Friday, 21 June 2013

Activity 7 Supporting Learners with Tutor and Peer Communications

This week I focussed on two activities.

Activity 7.2: The practice of peer review

Review a fellow participant’s post on Activity 7.1 – ( I selected )   consider:

  • If the design / approach or mix of approaches is appropriate for the given context. 
  • Aspects of the design you think work particularly well. 
  • At least one suggestion for improving the design
  • Resources they might refer to in order to improve or extend the design.

I too am familiar with and use Gilly Salmon's 5-stage model.
I am intrigued to see you have flipped the model so it is top down rather than bottom up. I quite like the step visualisation that you are progressing upwards in the activity, however I also appreciate the need to step down and back up again with each new learning encounter. I like the idea of repeating steps 3-5 as each new learning activity is encountered a new set of technology skills may need to be mastered along with the acquisition of subject knowledge. So repetition is fine with me.
One improvement... echoing others  I think there is value in spending a little more time on socialisation. The wiki tool is probably ok, if there are clear instructions on how to use it (however it is also worth considering,  why do they need to learn to use this tool?) The socialisation could begin in the discussion tool (so they can master this before the learning activities begin. Participants could post images, music, voice files etc to introduce themselves.  Jim's suggestion of using Voicethread sounds like a good idea.
Although it might go against the MOOC grain, I also believe if we introduce 'required' aspects to a course the technology selected really should be delivered via institutional site licenses rather than student ploughing their way through EULA, institutional licences can be constraining but there is the bonus of support, stability and student ease of access.

Resources: You may find these an informative read.

Click this link to read my my comment published to Meegans Blog -

Activity 7.3: Reflecting on peer feedback

Having reviewed a peer’s contribution, reflect on:

  • Did the experience of reviewing someone else’s learner support design, help you to consider aspects of your own design? What skills could peer review help you to develop as an online learner?
  • Consider your own learner support design, and articulate what changes you would make to your own design as a result of having reviewed someone else’s

I liked Megans approach in alreading reflecting on her design as she presented it for critique. This experience did help me think about my own design. I find in blended courses the requirement for stages 1-3 to happen in the first week so the content delivery begins in week 1 highly problematic. There is always a small number who missed the orientation in week 0 and have not mastered the technology by week 1.

In my staff development workshops, I will spend a little more time on the face to face icebreaker activities before jumping in to mastering the technology. Pair work is really useful so encouraging pairs helps in the workshop and may also help foster a supporting partnership when people return to their offices to put everything into practice.