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Graduation 2008

Block 4, week 22 - activity 3

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“Students are allowed multiple attempts at each question (the maximum score diminishing with each attempt). They receive feedback after each attempt, tailored to the student’s actual answer. The feedback after the final attempt usually includes a full worked solution or equivalent. We have also introduced a “hint” option, to help those, who don’t know how to approach a question” (Ekins, 2007 p. 165). The science FutureLearn modules I have taken do this too.

“Students reported that they enjoyed the interactive quizzes, as well as finding them useful in checking their understanding and stimulating their learning” (Ekins, 2007 p. 173). I agree, finding them useful and interesting too.

Ekins (2007), The use of interactive on-line formative quizzes in Mathematics

 

My research:

1)      Socrative is an online quizzing tool

Reference https://blogs.loucoll.ac.uk/learningtechnology/2011/06/13/using-interactive-quizzes-for-formative-assessment/

“Uses in FE

Uses in HE

To review and recap learning.

To facilitate revision sessions for exams.

To engage students in class.

To support group work and collaboration both in class and outside of class

To support comprehension tasks

To produce voting surveys

To support self-paced task sheets to track a learners’ progress

To answer self-paced questions on a Journal article

To generate individual reports to give to students as ongoing feedback

To generate individual reports to give to students as ongoing feedback”

 

 

2)      Using formative quizzes for continuous learning and assessment

“Adapted in part from Macquarie University’s iLearn application and Harry Tuttle’s ‘Education with Technology’ blog.  

In terms of online practice or formative quizzes:

 Students benefit greatly from being able to take online practice quizzes. These quizzes focus on the critical lower-level thinking learning for the students. The students can practice these activities on online quizzes, therefore, freeing up class time for higher-level thinking activities.

 Students do not have to wonder if their answer is correct or not as they answer a question, the quiz programme tells the student. Students get immediate reaction to their answer; they do not have to wait until the next class which may be 24 hours, 48 hours or more away.

 Students can read the teacher-provided strategy for improvement for each wrong answer. The students do not just know that they are incorrect but they see an explanation of how to improve. They learn how to do it correctly; they improve through formative assessment.

Students can begin to use their new strategy as they encounter a problem using the same concept that they just missed. They can verify if they are applying the strategy correctly.

 Students can answer without feeling badly about having a wrong answer as can happen in a class. No other student knows.

 Students can retake a practice quiz as often as they want to improve their score. If the practice quizzes are truly formative then no mark will be recorded. Students will demonstrate their learning in class and on summative tests.

 Teachers can quickly analyse in what areas students are successful and in what areas they have demonstrated learning gaps. They can select an appropriate learning strategy for each student for class.

 If formative quizzes are used for homework, then lecturers can use them to mark and give feedback (if set up to do this). Lecturers then do not have to individually mark a lot of scripts or explain individually to each student which answers are incorrect and what strategy will work for each incorrect answer.

 Both students and teachers can see the students’ progress over time as they see the online quiz scores. In addition, lecturers may notice patterns over time and can adapt their teaching and learning strategies to address students’ learning gaps and misunderstandings accordingly. (Adapted from Harry G Tuttle’s blog)”

Harry G Tuttle’s ‘Education with Technology’ blog: http://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/10-reasons-to-use-online-practice-quizzes-formative-assessment/

 

3)      UCB Online 9.1 Creating an Online Test/Quiz

“UCB Online has the ability to allow you to create interactive and engaging online tests/quizzes for formative pieces of assessment. Having the ability for students to complete the tests online, allows students to monitor there own progress and gauge the areas that they require additional support on. Also UCB Online has its own built in assessment engine, allowing ease of marking and grading to be performed based on criteria set by the individual academic. For more information on the areas of online assessment, access the following web resource: JISC InfoNet – Assessment”.

http://students.ucb.ac.uk/wiki/GetFile.aspx?File=%2FUser-Guide%2FLearning%20Technologies%2FCreatingatest2.pdf

 

4)      Effective Assessment in a Digital Age. A guide to technology-enhanced assessment and feedback

“Where students make extensive use of technology in their learning – for example, by accessing resources, taking formative tests and submitting assignments online – it seems logical that at least some aspects of the curriculum are assessed by computer. The 2009 JISC Report on Summative e-Assessment Quality (REAQ) provides evidence that some students prefer to take assessments on a computer, because they are more familiar with using a keyboard than writing longhand. The report also highlights an additional gain: the ‘e’ factor ie aspects of computer-assisted assessment that would be time-consuming or impossible to reproduce in paper-based tests. These include animations and rich media, which add authenticity to the experience of assessment. Immediate, quality-assured feedback in formative assessment is a further advantage from computer-assisted assessment noted in the report” (JISC, 2010 p. 34).

“A personal online technology such as an e-portfolio system offers further opportunities for the assessment of learning. The BSc students use the blogging tool in the Mahara e-portfolio system to explore links between their theoretical knowledge and their experiences while on work placement; they also support one another via the e-portfolio blogging tool when researching for their dissertation. By setting up their own blogs, students can upload and share digital resources such as RSS feeds, YouTube clips, online journals, newspaper articles and websites” (JISC, 2010 p. 37).

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Graduation 2008

Collaborative project - reflection

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014, 14:10

The project

After coming up with the idea of euthanasia as a topic I did not quite understand how we would initially use it as a learning opportunity, however with collective creativity we generated such an effective website that it seems a shame that it won’t be used by carers and that the conference/OER/MOOC are only fictitious. Possibly due to the moral and ethical topic or to the personas (or both) I believe that most of the team felt quite engaged with the project. I enjoyed researching Creative Commons images, quotes, music and finding relevant theories etc.

The team

From previous MAODE collaborative projects I knew my likely frustrations would be with working at different paces and not everybody pulling their weight, however with this group we were pretty much within the same week’s activities for much of the time. This was like a breath of fresh air for me because I struggle with working behind the study calendar dates, whilst acknowledging and understanding our other commitments. As with all teamwork there were some moments of difference and considering this was my longest online collaborative project it went really well, commitment was evident and I am pleased to have been allocated to this team. We didn’t always agree on the minor points but tended to on the major points.  Our team consisted of a group of strong-minded individuals with good ideas and I’m proud of the website that we have collectively achieved. The project manager kept us on track and the team leader put in a lot of time and effort, in particular helping with website edits and additions etc. I wasn’t especially clear on what was required of me in my role as Connector so I aimed to make links and add ideas focusing on depth and breadth as that seemed to holistically represent connection.

The activities

Discussions were interesting because we were all getting to grips with interpreting what was required and it was quite a challenge, as I expected. It was not always clear what the groups were supposed to do and I’ve found this in all but one (H800) of my MAODE modules. However discussion benefited this through interpretative dialogue to reach consensus and I find this helpful in informing/reinforcing my own understanding. This is my second module where a TMA has been based on its collaborative project and I find it interesting and useful for reflective learning.

Educational technology

I’m pleased to have had more practice with Google Docs, Cloudworks and to have learned about digital storytelling. I used Popplet for the first time and it was my first joint creation of a website, which at times I found difficult to edit and add items to – yet this was part of the learning process. I’ve learned some of the process for creating videos and Maze stories plus I have been introduced to new survey tools (Likert and Padlet). It was informative looking through the other websites although frustrating that not many were accessible for making comments, due to time restraints I only commented on the websites that allowed this.

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Activity 25: Reflecting on openness

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014, 14:10

This is my first attempt at an animated video. I used GoAnimate and attempted to upload it to both YouTube and Vimeo but was unfortunately not successful on this occasion, however when a TMA is not pressing I will work on it again because it was a useful exercise.

The video is 30 seconds long and includes animation, voice and text, its focus is on OER remembering that it's not just the financial aspects which often dominate thoughts (amongst other areas) but the consideration that is needed in regards to genuine openness and accessibility for all learners.

However upon testing it the following day I realise (gggrrr!) that it neither loaded or saved - despite signing in and constantly clicking save. As is often the case with learning design tools it takes time, patience and several attempts to get to grips with them, therefore I'll revisit this activity later on.

Until I complete and add my video I've written a slide show, which is openly accessible and searchable:

 

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1khtruNeYBIZsemW7ze9xaHgwysP5xcivgt5LhNSePDA

 

 

 

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Graduation 2008

Activity 23: Review of work in digital literacies

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:26

This activity asks you to read a JISC report which reviews digital literacy.

  •  
    This report is relevant in that it was conducted at a time where finances were being considerably changed, identifying a need for increased openness. It suggested a definition of digital literacy that was "neutral" (Beetham, 2010 p. 1) to avoid any potential concerns about power. In its 15 years since the previous definition the report identifies that this term needs updating due in part to "Web 2.0 technologies(Beetham, 2010 p. 2). The report provides evidence including statistics and accessibility relating to JISC Strategy including "work funded by the JISC and HE Academy" (Beetham, 2010 p. 10) then there is a shorter list of work funded by other partners, finishing with quotes from stakeholders. It reads as a persuasive report to support the ongoing work of JISC presumably as evidence attached to a funding bid.
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Activity 24: Considering open learner literacies

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:27

I've based my list on the skills identified by Jenkins et al. (2009), upon which I’ve added some explanation and examples based on my experience and research during this block:

 

  1. 1.      Play – the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem solving. This is valuable for children and adults and my examples identify an open element.

http://sharpbrains.com/brainteasers/

http://www.tryengineering.org/play-games

 

  1. Performance – the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery. Again equally applicable to children (with support) and adults as an open element.

    http://www.chamberofchat.com/

    http://secondlife.com/?gclid=CLGHypL0870CFQUFwwodVRcAuA

     

  1. Simulation – the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes. Another aspect of the list that is appropriate for children (with support) and adults as open content.

    http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/home.html

    http://simulation.freeonlinegames.name/

     

  1. Appropriation – the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content. I've been aware of mashups within previous MAODE modules but these are newly researched examples of open content.

    http://www.remixthebook.com/the-course/appropriation

    http://mashup.mixedinkey.com/

     

  1. Multitasking – the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details. I focused on computer processing for this research, the first item is open content and the second is a free extract of a book available for purchase.

    http://www.slideshare.net/iampencilbox/multitasking-5176772

    http://my.safaribooksonline.com/book/information-technology-and-software-development/9788131733097/operating-system/ch07lev1sec3

     

  1. Distributed cognition – the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities. These are open content to support accessibility.

    http://distributedcognitivesystems.net/?page_id=14

    https://sites.google.com/site/512group04/Home/distributed-cognition/applications-of-distributed-cognition

     

  1. Collective intelligence – the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others  toward a common goal. These open content provide information on PLN etc.

    http://cci.mit.edu/

    http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/ibv-collective-intelligence.html

     

  1. Judgement – the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources. An appropriate open content from JISC followed by OU open content which my students use for literature review.

    http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/digitisation/SixStepsHandbook.pdf

    http://www.open.ac.uk/libraryservices/beingdigital/accessible/accessible-pdf-13-evaluation-using-prompt.pdf

     

  1. Transmedia navigation – the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities. Open content by Jenkins himself and the BBC on this topic.

    http://henryjenkins.org/2010/06/transmedia_education_the_7_pri.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20130702112135506

     

  1. Networking – the ability to search for, synthesise and disseminate information. Open content tips to support this.

    http://www.nrg-networks.com/nrg-10tips.html

    http://www.sitepoint.com/social-networking-sites-for-business/

     

  1. Negotiation – the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms. Open content tips.

    https://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/persuading.htm

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/12/05/six-surprising-negotiation-tactics-that-get-you-the-best-deal/

     

    This list applies to all learners and my examples refer mainly to open learners based on collaborative learning online based on the key concerns of participation, transparency and ethics identified by Jenkins et al. (2009 p. 3).

     

    Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. and Weigel, M. (2009) Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, Chicago, IL, The MacArthur Foundation. Also available online at http://digitallearning.macfound.org/ atf/ cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/ JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF (last accessed 22 April 2014).

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Activity 22: An open education technology

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:27

Loic Le Muir (2005) discusses the willingness and openness of blog writers to communicate regularly on current issues for the purpose of collaboration and debate. RSS feeds are a way of notifying interested parties of new articles however Ingram (2011) suggests social networking is now the favoured medium, but this is really down to personal preferences. As an OU Tutor I find that links and embeds (known as ‘web 2.0’) make adding content such as YouTube tutorials, SoundCloud etc. to your tutor group forum easy to do and they are instantly accessible for students rather than them having to follow the link to its original source. Twitter and Facebook provide live updates for instant information on e.g. webinars so these can be discussed synchronously and questions asked of the speaker. For example MOOCs have been discussed in Twitter using specific hashtags. I use Twitter as an invaluable research aid. Unlike Facebook with Twitter you do not have to ‘friend’ someone but can follow and unfollow people you are interested in and contact them directly to ask questions (as I did this morning with Martin Weller). As for VLE’s it’s been interesting watching the OU’s Moodle transform as it adapts and progresses technologically over the years. An additional technology that is important for open education is website builders e.g. Google Sites so people with limited technological knowledge can set up their own site such as for hobbies and interests - I set up my Family Tree in 2004. This is a way to link to others and build understanding on specific topics of educational interest. Although these are often closed sites to protect identity they become open once contact has been made and an invitation is sent to connect. Genealogy is a popular interest and is of personal and social history educational value. Sites such as Tribal Pages and Ancestry.com provide free website builders that identify linked surnames so those with family trees on their site can choose to link up.

Ingram, M. (2011) ‘Sure, RSS is dead – just like the web is dead’, GigaOM, 4 January [online]. Available at http://gigaom.com/ 2011/ 01/ 04/ sure-rss-is-dead-just-like-the-web-is-dead/ (last accessed 22 April 2014).

Le Meur, L. (2005) ‘Is there a “blog culture”?’, Loic Le Meur, 5 May [online]. Available at http://loiclemeur.com/ english/ 2005/ 05/ is_there_a_blog.html (last accessed 22 April 2014).

 
 
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Activity 21: The chicken and egg conundrum – technology and pedagogy inter-relate

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:27

 

As an OU Tutor I use combined technology and pedagogic theory and practice on a daily basis, it is vital that these two work alongside as one cannot manage without the other. Pedagogy is the primary factor and technology is the medium. In Tutor Forums some other tutors have said that although eTMA's have benefits they are concerned about them "getting lost in cyberspace" or other technology malfunctions. Additionally face-to-face tutorials are generally preferred to online tutorials and in particular ones using e.g. OU Live (Blackboard Collaborate formerly known as Elluminate) rather than tutor group forum asynchronous discussion. Technology is often spoken about as a tool (with some convenience yet quite a lot of concern) that enables the pedagogy, whilst also hampering communication tools due to 'fear' by users (tutors and students). This was part of the reason I decided to undertake the MAODE because educational technology is I believe the future of online learning particularly with the OU as a leader in this field. It indicates the tension between pedagogy and technology that the article highlighted. Technophobia is a strong and emotive term however it exists and can be quite anxiety-ridden especially for students with mental health conditions such as social phobia, affecting their online participation impacting on their learning. Whereas other students engage in mlearning such as OU Anywhere app, voice recording our face-to-face tutorials and using their smartphone to research, read and/or write in tutor group forums. Some tutors do this too although in my experience it is student-led, which is unfortunate because tutors could (should?) be a positive role model in enabling students to find various ways to connect with their learning.

 

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Activity 17: The role of abundance

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:27

 

Interesting that research by Wesch (2008) on what learners believe contrasted with what educators believe, (Weller, 2011 p.6). Perhaps this is due to social construction of 'authority' figures and ineffective research where the learners consciously or unconsciously felt they needed to provide the 'right' answer without processing it. For example Seely-Brown and Adler (2008) have studied participatory learning whereas likely the learners researched by Wesch have not, therefore they may be referring to previous rather than 'new' thinking - maybe formed of their own experiences. As Siemens (2005) claims "decision-making is itself a learning process". Therefore I would suggest in my context as an OU Tutor that students best make use of abundance by reflective practice, action research and critical incident analysis to focus on their inner dialogue. However this is not just for students, "the process of self-reflection as described by Schön (1987) should be included in ... teacher’s professional development" too (Rowley, 2014 p.35).

 

 

Rowley, J. (2014) Bridging the gap: improving students' learning experience through shifting pedagogical practices in higher education. [online]. Available at http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ijld/article/view/4944 (last accessed 18 April 2014).
Schön, D.A. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner. London: Jossey-Bass.
 
Seely-Brown, J & Adler P (2008) ‘Minds on Fire’  EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 43, no. 1
ationt/4582
 
Siemens, G. (2005) ‘Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.’
International Journal of Instructional Technology  ,

2(1).  http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm

 

Wesch, M (2008) A portal on media literacy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4yApagnr0s

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Activity 19: Implementing connectivism

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:28

 

 

Week

Topic

Resources

Connectivism

1

Introduction

JISC webinar

Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known

2

 

Definition

Jorum Word document

and 

OpenLearn

Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions

Decision making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision

3

 

Research

Jorum resource

Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities

4

 

Mobile learning

Merlot

Learning is a process of connecting specialised nodes or information sources

Learning may reside in non-human appliances

5

 

Learning design

MIT

Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning

Ability to see connections between fields, ideas and concepts is a core skill

 

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Activity 18: Theory of connectivism and its critics

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:28

 

Siemens (2005) raises a point that I consider refers to my discussion on activity 17, "learning is a continual process, lasting for a lifetime. Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. In many situations, they are the same". Furthermore principles of connectivism "learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions" confirms that the different views expressed by Weller (2011) within activity 17 of the learners and educators in research undertaken by Wesch (2005) are not a problem. Connectivism loosely translates into PLN that we worked on in week 10. Siemens (2005) refers to difficulties with connectivism “when knowledge, however, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes a vital skill”. This relates to social and cultural capital. Downes (2007) seems to agree with my thoughts on this e.g. that it’s all about the connections that like-minded people make as a natural process. Although Downes seemed to have an anti attitude rather than provide a coherent critical discussion.

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Activity 20: Exploring rhizomatic learning

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:28

 

  1. Were you convinced by rhizomatic learning as an approach?

I like the concept of rhizomatic learning, although believe it’s probably just a reworking of experiential learning alongside PLN and Communities of Practice. The example of his son making decisions is part of building communication, negotiation, resilience and confidence – which are valuable for all learners.

  1. Could you imagine implementing rhizomatic learning?

For young children yes, if the social policy of assessing children’s learning SATs etc. and curriculum changed. However UK culture is firmly rooted in educational philosophy of tests and measures.

  1. How might rhizomatic learning differ from current approaches?

Similar approaches such as social pedagogy and forest schools occur throughout Nordic countries with young children.

  1. What issues would arise in implementing rhizomatic learning?

Governmental education policies run ‘learning’ in a knowledge-acquisition way, therefore e.g. OU Tutors would be hard pushed to measure learning in order to score a TMA. It would work for young children but not for youths or adults.

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Activity 16 - examining a definition

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:29

A simple graphic of the fundamentals of my definition:

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Activity 14 - comparing MOOCs

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:29

Technology

DS106 although initially attractive graphically, it did not seem to have any clear direction and I thought it would be quite possible to lose a few hours (or even days) caught up in its maze. Therefore I decided it wasn’t for me.

 

Pedagogy

ChangeMOOC I found, to be frank, really dull. It just did not inspire me to want to find out what it was all about.

Udacity did not seem to offer anything more than anyone can already get on YouTube tutorials.

 

General approach and philosophy

FutureLearn – I did not date look at this one because I’ve completed two courses and am working through another two at the moment. If I looked at the site I was concerned about getting side-tracked. For me these are ideal. Attractive, easy to find topics of interest and enjoyable to participate in.

Coursera – I looked at several and they gained my interest, apart from most of them ran for about 6-8 weeks which I think is too long.

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Activity 13 - reading

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:29

Daniel (2012), Making sense of MOOCs: musings in a maze of myth, paradox and possibility, which provides a comprehensive review of MOOCs.

Daniel argues the point that MOOCs cannot really be considered as open if they charge, there are further criticisms. "In his book Harmonizing Global Education: from Genghis Khan to Facebook, Baggaley (2011) argues that the quality and pedagogy of much current online education is poor because its practitioners have not taken the trouble to learn the lessons from research on earlier educational technologies" (Daniel, 2012).  

Baggaley, J. (2011). Harmonising Global Education: from Genghis Khan to Facebook. London and New York, Routledge

 

 

Kop (2011), The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: learning experiences during a massive open online course.

"A big difference between learning informally, both away from an educational institution and within one, is the level of intrinsic motivation that the learner has. There is clearly a much higher level of motivation that must stem from the self in an informal learning situation as some of the motivational factors in a formal context would more often than not be external, for example getting a qualification or learning a skill for the workplace" (Kop, 2011).  This plays a part in indicating the high dropout rate. 

 

Stacey (2013), The pedagogy of MOOCs.

Dave Cormier describes the PLENK2010 course by referring to how it works. "The four types of activity are described as; 1. Aggregate, 2. Remix, 3. Repurpose, 4. Feed Forward" (Stacey, 2013).
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Activity 12 - background to MOOCs

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:29

According to Dave Cormier, MOOCs are about a sense of belonging and having a purpose. George Siemens mentioned the ongoing problem of the drop-out rate and went on to state another challenge is that participants may not be 'experts' in the particular field of study yet they can have quite an influence in e.g. social networking as the topics are discussed on perhaps Twitter. Interestingly Dave and George claimed that it's the learning that is important and not the completion of the course, sometimes life gets in the way and people burnout but if they gained some knowledge and understanding during their short time on the MOOC then that makes it a success. George expressed his concerns about MOOCs, "I have some issues and concerns with the pedagogical model. I don’t think that they’re as innovative as people give claim to because in my eyes they basically duplicate all of the structural components of a classroom, you know – the heavy emphasis on expertise, the drilling of content and quizzing. These MOOCs prepare people for the knowledge structure that we currently have, or have had over the last century, very well. My argument is that the complex problems that society faces going forward, aren’t going to be solved through necessarily an exclusive expertise model. They’re going to be solved through very much a networked and distributed approach, where many individuals provide different pieces of the knowledge puzzle. And so I think my main critique of those MOOC formats, is that they duplicate the classroom model and they don’t necessarily prepare people for participation in these very complex chaotic knowledge settings that most of us live in these days". However this was some time ago and my experience of FutureLearn MOOCs is that they have forums where you can discuss or ask questions, they have interviews (admittedly with 'experts') and quizzes - which George may dislike but I appreciate. Everyone learns differently and perhaps this model may not suit everybody. FutureLearn could argue that they are networked because they are on Facebook and Twitter, however yes I see his point that this duplicates a classroom model - albeit with a relaxed stance.

 

"MOOCs have created wide interest as a change agent in higher education, and the peer-reviewed research literature on them is growing but still limited. MOOCs generate a plethora of data in digital form for interested researchers. However, this volume has so far limited researchers to analysing only a tiny portion of the available data, restricting our understanding of MOOCs" Furthermore "Mak, et al. (2010) suggest that there has been unacceptable behaviour (for example, forceful intellectual debates, feelings of participation being demanded, and rude behaviour) from some MOOC participants, which has led other participants to cease posting on forums. The possible cultural differences of participants in MOOCs and their MOOC experience would be an interesting avenue of research in relation to cultural tension in MOOCs" (Liyanagunawardena et al., 2013). 

 

Mak, S., Williams, R., & Mackness, J. (2010). Blogs and forums as communication and learning tools in a MOOC. In Networked Learning Conference, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, 275-285.

Liyanagunawardena, T.R., Adams, A.A. and Williams, S. (2013) ‘MOOCs: a systematic study of the published literature 2008–2012’, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 202–27 [online]. Available at http://www.irrodl.org/ index.php/ irrodl/ article/ view/ 1455/ 2531 (last accessed 17 April 2014).

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The 3 key issues in OER and how they are being addressed

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:30

OER topics

There is an “increased specialism in HE institutions” (Farrow, 2013) which I consider as both a pro and a con for OER. Exclusive modules may not appeal to many students so although they are open and available they might not be sought after as a learning source. However they might influence and inspire further investigation by appealing to tutors and/or researchers, in this way they can still motivate learning. A way to address this is to recognise that OER benefits from crowd learning (McAndrew, 2013) so although e.g. an OpenLearn topic is not being used by a student in the way the module was designed for, it can be utilized as a source of knowledge e.g. referencing an assignment, stimulating debate in social networks or forums and by encouraging new explorations. Therefore OER topics can be used in a variety of ways by students and researchers, either by completing the module or dipping in and out of significant aspects to develop individual depth and breadth of understanding in specific matters. Because OER is open it cannot necessarily predict the type of topics that will interest others, specialist topics are just as important as general topics.

 

Retaining students’ interest

Students are recognised as being busy and should “not be expected” to participate in optional activities, there needs to be “flexibility” and “goals” to motivate students to continue their learning (McAndrew, 2013). Some universities are “developing institution-wide accountability for the recruitment, admission, retention and success of students” (Sharples et al. 2013) although without training and support some staff could unwittingly alienate students further. Students in the OU who withdraw from their studies often opt to continue receiving e.g. tutors group emails and access to the module website. Where they or other students do not attend exams their result in tutors exam grading lists are shown as a fail even though they did not even take the exam. This reflects in tutors overall pass/fail rates; however I don’t know how it affects institutional funding. On the plus side these students may continue to access supportive group emails from their tutor and to read the module website materials, which can inspire them to continue studying either that module or another one at a future date. Therefore OU registered modules, like OpenLearn materials, might be considered as motivational ‘OER’ because “over 30%” (Weller, 2014) of OER’s are used in this way. OU students can use Assessment Banking to return to a previous module or defer within a certain time period to return to studies the following year or change modules.  “…Research commissioned at the Open University, suggest that the vast majority who withdraw (94 per cent) still aspire to earn credit for the course/award upon which they embarked” (Tresman, 2002). This, I acknowledge is now an old statistic so I wonder how the rise in student fees have contributed to this discussion i.e. perhaps students now have increased expectations. The issues may seem to have changed in maintaining students’ keenness in continuing their studies although I consider they remain as: financial; institutional reputation; international competitiveness regarding data on different countries learning statistics. The latter can presumably be counted as website hits.

 

Limited incentive

Students often prefer a certificate of achievement rather than a badge e.g. from a MOOC for participation, the former would likely be taken more seriously for instance on their CV. This can link to my above points on OER topics - perhaps they don’t appeal or because the student finds the module too time-consuming or material is over or beneath their current understanding on the subject. OER creators have limited incentive too because of the effort in producing the materials; they may not be paid for time and resources taken in this process. However, similarly to blogs OER resources are being recognised as published materials – without the necessary time and costs taken by publishing houses. Therefore OER’s for those who create them are ways to market their work, it can lead to employment or writing a book – as it did for Weller (2011). Institutions funding OER materials may be concerned about giving away tasters of their modules for free e.g. OpenLearn. As shown above OER’s are often studied prior to registering for the full module, which are an institutional incentive. Businesses could enrol employers on a MOOC as work-based learning which would be part of their CPD.

 

528 words

 

References

Farrow, R. (2013). Openness in Education: Technology, Pedagogy, Critique. Presentation on 10 June 2013 accessed from the OER Hub. [online]. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/robertfarrow/20130607-lcct-paper?from_search=1 (last accessed 27 March 2014).

McAndrew, P. (2013). Agile Research for Open Education Researchers. Presentation on 13 June 2013 accessed from the OER Hub. [online]. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/openpad/agile-research-for-open-education-reso (last accessed 27 March 2014).

Sharples, M., McAndrew, P., Weller, M., Ferguson, R., FitzGerald, E., Hirst, T. and Gaved, M. (2013) Innovating Pedagogy 2013: Open University Innovation Report No. 2, Milton Keynes, The Open University; also available online at http://www.open.ac.uk/personalpages/mike.sharples/Reports/Innovating_Pedagogy_report_2013.pdf (last accessed 27 March, 2014).

Tresman, S. (2002). Towards a Strategy for Improved Student Retention in Programmes of Open, Distance Education: A Case Study From the Open University UK. [online]. Available at http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/viewArticle/75/145 (last accessed 27 March 2014).

Weller, M. (2014) The Battle for Open. Webinar on 13 March 2014 at 16:00 accessed from the OER Hub. [online]. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/mweller/the-battle-for-open (last accessed 27 March 2014).

Weller, M. (2011). The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice. Bloomsbury London/New York.

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Graduation 2008

Criticism of learning objects

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:30
I opted for the Brian Lamb video because it was the most recent resource on this.
 
It was reassuring that Brian considered the concepts (IMS and SCORM) were no clearer for him now than they were in 2001. However he still considers it be be "a very sound idea" that "digital media" is "non-rivalrous resource" (Lamb, 2009). He develops this by explaining that shared resources save time and money, which is a point made by Downes in 2001.
 
Lamb state that building the archives was a problem in sharing learning objects, citing Merlot.org as a repository that has remained in situ since 2005. There were problems with the meta-tagging which meant resources were not able to be searched for, so it was like having an excellent library but without any referencing systems. Anyone searching literally had to work their way through the materials until they found the one they wanted. The resources were there but could not be easily accessed. Lamb claims it was "clumsy" and there was a need to avoid potential "chaos" (2009).
 
Therefore Lamb decided to blog about the issue as soon as blogging tools became available. When unsure on an aspect he would ask questions and others would provide the answer, he noted that friends of his would share some of the information. This he noted in his discussions is what people wanted to do with the "learning object repository", to "share each others work" and to build "communities of practice" to "foster real collaboration and rapport" (Lamb, 2009). This sharing developed out of professionals blogging about their work, as Weller does.  
 
 
Reference
 

Lamb, B. (2009) Who the hell is Brian Lamb? (video), Barry Dahl blog, 26 October [online],http://barrydahl.com/ 2009/ 10/ 26/ who-the-hell-is-brian-lamb/ (last accessed 24 March 2014).

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Graduation 2008

Learning objects

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:31

Downes makes the point that learning objects need not be duplicated because this can save time and effort (therefore money). Perhaps in our field of learning this could relate to e.g. Blooms Taxonomy, there are different visual representations but they are saying the same thing.

The discussion then leads onto if learning objects are shared then other materials could be too. However it was felt that teaching materials would not suitable to share because “no two courses share the same contents” Downes (2001). Although schools and colleges may have a common curriculum this is not true of universities, but Downes suggests that online university modules could share common themes citing Hamlet as an example. This piece of literature is interpreted similarly therefore Downes claims that other learning objects could work like this. It could be achieved by changing from the traditional method of course design by Bates (2000) to Rapid Application Design (RAD). 

RAD “is a process which allows software engineers to develop products more quickly and of higher quality” (Downes, 2001). If written in HTML it would be accessible to all, as this is a standard language. "The purpose of open standards is to allow engineers from various software or hardware companies develop devices and programs that operate in harmony. A document saved in an open standard could be read, printed, or transmitted by any number of programs and devices" (Downes, 2001). Although institutions and countries would need to agree definitions etc. for instance a common language of XML. The authoring of learning objects data is considered best "to create course materials not in HTML, but rather, in a structured markup language such as XML" (Downes, 2001). There are codes to convert various data into XML.

Figure 7. XML and XSL merge to create HTML (Downes, 2001)

"There is very much a tension, between those who create the knowledge, and who jealously guard their monopoly over its propagation and distribution, and those who must consume that knowledge .... My personal belief is ... professors ...will have to redefine their approach or be priced out of existence. Probably history, not argument, will show whether this belief is well founded" (Downes, 2001). This demonstrates that Downes understood the process of how and why to create OER and history has shown his belief  to be well-founded.

 

References

Bates, A. W. (2000). Managing Technological Change. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.

Downes, S. (2001) ‘Learning objects: resources for distance education worldwide’, IRRODL, vol. 2, no. 1 [online], http://www.irrodl.org/ index.php/ irrodl/ article/ view/ 32/ 378 (last accessed 24 March 2014).

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Graduation 2008

Identifying priorities for research

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:31

Accessibility to learners with additional needs – this is complex due to the multi-authoring; however an ethos might be reached between the Big OER providers. This relates to our tutor group forum discussions about Prezi etc. It’s not good enough to be open thereby financially accessible; everyone should have equal right to the access of usability - funding research to look at assistive technologies adaptability to OER.

Picking up on what several of my tutor group have said about quality I’d like to propose a quality assurance scheme for OER’s, complicated to agree internationally admittedly. Based on similarity to the food hygiene star rating on restaurant/café doors in the UK (and possibly elsewhere but I have not seen any as yet). This would determine the quality of accessibility alongside reputation etc. of each open access provider to reach an “Open Source” standard (Weller, 2012 p. 2). Not only would MOOC participants have a badge but OER sites would too, on their home page (front door).

Developing mobile technology via apps that have clear functioning reputable tools, for instance I’ve had some technical difficulties with OUAnywhere crashing.

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Graduation 2008

New tools etc.

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Edited by Amanda Harrington-Vail, Thursday, 24 Apr 2014, 14:31

I was looking for another new tool to use for my Weller presentation and came across this pdf which may be useful for others in our MAODE studies, additionally it had this interesting quote about Prezi accessibility:

“While the movement of Prezi is definitely eye-catching, there has been some criticism of Prezis that move too quickly or dramatically, causing a negative visceral reaction—but by using and not abusing the zoom (a Prezi best practice) a presenter can introduce a sequence of ideas engagingly and effectively. Savvy Prezi users use the zoom function to show specific relationships of equality or subordination by “drilling down.”” (Bunzel, undated, p.6)

Bunzel (undated) 7 tools for Creating Visual Presentations [online]. Available at http://www.usb-ed.com/content/Downloadable%20documents/7-Tools-for-Creating-Visual-Presentations.pdf (last accessed 20 March 2014).

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