshop based). Being digital means the program is immediately more accessible to prospective participants, it can operate at scale and seamlessly incorporate existing and emerging digital services and tools, potentially from other partners / providers. Being digital also means that participants can collaboratively construct knowledge (for example, through the creation of scripts, meditations etc), which is an efficiency for the program participant, where in their eventual teaching context they’ll need to formulate (or at least clearly articulate to developers and designers) their own mindfulness learning experiences.
This reference list both acknowledges and attributes the original authors and sources of information included in this digital intervention learning plan.
Chan, D., & Woollacott, M. (2007). Effects of level of meditation experience on attentional focus: is the efficiency of executive or orientation networks improved?. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 13(6), 651-658.
Gambrel, L.E., & Keeling, M.L. (2010). Relational aspects of mindfulness: Implications for the practice of marriage and family therapy. Contemporary Family Therapy, 32(4), 412-426.
Goetzman, D., M. (2012) Dialogue Education Step by Step: A Guide for Designing Exceptional Learning Events. Global Learning Partners, Inc.
Hassed, C. (n.d.). The Health Benefits of Meditation and Being Mindful. Retrieved from https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/694192/The-health-benefits-of-meditation-and-being-mindful.pdf
Herrington, J., Thomas, C., Oliver, R. (2010). A Guide to Authentic e-Learning. New York and London: Routledge.
Hofmann, S., G., Sawyer, A., T., Witt, A., A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 78(2), 169.
Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a design science: Building pedagogical patterns for learning and technology. Routledge: London.
Ramsburg, J., Youmans, R. (2013). Meditation in the Higher-Education Classroom: Meditation Training Improves Student Knowledge Retention during Lectures. Mindfulness. 5. 10.1007/s12671-013-0199-5.
Sheline, Y. I., Barch, D. M., Price, J. L., Rundle, M. M., Vaishnavi, S. N., Snyder, A. Z., … & Raichle, M. E. (2009). The default mode network and self-referential processes in depression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(6), 1942-1947.
Rubric for ‘Assessment task 1: Leading a meditation session’.
Very good (D)
Introducing the practice
Explanation of the formal mindfulness practice (25%)
Explanation of formal mindfulness practice is thorough and includes highly detailed information on how the practice applies to the unique context.
Explanation of the formal mindfulness practice is very clear and provides a detailed description of how the practice applies to the unique context.
Explanation of the formal mindfulness practice is clear and provides a reasonable description of how the practice applies to the unique context.
Explanation of the formal mindfulness practice is rudimentary and provides a brief description of how the practice applies to the unique context.
Explanation of formal mindfulness practice is unclear and / or not shown. There is no information given to how the practice applies to the unique context.
Preparation and position
Demonstration of seating / position and relevant preparatory information (25%)
Seating / position is clearly demonstrated and of exceptional standard. Highly detailed preparatory information has been included.
Seating / position is clearly shown. Detailed preparatory information has been included.
Seating / position is shown. Preparatory information of reasonable quality has been included.
Seating / position is shown. Some preparatory information has been included, but lacks detail.
Seating / position is unclear and/or not shown. Preparatory information has not been included.
Guiding the practice
Effective instruction and guidance (25%)
Instruction and guidance throughout practice is detailed and sequential. Highly detailed debrief/enquiry process has been included.
Instruction and guidance throughout practice is very clear and sequential. Detailed debrief/enquiry process has been included.
Instruction and guidance throughout practice is clear and sequential. debrief/enquiry process has been included.
Instruction and guidance throughout practice is provided. A debrief/enquiry process has been included, but lacks detail.
Instruction and guidance throughout practice is unclear, nonsequential and/or not provided.
Debrief/enquiry process has not been included.
Challenges and difficulties
Description of challenges and and difficulties associated with the mindfulness practice (25%)
Description is extremely thorough and concludes with highly detailed information on management / solutions to challenges.
Description of challenges are clearly described and detailed solutions or approaches to managing the challenges have been provided.
Description of challenges is clear and possible solutions or approaches to managing the challenges have been provided.
Description of challenges is provided. Solutions or approaches to managing challenges have been provided, but lacks depth and detail.
Description is unclear and/or not provided. Solutions or approaches to managing challenges in the future are not provided.
Rubric for ‘Assessment task 2 – Implementation plan for a mindfulness intervention’.
Very good (D)
Learning context, identified need (15%)
Learning context is highly detailed and defined, and need for mindfulness intervention in cohort is clearly articulated.
Learning context is detailed and need for intervention has been articulated. Cohort not identified
Learning context is detailed. Need for mindfulness intervention has been identified, but lacking detail.
Learning context is provided. Need for mindfulness intervention has been identified.
Learning context is unclear and / or not shown. Need for intervention not shown.
Goals and objectives
Goals and objectives of intervention and intended outcomes (15%)
Goals and objectives are clearly defined. Intended outcomes are clearly articulated and measurable.
Goals and objectives are defined. Intended outcomes have been included, but are not measurable.
Goals and objectives are defined. Intended outcomes included, but measurement strategies unclear.
Goals, objectives and intended outcomes have been listed.
Goals and objectives unclear. Intended outcomes not shown.
Budget, tools, equipment, technology and personnel (15%)
Highly detailed and comprehensive list of resources, with detailed explanation of digital tools / services.
Detailed list of required resources, and mentions digital tools / services.
Detailed list of required resources. Digital tools / services not mentioned.
Incomplete list resources shown, but lacks detail.
Required resources not shown.
Timeline, schedule of events, duration (15%)
Highly detailed schedule, describes in detail ‘peak periods’ and duration for cohort / events.
Detailed schedule and timeline. ‘Peak periods’ for cohort listed.
Detailed schedule of events and timeline.
Schedule shown, but the timeline is unclear.
Schedule not shown.
Management and reporting
How the project will be managed, reported and reviewed (15%)
Highly detailed explanation of how the project will be managed, reported and reviewed.
Detailed explanation of how the project will be managed, reported and reviewed.
Some explanation of how the project will be managed, reported and reviewed.
Unclear explanation of how the project will be managed, reported and reviewed.
Management and reporting not provided.
Strategies for measuring success (15%)
Highly detailed metrics, milestones and performance measures linked to goals, objectives and reporting.
Detailed metrics, milestones and performance measures.
Metrics, milestones and performance measures have been listed.
Metrics and milestones have been listed but performance measures are unclear.
Strategies not provided.
Risks and contingencies
Description of risks to intervention and alternative actions (5%)
Highly detailed description of associated risks and comprehensive contingency plan.
Detailed description of associated risks. Contingency planning has limited scope.
Detailed description of associated risks. Contingency planning is unclear.
Associated risks and a contingency plan has been listed.
Associated risks and contingency plans not provided.
Expression and grammar
Scholarly, succinct with correct spelling, grammar and punctuation (5%)
Writing style is exceptional, scholarly and succinct that’s free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Writing style is scholarly, free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Writing style is scholarly, but wordy. Free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Writing is scholarly and wordy. Contains some grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors.
Writing is unscholarly. Many grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors.
Rubric for ‘Assessment task 3 – Mindfulness intervention business case’.
Very good (D)
Summarises business case (5%)
Summary of business case is thorough and succinctly conveys critical information about the mindfulness intervention.
Summary of business case is very clear provides information about the intervention.
Summary of business case is clear and provides information about the intervention.
Summary of business case is rudimentary and lacks detail.
Summary of business case is unclear or not provided.
Conveys financial implications (5%)
Describes in detail all financial implications for intervention, comparisons of intervention costs against benefits and all associated costs.
Lists all financial implications for intervention, comparisons of intervention costs against benefits and all associated costs.
Lists all financial implications for intervention, comparisons of intervention costs against benefits and some associated costs.
Lists some financial implications for intervention, comparisons of intervention costs against benefits and some associated costs.
All financial implications unclear or not provided.
Explains the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ (20%)
Highly detailed description of background, objectives, benefits and limitations, scope, business interests and associated risks.
Very clear description of background, objectives, benefits and limitations, scope, business interests and associated risks.
Clear description of background, objectives, benefits and limitations, scope, business interests and associated risks.
Limited description of background, objectives, benefits and limitations, scope, business interests and associated risks.
The ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ is unclear or not provided.
Describes how intervention will be set up (10%)
Highly detailed and accurate description of how the intervention is linked to organisational governance framework. Clearly defined reporting measures.
Detailed and accurate description of linkage to organisational governance framework. Clearly defined reporting measures.
Accurate description of linkage to organisational governance framework. Defined reporting measures.
Limited description of linkage to organisational governance framework. Some reporting measures provided.
Linkages to established organisational governance framework or reporting measures not provided.
A case for change that fits strategic objectives of the organisation (10%)
Highly compelling case that meets all strategic objectives of the organisation.
Compelling case that meets most strategic objectives of the organisation.
Case meets some strategic objectives of the organisation.
Case meets few strategic objectives of the organisation.
No strategic objectives provided.
Economic value (10%)
Case demonstrates incredibly high economic value to the organisation.
Case demonstrates some economic value to the organisation.
Case demonstrates low economic value to the organisation.
Economic value to organisation unclear.
Economic value not shown.
Commercial value and viability (10%)
Case demonstrates high commercial value and viability.
Case demonstrates some commercial value and viability.
Case demonstrates little or low commercial value and viability.
Commercial value and viability unclear.
Commercial value and viability of intervention not shown.
Financial investment is affordable (10%)
Case clearly demonstrates affordability of intervention, and cost of not carrying out intervention.
Case demonstrates affordability of intervention, and cost of not carrying out intervention.
Case provides financial information, with limited affordability and cost of not carrying out intervention.
Case provides some financial information, but affordability of intervention and cost of not carrying out intervention is unclear.
Financial case is not provided.
Input from stakeholders is achievable (10%)
Presents highly detailed and accurate description of stakeholders and their level of input.
Clear description of stakeholders and their level of input.
Some stakeholders and their level of input provided.
Some stakeholder information and level of input provided, but unclear.
No stakeholder information was provided.
Presentation, expression and grammar
Structure and formatting of business case. Scholarly, succinct with correct spelling, grammar and punctuation (10%)
Structure and format is accurate. Writing style is exceptional, scholarly and succinct that’s free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Structure and format is accurate. Writing style is scholarly, free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Structure and format partially adopted. Writing style is scholarly, but wordy. Free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
Structure and format partially adopted with errors. Writing scholarly and wordy. Contains some grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors.
Structure and format not present. Writing unscholarly. Many grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors.
Mockup of the ‘What do you know about mindfulness?’ learning activity as a digital experience.
Watch Associate Professor Henry Smyth-Jones and Dr Ingrid Magnusson provide an overview of mindfulness, its history and origins, its practices and the emerging science and evidence on this area.
As you’re watching, consider the evidence and examples of mindfulness and its application that are being presented.
Talk about it
Within the Comments, share with other learners your thoughts on one or more of the following talking points:
Although you might, we don’t assume you have had any prior experience with mindfulness or its applications. Of the ideas presented in the video, which ones are new to you or challenge your existing ideas of mindfulness, its practices and application?
Which ideas, science evidence or examples of the application of mindfulness do you find most meaningful to you and your professional teaching practice, and what are some ways you could apply or integrate them into your teaching?
Also consider reading and commenting on contributions made by other learners or following learners with similar interests as you. You can also ‘Like’ comments or follow other learners throughout the course.
Act on it
Choose an idea or concept that you found most meaningful, and then starting this week, act on it by finding out more about how others are applying the idea or concept to their professional practice (not necessarily in the field of education). For example, you may like to investigate how mindfulness is being introduced into sporting codes, business/corporate environments or in creative applications.
Throughout the week carry out your investigation, and then at the end of the week, return to this step then share what you’ve found out in the Comments.
If you’d like to find out more about the research and current thinking in this area, consider exploring the links in the See also section of this step. There, you’ll also find links to more scholarly articles on mindfulness and its effects on wellbeing from peer reviewed journals. We hope you find them useful.
Mockup of the ‘Out of the chair and into your life!’ learning activity as a digital experience.
Watch Professor Joni Alferson and Associate Professor Mitch Murray discuss the differences between informal and formal mindfulness practices, their application and tools that are available, and more.
As you’re watching, consider which practices you could apply to your teaching context and the challenges associated with doing so.
Talk about it
Within the Comments, share with other learners your thoughts on one or more of the following talking points:
Of the informal and formal mindfulness practices presented in the video, which ones do you think are most relevant to your professional practice?
Which informal and formal mindfulness practices would you like to try and how might you go about establishing your own mindfulness practice?
Also consider reading and commenting on contributions made by other learners or following learners with similar interests as you. You can also ‘Like’ comments or follow other learners throughout the course.
Act on it
Choose a teaching context or situation where you’d like to me more mindful, and then starting this week, act on it by practising mindfulness. For example, you may want to be more mindful at work or in your studies, or even make a very conscious effort to avoid unhelpful multi-tasking, or not to be drawn into the distractions around you so you can focus on a task of greatest importance to you.
Play the meditations available in this course or use apps such as Smiling Mind or Headspace. Be sure to track your progress with a mindfulness practice record, which is available in a print friendly or digital format.
Remember, your practice record is a valuable means of looking back over these changes, reflecting where you have come from and where you want to go to.
Mockup of a print friendly mindfulness practice record template (Can be filled out electronically) for the ‘What do you know about mindfulness?’ learning activity.
Formal mindfulness practice
Informal mindfulness practice
Mindfulness practised in other ways
Conducted 10 minute body scan. Noticed tension in my body and was able to let it go. Felt more relaxed by the end.
Listened to birdsong on walk to work. Such a nice way to start the day, and noticed that I was calmer and more present at work.
Turned off notifications on my phone/Flight mode to stop myself from being distracted from priority tasks.
Screen capture of daily mindfulness practice record included for reference only. Functional mindfulness practice record can be accessed from https://forms.gle/Jd5ayyBccTk2LTMX8
Mockup of the ‘Flip the script’ learning activity as a digital experience.
It’s time to bring together what you know about formal mindfulness practice and its application by writing your own script for a 5 minute meditation that would benefit an aspect of your teaching context (stress, performance, communication and relationships etc).
After you submit your script, you will then be asked to read and comment on a submission by another program participant.
What you need to do
Choose an aspect from your teaching context (stress, performance, communication and relationships etc) that would benefit from a mindfulness intervention. Your task is to write a meditation script for the teaching context, and explain its usage. Your script will have three parts.
Write an introduction by briefly describing the meditation and how it complements the context (No more than 100 words).
Write the meditation script (No more than 400 words). Remember, gently lead the listener through the meditation being sure to clearly describe what they’re to do or the sensations they may feel.
Write a debrief, briefly describing what the listener is to do next and how they can continue to practise the meditation (No more than 100 words).
These three sections match the guidelines that will be used by other learners to review and provide feedback.
Giving effective feedback
Once you have submitted your script, you will be invited to give feedback on the work submitted by another learner. In other words, a peer review.
Constructive feedback, and the process of reflecting on the feedback you receive on your own script, are both very powerful learning opportunities, and we hope that you give and receive feedback in the spirit of creating a supportive learning environment. Here are some tips on how to give the other learner effective feedback on their work:
Make sure that the tone of your feedback is always constructive. There is no place in this peer review process for feedback that is negative, disrespectful or derogatory.
Make sure that your feedback addresses the three criteria set for the task: introduction, the meditation itself, and the debrief. If you are making suggestions, make sure they are clear, and align with one of these criteria.
Emphasise the positives of what your peer submitted. Look for things they did well.
Remember the context of this task. The task is to write a script for a 5 minute meditation that would benefit an aspect of your teaching context. Therefore, please make sure your comments and suggestions are appropriate for this task.
Reviewing the work of another learner
First read through the piece without making any notes or comments. Then read through a second time, taking the time to consider each point that is made.
Using the guidelines provided, write brief comments that provide constructive feedback to the author. Point out anything that you found particularly interesting, what you found challenging and what you learnt.
Before you submit your review, please read through again so that you can add anything you’ve missed and ensure that your comments are easy to understand. The more reviews you can do, the more you help others and learn from their experiences.
My exploration of how we learn and how we design and develop digital stuff that helps us learn.