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Authentic and Alternative Assessment and Feedback

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This requires some defining. We are talking e-assessment and e-feedback here (i.e. digital) and for 'authentic' and 'alternative' we mean 'vocational' and accessible digital initiatives.

I am here to search through my Student Blog. I had hoped to be able to use the 'Massively multiplayer online role-playing game' Second Life but it is no more.

Can anyone suggest a virtual world where students with accessibility needs can get online 'in character' and role play some actions and decision making?

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S is for Second Life and SatNav

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 30 May 2014, 09:35

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I wonder. Students separate their digital and student lives. I might see the potential and value of the smartphone as a 'university in your pocket' but this does not mean it is used in this way. Faced with a grand piano people are still going to play chopsticks. Mobile Learning I've covered in M.

Social Learning is the obvious one, though to some degree it applies to the above. The student's social life is distinct from their academic one. Though they will naturally learn a good deal from friends: life skills, such as how to buy and sell on Asos and stream movies you don't pay for sad The OU had a bash at launching a Social Learning platform - and gave up a few months later (it was pants). We had or have by now a multitude of our platforms to share a collaborate with and from:  Linkedin and Wordpress are the learning, sharing, collaborating, curating, platforms I used to discuss and write. Many would say Facebook.

Is John Seely Brown and 'S' or a 'B'. An influential educator, not strictly 'e'.

George Siemens supposedly coined the term 'connectedness' that is the learning theory of the Web 2.0 age so I have dealt with him under 'c'. I wonder that if 'network theory' as it has become a science, is what is going on here though. 

Rhona Sharpe and Gilly Salmon are authors in e-learning, with Gilly Salmon known for her terms 'e-tivities' and 'e-moderator'. I feel that when and where the 'e' is dropped as a prefix these interlopers will be first to go. Find me a GCSE or A' Level student who even differentiates the learning types by platform - it is all just learning, whether in class from a teacher, from a webpage or page in a book, whether they write their essay in longhand or in Google Docs.

Surface Learning - A surface approach to learning is where a learner is concerned to memorise the material for what it is, not trying to understand it in relation to previous ideas or other areas of understanding.

Second Life offers more than I have given expression too. It is an augmented, e-learning platform too.

Surveys are an interesting one. In 2001 or thereabouts the blogging platform 'Diaryland' (launched 1999) introduced surveys and the several thousand members, myself included, went crazy about them. We created a multitude of surveys then amassed responses and comments. I did one on interpreting your dreams. There were many on depression. And sex lives. Surveys are interesting because the internet allows you to get to so many people. Were surveys made for the Internet?

Is the semantic web getting anywhere?

Then there is 'spellchecker' - in this environment it is done for you. Where is the button? IT or LTS removed it some months ago. Are there other automated practices that 'teach' us in the background? My spelling has improved because after relentlessly having certain words corrected I no longer get them wrong in any context; occasionally comes to mind. 

Then, come to think of it is SatNav.

Think about it. In the background. It takes you somewhere. You repeat the journey and after a few goes could (and should?) drive it SatNav free. You are shown the way. This is what teachers do. They show you the way, many times and ideally in a few different ways. They find ways around the obstacles, the traffic jams and road works. They help you get your vehicle to where it needs to be. So SatNav is both a learning platform, intuitive, in the background, solving a problem ... and a metaphor for e-learning?

REFERENCE

Lally, V, Magill E, (2011) Inter-Life: Learning in 3D Virtual Worlds (editorial – Guest Editors).  In preparation for Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Special Issue) pp5.   FUNDED by EPSRC/ESRC RES-139-25-0402

Sclater, M. & Lally, V., 2009. Bringing Theory to Life: towards three-dimensional learning communities with ‘Inter-Life’. In G. Rijlaarsdam (ed.) Fostering Communities of Learners: 13th Biennial Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). Amsterdam: Graduate School of Teaching and Learning, University of Amsterdam, 190. Presentation available at http://www.inter-life.org/blog/?p=98

Lally, V. & Sclater, M., 2009. Inter-Life: where Second Life meets real life. Learning in Digital Worlds: CAL 2009. Brighton, UK: Elsevier. Presentation available at http://www.inter-life.org/blog/?p=83

Sclater, M. and Lally, V. (2013) Virtual Voices: Exploring Creative Practices to Support Life Skills Development among Young People Working in a Virtual World Community. International Journal of Art & Design Education  32 (3) 331–344. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-8070.2013.12024.x [OPEN ACCESS]

Salmon, G. (2002). E-tivities: the key to active only learning. Sterling, VA : Stylus Publishing Inc. ISSN 0 7494 3686 7

Salmon, G (2002) e-moderation

Seale, J. (2006) E-learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice

Situative Learning - ‘Several decades of research support the view that it is the activity that the learner engages in, and the outcomes of that activity, that are significant for learning (e.g. Tergan 1997)

Sfard, A. (1998) ‘On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one’, Educational Researcher, vol.27, no.2, pp.4–13; also available online at http://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/1176193 (last accessed 10 December 2010)

Sharpe, R. Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age.

Siemens, G. (2006). Connectivism: Learning theory or pastime of the self-amused.Retrieved February, 2, 2008.

Siemens, G. (2010). Teaching in social and technological networks. Connectivism: networked and social learning.

Siemens, G. (2009). Open isn’t so open anymore. Connectivism. Retrieved from http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=198

 

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H800 WK25 Activity 4 Role-play and learning in virtual and made-up worlds

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 24 Feb 2013, 07:23

We role-play as children to make sense of the world, we take on multiple personas to some degree in real-life as well.

I am particularly taken by the way people with a disability can walk in a virtual world (Peachey 2010) or indeed how any of us can fly and do much more in these environments (die and repeatedly come back to life of course.)

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At no cost my dentist, or rather our family dentist, made a set of dentures for me out of dentine that fitted over my teeth. This allowed me to sing. I foolishly sharpened the fangs and promptly punctured my lower lip. I learnt by the way that unless I could have dislocated my jaw biting someone's neck is impossible. Vampires should bite the wrist or leg, but then all, or at least the obvious sexual innuendos are lost.

Was I living out a fantasy when I played Dracula in my teens?

I kept acting into my twenties until I decided that my mental state couldn't handle the selection process (rejection) and my experience in front of camera and on stage left me bored senseless (I had minor roles).

Do actors, as in role-play, have to overcome or compensate for who they are?

Peachy raises all the points in a common- sense and everyday way. I can imagine or should research where stepping into the role of an avatar has life- saving qualities, for example is not learning to fly a commercial jet-airliner in a simulator not a form of virtual role-play? I believe firemen are trained in virtual set-ups too and believe the nuclear power industry do so too.

The trouble with doing this in a learning context is the huge development costs. i.e. It has to be better to use a ready made platform. I then ask though, what is wrong with using our imaginations, that improvising and role-play doesn't require the disguises?

REFERENCE

Peachey, A. (2010) ‘Living in immaterial worlds: who are we when we learn and teach in virtual worlds?’ in Sheehy, K., Ferguson, R. and Clough, G. (eds) Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education (Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World), New York, NY, Nova Science.

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H800 activity 4 virtual worlds cross dressing and role-play

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 24 Feb 2013, 07:36

I have an avatar.

In World of Warcraft.

My son took me through the set- up, vital for any software, have an informed and experienced teacher.

I wasn't allowed to make one quick choice, I had to look at the options. He had views as well as information concerning all the characters. My wife joins in and we plum for a female as the way she poses and sticks out hefty butt when she shuffles about made us laugh. I think I am a night elf. Unable to give her a real name (all taken) I got for Val d'Isere ... Which gets transmuted into Valdesire. This is a lady with attitude; I guess I see myself as a Lara Croft type smile

Aided by my son he insists we skip the intros.

Intermittently he reaches over and gives me a belt, boots and a sword. And were off. I know I am painfully slow for him but after while I can position myself in front of a hovering, dragon slug thing which seems about as easy to kill as standing on a snail. I gain pouts, collect stuff and go up a few levels.

I assume my son is off to the bathroom when he goes of, actually he has signed on a second computer and with delight says the person I am standing next to, my twin but wearing clothes is him and his (her) name is 'Notvaldesire'.

'Let's have a dual,' he says and knowing what he is like I get my sword out and put in a strike only to have some god-like voice/ figure berate us.

On returning from the shops I ask if anything had happened as my wife had taken over 'Our Val.'

We had to sell all you clothes, he said, to buy a spell that didn't work.'

Having no clothes has me think of the only campus Second Life I'm aware of at Sussex University where I understand that repeated calls go out for everyone in Second Life to take their clothes off sad

Thinking about role play as I wondered through Lewes I saw groups of language students in the same blue-tops and football fans gathering before going off to a match.

This is the town where a substantial part of the town dress up for November 5th, indeed I am in Commercial Square and dress up as a Confederate Soldier each year. We joined as newcomers to the town 11 years ago; as a social network it is extraordinarily effective.

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H800 WK25 Activity Systems and Second Life

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 1 Sep 2011, 14:00
I may be getting this a little or a lot wrong, but where better to share my muddled-thinking than here?

Subject = you or the person you may be obeserving in the virtual world.

Object = I take to be the objective, that which is the object of the activiity (the game)

Rules = that govern the world and the functionality of the game (breaking the rules and finding our using cheats is a game plan with these often built in as an additional layer to the game/ world)

Instruments = I take to be both external (the game console, hesdset and screen for example) as well as instruements internal to the games, as in weapons, magic wands, pots of treasure and so on).

The Community are all players, there being hundreds of thousands online, though a set group in your version of the world, some with whom you may interect, others you may not). It may include others around you in the room whi are znky playing the game, i.e. A father questioning his son and an American teaching eachother swear words sad

Division of labour-who does what. There is generally a naatural leader, I've observed my son in groups of up to five, but typically two or three, working as a pack, more than a team or platoon in a very structured way.

This is my take on it having had to read Engestrom's book From Teams to Knots in which a variety of case studies, including a hospitlal and its relationship with GP surgeries is developed.

I cite and use activity systems all the time, whether to cnsider the relationship between two people developing ideas towgether (like us here Joanne) or between departments, as I did during a daylong away day with the OU Faculty if Business and Law, which I did today.

For me it lets me think beyound a person, or the physical presnce or make up of a group, to understand and to take into consideration influences upon snd eminating from them.

I know Conole has her pyramid thing, and I prefer 'spheres of influence' as a visualised concept, as this models are simply an expression of the complexity of what may be going on and can never take in the true variety of impacts and influences upon and from an individual or group.

My take on it! I may have not got it at all. The person I'd like to quiz is Engestrom himself (he has been known to visit The OU I am told).

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H800: 26 Guest lists and where you sit at the tutor's table (even if they're not there)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 1 Mar 2011, 07:09

How do you study if you are both a tutor and a student?

I guess if you are a chemistry tutor and you’re studying e-learning the two are complementary but you cannot, be both tutor and student of the same course (though interestingly this has/is occurring in our module with a tutor absent the OU failing to accommodate).

It’s rather making me think that student as tutor is absolutely possible.

Why not? All it requires is leadership and initiative. I don’t see tutors as subject matter experts. Can you cater for everyone? In communications you need to know your audience. Writers are meant to think of their reader as one person, not millions. How should teachers/tutors think? Of student, or students? Does it matter anymore?

Can we, knowing or indulging ourselves, choose from a plethora of ways into a subject?

I have to wonder, thinking in extremes, why we don’t have tutor groups by gender, by generation, even by profession … let alone our current professional status. Would for example all those working for the armed services benefited from being in a group of their own?

And how do we make such a choice?

Too late if you buy a book, even read a sample, only to find the rest of the content doesn’t deliver.

What about a course?

You pay the fees for a module only to feel or realise a week or so on that it is going to disappoint all the way to the end?

Do you choose by Brand?

Do you choose by awarding body?

And what say do we have?

Can we play-act the model online student?

Would it help to have such an image and then be this person?

Can we assume ourselves into a level of comprehension what we haven’t yet reached and as a result of such aspirations and performance become this more informed and ‘educated’ person?

With an interest and some training in sport and developing young elite athletes I’ve studied Long Term Athlete Development. With a sport, let alone studying, we can group children by gender and biological age. When or where do such groupings or any groupings become difficult to create, or politically incorrect to create? Should not institutions go to greater lengths to group people scientifically?

And to mix these groups up as we go along, if only to change and balanced the learning opportunities?

This is the OU’s show, their party. They are hosting an event, or series of events or have we simply taken a few steps beyond getting a box of books and CDs on the doorstep at the start of a module … to the set of railway tracks that is the like a cartoon, are laid before our eyes as each new week approaches? Who ‘owns’ this course? I get know sense of that, or someone leading. The tutors/authors of the course left years ago. Perhaps this is obvious and given the topic and the speed of change in e-learning is detrimental. I wonder, if given time, more ‘natural’ tutor groupings would form in the national forums of ‘General Discussions’ and the Café from which break-out tutor groups could be constructed (or they do?) I wonder if the solution is in the ways resources are presented, that there need to be multiple ways into a topic. That once size never did fit all.

That ideally we would each have a personal tutor, that all learning would be one to one and tailor to our needs, as they are and as they change … and as we are changed by the process and anything else that is going on around us.

Do we all want a take-away, or a pot-lunch?

The set menu and if so as a school dinner, or from a top restaurant? Home cooking or our own cooking?

Might I say with H800 are getting the ‘set menu,’ i.e. the choice is limited. All I’m discussing here is choice; the next point would be the size of helpings. How do we respond to either being hungry as a wolf (read everything) or not hungry at all (graze nonchalantly doing the bare minimum?) The answer, as I found in H808, was to have plenty of moderated activities in the General Discussion, Café and Supplementary Activity Forums … where like minds could meet, where if you found you had time or wanted to make time, you could get involved in a different group and therefore benefit from an alternative dynamic. I have found that with groups, even more so away from the OU, that are global in scope, that you find groupings that are topic specific and where you can, whenever you like, find a conversation to engage with that adds to your knowledge.

It is a vital part of the learning process I believe, where you form opinions and develop ideas as a result of your engagement, the only issue being that your voice comes out of the tips of your fingers rather than your mouth, which rather suggests we’d all have been better off communicating to our parents and siblings at home via a QWERTY keyboard from an early age so we had these surprisingly necessary skills in place.

Perhaps, as there appears to be so much inclination, whether desire or otherwise, to shift towards the Oxbridge tutorial system as a model, (small tutor groups), might not we also have junior, middle and senior common rooms?

Might we not also have a variety of virtual colleges? And taking just one idea from this … ought we not to have more than one tutor, even within a module, perhaps a different module for each TMA?

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H800: 25 Where does virtual learning begin?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 28 Feb 2011, 06:27

And if real learning occurs, is it no longer 'virtual?'

Where does reality end?

What part of your subconscious is real?

It happens after all, if yo think it or dream it. We distinguish between learning and e-learning; should we ? Did we distinguish a different reality after the train, after the telephone, after television or a man on the moon?

I am often online, I speak to people through Skype and Elluminate.

Yesterday I likened an Elluminate 'tutorial' with seven or eight fellow students as wearing a blindfold in a meeting; yo have to be alert to the presence of others, be sensitive to their interest (or lack of), their hand going up, or not. You are dependent on your only sighted person present - the tutor or moderator.

Over the last month I have been interviewed for a job on Skype. Producers have discussed my work on Skype.

I have been set task to show what I can do, somehow my body of work, the videos and scripts not real enough. Can I still fill a blank sheet of paper with pertinent and persuasive ideas; that's what they want to know.

My blend of learning uses the conscious and subconscious.

I consciously go to bed with a book, now on Kindle, currently reading through my extensive highlights and notes on two books: Education Psychology (Vygotsky 1926) and 'Rethinking Pedagogy for the Digital age (Helen Beetham & Rhona Sharpe eds. 2007). As I drift away I may close the Kindle, may slip it safely to one side .. may not. I matters not a jot. I'tll look after itself.

No wonder I find myself dwelling on all matter of things.

Earlier I woke thinking about one of these job interviews: it may be to work on contrast, it may be to work freelance, there are even a couple of full-time posts. All want to know what I have done recently. What they really need to know is what can I do for them next week or month. Or now.

As I return to consciousness I reflect on the interview that was on my mind, only to realise that it is highly unlikely that my future boss Is Johnny Depp. I've been duped by my own mind. No worries. The thoughts relate to the real opportunities, not this peculiar mash-up in a virtual world.

I have multiple presences in cyberspace with 'faces on' that may be anything from a week to 15 years old. Indeed, I ought to attach an image of the six year old me to a collection of 'earliest memories.'

I have a couple of existences in Second Life too, though I've yet to run with these.

Would I not get more confused over where reality ends?

If it is becoming less easy to distinguish reality from the virtual, how are we supposed to differentiate between learning and e-learning? Is it not the case that both could be going on ... but a student, or the students are doing no learning in either situation? That they are elsewhere? That they are not engaged? Yet hours later, consciously or otherwise, a recollection of a 'lesson' may produce a learning moment, may generate 'stuff' a learning object in that person's consciousness?

 

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