3. Plan and create the contents

Key questions

• Which materials do you need to support learning the content? How can you illustrate the subject matter?
• Who is the producer of material and content in this course? How do you guide the students to take an active role in knowledge production?
• How do you consider the copyright issues related to teaching materials?

Planning the teaching and learning materials

Planning the learning process is strongly linked to the production of teaching and learning materials. Any consideration about how the material will be used in the course should always be based on a pedagogical starting point. Digitalisation offers more opportunities for doing this. The learning environments used alongside the digital learning materials influence how the material can be used as part of achieving the learning outcomes. When designing the materials, it is also worth considering how to involve the students in collaborative knowledge production.

On the one hand, digital learning materials must be invested in and, on the other, digitalisation enables the use of very diverse and varied materials in teaching. For this reason, mastering content production and the scripting of learning materials are an important part of a teacher’s professional skills. It is advisable that the content for digital learning environments is produced in smaller parts using a variety of formats (eg text, image, video, interactivity, etc.). The format of digital learning materials should be considered more carefully than usual. Think about what contents should be produced as text and which parts of the text could be replaced by videos, audio files, images, animations, games, exercises, or quizzes. It is also worth thinking about how to involve the students in the knowledge production role.

The pedagogical quality of learning materials

Many factors contribute to the pedagogical quality of digital learning materials. Such materials combine meaningful assignments and the central content to be taught in a well-executed, visually pertinent, and technically functional package without forgetting the power of community.

There is plenty of other online material that can be used to help and support teaching, which at its best is an excellent material for a course. However, take care when you use materials created by others in your teaching. While there are more opportunities in educational use, always check whether the author has restricted the use of the materials. Also, consider how you give others access to your own openly available materials.

Copyright issues

Copyright issues must be considered in all teaching including digital learning. In copyright terms, teaching is a public and organised activity based on an established curriculum. Restrictive provisions allow for certain, more liberal uses of copyrighted material that include, for example, educational or scientific purposes.
The copyright issues that arise in teaching can be roughly divided into two basic questions: 1) On what grounds and how can a teacher or a student use material created by others as part of their teaching or coursework? 2) Who owns the copyright of materials created in the context of teaching and learning, and how can the rights be transferred?

Digital accessibility

As regards accessibility the Act on the Provision of Digital Services (306/2019) obliges higher education institutions to ensure that our digital services and contents are accessible. The obligation also concerns publicly shared learning materials.

Links checked 7.12.2023