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H810 Accessibility and equality

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 6 Sep 2012, 14:55

Given the start of the Paralympic Games last night it is hardly surprising that disability is a topic or theme on TV, the radio and in the press. Even the Simpsons' satire yesterday evening - the one where the school is split into girls and boys and Liza dresses up as a boy and becomes the object of bullies - had a powerful message regarding equality. It should be about seeing the strength while not ignoring the 'weakness', but accommodating or compensating for it, that it is the lack of x, y or z that makes the disability more of an issue that it needs to be.

Is it just about money?

It took a Paralympian wheelchair basketball player to point out how countries that hadn't the provision of the richer economies had older, clunkier, heavier wheelchairs.

I watched a piece of theatre for deaf people by deaf people. It reminded me of comia del arte - highly physical and rumbustious. I hadn't the slightest clue what was going on, certainly no idea what was being said. Had I someone twlking it through how different would the experience have been.

How do the movies portray disability? From Richard III and Frankenstein, to Finding Nemo, Slum Dog Millionaire and Avatar. Even Dr Who where Darleks, and certainly Davros, are disabled beings in wheelchairs with a wheelie bin, plunger and egg- whisk for limbs.

It takes being ill, of confined to a bed or wheelchair to get some sense if it, or having a close relation, infant or elderly in a state, or phase of amelioration or deterioration to feel it personally. I broke a leg badly enough and far enough away from home to require amabulances and special flights, hospitalisation then a wheelchair. For some months in order to get into the garden I pulled myself about quite happily on a large wooden tea-tray. We knew it was temporary, indeed within six months I was riding a bike and walking with a stick and six months after that competing in the swimming pool and on the rugby pitch - wherein lies a stark difference, the disabled person is very likely to be set inspite or despite of treatment and how the disability came about, indeed their situation is likely to be more complex with medications, care, a deteriorating prognosis even.

There is mental illness and disability in the family too - depression, learning difficulties, aspergers and autism. I'd even dare to say that being exceptionally bright or that ridiculously isolating term 'gifted' in the case of my late father isolated him.

If we wish for inclusivity when will the Olympics and Paralympics play out simultaneously?

Perhaps at a club level I should suggest that once a year we do this - having an inclusive event in contrast to the other exclusive events we run or take part in.

As I reflect I need of course to bring it back to H810.

The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) runs a workshop for coaches who work with disabled athletes - there is an online module too which I will sign up for. Annually we apply for a national award called Swim21 which includes an audit in relation to disabled swimmers - we ticked every box without question with qualified personal, watertime set aside, entry into internal and external galas and working with our local leisure providers but is this enough? If the bar isn't that high no wonder it is easy to get over.

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H810 Activity 1.3 : My role and context - accessibility and e-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 6 Sep 2012, 14:59

H810 Activity 1.3

My role and context in education.

Without knowing it or going into teaching I have always found myself inclined to teach – an inclination towards being an educator. (I enjoy being a lifelong learner, always a student of something whether sport, writing, history, drawing and even performance. An interest in video production took me into corporate training, carrying kit around Windscale in my teens, shooting video at university, and learning from a BBC producer and members of the trade association the IVCA until I established myself as a professional director and writer. I have worked on every kind of training video production: health and safety in the nuclear power industry, legal training, driving a 4x4, induction in the Crown Prosecution Service, Asthma Awareness for patients and GPs, IT security and 'Green' driving for the Post Office, careers and education choices for 14 year olds, management training and so on. These were usually facilitated and often supported with workbooks. In due course they became interactive and eventually (a backwards step for a decade) migrated to the Web. However, I had no formal understanding of the theory of education, of learning design or of interactive and online learning in particular until starting with the OU.

How these relate to accessibility and online learning.

In many cases creating accessible content is a requirement which in the past meant either the inclusion of subtitles or a signer in vision for those with a hearing impairment or disability. For computer based learning, which in its broadest sense takes in desktops, laptops, tablet and smartphones, with increasing sophistication are we at times restricting access to some if not many disabled people?

What would I like to achieve from the module (H810).

Concluding module to gain the Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) with graduation in 2013.

  1. Practical understanding of the issues.
  2. To help plan how the e–learning we produce meets the requirements of the DDA especially where this is a client request.
  3. Helping to ensure that consideration is given to accessibility at the briefing and design stages and that such efforts are costed then applied as scripts are written and learning designs developed.
  4. Provide support to colleagues when making accessibility a point in e–learning proposal documents.
  5. Informed discussions with disabled people I know (colleagues, friends and swimmers) and what they make of accessibility online provision.
  6. The 'Montessori' effect – by thinking how to improve access and communicate more clearly all learners will benefit – the confident e–learning designer may be the one who leaves out the bells and whistles.
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Blogs on e-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 26 Aug 2012, 10:15

Doug%2520Belshaw%2520eBook.JPG

If you read only two, then follow Martin Weller and Doug Belshaw.

No time now, but I want to go back and re-blog Doug, even take some tips on knocking my own e-learning blog into shape. This is like going into a niche bookstore that ONLY promotes stuff on education and e-learnig.

Invaluable across the Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE)

The book is good too.

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Accesibility for disabled and older people

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 06:01

New%2520QWERTY%2520talking%2520with%2520fingers%2520%2520Google%2520Images%2520SNIP.JPG

'Excluding people who are already at a disadvantage by providing small, hard–to–use, inflexible interfaces to devices and apps that create more problems than they solve'. (Jellinek and Abraham 2012:06)

This applies to older people too, indeed anyone on a spectrum that we might draw between full functionality and diminishing senses. Personally, with four immediate relatives in their 80s it is remarkable to find how quickly they respond to the text size options of a Kindle, even having text read out loud, the back-lit screen of the iPad and in particular galleries of thousands of photographs which are their memories too (in the later case invaluable to someone who has suffered a couple of severe strokes).

Reasons to think about accessibility:

  • social
  • ethical
  • legal

My observation here is that Many programmes are now deliberately ’app like' to meet expectations and because they are used in smartphones and tablets not just desk and lap tops. Where there is such a demand for app-like activities or for them to migrate seamlessly to smartphones and tablets (touch screen versions) we need stats on how many people would be so engaged - though smartphone growth is significant, as a learning platform tablets are still a minority tool.

The users who can miss out are the blind or partially sighted or deaf. Blind people need audio to describe what others can see and guide them through functions while deaf people and those with hearing impairments need captions where there is a lot of audio.

It is worth pointing out that there is 'no such thing as full accessibility for everyone'. Jellinek and Abrahams (2012:07)

But on the other hand, 'we mustn't exclude disabled people from activities that the rest of us take for granted'. Jellinek and Abrahams (2012:07)

There is less homogeneity in a learner population than we may like to think

REFERENCE

Jellinek, D and Abrahams, P (2012) Moving together: mobile apps for inclusion and accessibility. (Accessed 25/082012) http://www.onevoiceict.org/news/moving-together-mobile-apps-inclusion-and-assistance

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They've been at it again

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 26 Aug 2012, 08:44

The virtual swing-doors on my final OU module opened today.

Some time next year I will graduate with a Masters in Open and Distance Education - and unlike my undergraduate degree of many years ago I will feel that I have worked for it, earned it and want the thing - I'll even dress up for my first graduation ceremony.

I have been outside the course system for all of four months so it was with delight though suprise to find thst our virtual learning environment (VLE) has changed yet again. I will have screen grabs somewhere of what it looked like in 2010 and 2011 - I believe I even have seen a screen grab of when I was doing this in 2001.

On the one hand we are getting some 3D shading to lift the 'Learning Schedule' off the page, but we also have a plethora of minute and meaningless icons. I can't figure out what some of them are supposed to represent. Instead of going with recognisable images The OU appear to have tried to go one better but gone one worse - there is no point in replacing or even complementing a title or sub-heading with something that is incomprehensible nor recognised.

A load of stuff has migrated over to the left hand side of the screen - I know that research has long shown that this is where the eye first looks and expects this content to be.

The rest of it I'll discover and re-discover in due course. I prefer the minimalist approach - if it isn't vital don't show it, rather offer options to vall up extras instead of having them on the page regardless. Too many of these links I will NEVER use, except as an exercise in the first week. It's too like entering a grand house knowing that it has far more rooms than you will ever enter and where you risk getting lost.

Less is more.

I am however starting to think that I'll be able to do this almost entirely on an iPad (I don't have my own laptop or desktop and this is cheaper).

An APP for writing on this platform would help - like I have writing in Wordpress.

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H810: Accessibility

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 26 Aug 2012, 08:46

Past experience tells me that being able to apply daily practice to the module is helpful. I've not been in this position for 3 of the 4 modules I have so far completed, however, for H810 I not only find myself working for an e-learning agency, but had a long discussion today about accessibility in relation to the e-learning we produce for one of our clients. The problem surrounds Flash and video - how best to make such interactive content accessible. The simple answer is a word document, or possibly a reversioned earlier expression of the module in PowerPoint. Screenreaders don't cope well with complex interactivities, which sometimes aren't even chronological being more of a 'journey of discovery'.

There needs to be an understanding of the needs of disabled learners so that this is written into the brief and the right kind of accommodations are made - if only to allow readily available software to do their job zooming frames, adjusting backgrounds and fonts to make them easier to read for dyslexia or partially sighted, while making the job of a screen reader easier for those with more severe sight disabilities.

At some point their is surely an inevitable compromise between the requirements of the DDA, the needs and expectations of the client (in relation to their mission or brand too) and cost.

Images

  • Those with a learning purpose require description.
  • Those for visual effect probably do not
  • Charts that are integral to the learning require description.

Are pages compatible with industry standard software such as JAWS?

Keep it simple

  • Word

Decades ago working in linear video we brought in a presenter who would sign in front of a blue screen (later green, these days possibly just a white infinity curve) while the projected the video played through.

Supporting workbooks could be offered in various forms.

A facilitator would be on hand - the learning was blended.

The best chance of getting it right is when the audience is primarily a distinct disability group form whom the project can be tailored and certainly seeking their expert input.

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Learning Design looks like this

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:26

Gagnés events of instruction:

1. Gaining attention. The scene opener, even the preview or title sequence.

2. Informing the learner of the objective . Laying out your stall

3. Stimulating recall of prerequisite learning . Tapping into what has already been understood - creating empathy.

4. Presenting the stimulus material . Presenting the case, offering evidence that might impress or inspire, that could be controversial and memorable.

5. Providing learning guidance. Offering a way through the maze, the thread through the labyrinth or the helping hand.

6. Eliciting the performance . Now it's their turn.

7. Providing feedback . Sandwiched, constructive feedback on which to build.

8. Assessing the performance . How are targets going?

9. Enhancing retention and transfer . Did it stick, could they pass it on and so become the teacher?

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the future of educational technology

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012, 22:22
http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680348/mapping-the-future-of-education-technology#comments Fascinating if the future of edcation interests you.
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iPad and an OU Module that is entirely online

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 05:55

I've come far in 2 1/2 years and the OU online platforms have advanced too, but is it possible to do a module, H810, which is entirely online - without a laptop or desktop computer? What will or will not work if I try to make do with an iPad? We will see ... or after a few days I'll be scrounging around for a PC. My wife says she might get a laptop with a new smartphone she needs!?

And in this context, how suitable are the various assistive technologies? From software to hardware, screen readers to tracker balls?

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Towards my own theory of learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2012, 18:14

photo.JPG

How do we perceive and share knowledge? What matters most in this equation?

Society, the institution, department or the individual educator?

Learning occurs at the interface between individuals, between the teacher and pupil, between pupils and of course between the thinkers, the educators, researchers and academics.

This interface is expressed as an artefact: a lecture, a book, a TV appearance, a podcast, a chapter in a book or a paper – as an expression of a set of ideas. This interface is also a conversation, in a tutorial, at a conference or less formally in passing over a meal, or drink (in the Oxbridge experience at the High Table, in the senior, middle or junior common rooms, in halls and rooms where societies and loose groupings of people meet, as well as in studies and rooms). Recreation of this online as minds meet, discuss and share. Informal or proactive groups or societies coming together. People with people.

On the one hand we like to put the institution above the person, whether in academia or the commercial world we rank and recognise Oxbridge and the Russell Group 'above' other universities while, for example, in Law we put Freshfields, Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith in the top ten of 125 or 500 legal practices.

However, it is an the individual level, at the interface between one person and another, one mind and another, where the learning occurs, where the knowledge is applied and changed, and in various forms written up or written out to cause or record effect.

It is at this interface, where minds meet, where ideas are catalysed and formed.

Towards my own theory of learning ?

Or trying to get my head around Engestrom's Activity Theory that fits the bill for me?

 

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Describing E-learning Activities: Conole (mostly)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 3 Apr 2013, 07:09

Call for design based on educational theory. How can technologies be used to afford specific learning advantages?

  1. Contextual
  2. Ambient
  3. Augmented
  4. Distributed
  5. Social networked

SHIFT From information to communication From passive to interactive With engagement and from individual learners to socially situative learning

Littlejohn et al (L2455)

  1. Digital assets
  2. Information objects
  3. Learning activities
  4. Learning design

Littlejohn, A., Falconer,I and McGill,L. ( ) Characterising effective eLearning resources'. Education

Towards new technical architectures and a service-orientated approach vs. instructivist focus on single leaners accessing content.

Unit of learning (Britain, 2004)

Importance of educational vocabularies. Currier et al (2006) L2476

Currier,S. Campbell, L. Beetham, H. (2006) JISC pedagogical vocabularies report project. Pedagogical vocals.

Laurillard (1993) six types of learning

  1. Assimilative
  2. Information handling
  3. Adaptive
  4. Communicative
  5. Productive
  6. Experiential

(Scaffolding)

The term previously known as 'natural language keyword indexing' = tagging not wiki.

Tasks to learning outcomes.

Subject, level of difficulty, intended learning outcomes, environment.

Content

Cognitive, effective, psycho-motor and able to understand, demo, produce or appraise. Bloom (1956)

Components of learning activity L2509

Context Pedagogy – associative, cognitive, situative.

Tasks Assessment – diagnostic, formative, summative.

Mediating artefacts. (Conole, 2002)

Media components

Interactivities

E–tivities (Implies Web 2.0)

Laurillard (1993) manipulation presentation analysis searching managing communicating visualising supporting evaluating adaptation

Mediating artefacts:

Narratives and case studies – engaging but specific so not reusable; peer dialogue.

Lesson plans Templates and wizards Toolkits Models and patterns e.g. Kolb (1984)

Reuse of mediating artifacts (Littlejohn, 2003)

Little use of generic resources (Beetham, 2004)

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Notes on Gagne's Nine Steps of Instructional Design

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 15 Aug 2012, 10:44

I would have found this invalauble commencing any of the Masters in Open and Distance Education Modules.

Gange’s model of instructional design

· Conditions of learning:

· Internal conditions deal with what the learner knows to prior to the instruction.

· External conditions deal with the stimuli that are presented to the learner

FIVE STEPS

FIRST STEP

Kind of outcomes to be achieved

Five types:

1. Verbal Information

2. Intellectual Skills

3. Cognitive Strategies

4. Attitudes

5. Motor Skills

SECOND STEP

Organise appropriate instructional events.

Gagne’s events of instruction:

1. Gaining attention

2. Informing the learner of the objective

3. Stimulating recall of prerequisite learning

4. Presenting the stimulus material

5. Providing learning guidance

6. Eliciting the performance

7. Providing feedback

8. Assessing the performance

9. Enhancing retention and transfer

Khadjoo. et al (2011:117)

In relation to teaching psychomotor skills:

Gaining attention

· Capture attention and arouse interest

· An abrupt stimulus

· A thought-provoking question

· Visual or sound stimulus (or multimedia)

Informing the learner of the objective

· Set learning objective

· Expectancy and motivation

· Identify, prepare, understand, perform and understand.

Stimulating recall of prerequisite learning

Associating new information with prior knowledge and personal experience and getting the learners to think about what they already know to facilitate the learning process. Khadjoo. et al (2011:117)

· Interactive discussion

· Ask questions, consider findings and confirm evidence.

Presenting the stimulus material

· New content presented

· Meaningful organisation

· Explanation and demonstration

· How to, position, monitor, test …

Khadjoo. et al (2011:118)

Providing learning guidance

· Correct performance

· Additional suggestions

· Use of examples (case studies)

· Graphical representations, mnemonics, add meaning …

Eliciting the performance

· The learner practices the new skill or behaviour.

· Confirmation of understanding

· Repetition to increase retention

Providing feedback

· Individual and immediate feedback and guidance

· Questioned answer

· Feedback from other learners

Assessing the performance

· Demonstration of what they have learned (no additional coaching or hints)

· Additional practice required

Enhancing retention and transfer

· Practice (Before, during and after)

· Spaced reviews

· Transfer of knowledge to new problems

· Practice, rest and repeat

· Consider:

o Objectives

o Setting

o Time

o Available resources

o Institutional constraints

o Content

o Number of learners (their characteristics and preferences)

REFERENCE

Gagne, R, Briggs L, Wager W, eds. (1998) Principles of instructional design. 3rd edition. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Khajoii, K, Rostami.K.  How to use Gagne’s model of instructional design in teaching psychomotor skills. Gatroenterology and Hepatology. 4(3) 116-119

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Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age - mind map

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 16 Mar 2014, 08:55

 

Mind map based on two key chapters from 'Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age' by Helen Beetham and Rhona Sharpe.

Click on the image for the Picasa Gallery and download. Created using the iPad APP 'Simple Minds'.

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Gagne's nine steps for instructional design

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 12:22

Picking through the OU Library for something on Gagné I found two great articles:

How to use Gagné's model of instructional design in teaching psychomotor skills

and

Using Gagné's theory to teach chest X-ray interpretation

However, no one can tell me how to put an acute accent on Gagné (neither of these reports did so).

Any suggestions?

And how to put an umlaut on Engeström.

I ask as I am fed up having this pointed out in every assignment I submit.

 

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More on 'Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age'.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:24

Why does the OU put the novice and expert together in the MAODE?

Although I praise this approach and after two years have been a beneficiary I wonder if the research points to the need for greater flexibility and mixing, more akin to several cohorts of students being able to move around, between their own tutor group, contributing to discussions with the newcomers while also being able to hobnob with the experts?

The learning theory that I am coming to understand does not favour a fixed approach.

It isn't simply a case of playing to the individual, though this is certainly very important as some people will favour being the teacher or the taught, or simply relish periods when they sit at the feet of the expert or stand up in front of newcomers. Rather it is apparent that people learn well within a peer group of like-minds, with people at a similar stage to themselves while having planned opportunities to hear and participate with 'great minds' while also from time to time contributing to the efforts and feeding off the enthusiasms of the 'new minds'.

Nothing is fixed, neither learning vicariously (Cox, 2006), or learning from the periphery to the centre (Seely Brown and Duguid, 1999).

Stage one of my approach to reading these days is to highlight, even share quotes and notes on Twitter as I go through a book.

I then type up my notes and add further thoughts either by cutting and pasting from the aggregates notes in my Twitter feed (eBooks don't allow you to cut and paste) or from handwritten notes I take on cards.

Then I share my notes here, tagged so that I can revisit and others can draw on my notes too or take the hint and read the chapter or book for themselves.

This too is but a stage - next step is to wrap up my developing thoughts, comments and other conversations and put a version of this entry into my external blog my mind bursts.

Sometimes an exchange here or elsewhere develops my thinking further - today I will be sitting down with a senior learning designer, one of five or six in the office of an international e-learning agency to talk learning theory and educational principles.

Chapter 2

Regarding Quality Assurance - there should be no inconsistencies between:

  • Curriculum
  • Teaching methods
  • Learning environment
  • Assessment procedures

So align assumptions:

  • Learning outcomes
  • Suitable assessment

N.B. Each outcome requires a different kind of theoretical perspective and a different pedagogical approach. L757

(Easy to say in theory, not so easy to deliver in practice?)

Three clusters of broad perspectives:

  • Associationism
  • Behaviourism
  • Connectionism

Associationist: gradual building of patterns of associations and skill components. Therefore activity followed by feedback.

Simple tasks prerequisites to more complex.

Gagné (1985 and 1992)

  • Instructional task analysis of discrimination, classifications and response sequences.
  • Simpler tasks built step by step followed by coordination to the whole structure.

Instructional Systems Design

  • Analyse the domain into a hierarchy of small units.
  • Sequence the units so that a combination of units is not taught until its component units are grasped individually.
  • Design an instructional approach for each unit in the sequence.

Then add:

  • Immediate feedback
  • Individualization of instruction

Behaviourism: active learning by design. Immediate feedback on success, careful analysis of learning outcomes, alignment of learning objectives.

The Cognitive Perspective

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Concept Formation

Knowledge acquisition as the outcome of an interaction between new experiences and the structures for understanding that have already been created. Therefore building a framework for learning vs. learning as the strengthening of associations.

Piaget (1970) Constructivist Theory of Knowledge.

‘Conceptual development occurs through intellectual activity rather than by the absorption of information'. L819

Vygotsky (1928:1931) Importance of social interaction.

Interactions – that e-learning teams call ‘interactivities’.

The Situative Perspective

  • Learning must be personally meaningful
  • Authentic to the social context

(problem-based learning and cognitive apprenticeship). L862

The concept of community practice

Wenger (1998) identify as a learner derived from the community. (Aspires, defines, accredited).

Mayes et al (2001) learning through relating to others. E.g. Master Class

Social-anthropological belonging to the community. L882.

Beliefs, attitudes, common endeavour, also ‘activity systems’ Engestrom 1993

Learning relationships

Identify, participate, individual relations. Dependent on: context, characteristics and strength of relationships in the group (Fowler and Mayes, 1999) L902

What was exotic in 2007 in common place today?

See Appendix 1 L912

Learning as a cycle through stages.

  • J F Vernon (2011) H809 assignments and end of module assessment. The concept of riding a thermal of gently rising circles.
  • Various references L923.
  • Fitts and Posner (1968)
  • Remelhart and Norman (1978)
  • Kolb (1984)
  • Mayes and Fowler (1999)
  • Welford (1968)

If ‘as it proceeds from service to expert, the nature of learning changes profoundly and the pedagogy based on one stage will be inappropriate for another’. L923

Fowler and Mayes (1999)

Primary: preventing information

Secondary: active learning and feedback

Tertiary: dialogue and new learning.

REFERENCE

Beetham, H and Sharpe, R. (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and delivering e-learning.

Cole, M and Engestrom, Y (1993) A cultural-historical approach to distributed cognition. In G.Salmon (ed.) Distributed cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations, New York, CVP.

Cox, R. (2006) Vicarious Learning and Case-based Teaching of Clinical Reasoning Skills (2004–2006) [online], http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ esrcinfocentre/ viewawardpage.aspx?awardnumber=RES-139-25-0127 [(last accessed 10 March 2011).

Gagné, R (1985) The conditions of learning. New York. Holt, Rhinehart and Wilson.

Jonassen, D.H. and Rohrer-Murphy, L (1999) ‘Activity theory as a framework for designing constructivist learning environments’. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47 (1) 61-80

Seely-Brown, J.S and Duguid, P. (1991) ‘Organizational learning and communities-of-practice: toward a unified view of working, learning and innovation’, Organizational Science, 2 (1): 40-57

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An introduction to rethinking pedagogy for a digital age.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 16 Mar 2014, 08:25

An introduction to rethinking pedagogy for a digital age

Beetham and Sharp

This is my third, possibly my fourth read of the book Rethinking Pedagogy for a digital age. Now that I am in the thick of it working on quality assurance and testing for corporate online learning it has enormous relevance and resonance.

Reading this I wonder why the OU changed the MAODL to MAODE? Around 2000-2003? From the Masters in Open and Distance Learning to the Masters in Open and Distance Education.

Beetham and Sharpe have much to say about the relevance or otherwise of pedagogy and its teaching bias.

Pedagogy = the science of teaching not the activity of learning. (L460: Kindle Reference)

The term ‘teaching; denies the active nature of learning an individuals’ unique capacities to learn (Alexander, 2002) L477

How does e-learning cater for the fact the learners differ from one another in the way that they learn? L477

Guiding others to learn is a unique, skilful, creative and demanding human activity that deserves scholarship in its own right. L477

This quote is relevant to H807 Innovations in e-learning and other MAODE modules:

'Papyrus and paper chalk and print, overhead projectors, educational toys and television, even the basics technologies of writing were innovations once'. L518

I like this too:

The networked digital computer and its more recent mobile and wireless counterparts are just the latent outcomes of human ingenuity that we have at our disposal. L518

  • Learning resources and materials
  • Learning environment
  • Tools and equipment
  • Learning activities
  • Learning programme or curriculum

Designed for:

  • Practice
  • Feedback
  • Consolidation
  • Learning Design – preparational and planning
  • Investigation
  • Application
  • Representation or modelling
  • Iteration
  • Teachers tailor to learner needs
  • Tutors can ascertain who needs what
  • Validation
  • Process
  • QA
  • Review

Are there universal patterns of learning or not?

Pedagogical Thought

Constructivism – Jonassen et al 1999

Social Constructions – Vygotsky 1986

Activity Theory – Engeström et al 1999

Experiational Learning – Kolb 1984

Instructional Design – Gagné et al 2004

Networked and collaborative work – McConnell 2000

Learning Design Jochems et al 2004

I was wondering whether, just as in a story, film or novel requires a theme, so learning asnd especially e-learning, according to Mayes and de Frietas ‘needs to be based on clear theoretical principles.

E-enhancements of existing models of learning.

Technology enables underlying processes common to all learning.

Cf Biggs 1999 Constructivist L737

Teaching for Quality Learning at University Buckingham SRHE OUP

 

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The context and nature of learning in 2012

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Learning has to take in the context of work and social factors.

Regarding Web 2.0 it is as commonplace as TV and radio, indeed I'd say it has almost completely replaced TV for some of us – this is not generational or even specific to a cohort, rather some prefer the online environment to the many others on offer. 

In our family the Internet takes precedence over radio, newspapers and magazines. For my personal learning environment PLE I now include the hardware – over the last two years I've gone from clapped out Mac laptop to an iPad: I keep everything online. If I need a laptop or desktop I borrow. My Smarthpone is my 'university in my top pocket' and some. I have a Kindle too for all books, even replacing some I have as hardbacks, while PDFs go to the iPad. 

I will preload the Kindle with ample reading as this will go to the beach while the iPad stays at home (cottage).

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Testing and proof reading

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012, 05:55
I find it remarkable to be in such a valued and valuable role for e-learning. Testing might be a nearly finished or finished e-learning product, but proof reading can start with the initial proposal document and the first plans, or blue prints or wireframes for the course itself. I am therefore being a second pair of eyes to support sales, project management, learning design, build and graphics. I am looking to support, comment on or correct grammar and spelling, but also thinking about how well something communicates, whether it works or not - anything to ease the user experience, while adhering to appropriate style guides of course. Along the way I am having my own usage and abusage of English fixed, so at last I can correct who to whom, while deleting commas, and reducing the use of parentheses to aid clarity of communication.
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Girl with a pearl earring and the use if linear narrative in e-learning

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E–learning supposes that it is online and interactive, this doesn't preclude the use of narrative. If I watch the film, Girl with a pesrl earring' then a BBC 4 Documentary in Johannes Vermeer and I go online to interact with fellow viewers, undertake research and write a blog entry or two – this is interaction, I am engaged.

Not that any learning instution has the funding to produce a movie that cost many millions. I wonder though how an executive producer might exploit the assets in this movie, certain scenes or still images for example. I like to paint and draw so the way it is illustrated in film fascinates me, in this film, shot with the eye of a Dutch Master we get some key moments in the creation of a film demonstrated, from first inspiration, to the initial presentation, the first layers and the art of mixing paints. On this score which films do I rate as showing what it is to be an artist and which do not?

Titanic. Kate Winslet - Rubbish La Belle Noissease. Emanuelle Beart - Brilliant One Summer. Liv Tyler - OK

There are many, many others. I'll add to this list and fix any inaccuracies as I go along. Please do offer your suggestions.

Back to the use of narrative, a story well told, that is memorable, relevant and inspirational. This takes craft skills that producers (production managers) and clients (sponsors) need to be reminded cost a good deal to get right. It matters that the words spoken ring true, that characters are cast with imagination, that the direction is subtle and professional. Even with a photostory scripting requires care if it is to appear authentic, and we must remembered, as shown in 'Girl with a pearl earring' that we communicate a great deal through facial expression and body language rather than by what we say.

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Getting it from Nellie - synchronous vs. asynchronous learning

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We hear today, at a distance, in real time, broadcast on Radio, that TXT has overtaken the spoken word on the phone. I email by preference, though will TXT rather than speak usually because I feel I have time to compose my thoughts, can sometimes duplicate the message or a variation of it to several members of the family and then take stock of the responses as they come through – I don't have time for chat. I avoid chat unless it suits me to chew over a topic, go round in circles and indulge the other speaker and me.

So how does this apply to learning? What is best face–to–face or at a distance, synchronous or asynchronous? The answer I understand is all of these, that interaction by whatever means available helps the learning process compared to working alone. You can think it through with a.n.other; you can share doubts and admit that yiu don't 'get' the most trivial things and have it explained or expressed by somoene that at last makes sense.

'Get it from Nellie' is the expression I got from an 85 year old at the weekend, a long retired senior partrner from PriceWaterhouse. He believes in trainees, in the apprentice, the articled clerk, the junior picking it up from the senior. So simple, so obvious, yet where does this occur in education? I've only come across it between partners where one is a couple of years ahead of the other on an MBA programme and can give all kinds of guidance. We don't see A level students helping those at GCSE, or one year group helping another as undergraduates. The system of a qualified PhD as lecturer or supervisor follows this model though. I found it worked a bit a primary school too with 10 and 11 year olds helping out with the youngest. Is there something of the extended family in this? Is there something of a more traditional, manageable community too of elders and others?

Social learning is about sharing, passing on and explaining. It should be less about indoctrination though, to what degree they can in Germany prevent by law any kind of religious upbringing until the young person has a say or thought on the matter is another things – you bring them up as agnostics or atheaists and that is what they'll be.

There's the need therefore to 'get it out' to express your ideas, to state where you are at, to be corrected or believed, vindicated or shot down. Knowledge doesn't simply aggregate like coral, rather it feeds on the vibrancy of responses from others. 

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Final module to complete the MAODE

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 05:22

Successfully registered and signed up for H810: accessibility - starting September with a January finish. This will complete my first, extraordinary OU Journey after three years.

Intellectually challenging, rigorous, comprehensive, expansive and life transforming. It took a while but I am now working for a world leader creating e-learning resources for companies - manager training for the most part.

It won't end here. I have my eye on a History MA. I've discussed this with student services. Starting September 2013 in two parts this will take me into the Centenerary of that horror, the 'war to end war' (HGWells) 1914-1918 that I blog about at www.machineguncorps.com

History would have been my first degree decades ago had I not got cold feet and switched to Geography. And an MA in Fine Art (which had been on the cards in 2010 when I elected for the MAODE.

I guess that's the next decad taken care of!

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Thoughts on how to analyse e-learning tools

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012, 07:56
I stumbledupon this while browsing some current e-learning journals and thought it would be of interest to anyone else on the Masters in Open and Distance Education. 

Content quality

Learning goal alignment

Feedback

Adaptation

Motivation

Presentation design

Interactivity usability

Accessibility

Reusability

Standards compliance

REFERENCE

Leacock T.L. and Nesbitt J.C. (2007) A framework for evaluating the quality of multimedia resources. Education Technology and Society 10(2) 44-59

This in 'Evaluation of e–learning materials. A holistic framework'. Bundsgaard and Hansen (2011) Vol 4. No. 4 Journal of Learning Design. Which is worth looking at in itself (I'll come back to it I am sure).

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Quality Assurance in e-learning production

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012, 02:07
Quality = fitness for purpose

Looks right

Works

Stands up to cost-benefit analysis

This is from a book that came as the box of resources in 2001 when the MAODE was called a MAODL and the term 'e-learning' hadn't come into common usage - we called it 'online learning', or 'web-based learning' and in practice meant 'migrating content to the Web' which as an interactive DVD would typically fail to upload or play thus for a decade web-based learning was a poorer cousin of the bespoke DVD with 3D animations and oodles of specially commissioned video.

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Applied e-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 7 Jul 2012, 13:58

If the OU MAODE is the wood, and the trees are clients or individual e-learning projects then working in Quality Assurance for a global company you could say I am like a botanist up the tree with a magnifying glass and a noteback (although in my case that would be an iPad).

All day, every day viewing and reviewing e-tivities, or learning objects, as well as scanning copy, checking layout, thinking about usability and generally as forester or gardener helping to nurture these things through.

It'll be fascinating to do my last MAODE module while in this environment (if I have any energy left at the end if each day/week).

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Characterising effective eLearning resources

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 1 Nov 2012, 11:57

Characterising effective eLearning (sic) resources

Littlejohn, Falconer, Mcgill (2008)

Presented in July 2006, accepted in august 2006 and published in August 2007 or 2008 referencing research and papers written between 1990 and 2004.

OK, this is an academic paper, but in a area that is changing so fast you'd think academics could pull their finger - even publish their thoughts as the develop online.

Digital assets: a single item, image, video or podcast.

Information objects: a structured aggregation of digital assets designed purely to present information.

Learning activities: tasks involving interactions with information to attain a specific learning outcome.

Learning design: structured sequences of information and learning activities to promote learning.

Learning Brief: (JV, 2012) My addition. Where it all begins where a client has a need, a problem to solve or opportunity to pursue, with an idea of the desired outcome, a budget, schedule and idea of resources that can be drawn upon or that will have to be created.

Conceptualization: source information.

Construction: repurpose and use in learner's context.

Integration: develop and use to inform others.

From Laurillard's 2002 Model (a bias for tertiary education).

An example of a PowerPoint presentation and its slides are given (only because, even in 2006, other forms of versatile, easily manipulated content were not readily available).

Narrative: downloaded by a student

Communicative: for discussion (synchronous, asynchronous, cohort, faculty, student body and beyond)

Interactive: searched, scanned (engaged, play)

Adaptive: (which Littlejohn et al give as editing, so reworking within the set, rather than adding anything new)

Productive: taking a constructed module PowerPoint (blog, video, animation, gallery photos, quotes, grabs, snips, apps) and repurposing (mash up) (Which I would call adaptive. (JV 2012, my additions in parenthesise).

Productive: (which Littlejohn al called productive in 2008 but I would call creative)

Resources: representation of knowledge by format and medium, flexibility and cost. With ease of manipulation and interaction key.

· Pure

· Combined

· Adapted

The conclusion is that when construction e-learning we need to look for and create digital resources that are:

1. Easily sourced

2. Durable

3. Easily Maintained

4. Accessible

5. Free from legal limitations

6. Quality assured

7. Appropriate cost

8. Resizable

9. Easily repurposed

10. Meaningful

11. Engages the learner

12. Intelligible

Various metaphors have been applied and can be applied, like building with Lego blocks Downes (2000) though Pegler’s preferences is to make a comparison with Technic ‘Lego’ (Pegler, 2004:Loc4282) where each piece has a set of actions.

Like a chemist combining chemicals to form atoms Wiley (2001)

Towards dynamic resources (less bespoke, more off the shelf, like sets of Apps that work in a designed sequence to produce a managed set of learning outcomes).

Constructivist (limited in precision training that requires specific, measurable outcomes in terms of changed behaviours).

Ownership (not personal learning environments, so much as personalised learning environments. Depends on the person's habits, choices and opportunities – pc, Mac, laptop or desktop, tablet and/or Smartphone; then choices regarding software tools within or married to the learning management system. Word, graphics, draw, charts, video, pics).

Their use in context is key (the institution, course, level, cohort, location).

(JV 2012. My thoughts italicised)

Like early car or computer manufacturer, become mass produced, trying to be lean, less a conveyor belt than a professional kitchen putting out a variety of courses to clients who are largely, within their respective contexts, demanding the same thing.

1890s bike shops turning to motorbikes and motor vehicles.

2000 bespoke websites and migrating learning distance and interactive ‘non-linear’ video based learning online, artisans, one offs, the Sistine Chapel.

REFERENCE

Downes, S (2000) Learning Objects. Available from http://www.newstrolls.com/news/dev/downes/col;umn000523_1.htm

Littlejohn, Falconer, Mcgill (2008) Characterising effective eLearning (sic) resources

Pegler, C and Littlejohn, A (2004) Preparing for Blended e-Learning, Routledge.

Wiley, D.A. (2000) Connecting Learning Objects to instructional design theory: a definition, a metaphor, and a taxonomy. In D.A. Wiley (ed), The instructional use of Learning Objects. Available from http://reusability.org/read/chapters/wiley.doc

 

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