Blended learning for education event april 2010


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A presentation prepared for the Faculty of Education Development Day, 15th April 2010, as to my role as Blended Learning Fellow, and how I can help.

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  • Always like to define terms before trying to work with them – if we don’t have an agreed definition, how do we know what we’re working with... This text gives a lot of practical examples, but true to the spirit of my presentation , I’ve gained my information from both standard textbooks, and harvested a lot of information from online! Overview of presentation:
  • Einstein: “Knowledge is experience – everything else is just information” – current problem with e-learning is that it’s e-information , not e-knowledge! Race, p.177 Is possible to EYE-BALL vast quantities of information, clicking away without reflection . Red Magma, the writers of this Slideshare presentation (a space in which to upload/share presentations), entitled this presentation “E-Learning Sucks”, and was picked up by David Hopkins (Bournemouth University) who heartily applauded it!
  • The students we are engaging now are part of the digital generation , a term defined by Marc Prensky in 2001 Digital Native (technology their first stop) Digital Immigrant (had to learn to use/adapt) Digital Aliens (don’t want to use) Hotly contested, these terms were still being hotly debated at a conference in Plymouth on Friday, where Dave White from the University of Oxford wanted to substitute the terms ‘Digital Visitors’ (those who go online and e.g. Do their shopping) and ‘Digital Residents’ (those who effectively live out parts of their lives online) – and unlike Prensky, this isn’t age dependent!! However... many students will “never know a world without ubiquitous broadband internet access”…
  • Many of these students are used to informal learning in every situation (e.g. “ Oh, where is Egypt, I’ll just look it up on Google maps” “ Who wrote “To be or not to be” “ It’ll be on the web somewhere, I might even be able to watch it” (e.g. iPlayer) As was identified in Sir David Melville’s study of March 2009, and echoed at the JISC conference on Tuesday this week - they are used to interacting, sharing and creating content, and didactic modes of teaching become less and less effective, as students engage less and less with the process.
  • At the bottom of this slide, there’s a link to a test set up by the BBC, where you can go and see which of 8 types of ‘web animal’ you are... In a large study, they discovered that many of those who Prensky would have defined as ‘digital natives’ ARE web foxes... But many also aren’t... The same as we have lecturers who are keen on electronic-learning tools (and that’s all they are, tools, as is pen & paper), and those who aren’t....
  • Now, I know that I’m familiar with many types of technology, and that I’m comfortable in experimenting with many different environments – I have used many other bits of technology and abandoned them… as I’m sure most of you in this room have, but I don’t try and cover EVERY platform… sometimes ‘good enough for now’ is enough! Knowing that there are SOME who are afraid, won’t use things, etc. We need to become clearer on WHICH tools are the right ones for the right circumstances... Last Friday gave a conference paper in which I discussed ideas from Etienne Wenger (who talks about developing ‘Communities of Practice’), it is important for the technology steward to understand what is available, and what is possible for their own community.... This can then allow us to make informed choices about technology… as within my role, I promote some of the tools that I have found helpful, with an indication as to the purpose that I have used them for… However, my role is to consider the ‘blend’, and often people are afraid to use virtual spaces ‘in case they fall over’, but the physcial space is not immune – look at what happens when it snows, the physical campus shuts down, but the virtual can continue...
  • Game too often seen as a solitary, extra-curricular activity, but game creators place engagement first , whilst much e-learning places engagement behind academic rigour. Much e-Learning is like getting on a train – one speed, set stops, and doesn’t fit the personalised world students are expecting to receive these days (that previous slide was my ‘Personal Learning Network’. Race, p.178: Huge amount of investment in gaming industry (with a primary focus on engagement ), means that student expectations are higher, and when faced with basic interfaces, the “want to learn” is damaged. (E.g., did a websitecheck on, and it said that doctoral level understanding was required – not a good start) E-learning can facilitate more individualised learning – as students can each work in their own FLOW...
  • I found this diagram helpful , although it refers to K-12 level students (USA, pre-College) As transferable skills have been highlighted by the need for career progression , these kind of ‘soft’ skills become more important.... Effective LEARNERS, COLLABORATORS, COMMUNICATORS & CREATORS. And if this is the approach that educators at pre-HE levels are taking, how much do we work with what students are used to, and how far do we challenge and re-train them?
  • This: A future look A University structured around the iPhone – everything done through it! Still some time til reality but in envisioning the future , can see potential benefits for learning/retention, etc. The “Convergent Life”: Making University life “easy”, allowing students to feel “connected” Phones mum to say arrived (on her own iPhone presumably!) Given an iPhone by the University, which it describes as the ‘lifeline’, for both academic and social purposes. Book information Maps – GPS tracked Course calendar Admin functions (e.g. change courses) Ebooks Podcasts Payments Weather Register (GPS indicates have entered the room, image appears on teacher’s iPhone, so names are not a problem) Other friends know when you’re in class, so wait until afterwards to contact. Receives SMS from teacher Alerts re, e.g. massive thunderstorm No need to carry backpacks Get choice in class (made on the iPhone) as to whether to take a face-to-face or a hybrid class (meeting f-2-f- once a week still). Information in iTunesU Online Forum Another class, using a Twitterfall/Word Cloud projected up onto the wall. Asks students for suggestions – can be posted to the wall/the class website, students can check facts online. Being aware of what is coming is important so can head in that direction, assess the usefulness
  • We had a CET lunch the other week, and I am still hopeful that we may get a day about ‘The 21 st Century Learner’, as there’s much discussion to it – you can see from here a summary of the gist of it... People will still be people, and in some ways it is just another technological development like printing, but the scale/speed/adoption of it are what is very new, and needs to be taken on board...
  • So, you’ll notice that I’ve focused on the learner, so now I want to flick through some of the tools available – these slides will be available on the Learning Network afterwards, so you can follow up any links you’re interested in... My role, however, is to focus on the possibilities of technology to contribute to teaching and learning, and to help identify those tools that are appropriate, with reference to the LEARNING OBJECTIVES... Use technologies for what e-learning is really good at, and abandon everything else.. Giving learner interesting things to do Providing quick/responsive feedback Helping them make sense of what they did Deeping learning. These provide benchmarks to work towards, in 10/20 years won’t even think of using such material, but process needs to be hastened by collaboration... (Race, p177)
  • So, in all this, as Paul Race says, we need to ensure that the LEARNING is put into e-learning Of course, as an institution, we use The Learning Network (plenty of debate at conferences about whether this helps or hinders student learning!) On the Learning Network, I have used the activity “Choices” for the assignment questions. Within this 2 nd year history module, the students each have to give a presentation, so I placed all the options for titles on the Learning Network, and once a student had picked an option, it wasn’t available to any other students (if you want 2+ per question, then you can set that too). I advertised the closing date for choices, and besides having to chase up a couple of students who were still appearing in the left-hand menu, all were in place in time. I have a lot more to learn about the Learning Network, so would love to hear from others who have used it in interesting ways, and find ways to disseminate that information more widely!
  • So, a couple of practical tools available for use... May have noticed me using this, have found it a great tool for NOT staying attached to the desk – I don’t use the laser pointer as much as I could, but it means I can move around the classroom, stand behind students – can make a difference to behaviour… and the students think it’s fun when I let them use it for their presentations…
  • LTDU has around 80 of these, which are ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ style ‘clickers’. We also have a student available for 5 hours a month to help with the set-up of these – all you need to do is provide a Powerpoint (using only the space below the line, as the software uses the space above the line seen here) with questions and true/false of A-D answers and let Dan know what the correct answer is, and he will ensure the software works. Providing he is available, he will also come to your session and set it up with you (the software is on a laptop), and sit and ensure that it all works smoothly… Brings in the ‘game’ and ‘informal learning’ element we were talking about!
  • With students increasingly using sites such as Wikipedia, and the easy access to ‘purchased essays’, and the pressure to get a good degree because of the state of the economy, we all know plagiarism is on the rise! The University has a subscription to TurnItIn – plagiarism checking software, which David & (even more so) Eric checked over last year, and some more information is on the Learning Network as indicated here… Students can pre-check their own work before submitting, which always gets my approval – they are taking responsibility for their own learning! Or if we work towards electronic submission (pros and cons!) then all essays could run through this software
  • A project that I’ve been working on is SkillsNet – an example of e-learning, including educational-networking. So far we’ve had around 40 hours to spec out the site, so you can see good progress already, to produce more student engagement with Skills Aiming for Well presented material, visually appealing, well structured (within the scope of the pre-existing portal, with plans to move to the new external site, which will feature a lot of social networking options) Opportunities for student engagement, with YouTube helping viral (care with choice of material), Twitter where can identify a hashtag and have running conversations, maybe ask for help We considered using WordPress to host the blog, but wanted to keep it within the University system, but are going to test on students to see what works for them, and have tried to use appropriate language Working with Skills staff (Rosie), and also going to test on students. Currently hosted in Arts, so that we can work in practice, look at the social tools we’re using, but at all times we’re keeping THE AUDIENCE in mind, largely for the students (the keen ones and the panicking ones), but also academics who need to persuaded to endorse/contribute...
  • So, before we come to Wimba, let me give you a hop, skip and jump through some social networking tools... These are some of those that are more widely used... Lots of options?! So which are right...
  • If you’re interested in Twitter, I gave a presentation on that last month, so you can find out more about what that is useful for... And I am writing a conference paper on developing Communities of Practice using Twitter, so if you’re interested, please let me know!
  • A handful in the Uni (Death MA, Creative Writing Journal, Library)
  • There’s more, and many possibilities... We need careful assessment of the value of these, some suggestions here... Less punitive, more encouraging. Using e.g. CET: get some face-to-face sessions going, with conversations which can then be continued online!
  • So many ‘e-learning projects’ seem to fail... Because they are ‘technology-led’, rather than ‘issue-led’ – we need to work out what they are offering a solution to, and where they enhance the learning outcomes... I’m particularly keen to look from ‘the bottom up’, and want to know what you’re thinking, what you need, what you’re afraid of, what you’re excited by...
  • Aside from aiding as a teaching tool, there is also the issue of research informed teaching, and educational networking can aid the academics in many ways Promote own research, and pass that promotion expertise onto students. Squidoo: Place for staff to place expertise PGCLTHE (Blended Learning module) – could be crowdsourced.
  • And of course, shortly we will discuss Wimba, which we have been busy implementing..., but we’ll come back to that!!!
  • Used these texts to different degrees
  • Thank you Happy to answer any questions ! And please do join in the discussions on the Blended Learning Area on the VLE – I’m looking to develop a more interactive area, maybe a Wiki or a Blog... Why me? Experience, via, including SkillsNet (awaiting new capabilities on new external site) Know the IT team and have good relations with them from having worked with a number of them, and with Saffron, as we’re talking convergence – learning/marketing have some overlap to ensure students feel a part of the institution. Learn quickly, not afraid to experiment. Teaching across the disciplines – lots of ideas (and have also worked outside academia, e.g. The Gathering is looking at ways for people to LEARN about the Christian faith, without SERMONISING – a very new media way of doing things). Strategic thinker. Know where to find the tools.
  • Blended learning for education event april 2010

    2. 2. What is Blended Learning? <ul><li>“ The term is commonly associated with the introduction of online media into a course or programme, whilst at the same time recognising that there is merit in retaining face-to-face contact and other traditional approaches to supporting students. It is also used where asynchronous media such as email, forums, blogs or wikis are deployed in conjunction with synchronous technologies , commonly text chat or audio.” </li></ul><ul><li>Janet Macdonald Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: Planning Learning Support and Activity Design , 2008, p2 </li></ul>
    3. 3. Learning/Pedagogy
    4. 4.
    5. 5. With the web you can... Sir David Melville, March 2009
    6. 6. Bex: You are a Web Fox <ul><li>Fast-moving – Web Foxes like you are great at finding information quickly, just as real-world foxes are always ready to pounce on an opportunity. </li></ul><ul><li>Sociable – Foxes are highly social animals, maintaining complex relationships with the other members of their social group. When you browse the web you are also a social creature, often using social networks, or other sites whose content is created by its users, as sources of information. </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptable – Web Foxes are highly adaptable multitaskers, able to do several things at the same time – just like real-world foxes who can rapidly change their behaviour to suit their environments. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Bex’s PLE
    8. 9. The 21 st Century Learner
    9. 10. <ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. Discussion: 26/03/10 <ul><li>Similarities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People will still be people, same fears, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just another tech. development like printing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Naivety & suspicion in early use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guidance required to enable good use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distinctions – space to meet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implicit credibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Differences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scale/massification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longevity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worse cyber-bullying/or just more public? Direct abuse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think it’s “our world” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We know too much about students outside? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laziness, not past digital tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community vs individual focus </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>But how can we use it? </li></ul>Technology is just a tool?
    12. 13. Learning Network: Choices
    13. 14. Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer
    14. 15. Personal Response Systems (Clickers)
    15. 16. Plagiarism Checking <ul><li>“ Turnitin Originality Checking allows educators to check students' work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against continuously updated databases. Every Originality Report provides instructors with the opportunity to teach their students proper citation methods as well as to safeguard their students' academic integrity.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask ITS for a Tii password </li></ul><ul><li>Go to: </li></ul><ul><li>Register a class & ask students to upload their assignments </li></ul><ul><li>(or use the ‘Quick Submit’ facility) </li></ul><ul><li>See Eric Bodger’s report ‘Critique of Electronic Submission’ on the Learning Network </li></ul>
    16. 17. SkillsNet, Winchester
    17. 18.
    18. 19.
    19. 20. YouTube: Winchester Journalism
    20. 21. Facebook Group
    21. 22. Practical Ideas? <ul><li>Blogs: Real-time engagement, formative feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: “Backchatter”, concise summaries of arguments/texts. </li></ul><ul><li>Delicious: Bookmarking within a course, sharing links </li></ul><ul><li>Online treasure hunt: leading to the library! </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life: museum for Creating and Consuming History </li></ul><ul><li>E-Portfolio: Space for reflective journaling </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki: Non-linear development of an argument </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Group: Industrial placement students, maintaining community </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube: Session tasters </li></ul>
    22. 23. What is the purpose of this? <ul><li>Three factors in all those empty wikis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There is insufficient purpose to the e-intervention; it is solving a problem that does not exist; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is not built into the regular face-to-face teaching of the course or its assessment structures; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insufficient time is available to set up and then diligently maintain the activities.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., Marshall, S., Enhancing Academic Practice: A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education , 2009 (3 rd Edn), p.91 </li></ul>
    23. 24. What else can staff do? Presentation: Dr Lorraine Warren
    24. 25. Synchronous Conferencing ; ;
    25. 26. Offline Bibliography <ul><li>Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., Marshall, S., Enhancing Academic Practice: A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education , 2009 (3 rd Edn) (Routledge) </li></ul><ul><li>Gillespie, H. Et al., Learning and Teaching with Virtual Learning Environments , 2007 (Learning Matters) </li></ul><ul><li>John, P.D. & Wheeler, S., The Digital Classroom , 2008 (Routledge) </li></ul><ul><li>Lynch, M.M. Learning Online , 2004 (Routledge) </li></ul><ul><li>Macdonald, J., Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: Planning Learning Support and Activity Design , 2008 (Gower) </li></ul><ul><li>Mayes, T. & de Freitas, S. ‘JISC E-Learning Models Desk Study: Review of e-learning theories, frameworks and models’, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Race, P., Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education , 2005 (Sage) </li></ul>
    26. 27. Blended Learning Pages on the Learning Network: Bex’s Blog: