Teachers Talking about TELLiz Masterman17th April 2013http://giar3579.deviantart.com/art/My-lecturers-306744823
The projects Learning Design: informant prac22oners Phoebe The Learning Designer Open Educa2onal Resources: discovering OER in a workshop se@ng OER Impact Study Student Digital Experience: the staﬀ perspec2ve DIGE
The themes Suppor2ng students’ needs and preferences through TEL Theory-‐informed TEL Reusing digital resources (OER) created by others The ins2tu2onal picture Transforming prac2ce + the ques2on of evidence
Students’ needs and preferences ‘I was very passionate about helping them learn more eﬀec2vely and beNer’ ‘If we don’t do any sort of blogs, podcasts, internet searches, if we don’t get the students using their mobile phones … as part of the curriculum, what kind of graduates are we sending out?’ University of Marylandhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/umdnews/4968436744/
Students’ needs and preferences ‘The students also make demands: “Can you provide this work online…?” and therefore people slowly start coming out of their own cocoons’ ‘And the students are, well, you know, “In our other course we’ve got this, in our other course all the lecture notes are up.”’ University of Marylandhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/umdnews/4968436744/
Students’ needs and preferences ‘They’re coping with very large numbers of students and they have no 2me at all and they just revert back to tradi2onal forms’ http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Activism_Course.jpg: Public domain
Students’ needs and preferences ‘It’s not about just pu@ng your PowerPoint [on the VLE] … a good discussion can be as good as something technologically wonderful’ ‘They have no concept of the whole scale of human knowledge that exists in print form in libraries … A lot of that knowledge is being lost’ University of Oxford
Students’ needs and preferences Is there some2mes a tension what students (say they) want and what might be more beneﬁcial to their learning?
Theory-informed TEL Theories of learning vs theories of teaching ‘What the reﬂec2on can lead you to is the point where you go, “Well, this is not working but I don’t know how to ﬁx it” … you need to be able to head into the theory behind it’ Dennis Callahanhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/denniscallahan/7864653008
Theory-informed TEL ‘It’s not as simple as saying, “Oh yes, I’m a construc2vist or a social construc2vist, or a this, or a that” … I think they all do inﬂuence, but I don’t think there’s one correct one’ ‘In the end what’s going to inform my decisions are 2me, number of students, … the things that they have to get done’ Dennis Callahanhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/denniscallahan/7864653008
Theory-informed TEL ‘Good use of technology builds on all the educa2on theory … You shouldn’t really be dabbling with the technology un2l you know what you’re doing with the learning and teaching.’ Do you agree?
Reusing resources created by othersUniversity of OxfordImages (excl. lesson plan) accessed via http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk
Reusing resources created by others ‘One of the func2ons that other people’s stuﬀ has is teaching me how to do it by looking at example. And classicists are more prone to doing that, I think, than some other disciplines’ ‘I … got this lovely example of fulcrum, load and eﬀort and a car crashing into a wall. … I thought: “Well, that’s not what I do because I don’t teach a concept that can be grasped like that.” And … I suddenly went, “Oh, so when I’m teaching that means I could do this!”’ Elizabeth MatthewsVan de Graaff generator
Reusing resources created by others ‘Whole packages … kind of assume that we are kind of neutral deliverers of objec2ve content to those passive recipients, and that’s not what happens’ ‘We haven’t made it and used our thought processes to make it … And then you spend a couple of hours re-‐jigging it to sound like you; using the concepts but put it in your style’ http://pixabay.com/get/d82ade6eaf2788458a6e/1363368359/states-40679.png: Public domain
Reusing resources created by othersThere’s currently a drive to encourage teachers to incorporate OER created by others into their curriculum. What trade-‐oﬀs and compromises are entailed?
The institutional picture: top-down ‘We’ve benchmarked where are all faculty prac2ce with e-‐learning, and we did that by asking everybody “Where are you on this scale of using these tools in VLE?” … …just because they’re not using [the VLE] doesn’t mean they’re not actually using technology and e-‐learning’
The institutional picture: bottom-up ‘Can you take a sort of a guerrilla approach and … get a dialogue going within these communi2es of prac2ce?’ ‘Most of the 2mes people don’t even like [the VLE] … I’ve been kind of trying to work up strategies to get people engaging with the online world more crea2vely for teaching and learning’
The institutional picture: in the middle ‘You need to have the shared domain … this stuﬀ works when I focus it on the [XX Faculty] … there’s no added value if I do a course centrally for someone from Engineering that I will never see again’ ‘Having somebody that you trust who teaches and works in the department tell you that it’s there makes it way more likely to get used than if the university planning commiNee tells you that it’s there’
The institutional picture Where is the locus of really innova2ve TEL in your ins2tu2on, in terms of organisa2onal structure, people and technologies? What it its rela2onship to ins2tu2onal policies, services and systems to support TEL?
Transforming practice through TEL ‘Each 2me we introduce a new technology it opens up ways of doing things that may have always been done, but which can now be done more eﬀec2vely’ ‘One of the main beneﬁts of technology is that it oﬀers an opportunity to think/talk about teaching and learning: teaching in a more interes2ng way, thinking about how students learn’ ‘Technology won’t make a bad teacher into a good teacher, and it won’t necessarily make a good teacher any beNer either’ http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMerian_Metamorphosis_VI_.jpg: Public domain
Transforming practice through TELUniversity of Salford Press Officehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AStudents_in_a_computer_lab.jpg ‘I need to be convinced that there’s a real beneﬁt – rather than it’s a new-‐fangled thing and we must all use technology’ ‘What [senior management is] saying is, “You should all have a [VLE] site and as a minimum you should have your module booklet up, you should have your name, your oﬃce numbers, your this, your that.” Well, to me, where’s the joy in that? … last year … one of our Masters students … did an evolving essay and several of us all commented as she was going…’
Evidence: what counts as convincing? ‘Prove to me that this has been done before and that it has worked for someone else … who looks exactly like me in exactly what I teach at exactly this level’ ‘…seeing somebody else who is really interested in that way of teaching, being inspiring and interes2ng about it’ ‘The deﬁni2on of “beNer” depends on what your research background is’ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEvidence_of_Toronto_people.jpg: Public domain
Transforming practice through TELYou’ve heard about an innova2ve use of TEL and want to try it out for yourself. What will best help you to decide? Evidence of improved learning outcomes (p < 0.01) Students’ feedback showing mo2va2on and enjoyment The teacher’s self-‐report Knowledge of the context so that you can decide if it’s applicable to yours
Conclusion (and thank you!)http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Collier_conclusion.jpg: Public domain
Five questions1. 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 educa2on theory.’ Do you agree? 3. What are the trade-‐oﬀs and compromises in using (open) educa2onal resources created by others? 4. Where is the locus of ‘cool TEL’ in your university/college and what is its rela2onship to ins2tu2onal support? 5. What (quan2ta2ve and/or qualita2ve) informa2on will best help you decide whether to try out a TEL innova2on?
Reading this week’s outline, we seem to be moving from the big ques9ons of TEL as a whole to big ques9ons for individual teachers as they get to grips with TEL. I’ve been doing research into how teachers and lecturers in HE and FE engage with digital technologies for nearly 9 years. In the next 20 minutes or so I’d like to share with you some of the topics that I discussed with them in interviews that I have done in a number projects. I’ll address some of the themes in this week’s ac9vi9es, and some other ones as well. I’ll pick out in par9cular the ‘big ques9ons’ that arose from each theme, some of which I hope you’ll pick up and discuss later on. Obviously, I’ve been selec9ve in choosing material that I hope will s9mulate discussion, but I have tried to let the data speak for themselves. 1 17th April, 2013 ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman
I’m going to draw from interviews conducted in three areas of research: Learning Design – Phoebe, Learning Designer – projects that researched and developed prototype digital tools to help teachers plan and design their students’ learning, esp to get them engaged in TEL. Concept of informant-‐prac99oners (IPs) – interviewees in the Learning Design projects (roughly 20 – some were interviewed for both projects): primarily individuals who are experienced prac99oners, are well versed in digital technologies, and represent a range of roles within TEL: subject lecturers, staﬀ developers and learning technologists. This places them in a strong posi9on to ar9culate, and interpret, the perspec9ves and needs of early-‐career lecturers or of seasoned academics who have not yet engaged with TEL. Open Educa9onal Resources – the OER Impact Study – looking at OER from the reuse side… A workshop with 16 lecturers who were discovering OER for the ﬁrst 9me. DIGE – 14 interviewees – staﬀ to complement and supplement data gathered from students 2 17th April, 2013 ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman
Themes – not sure if there is a logic to this order… Star9ng with students -‐ pragma9c considera9ons Then move on to the role of theory – which is one of the ac9vi9es for this week. Idea of developing your own prac9ce by ﬁnding and using materials that others have created and made available – which nowadays includes OER The ins9tu9onal picture – where does innova9on lie – who’s doing it, with what technologies, and at what level of the organisa9on. Finally – look at the poten9al for doing something more with digital technologies than simply replica9ng one’s current teaching prac9ce online – how using technology might help lecturers to change the way they do things – and what they want to know in order to try out with their own students successful innova9ons such as the examples you’ve been looking at. I’ll conclude each theme with a ques9on that has emerged from the data. The aim is to get you thinking about the theme in rela9on to your own context, and thus to seed the discussion aaer this presenta9on, but it’s at least as important for you to come up with your own ques9ons. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 3
Start with students’ needs and preferences as for at least one lecturer this was what prompted her to explore the possibili9es of digital technologies. The emphasis on developing graduate abributes to ensure that students are ﬁt for the labour market has also come to the fore in recent years. It is manifested, in part, in a drive towards digital literacy and towards the greater use of technology-‐enhanced learning. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 4
But it’s also to respond to their requests. And it’s important that students have a consistent digital experience across all the subjects they study. I’ve got this all-‐singing, all-‐dancing site with all kinds of stuﬀ on it. And then they go to the next class and there’s a module booklet up. And the students are, well, you know, ‘In our other course we’ve got this, in our other course all the lecture notes are up.’ This comes from a lecturer based in London, but we have found the same situa9on in Oxford ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 5
But, student-‐related factors can act as constraints rather than enabling factors. For example, although technology enables lecturers to scale up their teaching to accommodate larger class sizes, the greater numbers can make it diﬃcult even for enthusiasts to innovate. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 6
But judicious use of technology – students can be discerning! And can’t assume that students necessarily want to engage in DTs for learning. IP6 recounted how one department in his university was concerned that the level at which it had to teach the majority of students meant that it risked losing its brightest students through boredom. The lecturers set up a group through Facebook, through which these students were given weekly problems and could receive peer support from students in the year above. It worked But he also told us about another lecturer who tried an innova9ve approach by pugng resources on Facebook without considering the students’ point of view ﬁrst. Although half of the students were ‘switched on’ by this novel approach, the others were not. Students as conserva9ve/ac9ng against their own interests as learners – From DIGE: consequence of the privileging of online resources: ‘They have no concept of the whole scale of human knowledge that exists in print form…’. In other words, if knowledge is not represented online, it is assumed not to exist; -‐ same is true in musicology – if it isn’t in Spo9fy, it doesn’t exist and they are reluctant to come into the department to listen to CDs. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 7
Some9mes what students want is not pedagogically appropriate to the kinds of skills and ac9vi9es which their lecturers want them to develop? Especially if what they want is pedagogically retrogressive? e.g. from DIGE: Students’ preference for reading lists with links that give them direct access to online materials appears to be conten9ous for staﬀ. A librarian reported faculty agtudes that students need to learn how to search catalogues, while for one of our most senior interviewees the skills of cri9cal enquiry are developed through inves9ga9on, which includes working in libraries and going to original sources rather than their digi9sed versions. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 8
Moving on to the second theme… Researchers now widely consider that theories of learning and theory-‐informed frameworks play a key role, not merely in ensuring ‘good pedagogical design’, but also in countering tendencies towards ‘technological determinism’. In the Learning Designer interviews, we asked our IPs: What is the general value of theory to their prac9ce? The interviews suggested that the value of theory lies above all in providing insights into the underlying mechanisms of teaching and learning. Indeed, one person drew an illumina9ng dis9nc9on between theories of learning – explanatory theories of how people come to learn, but which he felt contained insuﬃcient constraints to be of use in guiding design prac9ce – and theories of teaching: prac9cal frameworks for implemen9ng teaching and learning, which can nevertheless be based on learning theories. In this way, theory can both inform the ac9vity of crea9ng a learning design and fulﬁl an explanatory func9on in the ac9vity of reviewing (reﬂec9on): ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 9
our work with Learning Designer IPs included a short ‘9ck-‐box’ ac9vity to elicit quan9ta9ve data on interviewees’ familiarity with a speciﬁc set of generally accepted theories. We listed 10 theories and asked them which they use themselves. We also asked them for any theories we had missed from the list. Wordle shows the theories that they actually used – those in our list as well as those we had missed out. The 2 9ny ones are Behaviourism and Construc9onism -‐ Use of Behaviourism: whilst I do think there are useful things in construcAvism, having had you know, children and having had teachers who watch teachers work a lot, it does strike me that there are some sort of condiAonings that you can use very, very eﬀecAvely in order to get people to do certain things, whether they kind of like it or not, sort of you know it’s going to be good for them sort of thing. I don’t think that I’m someone who will necessarily chuck out a theory that […] I know kind of works because of some sort of poliAcal agenda. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 10
Of course, theory is not applied uncri9cally. Although a number of lecturers spoke of being inﬂuenced by a variety of theories, these had become interwoven into their general world view and they rarely set out to implement a speciﬁc one; for example: …there’s kind of a lot of complexity around there, and it’s not as simple as saying, ‘Oh yes, I’m a, you know, I’m a construcAvist or a social construcAvist, or a this, or a that, or […] I look at Piaget’… I think they all do inﬂuence, but I don’t think there’s one correct one. Finally, a few lecturers took a deliberately atheore9cal stance; for example: ‘in the end what’s going to inform my decisions are 9me, number of students, […], the things that they have to get done’. Moreover, even lecturers who cited theories extensively admibed that pragma9c issues were their primary considera9on. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 11
Ques9on speaks for itself ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 12
Teachers have for ages incorporated resources created by others into their students’ learning and, to a lesser extent, made their own resources available to others. However, the prac9ce remained largely informal and localised within ins9tu9ons or discipline-‐centred communi9es. With the burgeoning of the open educa9onal resources movement, reuse has become a much more overt prac9ce. And OER provide an acceptable way to gain inspira9on for designing one’s own learning materials or to acquire materials that one lacks the wherewithal to create oneself . What’s reused? Granularity – things of diﬀerent sizes. Big and lible OER – Weller pedagogic intent: whether the resource has been explicitly developed for an educa9onal purpose – the MIT course, blog post, simula9on, podcast and lesson plan or can readily be co-‐opted for such a purpose – image on bobom right There is rela9onship between pedagogic intent and granularity: we found that lecturers feel more in control over ‘lible’ than ‘big’ OER, and ‘lible’ OER that are more easily slobed into a learning design oaen have a non-‐educa9onal origin ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 13
The ﬁve examples of TEL that you looked at came from diﬀerent disciplines – so can ideas and learning ac9vi9es and materials from one discipline be transferable to another? (Cross-‐pollina9on) The dominant research methodology within a par9cular discipline was perceived to inﬂuence lecturers’ agtudes towards re-‐using materials created by other teachers, as shown in these quota9ons from a lecturer and a staﬀ developer respec9vely: One of the funcAons that other people’s stuﬀ has is teaching me how to do it by looking at example. And classicists are more prone to doing that, I think, than some other disciplines, just on the grounds that we’ve very used to looking at examples and recovering paIerns in the way that we work for research. Content acts as another barrier to the cross-‐disciplinary fer9lisa9on of learning designs and design ideas. To surmount it, one must discern something of relevance to one’s own teaching in terms of structure or approach. A humani9es lecturer vividly described a moment of enlightenment in this respect: perceiving the relevance to her own ﬁeld of the pedagogy underlying a reusable learning object developed for physics: I … got this lovely example of fulcrum, load and eﬀort and a car crashing into a wall. … I thought, ‘Well that’s not what I do because I don’t teach a concept that can be grasped like that.’ And there was this moment, and … I had an epiphany because I suddenly went, ‘Oh, so when I’m teaching that means I could do this!’ Relies on ability to latch onto something in the example – in this case it may have been because this classics lecturer had done Physics A Level, but it may also be because she was able to perceive the underlying abstract pedagogic pabern of this learning ac9vity – recall Diana’s talk about paberns last week. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 14
Although lecturers can be willing to sacriﬁce certain aspects of quality and ﬁtness when reusing materials created by others,, the individuality of their teaching voice remains sacrosanct. In such cases, the lecturer either provides explanatory guidance to students on how to approach the resource or modiﬁes it (if the licence permits). 15 17th April, 2013 ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman
Looking at OER in par9cular… There’s currently a drive to encourage teachers to incorporate OER created by others into their curriculum. Beneﬁts of OER include being able to use them – even modify and redistribute them – legi9mately because of the use of Crea9ve Commons licensing. But what trade-‐oﬀs and compromises are entailed? ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 16
Of course, lecturers don’t work in a vacuum, and in this segment I’m going to look at how innova9on in TEL ﬁts into the ins9tu9onal picture. Top-‐down ini9a9ves may centre around ‘endorsed’ tools (primarily the VLE) or around course design and valida9on processes. However, the VLE may not be universally used; moreover, individual members of staﬀ may experiment addi9onally with other, unendorsed, tools. So it can be diﬃcult for an ins9tu9on to obtain a full picture of its TEL ac9vi9es. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 17
For this learning technologist interviewed by the Learning Designer project, a bobom-‐up approach is the op9mal way to eﬀect changes in prac9ce. the original thing I was asked was basically get more people using [the VLE], and therein lies a problem, you know, how … do you do that when most of the Ames people don’t even like [the VLE] and there is all the technofear and there’s only me. So basically I’ve been kind of trying to work up strategies to get people engaging with the online world more creaAvely for teaching and learning purposes. Are there sugges9ons here of a tension between innova9ve prac9ce by individuals and ins9tu9onal strategies for implemen9ng technology-‐enhanced learning? ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 18
I guess this could be called the middle way. Two quotes – one from a learning technologist driving the ini9a9ve, the other from a lecturer (in another university) on the receiving end of a department-‐based ini9a9ve Key concepts in this approach are: Shared domain Communi9es of innova9on Trust ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 19
So what this seems to boil down to is the locus of innova9on -‐ where the cool TEL stuﬀ is happening… Is it inside or outside formal/ins9tu9onal support – and if it’s outside, how do these diﬀerent drives co-‐exist? ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 20
This week is about using TEL to transform – or at least enhance – one’s pedagogic prac9ce. This entails two things -‐ First quote: Changing what you do Second quote: Changing how you think about what you (and your students) do But transforma9on doesn’t happen automa9cally ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 21
What is not likely to transform prac9ce… It doesn’t happen by pugng technology ﬁrst (e.g. also FE college’s observa9on sessions – teachers must use DT because it’s in the classroom) And it doesn’t happen by managerial mandate… ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 22
But what is it that will convince us that something is worth trying? Does evidence have to come from someone working in exactly the same subject?: Show me how it’s beIer. But also prove to me that this has been done before and that it has worked for someone else before, and it has worked for someone else who looks exactly like me in exactly what I teach at exactly this level. Or is peer observa9on suﬃcient? What inspires me and gets me interest in teaching in new ways is seeing somebody else who is really interested in that way of teaching, being inspiring and interesAng about it. And does the evidence and proof sought diﬀer according to discipline?: Does there have to be an experiment in which a control group did this and X was applied in this situaAon and equalled Y? If that’s the only way you can be convinced, which may be to do with your discipline background, that’s quite diﬀerent from what you might read in a case study from somebody from the social sciences who is talking about a number of factors working together to bring about this change and doesn’t need an experimental model. 23 17th April, 2013 ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman
So, what do you need to be convinced to try something adventurous? ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 24
Conclusion… Interviews conducted between 2006 and 2012, obviously a period of evolu9on: • greater conﬁdence among teachers, • DTs more mainstream, • ra9onale and mo9va9on for using then now embraces the employability and digital literacy agendas and the need to scale up to accommodate larger classes, • as well as improving learning outcomes. Also students have more inﬂuence in how they learn – and when and where they learn. And the technology has expanded too, with growth of social media. But s9ll persis9ng issues – the technology-‐reluctant (and they exist among students too), problems of reach in TEL ini9a9ves. And the problema9c role of the VLE – whether it’s the end point or the start point. Is uploading resources to it and using it to manage learning a suﬃcient condi9on for saying you engage in TEL, or is it only the springboard to greater adventures in the online environment? 25 17th April, 2013 ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman
So, thank you – and here are the ﬁve ques9ons in summary. But don’t feel restricted to them. ocTEL Webinar – Liz Masterman 17th April, 2013 26
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.