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Humanising elearning using illustrated characters
 

Humanising elearning using illustrated characters

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A presentation given at the ED-MEDIA 2008 conference.

A presentation given at the ED-MEDIA 2008 conference.

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Humanising elearning using illustrated characters Humanising elearning using illustrated characters Presentation Transcript

  • 04.07.08 Humanising elearning using illustrated characters
      • Barry Kayton
      • Steve Vosloo
  • Who we are
    • Barry Kayton @ Bright Sparks
    • Steve Vosloo @ Shuttleworth Foundation
  • Kusasa: “tomorrow”
    • Open-source e-learning initiative to develop analytical thinking skills in learners and more effective teaching practices in teachers
    • How? A software programming-based learning environment that is teacher facilitated (as opposed to taught) and partly peer-taught
    • Support teaching of curriculum
    • Grades 4-12 in SA. 6 pilot schools (gr 4)
    • 2005-2010 – a “work in progress”
  • Why?
    • Chronic shortage of maths and science teachers in SA
    • Mathematical, scientific and analytical thinking is not being developed
    • Classroom disconnect because of digital amusements
    • Increasing access to computer labs
  • Approach
    • Develop HOTS by engaging learners
    • Facilitate exploration (Piaget's constructivism) and creation (Papert's constructionism)
    • Kusasa: a whole learning system which includes software, curriculum-aligned content, and teacher training materials
      • “ Our purpose is to enrich learners with deeply mathematical and scientific experiences that are wrapped up with enjoyable feelings”
  •  
  • Software
    • LAMS
      • LMS. Leaning activity sequencing and monitoring
      • Account management, Q&A, noticeboard, multiple choice, forum, survey ...
    • Squeak eToys
      • Visual programming/modelling language and environment designed for young children
      • Objects with headings, angles, variables, motion, time, speed, acceleration
      • Papert's constructionist approach: create public artefacts, engaged learning through active, playful construction
  • Process
    • LAMS holds together:
    • Comic
      • Crunch/Reflection
    • Class exercise
      • Crunch/Reflection
    • eToys
      • Crunch/Reflection
  •  
  • Role models
    • Role model some of the targeted learning outcomes – such as analytical thinking or interpersonal life skills
    • Role model positive behaviours, thinking styles, attitudes and values – “Cognitive apprenticeship” (Berryman 1991; Coman 2002)
    • Characters with personalities – not just talking heads!
  • Why comics?
    • Comics motivate and engage (Hutchinson 1949; Sones 1944; Wax 2002)
    • Help learners with “low and middle intelligence levels” (Sones 1944) to grasp issues that they grapple with when only presented in text form
    • “ In the struggle to engage students of all dispositions” comics can prove to be a formidable tool (Yang 2003)
    • Create an emotional connection between learners and the characters (Versaci 2001) – “humanise elearning” for compelling role modelling
  • The facilitator/teacher
    • Facilitates sessions, crunch questions ...
    • Guides the characters
    • Good teacher model to learners (for some the only role model)
    • Good teacher model to teachers
    • Non-authoritarian
  •  
  • Four thinking styles Sophie Reads Questions Opinionated Sceptical Farrah Dances Draws Trusts Gullible Jojo Energetic Doer Body Action Tom Logical Mathematical Invents Experiments
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  • Characters as role models of attitudes and values
    • Tom demonstrates the problem of making unwarranted assumptions and the value of breaking assumptions
    • Farrah’s story shows the dangers of being gullible and the value of making sensible inferences
    • Jojo models what it means to change your point of view
    • Sophie demonstrates the power of thinking in terms of questions
    • Characters question and support each other , modelling peer-to-peer teaching and learning
  • Metacognition
    • Key component of HOTS
    • “ To be or not to be?” -- Hamlet
    • Thought bubbles: thinking about a problem, thinking about the thinking they are applying to that problem
    • Visual back-and-forth, internal dialogue
  •  
  • Challenges
    • Illustrated comics are time and resource heavy
    • Creative director, writers, illustrators, inkers and colourists
    • Can be prohibitively expensive
    • Difficult to create genuinely creative stories --> cannot be too formulaic or didactic
  • A work in progress ...
    • Grade 4, 5 and 6 complete
    • Grade 4 under evaluation and broad roll-out
  • Conclusion
    • How to role-model effective thinking practice to ever larger numbers of learners efficiently and effectively?
    • The challenge is to develop attitudes, values and habits that support HOTS
    • Kusasa solution: elearning, humanised by means of illustrated characters and stories
  • Thank you
    • www.kusasa.org
    • www.brightsparks.ws
    • www.shuttleworthfoundation.org