Dr Alan J. Cann, Department of Biology, Adrian Building, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK. http://twitter.com/AJCann http://www.microbiologybytes.com/blog/about
THIS SLIDE: Universities are no longer the gatekeepers of knowledge or technology. Institutional lockdown is not longer possible or desirable. Students are transients within the university system, most staying for three years full-time study. Web 2.0 is usually considered in the context of entertainment or e-commerce. The stepwise creation of a personal learning environment based on freely available tools such as RSS readers, wikis, social bookmarking and online office suites enables students to use Web 2.0 tools for formal learning. By encouraging students to develop their own personal learning, research and networking spaces, they will be equipped with sustainable lifelong learning skills that can persist beyond their university careers and the confines of institutional learning management systems. To this end, we will describe how we have revised our first year undergraduate key skills module to assist students with concepts and competencies of information literacy, ultimately leading towards the construction of a personal learning environment (PLE) and a reflective e-portfolio. By allowing students feel more ownership of learning and to participate in socially-constructed knowledge, we aim to foster not only academic progress but also engagement with personal development planning (PDP), and ultimately, life-long learning (LLL).
THIS SLIDE: VLEs are about control, ease of administration. PLEs are learner-centred. Virtual learning environments (VLEs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_learning_environment ) or learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard, WebCT, etc, are closed systems which tend to lock learners into a &quot;one-size fits all&quot; pattern of learning. Although they have their strengths (such as authentication, monitoring of student progression and convenience), the pattern of learning they attempt to enforce is not sustainable in that the students are locked out of the resources of the VLE/LMS as soon as the course they are taking ends. The model of &quot;loosely coupled teaching&quot; I am developing employs contemporary social software/Web 2.0 tools outside of the confines of an institutional LMS to enable learners to develop their own personal learning environment (PLE, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Learning_Environment) . Ownership of both the content and the tools which comprise the PLE enables learners to sustain learning after formal courses have ended, and potentially creates a pattern of genuine life-long learning. By offering a choice of tools rather than institutional regimentation, learners personalize the PLE by incorporating their preferred styles and patterns of learning. This enhanced stake motivates and sustains learning.
THIS SLIDE: Describe BS1010, BS1011 - CONTEXT IS KEY! The content was delivered over two 10 week periods in the context of first year key skills modules concerned with numeracy and information technology. The context turns out to be particularly important!
THIS SLIDE: Some of the tools we used/suggested. Choice of tools was based on an prior evaluation project but limited by timetabled slots for this module. Selection was based on what was felt to be most useful and sustainable for this cohort, e.g. free, not likely to disappear. To be effective, staff need to be there with students and live the experience. We developed new marking methods by collaborating in realtime using a mixture of Google spreadsheet and Twitter (public and private comments) to mark and moderate student submissions. ” Authentic assessment&quot; in which marks are awarded for tasks which students perceive to be clearly linked to their course of study rather than designed to familiarize themselves with the technologies is also important for assessment.
THIS SLIDE: PLE mind maps, internal controls, institutional services, professional+personal mixture. It is difficult to accurately assess ongoing use of some of these services due to access problems. To counteract this and to provide a focal point, at the end of the module we asked students to draw mind-maps of the components they felt made up their PLEs. The data is summarized on this slide. Points to note: This is self-reported data and needs to be interpreted accordingly, but the Google/Wikipedia internal control seems valid. Students expressed a strong preference for &quot;trusted&quot; brands which they recognized, such as Google and YouTube, even though these are not normally considered to be academic channels. Nearly all the diagrams show a complex mixture of personal and professional services. This seems to have changed over the last 2-3 years, when students liked to compartmentalized the personal and university identities. Online identities are merging. Institutional services feature low on this list - is this accurate of just perception of what is required? At this time, is the Institution becoming transparent? This is confirmed by other recent research: http://weblogs.hitwise.com/robin-goad/2009/06/top_100_student_websites_uk.html
THIS SLIDE: Wiki architecture for flexibility, Joanna Hughes, Assessment. Students were give exemplars based on a fictional first year students “Joanna Hughes”. These were hosted on the Wetpaint/Wikispaces sites. Students were also given assessment criteria and a schedule of four assessment deadlines. The assessment criteria were based loosely on the reported E-Portfolio Assessment Criteria from Penn State University (http://www.wikieducator.org/MOSEP_Module_4/session2). Evidence show that &quot;big box tools&quot; tend to be rejected by students in favour of social sites - a &quot;mashup PLE&quot; (JISC infoKit on e-portfolios http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/themes/elearning/eportfolios/effectivepracticeeportfolios.aspx). An ePortfolio is a process, not a product (Graham Attwell). We were not into producing a &quot;document of record&quot; that a student might show an employer (we now have HEAR transcripts at UoL), we are interested in PDP and the process of reflection. Assessment is a difficult issue but we still feel that participation will be minimal if we don't. We are reasonably happy with the assessment criteria we used and will be using them again next year (http://scienceoftheinvisible.blogspot.com/2008/11/its-your-eportfolio-now-get-reflecting.html). Many students fail to distinguish between a c.v. and a portfolio, so the process and value of reflection needs to be emphasised. Because eportfolios were &quot;taught&quot; within a module, there's no feed-forward, at the end of the module they think it's done, then on to the next.
THIS SLIDE: Assessment of reflection, scaffolding. Students tend to hate all ePortfolios, whatever the format. It's the process of enforced reflection they hate, not the software. Students didn't enjoy reflecting on learning because they perceive it to be &quot;not relevant&quot; to a science degree. It's a common attitude which takes along time to wear down. Again, context is of great importance. 2/181 = 1% updated >1 month after end of module. 56% public - all wikispaces but also close to 50% of wetpaint. We tried to use a wiki format for our ePortfolios this year but the very flexibility seems to have been difficult for many students. Interestingly, some of the more &quot;successful&quot; examples (i.e. those which seemed to get to genuine reflective insight) imposed a chronological format on their wiki - i.e. turned it into a blog! Consequently, we are going to go down the reflective blog route next year, with tagging for aggregation and record keeping. In some ways, the idea of a &quot;reflective Twitterfolio&quot; is attractive, but I think the acceptance issues are too great at the moment, so that's on the backburner for a while.
THIS SLIDE: Future plans, more discussions.
AJ Cann: ALT-C 2009
Where does the university end and learning begin? Facilitating personal learning environments to enhance ownership of knowledge. Dude, Where's My University? Alan Cann, Jo Badge, Jon Scott School of Biological Sciences Stuart Johnson Student Learning Centre University of Leicester
CONTROL LEARNING Systems that help learners take control of and manage their own learning. This includes providing support for learners to set their own learning goals, manage their learning, manage both content and process, and communicate with others in the process of learning. ( ref ) A software system designed to help teachers by facilitating the management of educational courses for their students, especially by helping teachers and learners with course administration. ( ref ) PLE VLE
How? Spreadsheets Descriptive Statistics Normal Frequency Distribution Student's t-Test Chi-square Test Correlation Regression ePortfolio Email Scientific Literature RSS Manipulating Numbers Social Bookmarking Office Suites Units & Conversions Presentations & Posters Molarities & Dilutions Images Areas & Volumes Your PLE Exponents & Logs ePortfolios
ePortfolios <ul><li>Functionality & Appearance: 30% </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance and navigation is clear and consistent </li></ul><ul><li>All links work </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia elements display correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Text is clear and readable, spelling and grammar are correct </li></ul><ul><li>Previously published materials respect copyright laws </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence: 30% </li></ul><ul><li>Organization connects all evidence into an integrated whole </li></ul><ul><li>Features or showcases evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Shows depth of knowledge and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Shows breadth of knowledge and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Includes a current curriculum vitae </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection: 40% </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses both academic and professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Includes reflective comments about evidence as well as reflective comments about what this evidence says about you </li></ul><ul><li>Includes short-term goals (skills to add/improve) </li></ul><ul><li>Includes long-term goals (professional and/or personal aims) </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation of your achievements is expressed </li></ul>
Can you assess reflection? <ul><li>~50% of ePortfolios public. </li></ul><ul><li>1% updated >1 month after end of module (FAIL) </li></ul>
Where next? <ul><li>Repeat of PLE module with revised assessment - terminal ePortfolio submission ( feedback? ). </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat of ePortfolio module with blog scaffolding of reflection, tagging for aggregation. </li></ul><ul><li>scienceoftheinvisible.blogspot.com/search/label/PLE </li></ul><ul><li>scienceoftheinvisible.blogspot.com/search/label/e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>scienceoftheinvisible.blogspot.com/search/label/Reflection </li></ul>