Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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.