Friday, 31 May 2013

Wikipedia:Academic use


Wikipedia:Academic use


"Wikipedia is not considered a credible source."

A fantastic opening statement. 
Should I add a poll here?

Do you Agree or Disagree with that statement?

a) Agree

b) Disagree

Information Obesity - sketches



So true, so many important points to reflect on.
So while developing skills in my use of social media am I adding relevant and rich information rather than just increasing dross.
Those who know me know I have lots to say, I just have an aversion to writing it down and publishing it publicly! I am wondering how useful the information in my Blog might be ;-)

Activity 4.3: Creating your own material


Have a look at one of the following tools (choose one you are not already familiar with) and consider its application in your context:

Xerte
Glomaker
Cmap (click the small document and tool icons)
Camtasia or Jing
Screencast-o-matic.

Please respond to at least one of the following questions:
  • How easy was it to understand how this tool worked?
  • How quickly and easily would you find it to use?
  • How could you apply this tool in your own teaching?
  • What does this tool offer that has advantages over your current practice?



I would have liked to explore Xerte or Glomaker, however like my colleagues reflecting in the ocTEL forums, I too am constrained by the securities and permissions regarding installing non institutionally supported technology on my work PC.

Screencast-o-matic certainly looks like a good tool, thank, Jim, Sue and others for your feedback as a users. I like the interface and found it intuitive and easy to use. I like the option of distribution via an existing YouTube account and the change to either share publicly or unlisted. If we didn't have an alternative then this is likely to be the freeby for me.

Fortunately we have a screen capture software (Echo360) in pilot so we will have an institutionally supported equivalent. Our capture recordings are uploaded into an authenticated environment so at the moment the default is private. Our intention is to have the option to create public viewable resources soon.

Activity 4.2: Evaluating a resource in your area


Evaluate a learning resource you would consider using in your teaching and learning practice


These are two of the resources I selected:
Lecture capture - an introduction - http://dspace.jorum.ac.uk/xmlui/handle/10949/16121
Lecture capture - the benefits - http://dspace.jorum.ac.uk/xmlui/handle/10949/16122


How do you decide when a resource is worth adopting? 
I run through the following questions as I use the resource. I try to engage as both the learner and the facilitator so I get a feel for the resources/asset/object.
  1. Is the learning object appealing overall? 
  2. Is the experience of using the learning object a pleasant one? 
  3. Are the technical requirements easily understood and easily met?
  4. Is it easy to find your way around the learning object?
  5. Is the content complete and correct?
  6. Are the activities appropriate to the content?
  7. Is the scope of the learning object suitable: neither too limited, nor too general for your purposes?
  8. Does it meet the educational goal you decided upon?
  9. Are there any potential 'accessibility' issues?
  10. Is the 'message, information' in the resource relevant and applicable to my location with minimal adjustment? 
(see: NMC (2004) GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS OF LEARNING OBJECTS http://archive2.nmc.org/guidelines/NMC%20LO%20Guidelines.pdf page 20)



What are the advantages and limitations of this resource?
Advantage is that it is a short overview to Lecture Capture and concisely explains what it is and why academics might do this.  Clear succinct explanation and short duration makes it comfortable viewing, no need to scroll through to the relevant bits.
Limitations, the branding and logo of a legal group overseas may be a distraction for some as the legislation differs here in NZ, however the content remains accurate and relevant. There is no provision of closed captions so is less accessible that it could be.

How could you incorporate this resource into your teaching? 
This resource will be included in the collection of resources presented to staff for independent study regarding 'Lecture Capture', the existing resources are text based so these video resources provide a more visual and audible resource. 

How will this help your learners?
The resources give clear information and are an academics perspective so may be more easily received than the text alone.

Are there any limitations to the use of this resource for your learners?
None that I can think of at the moment, 

Please comment if you feel differently.
Thanks

Activity 4.1: Comparing resources

Take the perspective of a learner
  • What elements of these do you think are appealing to different kinds of learners?
  • What kinds of learners, if any, would they be inappropriate for and why?
  • How do each of these resources differ from that of the resources we’re using in ocTEL?
  • What ways can you see to improve the effectiveness or potential reach of these resources?

I chose to view and compare  iEthics V ElearningExamples.


The iEthics resource is really good for the activities presented. It provides the learner with a realistic scenario, clear information and can be self paced so the learner can view and review the materials. Visually very nice, clear audio.
Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic learners. Relevant to people in the health field.
It is produced for a specific purpose, audience and use it is a relevant technology for professional development.
Include an interactive element (asynchronous discussion tool) so the learner can reflect on each part of the content and opt to reflect with other learner's who are also engaging with the resources.
Links to the resources identified in each section so the learner can read up, e.g M.M.S.E. tool.


Elearning Example, I used Gauging Your Distraction
This is a fun game for a serious subject. It will appeal to those who enjoy keyboard games and want to be challenged to multi task on the screen. Reading and responding and also moving around the screen with keys and mouse simultaneously. Initial I ignored the text message and just focussed on the control keys, as soon as I looked at the text screen I crashed. I couldn't actually do both!
Again it is visually pleasing, worked well and was fun. This will suit a Visual/ Kinaesthetic learner but also one who reads the instructions before use.

We have been introduced to games for education in the course so we are engaging with them in ocTEL but the ocTEL course has made use of existing resources rather than seeking to create it's own stand alone resources. The iEthics resource would be quite costly to produce and may need the resources within it to be updated.The Distraction game is probably lower cost production and maintenance,

Both are specific for the intended audience, however the Distraction may also appeal as a concentration game as well as a powerful safety message.


4. Producing Engaging and Effective Learning Materials

Look for a resource in an area which is important in your teaching in one of the following resource banks.
  1. How easy was it to find a relevant resource?
  2. How could you incorporate this resource into your professional practice?
  3. Which source did you find more useful (and why) – the ‘official’ resource bank or the open search?
  4. Are there any limitations to the use of your preferred resource for your learners (e.g. copyright licence; login requirements)?
  5. Would your own students agree that the resource you prefer is accessible?

My primary role is to support academic staff with their professional development in relation to TEL so the resources I need must have the 'academic' voice. Staff have commented on the appropriateness of some resource which are aimed at the 'FE/HE student body' on previous occasions.

So I set out to search for resources which would be beneficial for  academic staff who are developing their own digital literacy skills. and focussed on "Lecture Capture".

Where available, I used the advanced search in each repository to try and locate sources only for my particular audience.


  1. Finding the resource - I did not have any problems with conducting a search however the filtering of results was variable. Jorum and YouTube provided the most appropriate resources, reviewing the abstracts to determine suitability was time consuming.
  2. Once I have reviewed the results I selected the most appropriate resources and linked them as supplementary resources in the resource collection we are compiling for academic staff. The resources need to give examples of Lecture capture, or reinforce  'good practice'.
  3. I found both sources useful however the software provider has branded examples on YouTube which are product specific (marketing style) but clear messages. Several YouTube are usable but as they refer to another institutions use some may struggle with feeling a connection with the resource. Were the other resource banks ‘official’?
  4. Regarding limitations, Copyright legislation will be the main one as the resources are not NZ based so legislation is different. However providing access to the actual resources was not problematic.
  5. I hope so.
These are a few of the resources I selected:

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Early Days of Videotaped Lectures

Video taped lectures
My historical reflections on the early 1990's: there were regular late night TV broadcasts for professional development from the Royal College of Nursing.  As part of my Nursing professional development I used to tape them on VHS and then watch them while I completed the workbooks and readings provided in the professional journals. I played, paused, rewound to my hearts content! I only recently threw the tapes and workbooks out. Those old TV recordings were something else!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Activity 3.3: Designing or reviewing a learning activity

We hope soon to be launching our new streaming service with Lecture and desktop capture capabilities.
My colleague and I have drafted a programme for our presentation and workshops and intend to include an activity similar to this within the launch events.


  • Title of activity
    • Creating video using PCAP (VStream/ Echo360)
  • Intended learning outcome/s
    • To use PCAP (VStream/ Echo360) to create a 2 minute video
    • Upload video to VStream echo centre
    • Locate the URL to distribute your video
  • Activity description
    • Using VStream and PCAP software, you will create a short video introducing yourself to your students;
      • Refine your script/prompts/notes
      • Log on to the computer
      • Open the PCAP software
      • Configure your webcam
      • Create your recording
      • Review and edit your recording
      • Open your preferred browser
      • Log in to VStream EchoCentre
      • Upload to the VStream EchoCentre
      • Once the file is processed, locate URL to share with students
  • Time
    • 20 minutes
  • Prerequisites
  • Link to technology used
  • Links to additional resources
  • Follow up activities
    • Edit your file, add closed captions, add bookmarks
    • add link to specific content area in your Blackboard course

Activity 3.2: Active play

Game-based learning has grown as a form of TEL.

  1. What do you think you could learn playing this game?
  2. What (if anything) did you find engaging?
  3. What (if anything) did you find demotivational?


  1. Could learn observational skills working against the clock, mouse dexterity.
  2. The story was intriguing, being set challenges and completing them in a given time frame.
  3. The music was awful, I had to turn it off, the scree was difficult to resize in order to view in a size large enough for me to see the items. 
I used to enjoy the Lara Croft Tomb raider games on XBox when they first came out, I did the observation and thinking bit and my friend controlled the joy-pad. 

Not to be defeated I then tried.


I managed to get to level 4 and then thought, why am I doing this? The information about the puzzle and hints were puzzles in themselves. If this were a course with those completion/success rates it would soon be axed.
  1. Resilience, observation skills, not really sure as I didn't really
  2. umm
  3. The gambling adverts, Frustration out-weights the potential pleasure and feel good factor in solving the puzzle. My life is too short for this one.

Role play: Runescape


  1. hand eye coordination, spacial orientation, following instructions, 
  2. I have heard about Runescape and it is visually appealing and you can create the story and explore the virtual realm.
  3. As a free game you have to subscribe :-(  I didn't want to create an account so I stopped there. Combat games don't really appeal to me so that would also be a demotivator.

  1. Follow instructions, hand eye coordination, turn taking, 
  2. I quite liked the idea of journeying around the wild west, the graphics were al-right  the screen layout was logical, the prompts and instructions really helpful.
  3. Once again the sounds, event muted were irritating. 

I do however value Simulation software, this is especially valuable in nursing where we need to replicate clinical scenarios for the students to rehearse and practise their response safely and educational games to develop knowledge and skills in a subject.



Activity 3.1: Theories of active learning


Activity: Write a short discussion piece on how you would relate it to
  • how you learn;
  • your current practice;
  • the design of Technology Enhanced Learning activities

Primarily I learn by doing and reflecting on what I am doing and have done.

My professional background is Nursing, RNLD (UK);  RN (NZ), so I am informed and influenced by nursing theorists as well as educational theorists. Where I am engaging with or delivering TEL, I am always mindful of the learning styles and preferences of others.

My current practice I move through Kolb's cycle,
  • Initially undertaking the activity (spontaneous or planned) (DO); 
  • I observe the impact my activity has on others, the environment, the technology and myself (Observe); 
  • I consciously think and reflect in and on the activity,what is happening?  is the activity progressing as intended, anticipated, desired? (Think) I overlap here with reflecting in and on practice and often draw on the work of Professor Chris Johns [See: Johns, C (1995). Framing learning through reflection within Carper's fundamental ways of knowing in nursing. Journal of advanced nursing 22 (2): 226–34. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1995.22020226.x. ]
  • Having considered my actions and potential outcomes I then plan my next action (Plan) and identify how I will determine its success. 

As a registered nurse I am accountable for my actions and omissions and must be able to justify my decisions, this extends into my academic professional life too.  I am shaped by my professional role identity and professional reputation. I acknowledge applying the same scrutiny to my adoption and use of technology in my own learning and acknowledge my 'biases' when I am assisting others with exploring and undertaking TEL.

When designing TEL activities I begin by asking the learner to identify their outcomes (plan) to become aware of what they want and need to do to meet their personal learning goals and map this against my intended learning goals for the TEL activity.
I include technologies and activities which provide the learner with the opportunity to actively participate and or create (do) e.g. produce an artefact, video, audio, text, image, discussion etc;
 offer encouragement to observe their activities or outcomes and the impact this has on others, environment etc e.g. reflective discussions, writing individual diary, journal blog etc;
 provide time and opportunity to think about the learning, this might be through personal reflective journals, asynchronous group discussions or blogs or face to face in person or through technology i.e. skype;
 and develop plan and revisit and refine the initial plan/ personal learning goals, as the learner engages with their learning I encourage them to plan.





What is Learning?

Designing Active Learning

What is learning?
Activity: Think about the last time you learned something. Describe what you learned? How did you go about learning it? What strategies did you use? Consider this overview of categories of learning “suitable for instructional design planning“ in the table 


My learning activity, to use Twitter purposefully.

Two birds in a nest tweeting
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/ 
I learned about Twitter some years back, but didn't feel the need to sign up until I attended a conference last year where they really promoted the value of Twitter for live participation during the events (think).
I needed something tangible to convince myself of the need to Tweet. The conference gave me a purpose. I signed up for a Twitter account, for work purposes only (IIa, III) (plan). I think I made two Tweets during the events (do) and observed people face down in their phones rather than facing the speaker (which was weird for me) (IV) (observe). I also sough out people and groups of interest to 'follow', my motivation here was 'is what they were Tweeting of genuine interest or value to me'? (IIa, IIb, III) (think).
So knowing why I want to, need to share my thoughts, ideas, instantly with the world via Twitter (Ia) was my first challenge in learning the technology. Knowing what Twitter is, what it isn't, the benefits and limitations are and how to develop protect my personal and professional reputation are also key (IV) (observe, think, plan).
I recently created an embed code so my tweets and those of ocTEL appear in my blog page (IIb) (do), I also added instructions in my Bb course environment for those colleague who want to embed Twitter into their courses (II) (do).

I recently posted several tweets, because there was a button on the page I was on, not because I really felt it was valuable to share my activities with others (do). Although I am happy to share my thoughts with those I now and trust within my personal and professional circles, I have yet to overcome my anxieties about Tweeting, warts and all (IV) (think). I admit that I am periodically Tweeting during this ocTEL course, but don't prioritise my time to follow all the tweets of those I follow or seek out new tweets (IV) (do, observe, think, plan). Having said that when I do get round to logging in to Twitter I always find something to visit from those I follow (do).

I am confident and comfortable in explaining the value and terminology of Twitter to colleagues,  I appreciate the value in a technology like Twitter for sharing thoughts, ideas, links etc to others. I will continue to reflect  on 'why I follow the tweets of others', 'why I Tweet' and seriously would anyone really miss it if I didn't! and continue to develop my 'Twitter Literacy' .

Key: A small typology of learning types



I attempted to fit my reflection on learning within the typology of learning types identified as "suitable for instructional design planning" but found I was drawn more to David Kolb's learning styles model and experiential learning theory (ELT) http://www.learning-theories.com/experiential-learning-kolb.html  it is more fluid and feels less hierarchical.
Image : http://www.businessballs.com/images/kolb's_learning_styles_businessballs.jpg

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

MOOC via Blackboard!?!

COURSEsites

This looks interesting, a VLE/LMS for delivery of free online course, MOOCs. With the familiar branding and reputation of Bb... hmmm... one to explore sometine soon.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Understanding Learners' Needs. 2.2 pt 2


Activity 2.2: Researching themes in learner needs

Consider the implications for your teaching approach/delivery and implementation.

Accessibility

There are some really great resources in these collections:

  • Learning to teach inclusively http://www.wlv.ac.uk/Default.aspx?page=24685 an OER (Open Educational Resource) module for Higher Education staff that aims to help you gather information about your own diverse students and, in light of this, redesign an aspect of your curriculum for the engagement and assessment of  all students.
  • JISC TechDis promote inclusive practice in teaching and learning and provide advice and resources to support learner needs. You can explore some of the possibilities for inclusive use of technology at the site http://www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/techdis/userneeds
  • EDUapps provide a range of software collections to support a diverse range of user requirements.  These can be downloaded for free at http://eduapps.org/?page_id=7


While I worked in the UK I was fortunate to visit the TechDis team and have been a fan and advocate of their resources for many years.

Responding to BrianH comment in the Forum post.

I don't think the fully online course can be 'accessible to all'. But I do think we can do our best to make it accessible to many/most.
If we develop learning resources with an awareness of functionality with screen readers, closed captions, adjustable font styles sizes, colours. software and apps which work across platforms and devices. Offering relevant language options in multilingual institutions.
With robust process for learners to inform us of their specific support needs and processes in place to provide assessments which are not detrimental to the student who has known support needs.


Further resources: 

Accessibility is something I promote to my academic colleagues - http://www.cad.vuw.ac.nz/wiki/index.php/Accessibility

Whether the challenge is technology or something else, inclusive teaching is something we should all aspire to deliver - http://www.cad.vuw.ac.nz/wiki/index.php/Inclusive_teaching


Understanding Learners' Needs. 2.2 pt 1

Activity 2.2: Researching themes in learner needs


Firstly I will consider implications of digital literacy.

Here in New Zealand we have a concept 'Ako' this means both to teach and to learn. It also encompasses reciprocal learning relationships and values learning from each other, so social and collaborative literacies are very important.

Digital literacy

Image of my digital learner profile
Digital learner profile- Results
My areas for development
Learner Networker Your Score = 5
You may not be comfortable collaborating and sharing ideas online – perhaps you prefer to do this face to face or you like your social networks to be kept separate from your college work. You may not feel confident that what you know is worth sharing.
Digital Sceptic Your Score = 4
If you have a low score in this area you are confident and enthusiastic user of digital technology. However, you may need to reflect more deeply on why you use the tools and services you do.

For those who 'really know me' there are no surprises there then ;-)

21st Century Literacies (Rheingold, 2009) 45 minute video of talk in London http://blip.tv/howardrheingold/21st-century-literacies-2393998

Howard is a really engaging speaker, always enjoy his presentations. I appreciate his reflections on the development of technology as a participant observer.

Being a discerning user, developing critical appraisal skills or Crap Detection 101: How to tell accurate information from inaccurate information, misinformation, and disinformation. (Howard Rheingold).

I especially enjoyed the observation of classroom behaviour and the A+ student, many of my colleagues express concern about students using technology in their classrooms with a fear that students are not paying attention. The skill of multitasking is really key in this situation. I think his 'attention' activity is great. 
Tutor/ students adding notes on the wiki during class so the others can contribute after class sounds like a neat approach.

Aaargh, (17.45) now Howard draws our attention to the 'excruciatingly painful boring blogs and twitter accounts' out there! (Note to self, I must try and keep mine interesting and useful and participate in a valuable way). 

Online reputation (31:00), thanks Howard, music to my ears. one of the reasons why my Learner Network' score is so low and my desire to keep my social (online profile) separate from my professional (online profile) is part of my desire to protect and nurture my online reputation.

The joy of a 'flexible' environment.

Think points!

Master 'Search credibility' (aka Crap detection).
Queue or flow!  Act as a Triage nurse! sample the flow.
Keep your eye not just on the technologies but on the literacies.
Five competences/ literacies identified by Howard Rheingold (2009).
Be aware of your online reputation.

Understanding Learners' Needs... Webinar



Webinar

Digital literacy - how is it determined? What is digital literacy?

Beetham and Sharpe (2010) Digital Literacy Framework
Ask, what learners do rather than what they are good a may elicit more honest and genuine responses.

How we can find out about our learners - Finding out about learners' experiences with technology. The comments in the chat window were varied and it is reassuring to read that where the opportunities arise face to face verbal enquiry is used along side the technology such as polls, surveys for feedback.

Merging social (personal) with learning media, do students understand what this entails? personally I am trying hard not to merge my media.

This is an interesting overview... STROLL  These students have a range of technologies available and are using them to meet their study, home and work needs. I especially like the quote regarding studying at night sleeping during the day "when the nothing else is happening apart from lectures". This student obviously values independent study using the digital resources provided by the university above attending lectures in person. I also thought it was interesting how another student praised the 'boring' StudyNet ( VLE/LMS) environment but said how great it was because everything was in it, easy to navigate, well organised easy to search and it was provided by the institution and "quite possible the most useful thing you could use at university".

Using skills developed in social (personal) to use of learning media, many students do appear to do this adequately but recent observations show a distinct divide between those who do transfer skills well and those who struggle and regularly seek assistance.


Action to follow up:

Re read: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/developingdigitalliteracies

The design studio - resources. http://jiscdesignstudio.pbworks.com/w/page/65634841/Resources%20for%20OcTEL%20week%202

Facebook groups for schools - https://www.facebook.com/about/groups/schools

JISC learner experiences of e-learning  http://oro.open.ac.uk/30014/
Special Interest Group - The net generation and digital natives: implications for higher education

Understanding Learners’ Needs


Activity 2.1 - Survey experience.

  1. Using the ‘readiness for online learning’ themes that you identified in the previous activity, discuss the extent to which they feel ready to engage with TEL.
  2. What expectations and concerns do they have about using TEL?
  3. Do these expectations resonate with your experience of this course?
What is the purpose of the survey?
Who is it for?
Does the university retain the data from the survey? What do they do with it?

I can see the value for the student in helping them to prepare/decide to undertake online learning. The survey would only be valuable if the student could access further support to become 'ready' where they are motivated to study at a distance and on-line.

The four surveys are rather simplistic but I can see their relevance.
I have fielded a few calls recently where students just haven't appreciated the demands of a blended course where the majority of their time is out in practice (Nurses) undertaking study online from work and home (and anywhere in between) and appear to have little confidence with the technology and skills they needed to keep going. The main challenge was their motivation, the course is a mandatory aspect of their professional development. Geography required their undertaking the course in blended delivery.

In this situation I am unsure how these survey tools would assist the learner is answering the question 'is online learning for me?'  

For the student who is deciding on whether to undertake online learning and has not done so before a survey may help them decide.



I completed http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/selfEval.asp

I scored 11.  Their response for the survey was "You are a great candidate for online learning."

I selected yes against, When it comes to schoolwork and deadlines, are you a procrastinator? Because I am. It is amazing how interesting the Ironing can become if the topic I am studying isn't engaging.

The important aspect of this type of survey is it sets out the technology expectations and requirements for the course and the attributes of the learner in a simple easy to follow survey. It may be a little too simplistic regarding Internet availability and service. Here in NZ you may have a computer and phone line but may limited Internet capability.

and
http://distance.uh.edu/online_learning.html

A more comprehensive survey. I scored 206. The feedback only went up to 201 so I am 'more than ready to go'!

As before my skill and mastery in procrastination when I am not feeling engaged mean't a few questions were lower rated.  This survey may provide potential students a greater feel of their readiness for online learning.


Responses to questions:

Having read through the posts in this weeks discussion forum, I observe a variety of participant views and experiences. There are many who are highly digitally literate, innovators, early adopters , digital natives (more Jargon I hear you cry!)  and there are those who are novices, potentially new users on distance/online learning as students, (perhaps some who are bravely trying out the MOOC to see how it feels to be a student in this environment).

Concerns focussed on their own student readiness. However the stronger voice questioned the value and validity on the survey, questions about who is the survey for?

Reflecting on the withdrawal of individuals from the ocTEL email list at the start of the course, would a survey question which asked about 'familiarity or usage or email lists have prepared these users for the volume and frequency of emails received?


Re: To what extent should learning design be supported computationally?


To what extent should learning design be supported computationally – A webinar discussion between Diana Laurillard and Stephen Downes http://repository.alt.ac.uk/2209/

Unintentionally Diana demonstrated the technical limitations of Illuminate :-(  lack of control for the presenter in jumping through slides and the inability to run animated slides.

Word of the day: Connectivate = activating connections.


The Learning Design tool  https://sites.google.com/a/lkl.ac.uk/ldse/Home  Technology to calculate teacher time in creating revising teaching technology.

This looks like a useful tool to provide evidence to support negotiations for recognised time for academic activities, currently this is not specified clearly and it is 'as much as it takes' even if there are not enough hours in the day/week/ academic year....

Pedagogical Patterns Collector -  http://web.lkldev.ioe.ac.uk/PPC/live/ODC.html  "suite of tools enables teachers to share their good teaching ideas. It is intended to help a subject teacher see how a particular pedagogic approach can be migrated successfully across different topics".

This is valuable when reusing content or developing content for intentional reuse.
Useful to use in teaching development environment.

Action:

  • Put some time aside to explore these two tools for my own teaching practice.
  • Consider a project with staff using these tools and the perceived benefit from their use.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Re: Eric Mazur, Abridged "Confessions of a Converted Lecturer"


My reflections on

Eric Mazur, Abridged "Confessions of a Converted Lecturer"



Activity 1.2

My Practice and  My Course


Reflect on where your learning activities lie on a matrix of ‘individual to social’ and ‘autonomous to directed’ learning.

  1. How could you achieve your learning outcomes if the activity were conducted differently?
  2. Would this be an improvement? If not, why not?
  3. What technology would you require if you did things differently?
Current teaching - my activities at the moment are short workshops where the focus is on introducing academic staff to Blackboard (LMS/VLE)

Information advertising the workshop:

"This hands-on course introduces participants to Blackboard – a web-based environment used at Victoria to provide online support for learning and teaching. This course provides an overview of Blackboard tools and functionalities. You will learn how to set up a basic course web site, upload and modify course content, set up discussion boards and other communication tools. We will also consider issues of good practice in online teaching and learning. ***Using Mixed Media - Please bring your headphones for this session***"
Learner feedback indicates that the activities planned are suited to the achievement of the learning objectives. The main challenge is the variety of experience and confidence of staff, some find the session too long and slow while others find it challenging with too much and too little time.

I offer staff training in other ways one-to-one and drop in sessions for up to four people. So everyone has the chance for follow up after the initial workshop.

For those who do not want the workshop, I provide on-line resources and will provide a tailored response to their technology learning needs.

What technology, I am happy with the range of institutional technology available to me which is complemented with web 2.0.

I think the greatest challenge to my practice is the reliability and stability of institutional technology provision, which is under continual improvement, and matching staff to technologies where the diversity and complexity of teaching activities.

One of the factors influencing my choice of technology is the EULA. Where a web 2.0 technology is selected by the academic I advise them to have a 'plan B' for the students who do not want to sign up to using the web 2.0 technology. I believe that the 'plan B' technology needs to provide the student with a comparable experience to that experienced by the students using the web 2.0 tech.


So where do I place myself on the matrix?


My practice also moves across the matrix depending on what I am teaching and to whom.










In the example above I am more in the Individual domain, moving between Directed towards Autonomous as the workshop progresses. Social networking tools available within the workshop LMS/VLE environment provide learners with the opportunity to interact socially during and after the workshop.

My Course

Put yourself in the shoes of a student on a course you might be teaching, and share your ideas – via the same channels as above – concerning


  • at what points of your course are there opportunities to express opinions and instincts?
    • As a participants I am invited to give my personal objectives for attending the workshop at the start. I can ask questions at the start of the workshop, and am encouraged to ask at any point if I need clarification on the technology or terminology used. We discuss technology and the use in their teaching and I encourage 'open and frank' discussion. I can even join in discussion board to discuss my ideas with my colleagues in the workshop, or email my questions to the facilitator. 
  • at what point do you have to absorb information and how?
    • I have to absorb information all the way through the first half of the workshop and get to practice my new skills at the second half of the workshop. 
  • at what points do you work with fellow learners?
    • I work with the person beside me to discuss my anticipated use of technology in my teaching. I can discuss with fellow learners in the face to face workshop and afterwards in the Blackboard course.
  • what percentage of the course is assessed individually or as a group?
    • There is no assessment for this course, my aim is to develop confidence and skill in using Blackboard so I can go away and start creating my course.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Out of my comfort zone...

I can relate to this image,

come-out-and-learn

Image: Dennis Callahan Title: come-out-and-learn

Activity 1.1: Champions and critics of teaching machines


Activity 1.1: Champions and critics of teaching machines


As I watched the film I was thinking about my school experience and how I learn as an adult, I enjoy the journey of discovery on the shelves of my local library, the internet and discussions with colleagues and friends. I also enjoy the self directed, self paced affordances that technology provides to support my learning journey.

I echo many of your thoughts,I too have been subjected to the tedious multiple choice assessments for mandatory 'Corporate training courses, I know why they do it but it certainly isn't a pleasant experience.

I expect it is fair to assume that the Teaching Machines (TM) were 'cutting edge' at that time. I remember using 'cardboard'cards to mark my Maths at school, we would shade in the blocks with a graphite pencil, post the card into the card reader and get told whether we were right or wrong. It was amazing at the time but within a year it was 'old tec'.

I think the principles of learning at your own pace, not missing on the content because you were away are still aspects of learning that today's students appreciate and in some situations demand.

I agree with Liz, providing prompt feedback is really important, at the least the TM provided 'instant' feedback to the students. As today's academics our institutions frequently have policies which dictate 'in class' assessment activities and turn around times for marking and providing feedback to students. With increasing student:academic ratios the use of technology delivered and 'assessed' work may be necessary.

Today's Tablets, can do all that the Teaching Machines did and more with bells and whistles.

In relation to the Emergent Learning Model http://heutagogicarchive.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/emergent-learning-model/, I believe the Teaching Machines would be positioned within the Formal Learning component of the model, due to the need to develop the content and assessment materials within the TM and set up the delivery. However the frequency and intervals in using the TM can easily be determined by the Individual. However in Skinners time I expect it was controlled entirely by the Institution due to the 'specialist' technology and the unlikely use outside the classroom. Today's tech permits the flexible use and the well equipped learner certainly has the opportunity to take control of their learning. I think this model would favour the TM and embrace the Tablet.

The TM doesn't sit well in relation to Communities of Practice model http://www.ewenger.com/theory/ , that particular technology encourages the learner to work alone, completing their own work at their own pace, reviewing their assessed results and then progressing on towards the conclusion of the learning activity. There is no opportunity identified for interaction with others so little opportunity for learning from others.
I don't think Etienne Wenger would be in favour of the TM, however I think he probably favours a Tablet .




Webinar week 1

Studying at home today... seriously slow broadband service :-( I can't wait for the high speed installation to happen.

Finally the Webinar recording plays (hooray!)


Teachers Talking about TEL. Liz Masterman. 17th April 2013

Activity- In the discussion that will follow Liz’s presentation, participants will be encouraged to reflect on the relevance of each theme to their own practice.

=====================


ocTEL week 1 webinar

Five questions

  1. Is there a tension what students want and what might be more beneficial to their learning?
  2. ‘Good use of technology builds on all the education theory.’ Do you agree? 
  3. What are the trade-offs and compromises in using (open) educational resources created by others?
  4. Where is the locus of ‘cool TEL’ in your university/college and what is its relationship to institutional support?
  5. What information will best help you decide whether to try out a TEL innovation (quantitative and/or qualitative)?

TEL

  • Drivers
  • Enablers
  • Constraints



Think points!
Digital literacy and the desire/need to equip students for the workplace.
Staff adoption of technology driven by student request for its use.
Inconsistent use within the institution, students need consistent use of technology enhanced learning across the institution.
Student preferences and student numbers can 'constrain' Sometime we can only use what we have available in the time.
"Are students conservative"? concern that "over privileging students" with provision of online/digital resources has in some situations led to students turning away from the 'hard copy' resource.
"Is there sometimes a tension what students (say they) want and what might be more beneficial to their learning?"

Q1 - I have experienced tension where students talk about how much 'better' a colleagues teaching is from another's and when I have unpicked it the comments have often related to the technology used, the proficiency of its use, the use of or and range of media used. The 'better' has rarely focussed on the subject content. I think it is important to personally and institutionally acknowledge that the range and pace of emerging technologies is faster that 'we' can individually respond to so we should not attempt to adopt everything 'new' but be discerning and adopt and use 'well' that which is seen as the most suitable.

Q2 - I certainly do. We should design the assessment and learning activity before we select the technology. The technology should enable and enhance the learning experience. Bad, and/or unnecessary use of technology can have a negative influence on educational theory.
Theory-informed TEL - Theories of learning V theories of teaching.
Q3 - The trade off I have encountered is there is a balance between the expensive slick resource for large scale long term reuse and the cheaper less polished resource which may be for small scale local/discipline specific reuse.
On occasion an OER is too 'generic' sometimes people appear to struggle with words/phrases they are not familiar with or organisational branding which is not their own. I have also encountered really slick looking resources where they refer to legislation which is relevant in a specific country or contain information which is out of date. This has lead to recreating the resource in a 'cheaper' format locally.
On occasion sourcing and previewing the OER has been considerably time consuming, leaving me and colleagues thinking we could have pulled something suitable together in less time.
OER enable us to 'reuse' learning resources within our teaching wider that we may have done previously. In my teaching I have generally sought out existing resources which I can re-use re-purpose. I have regularly been delivering 'team teaching' and have developed and delivered 'shared' teaching content, this has brought challenges in applying your 'own voice' to the content during delivery. It is essential to be familiar with the material in advance so you can provide relevant enhancements and not be surprised by the content. However when developing these 'team teaching' resources there was reluctance to openly share, many team members took the 'shared' resources and tweaked them for delivery to their seminar/tutorial group which lead to student voicing dissatisfactions because they were getting something different.

At my previous institution we created a repository for these shared learning/teaching resources RADAR .
I have freely shared my resources for others to use, these have primarily been contained with Power Point presentations and distributed within a VLE. However my resources were never granular enough for the shared repository.

Where I am now working, I am beginning to venture into video and audio resources with the intention for use by others in my own institution. I am also exploring the creation of an institution level repository for video/audio of examples of learning and teaching activities which we can used to support the development of academic staff.


Q4 - We have an individual locus for many years and more recently there has been a central response. We have a number of Innovators and 'early adopters' and are delivering a strategy to support and enhance TEL across the institution - Digital Vision  My role is to support staff to develop confidence and competence using technology in their teaching. My 'students' are faculty members.

Q5 - What convinces me/ staff to use new technology. Personally a combination of own exploration, peer feedback and published research evidence. In my institution we have interviewed staff about this and there are a range of factors, certainly peer use and how they rate their experience is a significant factor as is the research evidence, there was also mention of student expectations having influence. The greatest constraint indicated is lack of time to explore, learn, evaluate TEL.





Thursday, 2 May 2013

Week 1

Feeling like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.... I'm late!

I think I will do the 'one' thing this week.

Ok ... we have clickers and are using them at my Uni so I will skip the first one today; number two sound interesting but not today; four and five sound exciting... but today number three wins. I think that will be the most relevant and powerful one for me and one I do need to get my head round.


Watching.... Howard Rheingold’s interview with George Siemens.

...How Stephen Downes and George Siemens pioneered the development of massive open online courses where the participants’ knowledge and understanding is developed and co-created by articulating ‘connectivist’ links between resources and people on the web...

Observations and Think points!
University of Manitoba Decision to make the entire instructional process available. No additional cost in making the course available to 1000 learners versus 20, "no additional costs to us as educators".

Surely there are costs involved if tutorial support or moderated discussion areas, feedback on learner activities, posts etc.

In addition in my institution a considerable resource is provided to trouble shoot technology problems when student first connect to on-line learning. Is their an assumption that learners sort everything themselves.

Repeated MOOCs over several years 10000 participants so far! 
Elluminate has licensing fees! Stable and fast broadband and web-servers to host content also has cost. The administrative processes for 'validating courses'. How does the 'team meet the costs for creating and delivering MOOCs.  I may be missing the point here... I hope to become enlightened.

Educational providers should stop providing learning spaces and allow learners to bring their own spaces. 

This again assumes that learners already have and are able to create these spaces and use them for learning. 

The students referred to already appear to be tech savvy.

Focus on the course content being a conduit for connections, not for students to learn the content'. 

This certainly challenges my thinking to a degree. The students I have taught have come with the desire and need to develop a sound knowledge of the content and develop skills and wider knowledge to become registered nurses. There was a definite focus on learning and mastering the content.

I do like the focus on the learning and the community continuing beyond the end of the course and the opportunity for the learner to 'own' their contribution. Nothing worse than loosing access to everything in the University environment once you complete. 


Challenges institutions to think about how they provision for staff, do you need an expert on your pay roll or can you 'use others for elsewhere? This model would rely on the willingness of the experts to be available to contribute to your course, but you really need a back up if they are unavailable. Many of the courses at my institution do this within their 'on campus' delivery courses, using video captured lectures from 'outside experts in the field' and streamed to students through VLE.

I am intrigued by the student global learner, and the networked learning not being contained in one individual in one environment. This MOOC is certainly providing the global opportunity.

Need to design a distributed learning model. Challenges for existing universities . 
Distributed learning model will meet costs. Global faculty member, Institutions joining together to deliver!
DL model allows any existing educator to influence a global audience far reaching beyond the 'instutution/ classroom without increasing costs dramatically.

Educator is a contributing guide.

Dissolution of the boundaries of institutional control!
Wow.




Webinar week 0

Well I watched Diana Laurillard and wrote lots of notes into my blog and pressed save periodically  and some how managed to loose them all.....
Reminder to self... do as I tell my students .. compose in notepad then past in on-line .. grrrrrrrrr (bearing teeth),

If I find them I will add them to this page.....


18:20hrs.....02/05/13 

Hallelujah! I have just found the pdf from the slides and the transcript from the discussions in the #ocTEL resources. I can rebuild my notes :-)


Thinking points were!

  • Course development time = 420 hrs 
  • "We need to understand the pedagogical benefits and teacher time costs of online HE"
  • "What are the new digital pedagogies that will address the 1:25 student support conundrum?"
  • "How do we innovate, test, and build the evidence for what works at scale online?"
  • "Scaling up will never improve the per-student support costs… unless we invent some new pedagogies"
  • Big challenges Cultural, management, Economic, Strategic, Creative and Technical!
  • "Teachers are the engine of innovation."

Further reading The New Media Consortium (2012) Horizon Project Short List: 2013 K-12. http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-k12-shortlist.pdf



Activity 0.5 updated

I could't decide which group to join, am I a nurse educator, a lecturer/tutor in higher education, a learning technologist or do I needi to join in the reflection on distance learning, TEL or something else?


Well..... in a rather unconventional break for a participant of a MOOC on technology, I met up with a colleague Tony  for a face to face reflection with yummy coffee in a lovely local CafĂ©.


  • What can we tell about the range of experiences and preferences among ocTEL participants?
We were both impressed with the range of experiences and preferences of ocTEL participants, I am also a little in awe as I haven't applied my self to serious research despite the nagging feeling that I ought to.
I was surprised that so many people elected to leave the mailing list so early in the course. The number of emails were considerable but to be expected? (surely)? Multiple opportunities to select how and what to study, when and where to study and where to post.

  • What challenges does this present for the course?

Again these choices appear to be 'too many' for some but ideal for others. Both Tony and I took the challenge to start a Blog for the first time for the course 'reflections' and 'evidence to the world that we are doing something, bit more open that the forums :-S

So many readings and so little time,

  • In what ways is a MOOC well or poorly suited to these challenges?

I think the MOOC is suited to these challenges. It 'allows' the flexibility for studying 'martini' style, it provides materials to study (if you want) and wider resources to pick up (virtually) when you want more.
It gives the participant the choice in how to engage, post, discuss etc and in doing so it promotes the opportunity to engage with technologies, master their functionalities building skills and knowledge along the way.

Although I do admit to 'lurking' in the forums (I just couldn't help myself).

Mayday!

I had intended to post this yesterday (May 1st in NZ) well the joke will work somewhere surely.

I was very ill last week so now feel a bit behind... time for some serious catching up.