Technology and Community enhanced e-learning.


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eTutor project 2009: a Free, Easy and Effective Web 2.0 solution for Technology and Community enhanced e-learning.

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Technology and Community enhanced e-learning.

  1. 1. eTutor Project SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS Pilot 2 & 3 James Williams e:
  2. 2. Purpose of the 2 Pilot studies <ul><li>was to explore the idea that online learning could be delivered through freely available Web 2.0 services; and </li></ul><ul><li>that learning content could be sourced for free from the Web. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Web 2.0 Evaluation <ul><li>There are many freely available Web 2.0 services that can be used to create a learning environment; </li></ul><ul><li>The application chosen for the pilot study was Ning . </li></ul><ul><li>Ning is a free social networking solution; </li></ul><ul><li>It is easy to use and manage , free support , and is continually being upgraded and is evolving rapidly; </li></ul><ul><li>It requires no technical knowledge of web development. </li></ul><ul><li>And can be e xtended using widgets. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result Ning has already had rapid adoption and success </li></ul><ul><li>in the education sector. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Social Learning Environments <ul><li>Two Prototype Social learning environments were </li></ul><ul><li>created using Ning: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// etutor. an ICT foundation degree module from Glamorgan University. </li></ul><ul><li>http:// webgamez. a Web & Mobile Games development module from SMU. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Front-page of the eTutor Network
  6. 6. Front-page of the WebGamez Network
  7. 7. Groups and Collaborative learning <ul><li>Students gained new skills by visiting each others forums and blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Groups and Forums were created to organise students into teams to collaborate on group projects. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Buddypoke application <ul><li>added a fun and social element to the learning environment; </li></ul><ul><li>it’s an interactive friend communication tool, enables users to customize their own 3D avatars ; </li></ul><ul><li>interact with other users avatars with a huge selection of poking actions, each with game-like animation and interactivity. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Community e-learning strategy <ul><li>Involved the students posting a weekly: </li></ul><ul><li>self-reflective blog entry; & (Reflective learning) </li></ul><ul><li>a community forum post . (Collaborative learning) </li></ul><ul><li>Submission of assignments used the blog facility, although a </li></ul><ul><li>Group, Forum or Feedback Map could be used instead. </li></ul><ul><li>Ning offers an array of communication tools to support the </li></ul><ul><li>Learning process , for example the tutor can comment on blog </li></ul><ul><li>posts, forum posts, send private email messages and wall </li></ul><ul><li>comments. </li></ul>
  10. 10. e-learning Maps <ul><li>Online Mind mapping software was used to organise learning activities. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many online mapping solutions available such as Mindomo and Mindmeister ; </li></ul><ul><li>Mindmeister was chosen for it’s ease of use and real-time collaboration ability ( synchronous). </li></ul>
  11. 11. Module Map <ul><li>For the eTutor ICT module the online mapping software was used to structure the Module into Units and Subject areas: </li></ul>Mindmeister allows you to create and link to multiple maps , allowing the user to drill down to obtain greater detail / information.
  12. 12. Learning Activity Map <ul><li>The Mapping software was used to organise learning </li></ul><ul><li>activities into numerical lists to guide the learners </li></ul><ul><li>towards achieving the outcomes of the module. </li></ul><ul><li>The learner can click on each learning activity node to </li></ul><ul><li>discover relevant online resources. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Refined Search Strings <ul><li>After testing and refining the search criteria for each la: </li></ul>And the URLs inserted onto each learning activity node of the Map: Google URL search strings were copied from the Web Browser:
  14. 14. Refined Search Strings <ul><li>Each of the ‘learning activity nodes’ include an arrow icon containing a pre-defined Google search string. </li></ul><ul><li>When clicked the user is presented with online resources to complete the learning activity. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Discovery e-learning methods 4 discovery e-learning methods were tested: As a result ‘Custom Search’ Engines were also added to the Map nodes and community dashboard. Search Engine Test Relevant links (out of 10) Analysis 1: standard Google Search 2 Using key words from a learning activity only 2 (out of 10) sites were relevant to the la. Many links guided the user to commercial sites and advertisements. 2: CSE: Custom Search Engine 8 Using the same search string with a Custom Search Engine 8 (out of 10) results were relevant. However several links were from the same tutorial websites specified in the CSE. 3: Refined Search String 7 Using a refined search string 7 (out of 10) results were relevant to the la. There was only one repeat learning resource. 4: Refined CSE string 10 Using a refined search string with a CSE Custom Search Engine 10 (out of 10) search results were relevant to the la. Also a greater variety of relevant learning resources were presented to the user.
  16. 16. Google CSE Custom Search Engine <ul><li>It is easy to create a Custom Search Engine using the Google CSE wizard , by simply inserting relevant web address. </li></ul><ul><li>When published Google will search the selected web addresses for relevant web pages first before searching the wider web. </li></ul>
  17. 17. CSEs within Ning & Map CSEs can be added any level of the e-learning map and anywhere on the Ning network :
  18. 18. e-learning Resource Map <ul><li>Maps can also be used to recommend websites and provide handouts to learners; </li></ul><ul><li>Maps can be used to store multimedia files (such as mp3s, videos). </li></ul>
  19. 19. There are many uses of Maps The ability to structure and store documents using the Mapping greatly increases the usefulness of this little Web 2.0 tool. The collaborative maps can be used to structure and present teaching and learning resources in many areas , for example: <ul><li>Tutor / Community Map: </li></ul><ul><li>Organise Lesson plans; and </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Handouts and other resources </li></ul><ul><li>Web links & CSEs. </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor Feedback Map (Module) </li></ul><ul><li>Course Map (Map for each Year 1, 2, 3 with corresponding modules) </li></ul><ul><li>Student Learning Map: </li></ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Learning resource depository </li></ul><ul><li>e-Portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive Learning Maps give administrators, tutors and learners the ability to organize their academic lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Administration: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning & Teaching: Course / Module planning </li></ul><ul><li>Administration: Committees / Meetings (e.g. take and store minutes) </li></ul><ul><li>Organising Research Projects (Team or Individual research). </li></ul>
  20. 20. Example: Module Map <ul><li>A Tutor can create a central Community Map for a module that include course documents and a Structured lesson and activity plan: </li></ul>
  21. 21. Example: Student Map <ul><li>Using Maps Students can organize their academic lives: </li></ul>
  22. 22. Map Notes <ul><li>Using Mindmeister you can add notes to map nodes. This can be used to insert lesson notes, learning activity guidelines, reflective learning logs or minutes for a meeting etc.. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Student Map on Ning ‘MyPage’
  24. 24. e-learning Maps & VLEs <ul><li>Maps can easily be inserted into Virtual Learning Environments: </li></ul>
  25. 25. Conclusion <ul><li>Web 2.0 Community networks can make learning socialable, enjoyable, supportive, interactive and simulating ; </li></ul><ul><li>Community networks create an ‘ open group-sharing culture’ ; </li></ul><ul><li>Learners help each other throughout the learning process by leaving comments on forums, blogs, private messaging and personal wall space; </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporating the ‘ self-reflective blog ’ resulted in a large increase in ‘ Independent learning ’; </li></ul><ul><li>Online Maps can be used to organize learning resources in one interactive graphical interface ; </li></ul><ul><li>The use of Custom Search Engines and refined search strings can dramatically increase the quality of the search results received by the learner. </li></ul>
  26. 26. The Overall Solution <ul><li>is a Web 2.0 mashup application using: </li></ul><ul><li>Google CSE as the Discovery e-learning method; </li></ul><ul><li>MindMeister for learning activities and resources; </li></ul><ul><li>Ning for the learning environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Ning and Mindmeister is a Free, Easy and Effective Web 2.0 solution for Technology and Community enhanced learning. </li></ul><ul><li>The creation of a Ning Network only takes a few minutes; and is ideal for educators to easily and rapidly create a Social learning environment. </li></ul><ul><li>This solution is suitable for any project that requires electronic collaboration and information management. </li></ul><ul><li>DEMO INTEGRATED MAP </li></ul>Tony will now showcase an alternative solution.
  27. 27. More information & Instructions <ul><li>A detailed report with instructions on how to set-up and use this technology is available at: </li></ul><ul><li> or </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>In addition for a copy of the report please email me at: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>