27 October, 2009
These are my notes from the presentations, as well as some of my thoughts on what the speakers were saying
Professor Brian O'Connell
Professor Ramashwar Bharauthram
Relocation of eLearning from ICS to it's own separate “Department” with direct access to the Vice Rector, highlights the importance placed on this idea
How do you transfer IP generated in HEI to the community?
Requires a transformed organisational culture. Non-coercive approach to buy-in, met with ++ resistance / barriers (“lack of support infrastructure”):
More bad news about KEWL and all it's different versions. Can't understand why everything has to be rebuilt? Use open technologies and integrate
4th year level course on pharmacy management, specifically patient management
Pre-podcast = written assignments, would like to have more OSCE style approach, but no time, class size: 70-80
Used Audacity to protect confidentiality of patients who were interviewed, by altering voice
Rubric designed to assess podcasts:
This is not podcasting…it's just recording audio and making it available for download. Podcasting only seems to make sense to use with students if it's done as a series of audio reflections that include interviews, assessments, private notes, etc., and which can be streamed and shared among the class in order to promote discussion / dialogue. Recording a patient interview and uploading it to a server does have advantages, but is not podcasting. There also needs to be another form of interaction with either an associated wiki / commenting system involved, to make sure that the audio file doesn't exist in isolation.
Lecturer didn't participate in the process / didn't know how to use Audacity, felt left out of the loop as a result
Dawn Hector (Stellenbosch University)
4th year nursing students
4th year students, differential calculus module
Students have trouble accessing any information, even textbooks (language barriers, cost of purchase, etc.), let alone the internet. It was difficult to get students to attend initial workshop.
Used a website to look forward to see what was coming up, as well as to look backwards to revise
A lot of proficiency in using cellphones (students would send emails from cellphone, but struggled with computers). Style of communication (text speak) inappropriate in a HE environment.
Website must be a part of the course from the beginning, so include relevant content in the course handouts to indicate what the website is useful for. This prevents student frustration trying to use the website for tasks it is not designed for.
Workshops must be very basic. Start at the beginning of the process to make sure that students understand each step. Don't assume that they know anything. Use screenshots with additional content added to walk through the process.
Get feedback from students in order to refine the tools, using open ended questions
Students don't use the help that is available, don't attend orientation sessions
274 students chose to participate (about 50%)
Assignment = record interview, edit down to 2 minutes, add audio (used Audacity)
For those students who didn't want to participate, an alternative assignment was provided
Must be able to cater for individual learning styles
Clear that there is limited understanding of MP3's / players / podcasts
It's one thing to “tell” students about something, and another thing altogether for them to explore that topic by themselves, with the freedom to see where that story takes them. It seems clear that every student will take a different path and tell a different story.
OER OER are “an internet (?) empowered worldwide community effort to create an education commons”…what does the internet have to do with it? OER in itself has no association with the internet, they exist independently of the internet, although they may be distributed online.
Open Courseware is self-funded project within UWC
UWC is a board member of the OCWC, first African insitution to join the OCWC
UWC has an official policy for publishing open content and open courseware that applies to all educational content produced at UWC
What is the Dscribe process?
Can be a showcase of excellent academic resources, highlight international collaboration opportunities, reduce the cost of obtaining academic materials
Turnitin It looks like the university is going to use Turnitin as a learning tool i.e. students can submit as part of the drafting process to get feedback on where their works need to be modified before final submission.
My concerns re. Turnitin in general: * What is the UWC policy on the use of Turnitin? * Who will determine what is an “acceptable” orginality score? * Will each lecturer be able to choose what, if anything they want to submit? * Does everything get submitted, or only suspicious works? * How do we feel about the assumption of guilt that submission to Turnitin implies? * Is the work anonymised? * Will we have to get student consent to submit their works to a third party? * What if they refuse? * Will we take that to mean an implied guilt? * Wouldn't it be better to create an environment in which students want to submit their own works, without resorting to plagiarism?
Kobus Smit (Utrecht University of Applied Sciences)
Using KEWL while teaching in the Netherlands (extension of a project while lecturing at UWC):
Used a simple marking rubric to determine contributions in discussion forum (0, 1, or 2)
Used small groups of 2 students who wrote reflective pieces after reading assigned work, and commented on each others reflections, using constructive feedback aimed at improving the original reflection. Identify common themes among the 2 students, and how it relates to the readings. This seems similar to my blogging assignment.
Gave more marks for individual components than for group assignments, to try and alleviate the problems that arise with group dynamics that become dysfunctional
Reading a text several times for understanding is normal. Can we expect students to comprehend things immediately, when it has taken us years to reach that point?
Reading with comprehension = able to identify main ideas and thoughts that expose the structure, argument and reasoning of the text
argument = debate i.e. is structured and has a conclusion, not a fight
Used online worksheets for “old-fashioned” comprehension tests
Deconstructing texts can result in a framework that can then be used to write an essay
Classes writing skills improved over the results of previous years i.e. good reading skills can translate into good writing skills
“Online” allowed students to re-read, review, edit documents during drafting process without having to print / rewrite work
Be careful about making assumptions about students background and understanding of the subject matter
eLearning environment at UWC is not user-friendly
Know your students and their backgrounds / contexts
Used a blended approach to teaching eLearning in the first trial
Do things incrementally – begin with pages, hyperlinks and work to podcasts and wikis / link to experts who are doing things independently
Wikis involve ++ collaboration and our students are not there yet
Just because students know about technology, doesn't mean they can critically use it. Having a Facebook profile doesn't mean students understand Facebook.
Don't expect different results using the same teaching techniques
Learn from your mistakes
Offer students a variety of approaches to learning and assessment