UWC colloquium (11 March, 2009)
Professor Brian O'Connell sits on the board of the International Association of Digital Publications
“We worry about the problems that are closest to us” - See the bigger picture because playing the game in a small space can be deceptive. Increase the size of the frame of reference. What are the “African” challenges?
Different knowledge = different power. We must understand the different types of knowledge.
OBE was a satisfying result ideologically, but not enough thought / debate went into it's implementation. Didn't look for the satisfying answer.
We must look to set learner's free (parallels with ”Pedagogy of the oppressed”) i.e. take ownership of their own learning. How can we arrange the environment to encourage engagement / contestation.
Revolution, not evolution
Keep things in perspective:
Change hinges on access to content → open access textbooks
Remember that intellectual property is important for publishers
Professor Vivienne Bozalek
The UWC Institutional Operating Plan discuss the “engaged” university (this plan has since been released)
What does “innovation” in education mean?
ICTs increase the complexity required for 21st century ideas around education
Use assessment as part of the learning process, rather than a separate / isolated activity
Requires the input of many stakeholders, including: management, e-learning, support, academics, e-moderators, facilitators, students
Blended learning (what components of the physiotherapy curriculum are appropriate for this?)
This section is mainly my own thoughts made in response to the presentation.
Dr. Nicolette Roman
The presentation revolved around the idea that e-books might be a feasible solution for some students on campus. These are my thoughts on that idea:
How is an e-book fundamentally different from a hard copy? Do students engage with digital content in an e-book in a different way than if it was a real book?
Relies on proprietary software (with associated licensing fees):
Why should students have to download entire books? Is there an option to download the chapters / sections they need?
I don't see e-books as a suitable replacement for hard copy, especially at this institution.
The IADP is the International Association for Digital Publications. It's goal is to ”…advance education and thereby relieve poverty, especially in developing countries, by facilitating the introduction and use of digital publications, and by related means”.
Used a weekly podcast (downloadable mp3 file actually) to give course instructions to students. How is that fundamentally different to an email, or just telling them in person? Is it worthwhile to use technology just because you can?
Students didn't use the chat room feature? No reasons given as to why not. Where objectives set for the chat room? Did they interact effectively and regularly offline / on Facebook?
Seems to be a strong emphasis on moving content online. An embedded welcome video on the home page? To what end? Is it for students who want to be welcomed again? Again, using technology for the sake of it, rather than for adding to the traditional approach.
Web-based writing and review tool used in a class of information systems students. An online system allows instructors to design assignments. Student submit online and other students review their work.
Poor writing skills of students highlighted. How can writing skills be improved? ++writing exercises with a lot of feedback
Peer review process among students could be contentious. Some students felt that they were competent to review, but that others were not.
How can students be better reviewers? Can they participate in designing the marking rubric?
“Opening up drives innovation” and innovation doesn't only need to happen within the confines of coursework e.g. radio show in Khayelitsha with bursary and vaccination info.
If we give students the tools and the skills to use them, they will innovate on their own.
If an application creates value for students, they will learn to use that application on their own (think of Facebook and it's informal use by students as part of their studies).
Involve students in the design and production of open courseware material, rather than view them as consumers of education.
Publish course material at Free courseware at UWC
Professor Vivienne Bozalek
Does “discussion” and “dialogue” occur naturally in a wiki?
Method = reflective essays by students and then questionnaire survey
Exercises to socialise groups before actually working together?
What was the collaborative environment used, and could it have affected the students' behaviour?
Chat rooms were virtually useless in this context. They're good for live presentation / lecture / real-time interaction.
Students preferred individual work, rather than group work (similar to the results of my OpenPhysio assignment)
Cultural context is important, it can lead to a good learning process if designed around
Dr. R. Knight
Different narrative - decentralised control that supports free speech (goes around the filter), empowers people to give expression to their ideas (saw this clearly in the Ethics blogging assignment earlier this year)
Began the course with a bare skeleton and built content (a resource library) during the course
Blogs for education integrates a rich environment
Google Forms export to spreadsheet, which can then be imported into SPSS for analysis
Converted text to speech and registered podcasts on iTunes