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Helping teachers understand their learners and their needs better in WebCT

Helping teachers understand their learners and their needs better in WebCT



Helping teachers understand their learners and their needs better in WebCT

Helping teachers understand their learners and their needs better in WebCT



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    Helping teachers understand their learners and their needs better in WebCT Helping teachers understand their learners and their needs better in WebCT Presentation Transcript

    • Helping teachers understand their learners and their needs better in WebCT Alan Masson Philip Turbitt University of Ulster
    • Session Overview
      • E-learning in context
      • VLE - agent for change?
      • Promoting reflective practice within the classroom context
      • Examine: cohort profile and user expectations - why and how
      • Benefits
      • Wrap
    • e-learning in context
      • Demand high from learners
      • Changes in practice largely staff-driven
      • Training in the void
      • Success hard to measure, quality hard to assure
      • Success for whom?
      • Institutionally, need to support large number of staff with diverse personal aims
      • Need - impact on the LEARNER experience
      • Realise cultural change - driver for (not driven by!!) technology
    • CETL(NI): Utilising Institutional e-Learning Services to Enhance the Learning Process
      • Aim: “promote, facilitate and reward the adoption of a “learner centred” reflective practice approach to the development of teaching and learning, in particular wrt the use of e-learning technologies”
      • Posts: 1x academic staff developer, 1x research associate, 2 tech posts, 4 content developers, learner advocate
      • Cultural challenge: effecting changes in “teaching” practices - key to learning experience
    • VLE as an agent for change?
    • VLE data usage
      • Tracking
      • Monitoring
      • Logging
      • Retrospective - evaluation of existing practice
      • Linkages to reflection / development processes?
    • Proactive agent for change?
      • Need to challenge current practice
      • Identify emerging tensions and constraints of current practice
        • Between successive cohorts
        • Between learners and “course”
        • Between learners and tutors
      • Promote issues of learner expectation (raising the learner perspective)
      • Culturally - supportive not critical
    • Importance of the online classroom context
      • It is the coalface - best place to locate services!
      • Module code:
        • inferred metadata (abc123j1x)
        • Dynamic key to SRS, VLE and other data resources
      • Provide pedagogy support dashboard - adapts on a module by module (and staff by staff) basis
    • Promoting reflective practice
      • Full “cycle” support
      • Learner focus
      • Promote relevant resources
      • Integrate with relevant internal and external repositories
      • Manage use of resources adopted by academics?
      • Inform and complement f2f activities
    • Reflection key process
      • Embed QAE processes / resources into classroom
      • Provide an information framework to promote learner centric reflection
      • Draw on range of institutional data
      • Focus on both current data and changes from previous offerings
      • Provide pedagogic prompts for reflection
      • Assist staff to identify where they can impact on student learning
    • What can be achieved?
      • SRS data opportunities
      • WebCT CE4.x opportunities
      • WebCT Vista / CE6 opportunities
    • Student cohort information
      • Data source:
      • Student record system (or data warehouse)
      • Key factor:
      • Identify changes in cohort and suggest emerging challenges
      • Require:
      • Compare cohort with previous cohort
    • Student cohort data
      • Useful fields:
      • Number of learners
      • Course code
      • Mode of study
      • Age
      • Gender
      • “ at risk” (likely field - resit flag)
      • Disability?
    • Specific Yr1 retention factors
      • UCAS pts (entry grades)
      • Entrance qualification type
      • Course not 1st choice
    • Student Data presentation
      • Presentation approach
      • Canned reports - no access to raw data
      • Simple to interperate - tabular or graphical?
      • Clear comparison between cohorts
      • Trigger values - flag key changes with issues to consider
    • Privacy considerations
      • Must ensure individual data is NOT exposed
      • Ensure adequate filters for small cohorts
      • Ensure user has no access to data, only reports
      • Ensure strict access policies for WHO can view reports
    • E-learning “experience” factors
      • Key factors
      • Learners previous e-tool “experience” relative to module toolset
      • Learners previous e-tool “experience” relative to tutors experience
    • e - “experience” data
      • Looking back - require historical data
      • Vista users - Powersight module useful
      • Likelihood - “old” Campus Edition as legacy
        • Info in the system log files
        • Similar underpinning requirements for both
        • Use this to illustrate process today
    • Review of requirements
      • Permit tutors to (simply) identify:
      • Tensions in learners e-tool “experience” with tool use expected in the course
      • Tensions in e-tool “experience” between the learner cohort and themselves
      • NOT aiming to provide a formal evaluation process
      • Rather highlighting potential tensions for reflection
    • Initial perspective
      • “course” data - tool use by cohort in previous offering of the course (phase 1)
      • learner data - tool use by current cohort (in their previous courses)
      • Comparison data - tool use differences between current cohort and tutor’s own “experience”
    • Experience or expectation?
      • Experience - very difficult to quantify
        • discriminating quantity v quality
        • deeper report - more complex presentation
        • reliability of analysis????
      • Expectation - more transparent concept
        • infer from previous usage
        • simple to report
        • better fit with user requirements
    • Which tools to focus on?
      • Initial focus - key tools shortlisted
      • Communication
        • Discussion
        • Mail
        • Chat
        • Calendar?
      • Assessment
        • Quiz
        • Assignment
    • Getting data from “old CE”
      • Staring point - server log files
      • Review period - end of each semester
      • Structured, BUT very extensive (Gb’s of data)
      • First task - filter out non relevant transactions
      • Approach - egrep
      • – 32263703 [01/May/2004:15:43:37 +0100] GET/SCRIPT/bms803c2x/scripts/student/serve_bulletin?ACTION=LIST&ARG1=1038900217&PAGE=0 HTTP/1.1 200 60751 4
      • Key tool info embedded within text strings
    • Structuring the log file data
      • Parse out key variables
      • – 32563603 [01/May/2004:23:25:15 +0100] bms803c2x student serve_bulletin? 1 200 11133 0
      • Data fields now structured - ready for processing
    • Evaluating tool embeddedness
      • Factors (per module cohort)
      • Extent of tool use across cohort (% of learners)
      • Depth of use (threshold for consideration)
      • Value judgement:
        • < x% = low
        • >x and <y = medium
        • >y = high
    • Evaluating historical tool use: current cohort
      • Factors (per student)
      • Usage of tool across courses (extent)
      • Depth of use (threshold for consideration)
      • Value judgement (over previous semester):
        • 0 modules = none
        • 1 or 2 modules = medium
        • All previous modules = high
    • Evaluating historical tool use: tutor
      • Factors (for tutor)
      • Usage of tool across courses (extent)
      • Depth of use (threshold for consideration)
      • Value judgement (over previous semester):
        • 0 modules = none
        • <60% of supported modules modules = medium
        • >60% of supported modules modules = high
    • Indicative report Tutor (you) 40% 40% 20% Current cohort Previous offering High Medium Low Tool X
    • Benefits
      • Facilitates reflection by tutor
      • Promotes awareness of learner expectations
      • Increases awareness of key learner - course tool issues
      • Reinforces relationship between the tutor and learner expectations
      • Seed for effective changes in practice - initiates reflective cycle in an objective manner
    • Status of work
      • Refining factor thresholds
      • Scaled pilot - in conjunction with Vista migration related staff development (focus on enhancement)
      • Data extraction / processing: prototyped and scaling to production
      • One component of overall CETL activities
        • Interoperability with other aspects (case studies, tool support, learning design models etc.)
      • Extensions for next phase: temporal and location factors
    • Promoting reflective practice
    • Q&A Alan Masson: [email_address] Philip Turbitt: [email_address]