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The key to employability: developing a practical model of graduate employability

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 10 Dec 2020, 15:42

As part of Module 3 of the PGCE I am taking with the University of Brighton my group (three of us) have been given the topic of 'Employability' to present to our fellow students in the New Year. We shared out contributions at the last meeting. As the one with plenty of postgraduate experience I was more than happy to take on the research and reading of academic papers on the subject.

My approach is a first somewhate random, to caste the net wide, but then to draw it in closer as I get the lay of the land: who are the academic 'voices' on employability and what are the current big themes.

Is AI taking jobs a theme? I've got Daniel Susskind for that.

What about the impact of Covid-19

And the impact of Brexit?

All big ones, but not researched, to current so unlikley to have spawned papers,

Employability: The missing voice: How student and graduate views could be used to develop future higher education policy and inform curricula

Rachel Delta Higdon

What is employability?

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Simon_Mcgrath/publication/266456393_What_is_Employability/links/5597fba808ae5d8f3933e7d7/What-is-Employability.pdf 

There are these:

Dyki, M.Singorahardjo, M. and Cotronei-Baird, V.S. (2020), "Preparing graduates with the employability skills for the unknown future: reflection on assessment practice during COVID-19", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-09-2020-0285

This paper establishes how a student video assessment contributes to students’ acquisition, development and enhancement of employability skills, such as communication and teamwork skills, that are central for preparing students for continually evolving future and thus the “new normal” brought forward by COVID-19.

The key to employability: developing a practical model of graduate employability in Education + Training Magazine. 

Maria De Rodanas Valero, Tom Reid, Ghislaine Dell, David Stacey, Jo Hatt, Yvonne Moore, Sally Clift. (2020) Embedding employability and transferable skills in the curriculum: a practical, multidisciplinary approachHigher Education Pedagogies 5:1, pages 247-266.

Inge Römgens, Rémi Scoupe & Simon Beausaert (2020) Unraveling the concept of employability, bringing together research on employability in higher education and the workplace, Studies in Higher Education, 45:12, 2588-2603, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1623770

Ornellas, A.Falkner, K. and Edman Stålbrandt, E. (2019), "Enhancing graduates’ employability skills through authentic learning approaches", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 107-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-04-2018-0049

Bernstrøm, V.H.Drange, I. and Mamelund, S.-E. (2019), "Employability as an alternative to job security", Personnel Review, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 234-248. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-09-2017-0279

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New blog post

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David Jonassens proposed learning environments octogon

Can this be done online? Do I even understand all the terms? Does it all have to happen in the same class?

Constructive : a workshop like activity, or 'group think' in Google Breakout.

Collaborative : they work together in small groups to come to an answer.

Conversational : in the Chat and with each other.

Reflective : with more time at the end, or part way through, they reflect on what they are doing and if they are getting anywhere.

Contextualized : as in the online learning environment and/or the individual context for each person?

Complex : or challenging? Online learning is a fail for some, for reasons of their own making, or not. For technical, persona circumstances and other reasons. Some people don't like bringing the class into the home. It is a cultural shift.

Intentional : (I'm going to have to look this up).

Active/Manipulative : sounds like 'constructive' ?


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The Reflective Cycle (Gibbs, 1988)

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The Reflective Cycle (Gibbs, 1988)

The Reflective Cycle (Gibbs, 1988) Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit. Oxford Polytechnic: Oxford

This reads like crisis management: is it? Is this if there is an incident? Or something goes wrong? An ongoing frustration that I need to tackle is why in a Google Meet there is always one, sometimes two students, who have joined the session but cannot be added to a Breakout. 

Rather than letting it happen again I need to test it in 'Student' mode and see the notes from Google themselves. 

Last time it happened signing out of the class then returning did the job; not this time. 

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Time out to reflect

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 9 Dec 2020, 21:21

Kolb's Reflective Cycle

By Izhaki - In OmniGraffle, CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40793898 

I am three formal 90 minute online classes in with two more to go. It is the same topic, but a different group of students each time. I made a slight overhaul in the hour before today's session.

I am yet to watch back any of the Meet recordings.  

The following passed through the entire cycle: 

I had a clip of Oxford Uni academic taking us through hsi ideas of 'Visitors and Residents' online. Rather than him, I ran through it myself to the webcam with a whiteboard. Old school, but I hoped would give me a chance of explaining it in my words. Is it relevant that students are this self-aware?

JV on camera using a mini white board to talk about the idea of 'Visitors and Residents' online

A haircut is due and there is reason why older people wear shirts with a collar or a roll top smile

Ditto 'Netiquette' as an icebreaker, something they should all have been drilled on and understand, yet the feedback in the Chat from 22 students was low - four at most caring to give me a sentence. Many more would respond to a closed question with 'Y' or 'N'. I tried Q&A the other day and had no questions at all. I rather thinking typing is an issue - noit least if they are on a phone, but because they are certainly not able to touchtype - only touch thumb.

I guess therefore I am going through this process. I know what can be fixed swiftly and do so. Indeed, while a video was playing, by way of demonstration I made some of the slides 'accessible' simply by increasing the font size, putting in a pastel shade background and right justifying the text.

The element where we looked for words to describe enhancements or augmentation to reinvention was dropped. I had begun with a Business School diagram introducing SMAR (which I have not used at all). I then struggled to find the words myself so certinaly couldn't provide a simple, clear activity for them to do for three minutes. Instead I quickly created the following and then moved on to the 'Lessons for today'.

Steps to enhance a slide presentation: accessible, add audio and video, make it a screencast, go interactive.

I also dropped flicking through some pages from DK online showing the historic development of the gun from flintlock to plastic submachine gun. Interesting in its own right, but not the right comparison for the above stages. 

JV presenting in MEET and introducing Ten Tips on slides for TED lectures

The Gun > https://pubhtml5.com/cqlx/ftcx 

Ten tips on out to use slides by David Epstein of TED lectures

I brought in a TED lecture from from David Epstein on how athletes have improved over the last 85 years. Interesting in its own right, but was to show the interplay between a presenter and their slides > https://bit.ly/3m2iNc1

Five ways to simple video for the classActivity Three I want to replace with my own video so from the outset the message is for students rather than me saying that they should hear 'student' every time the presenter says 'Teacher'. Also to diminish the negativity on some slide presentation types than might be overly reliant on the slides and the handouts rather than students taking notes. Taking notes is a totally foreign concept, not even students who may benefit from recording audio or video so they have something to play back. I nabbed this LINK > https://youtu.be/GuA8fPCHu9c from Open Learn's Take Your Teaching Online'. 

I should test my theory of 'learning at the speed of desire' > motivation is all. If they are motivated they could Google my intentions and get their own top tips on presenting, using slides, video and screencast technology.

Last session like today having gone through all the buttons on the Screencastify minidashboard dropdown I once again inadvertently hit the Webcame record.

Screejcastify dropdown dashboard

Let's hope I don't do this for the next two sessions. I'll put a note to self in the slides.

My feelings? Good. The first session felt like a dress rehearsal, the second like a technical rehearsal. It can only improve. Getting engagement and evidence of learning from the students is another matter entirely.

Soon after viewing the above I headed into town for a haircut. 


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John Sowash - the one we should aspire to be !

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John Sowash teaches online like no other. He's cracked it and is forever improving, sharing best practice and getting others through the basic hoops. Once up and running we can all teach online. 

Here's his latest podcast : https://smarterqueue.com/video/18935767

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Too busy to blog! Yelps

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Is this a good sign? My sympathy goes out to all teachers - I take classes (in theory) one day a week. This week I have stepped in to offer 'Isolation' cover for five classes. Putting together a 90 minute online class that follows lessons I've picked up in 10 weeks of PGCE takes a while - though the training allows me to get it done more quickly as I have a better feel for what will work.

But where is the work on live classes taught remotely to draw on for best practice? Maybe I'll author one.

OERs and resources available 'out there' is one thing - shoehorning them into your sessions is another. I know from the corporate training years that 'bespoke' was always best if you could afford it. Everything else screams 'compromise'.

I need to reversion somethign aimed at graduates and something else aimed at teachers. Playing a segment of these videos is easy enough, doing something myself and citing the sources is another. I still have to script it and record it.

At least I have recordings of these classes. When I have the energy and brain space I can reflect on each and the collection. And with three more days, and three more classes I will take the opportunity now to make changes.

The class is on digital communications - basically how to do better than PowerPoint or Slides. 

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Take Your Teaching Online : OpenLearn from The Open University - an eight week self-paced eight online course.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 23 Dec 2020, 05:37

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I was in a hurry. There is 24 hours of content. I got through it in 9 day: two weekends and bits during a 2020 lockdown week when I had nowhere to go. 

This is how I got on with 'Take Your Teaching Online'. 


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Types of Assessment. This was NOT part of 'Take Your Teaching Online' but I graphic from edulastic. I am trying to embed assessment types into my practice. I suppose the ultimate test is the job succcess at the end? Which is all they had, pass or fail, at the end of the School of Communication Arts' course I did. 

Learning Design

The learning design is a combination of a little bit of reading, a little bit of watching video, a few activities where you gather your thoughts about something you have just been introduced to and then a number of formative and summative quizzes. By the end, the collection of views you have expressed should build into a coherent and personal point of view. Around the middle the summative quiz grade counts towards your end of course ‘badge’. 

This is in part a taster for the Open University's own Master of Arts : Open & Distance Education - for me ‘Taking Your Teaching Online’ was an invaluable and timely opportunity to revisit the MAODE that I did 10 years ago (2010 to 2013). I’ve always had the MAODE at my fingertips over the passing years as at the time, invited to keep a reflective student blog, I did so every step of the way. This allows me to return to what I studied then. Boy, have my views matured and bedded down in this time! At last been closely complemented, even integrated into my daily experience first as a learning technologist in a large FE/HE college but now as a ‘front line’ teacher undertaking a two year, part-time PGCE. Periods of Covid-19 lockdown or departmental lockdown have harried things along. Most recently, keeping teaching to a class or two one day a week, with five classes of 20+ students each put into isolation I stepped up to run six online classes. If anyone knows the tech I should; yet do I? I feel like the swimming teacher or coach who doesn’t swim (there are plenty of those). Or the music teacher who doesn’t play an instrument. Is that possible. The timing is right. I did my first ‘micro-teach’ to my fellow PGCE students a few weeks ago. I am on Module 3 of the PGCE and completing the first term of six. Time to take the plunge.

Does it help or hinder that I have already run sixteen talks or workshops on staff CPD days. Staff and students are very different. For the most part staff will have their cameras on, will speak up and take part. In contrast the students, 17 years olds, will only put on their cameras by accident and will only speak if there is a problem. 

Plenty went wrong. With tech you learn to ride out most problems. Some things worked. I learnt plenty of lessons reinforced by the reading. Taking a class online is a different beast: they are in their domain not yours; if not engaged they can just as easily log on and then go and watch TV or play a game - many could be ‘second screening’ (should I ask next time?). Their access to kit is mixed: some on laptops, most on phones. Are any on a desktop? And where do they find the space to take part in this? Bedroom, sitting room, kitchen table, the back of dad’s car, the garden shed or back in college? 

I do the course ‘Take Your Teaching Online’ out of personal need, to support colleagues, out of intellectual curiosity and for pleasure. I will take it again, build on my notes, follow up some of the references and find a way to pass on my tester/proofreader notes to the Open University (some links are broken, videos on YouTube are not there and a few of the multiple choice questions are a nonsense). 

It also provides me with the shape of designing a series of classes over a period of time that builds into a module - something I have done repeatedly for the last seven years ever since I completed the MAODE and had ‘Learning Design’ or ‘Instructional Design’ in mind as a career move. 

The eight modules are set out quite straightforwardly of topics that cover.

Take your Teaching Online : Open Learn

Week

Learning objectives 

1

Discuss the main characteristics of online education activities and how these differ from face-to-face teaching

Begin to determine the kinds of face-to-face teaching activities that might, or might not, transfer successfully to an online environment

Summarise the elements of online teaching that need a different skill set to face-to-face teaching.

2

Understand some of the essential principles of online teaching

Be aware of some key learning theories and classifications of online teaching technologies

Understand the concept of learning objects and some of the different classifications of these.

3

Describe some of the ways to categorise educational technologies for online teaching

Explain how some of the tools available might help with certain learning objectives

start making informed decisions about which tools you might try in your own context.

4

Understand the benefits of networks to the online teacher

Discuss the concepts of communities of practice and network weather

Develop useful online networks to augment your teaching practice.

5

Define Open Educational Resources and list some examples of what this term covers.

Understand Creative Commons licences and use these properly

Search OER Repositories and the wider internet for material that you can legally reuse in your teaching

6

Define assistive technology and list a variety of examples

Understand how to make most of your online teaching materials accessible

Assess the accessibility of OERs

Understand what alternative formats may be needed in online teaching.

7

Explain the concept of technological determinism

Use the Visitors and Residents model to assess your students’ approach to technology in learning

Make changes to teaching with technologies in a systematic and informed way.

8

Understand how learning analytics can be used to evaluate learners’ behaviour

be able to gather and understand student feedback

Apply some strategies for embedding reflection in your online teaching

Plan an action research project for scholarship that seeks to improve your online teaching.


I found that the modules could indeed take two hours, and one or two more like an hour and a quarter hour and a half. Perhaps that's because I was familiar with the subject matter already. My methodology might help. I’ve learnt how to pass these things. I take notes and get screenshots all along. I’m not going to be caught when it gets the multiple-choice quiz. These notes will carry me over the line - the bar is low. The pass mark is 50%.

One or two of the modules reminded me of topics that struck me as of enormous potential value; they deserved considerably more time than the 20 minutes given to the activity. Indeed, when it came to reviewing Open Educational Resources I took the best part of 8 hours - that was my Saturday, with my notes completed on Sunday morning. It was worthwhile. As a review of these resources it is still ‘lite’ but it’s a start.

See > Open Education Resource Institutions and Repositories, Sun 5 December 2020 in this blog. 

What I relish looking at, extracting and reworking are entire course plans and individual lessons plans, as well as interesting ‘education ready’ videos and eBooks. 

There's so much to tap into if you have the time to do this kind of research. I stumbled upon an excellent OER from the Hewlett foundation, the Africa Open Educational Resources. It’s subject matter draws on the vast continent of Africa - which makes a refreshing change from the historic gravitation to Western Europe and North America, but it doesn't change the fact that the courses are still all about women's rights, teaching employability, careers, well-being and so on.

It's refreshing to see a different take on things, to begin to get a global view. 

In the Town Council I got behind Black History month and can see that there are a lot more resources and ideas here.

FOOTNOTES

1) The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments: help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work.

2) The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value.

3) The Postgraduate Certificate in Education, commonly known as the PGCE, is one of the most popular academic qualifications for teaching. Offered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, PGCEs are designed to enhance and increase academic training, preparing students for life as a teacher.

4) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth.

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Learning at the speed of desire

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 All to change in education

Total mayhem all around at this end. 

The PGCE I am doing, onto Module 3, was a must have to balance against the Masters in Education I did 7 years ago. I need the front line practice and experience I do not feel I get as a learning technologist. It makes the academic theory more relevant. I see myself as a Learning Designer in future and will teach both online and in the class.

Due to a Covid-19 scare I have 'volunteered' to run five 90 minute online workshops on Screencastify using Google Meet. I've done one session which was a scary experience. It  can only get easier ... or not. Some will have poor online access, or try to listen in from their phone sitting in their Dad's car - the only place they can work undisturbed. Others for lack of device or internet will have to come into college ... or not. Some want to learn and race ahead. Some have little desire to learn and do little or less. As long as they are not disruptive what can I do?

I have just completed 'Take Your Teaching Online' a free course with the Open University > https://bit.ly/39LI4Vw

If you want to understand the design and delivery of online learning this is the best that there is for now. It could be shorter. Some of the content is a bit dated or no longer relevant. The multiple choice formative quizzes are flawed. The formal assessments are a worthy challenge. 

I see education going the way of retail. 

The 'disruption' brought on by Amazon has been 20 years in the making. Exactly 20 years ago, or perhaps 19, I recall being overly generous with my credit card and buying books from Amazon for every family member I expected to see that Christmas at two annual gatherings split between my family (4 children, mother and stepfather, stepbrother and between 6 and 8 children) and my wife’s smaller family (3 children, mum and dad and 3 children). The disruption on the high street was a slow burn; Covid-19 kicked everything online. 

In 10 years, or sooner, the education landscape will look as different and will have experienced as much disruption. Far more people will learn at a pace suited to their desire to learn and abilities. Or their parents’ desire for their children to learn and the depths of their pockets. All private education costs. And you get what you pay for. Why not home educate as the aristocracy and landed gentry of 120+ years ago did? Being a virtual tutor could be a new job description where teaching online as an educator you tutor enough students privately one to one (rarely face to face) to make a good living. 

The brightest will start university courses at 14 or 15; that is already happening.  

Everyone needs to become a 'lifelong learner' just to stay abreast of the changes.

It’s a phrase I used a decade ago ‘learning at the speed of desire’. Just Google it, then get on with it. What’s the fuss? Tell me what you cannot learn online if you set your mind to the task??  

EdTech 2020 said the other week to expect educational institutions, FE and HE, rather than primary and secondary (I think) moving to a model of 25 to 100 online. Some colleges will close and operate like the Open University. They will deliver it all online … albeit with a twice monthly tutorial day and possibly the acclaimed Open University residential courses. 

Meanwhile if Climate Change causes major 'weather events' every ten years rather than every 50 or 60, I am equally worried, for the same reasons - population pressure, that pandemics like Covid-19 will also come every 20 years or so rather than every 100. We will see.

All doom and gloom? Not for me, I thrive on change.

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Which study setting is missing here??

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I did this entire course on or in bed on a laptop. And when there is a lot to read I may move to an iPad and pick up in the bath. 

I do other work (a different job) on the sofa.

While the study is kept for the day job.

Such is my life of variety. I look longingly out at a large garden shed as another home for my thoughts and studying but this will have to wait. One door and one window are missing. The roof leaks. It is dark and damp. And worst of all, jammed to the ceiling with bags and boxes of unloved stuff that no one wants to throw out. 

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Forever the Learner - thanks to the Open University

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The MAODE I started (took up again) in February 2010 is to blame. On completing that in 3 1/2 years I felt a huge void. I have completed multiple course with FutureLearn and Coursa since, and further modules, some at considerable expense: most free.

Straight out of Taking Your Learning Online and I feel I have the brain muscle and desire to do more. This time I will do and complete 'The Online Educator' even if it covers much of the same ground, and especially because i have started it before and not got to the end.

All in all in creates a massive mashup in my brain that I can feed out to others, not least urgently to get my head around learning design in FE and potentially to be able to offer cogent advice to colleauges and the college. 

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We remain so niave in education, or simply grossly under resourced.

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Students need significant support to identify 'who they are' early on so that schooling can be individualised rather than trying to get everyone over the same hurdles at the same time. The most absurd thing in UK education is not to allow students to stay back a year or two in order to get the grades they want to progress. In France and the US this can allow the determined student who needs more time and further 'learning' to get the grades and so progess to the institution to study the subject they have their hearts set on, rather than being rejected by the 'system' far, far too early in a cycle which now is a life-time of learning. 

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Take Your Teaching Online : Final Score 90%

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It's taken me several degrees to learn how to learn - dogged application to knowing your stuff. In my case this meant that in an 8 week course (taken over 10 days) I have not done 2 1/2 hours a week, but rather 2 hours most of time but 8 hours or more  in 'Week 7' and 4 or 5 hours on 'Week 8'. You have to keep going back until you get it; if you don't you will be found out later.

And no guessing. 

You have to know an answer is right, or likely to be right, before you provide it. I did take an 'open book' approach to this, which helps a bit. What helped a lot was to have copious notes which I could search and review. These amount to 4 to 10 page for each week - notes, text grabs and screenshots.  I like to have this content for my own perusal and reference.

Talking of which - I also take the references for anything I fancy following up. I will in due course follow up some of these. 

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Take Your Teaching Online Week 8 : The Power of Analytics

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 6 Dec 2020, 11:29

Professor Bart Rienties of the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University

January 2018 > https://youtu.be/GIWrygqmOIs 

Creative Commons Attribution licence (reuse allowed)

45 minutes? This is how long 'Take Your Teaching Online' gives to undertake the activity. It is far, far too little time to do justice to it. 

That's 35 minutes viewing to begin with add taking notes and 10 minutes to construct a reply. I gave it two hours.

This is worth this amount of effort and more; I will be going back to it. 

There are two reasons why is essential viewing for anyone venturing into teachign online:

1) This is an excellent lesson in how to deliver a lecture

  • The pace, variety, personal story telling, top and tailing (literally) with dogs and then heavy duty data expressed in tables and charts. All the while having the audience to feed in with a poll. 

2) The conclusions that Prof. Bart Rienties draws are profound 

  • Just in the period since the OU changed its fee structure (much more expensive) what students look for has shifted increasingly towards the relevance of the materials and qualifications to their job

The data blows away past perceptions and methods while reinforcing what had been an indicator of excellence vs failure all along. 

  • Student satisfaction surveys bear no relation at all to peformance. 
  • Giving students nothing to do can result in the most activity - it becomes at chance for those 60% of more who are a little behind, or a long way behind, to catch up. 
  • Those who are always leaving it to the last minute and think that they can catch up in a last minute splurge of activity are likely to be those who just pass or fail. 

The best approach all along, and an indicator of excellence, is to get ahead of the curve. 

Not least it gives you breathing space to go back to something when you've had time to think about it, or to hunt down and check through alternative insights. As well as engaging on the subject if you wish outside the class. 

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I ask myself, 'these are adults, they are academics, they are Profs and PHDs, and yet some use their phones to give quiz answers answer before they've been given the question. What does this say about us humans? Is it the gambler's gambit?' 

Prof. Bart Rienties was using PollEV.com 

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Bart gets our immediate attention with a puppy. We are introduced to Tabatha from Canine Partners > https://caninepartners.org.uk/ 

By way of engaging metaphors data is first provided on three assistant dogs 

and then from the speakers competitive cycling.

These metaphors are used to indicate different kinds of data, the kind that is useful, and the kind that is not. And the need to be measuring something in the first place 

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The truth will out with the data

QQ: Can we use this data to give students what they want?

Ask them at the end of every module. 

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Big data set

  • 110,000 students
  • 400 courses

QQ: What makes the course 'good' ? (As in getting results) is it: 

  • Great reachers? 

  • Links well to professional practice?

  • Links well to their career intentions?

  • Quality of the teaching materials?

  • Quality of the teaching?

This is what 40 people from the audience concluded. (40 was the limit of the licence bought from PollEV). 

8IwYypODoniZZVOSWsmeVGB9sYIfP1Po4DQKRwVzCMPz7IE-Smo0RT9nTLXl6z_tgp2o0INl5u6YfJIFx8-HLiw1g2NGKF4VrxeF83CKyH3N_24uM7i7u3U_JA7IPEtqcr98X29u

Here is the detail: 

rBqP9aIMemihD1yBuXYfHKUVc4GmnkqVwPNV8kEOEo2zUC6hA_-utFoOdsSvomZdgvvkP8nGyN6plt3pgmQeZuoyLMx1AaMr05ghG0yIbwQXeiSm_Nhyp4GRVOFDLKGTRoJVX5mq

What makes an excellent course? 

  • Really good teaching materials

  • Student approval of the assessment method. 

There has been a subtle change over the last few years

  • Perspectives changing to students expecting modules link to the qualification.

NPAr3z0biJh67-kMQLp8a1Y6NoD63seVp-Ocn9pRiseK9ursNpB6N9sAEZVjbPifZ6kU2TKR7eyeL-LQwVp1_zTZHvzd3EGrknusEKx_VgtMN7PxipAVWtFZl_xqupdtBnqBwzfH

NOTE > 

There was NO correlation between student satisfaction and student performance

Students like constructivist learning designs

This is where there is lots of stuff, we take them by the hand … providing lots of content for them to explore.

They did not like when they had to work together with a group, or talk to the teacher. 

The number predictors of passing and continuing is how teachers design the learning and how they communicate during the course.

tqIDRYWU57rwRSqPVqXgx6UXefbDq7UCYWjfQZ4gPWiQU1ITfx94yszYHxSA4K9vcJlc5bfXnjdV-1Vu6OeVzw2dKs-hUq_G1i0AYtyhMit30sc1QMLzJFwu1cp4fDupZY9XPujK

Starting to unpack the recipe what helps our students progress so using the social constructivist model.

  • Should we give students what they want? 

  • Students are different! 

  • Most will benefit from knowing what is coming up.

What are students doing on a week by week basis.

GFhNTJdf42yKHWdqjerzF_xBV_omDB5VXNnC13ExGaaiKm4pd8HO_od-kK_T8ydu_o1f2wROmih7DfGG6qD7MWCwJtLIdeT2x1gW3D6ErDpAOwS6Xkb895AagfXDk0oX99H5bw1N

Is there a link between how teachers design and how students engage?

Unpack what is really happening?

Why despite expectations of a lot of student engagement in week 20 was there not?

CZN-LCfJsQUaOvGZXB4gOWezwzGuek8joiOyQsoO3VIaintCmywSutNRCrkzAEu5CxSETp3iKb5xfOkp1M_sZg6YHCzI_NxwQGz9u-sCGaFpsmyEzFxkvjHCxGWLhxeDtJyeVdcM

Start to map out what students are doing.

G2bYpulITBc1JhJ5Ta6yfaPWYPM2hJZ5aKPNye63QphqfmBdOO2DmqY2j-5URJZYUKKkmI8ymKHVagoK4k1JrXGfkm1l1lUORbWMoKFl5TQi13r9s3l3EjiD0O7B0ov2AHYAc6QY

Week 4 time off to prepare … and becomes one of the highest peaks.

69% of what students do is determined by what teachers have designed for them to do.

9TLto5dFHOGexj2jXqfmUshdN8qc1zA4EGMlZNt5uTXD-obY-H4vSJ-8D12e2qQN5-DkBm2jk7Qagb8ED2qso_h3z3NK8ZTGnbqB8YcPwiyiDYYbCGuoqcsWtbwIunjDPGuzfCzu

Excellent students study more in advance.

CCj5mTeNCi1pCHWTU_nDPzDS72QCEeZfwgiWbdhKUU_UskHld6QbaoqXGVkuCuhvE811HcY3czo6paPILdtyMiGZZGwalRHwjss8DkxWSQBtmT2oXNf5xREdGMjeNSJgRIYcGVs5

Pass students start to get in the ‘catch up’ phase > they are going ‘off piste

B63Ee2YzWGZUn1geYxZBC8I99XdLPepYPVT79YqTE_n0Z4ckCipetCCB_U1m5U7p5iwyzmx8bJtMpmI2njHiNT1W6LAnvOI33MHSMUKdmKYI1Ys1X_KPZ5GdmSH8NJpCI9Wi5gPL

Fail group > starting to catch up, or never catch up. So how do we give them a chance? A pause to catch up. 

What are our take home messages?

Not all data we collect is meaningful.

What matters is actual behaviour. Big data without context is meaningless.

NOTE > Listening to student feedback is not linked to what they are doing or how they are performing. 

Our students are following the learning design, but many are not. Some diligently stick to the road, others take different routes. 

NOTE > We need to provide alternative effective pathways.

End with Canine partners and foster parents.

Organ donation 

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Open Education Resource Institutions and Repositories

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 6 Dec 2020, 09:27
The following was given as a 20 minute exercise in the 'Take Your Teaching Online' 8 week course from Open Learn. I gave it 8 or more hours. It was warranted. These resources are a godsend to taking your teaching online, materials that can be used 'off the shelf' as an single item (an eBook or Video), an lesson plan set out with objectives, activities and assessments ... or even an entire unit of studies over a period of weeks.  

I see this as a great starting place. Find a way that works for you. Work with it. Adapt it. Then in due course create your own in the image of the design that you have found works for you and your students.

My experience may well need to be reviewed. I simply have not had the time to dig around enough. All may have their merits and others may tell me if I am missing a trick. Some of these platforms need to rethink their approach regarding quality controls. I also wonder if a 'community of practice' through the likes of LinkedIn could provide support and links to resources that have a better fit for you. 

Open Education Resource Platform 

Notes and Examples 

Rate

Open Learn


https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ 


A repository of open materials produced by The Open University,

Excellent. Out of box. Just get on and do it! The Open University was established to make learning possible for those still in work, in care roles, who may have left school early or without qualifications. It’s mission with Open Learn as with the Open University and even the Business and Laws Schools is to make content accessible in every meaning of the word: attainable, usable, doable, (easier).


E.G. 

Take Your Teaching Online > https://bit.ly/39LI4Vw 

Art and Visual Culture : From Medieval to Modern > https://bit.ly/33JuMF0 

Lights, Camera, Action : technology and theatre > https://bit.ly/37GsuHQ 

Open Advent > https://www.open.edu/openlearn/advent 


5+

MIT Open Course


MIT OpenCourseWare | Free Online Course Materials 


A web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content.

Undergraduate and graduate courses in full with every possible detail provided to run such a course.


E.G. 

12 hours a week over 16 weeks: the real deal > Education Technology Studio 

Rachel Slama, Garron Hillaire, Joshua Littenberg-Tobias, and Jose Ruiperez-Valiente. CMS.594 Education Technology Studio. Spring 2019. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA


E.G. 

Special 1 Hour Seminar in Communication: Leadership and Personal Effectiveness Coaching.

Christine Kelly. 15.277 Special Seminar in Communications: Leadership and Personal Effectiveness Coaching. Fall 2008. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

(1 hour for post-grad MBA students, 3 to 4 hours for School/College undergrads) 


5

Saylor.org


https://www.saylor.org/ 


Nearly 100 full-length courses at the college and professional levels

https://www.saylor.org/about/ 

Sounds like Open Learn and Adult Learning: articles, lectures and videos. Aiming for people seeking career change, getting into a career or getting into uni. Certification / badges ala Coursera / FutureLearn. Sign in required.  https://youtu.be/vAEZoveEUg8 


E.G.

Beginning Lower-Intermediate English as a Second Language  + 12 hours, course outcomes and materials. 

Modern Revolutions + 85 horse, course outcomes, certification and materials.


E.G

Learning in a Digital Age: digital literacies, digital citizenship, open education, media literacies and digital skills > Develop and apply digital and learning literacies that are critical for learning success in tertiary education in the 21st century. Last updated 28 Sept 2020. https://learn.saylor.org/course/view.php?id=388 


OER Africa


https://www.oerafrica.org/ 


Developing professional educational resources with the Hewlett Foundation. 

https://www.oerafrica.org/about-us 

Focus > Agriculture, Foundation Skills, Health and Teacher education for the African context.

 

E.G.

Communication Skills, Kampala university. 

Download Resource as a .docx. As a Google Doc, template to personalise with learning outcomes, modules, aims and units running to 55 pages 


4

Open Educational Resources


https://archive.org/details/education


A library that contains hundreds of free courses, video lectures, and supplemental materials from the US and China. 

Requires Email Sign in. Over 6 million videos. Hilarious archive training films. Old TV and commercials. Super 8mm on sexual maturity. 1973. Download options. The World at War. Genocide. Video 2017 ‘Kick starting Your Career’. 

Nearly 5 million books. 


E.G. 

Book > World War One, Norman Stone

First World War, Horrible Histories. Borrow for an hour. 


OER Commons


https://www.oercommons.org/


Free-to-use learning and teaching content from around the world. 

Author Open Resources. All education levels and adult learning. 


E.G. 

21st Century Skills, including for example digital fluency for adult learners.  

A set of instructional videos paired with a simple assessment. Learners that get a passing score are awarded a digital badge. These can be shared to Google Classroom. 

21st Century Skills for Teachers > Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Critical Thinking. Just a set of 5 slides.

 

3

Open Course Library


http://opencourselibrary.org/ 


A collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts.

Materials shared to Google Drive: Docs, tables, lesson plans and activities. Readily adapted. However heavily US, business and manufacturing orientated. 

3

Merlot


https://www.merlot.org/merlot/ 


Tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and content builder webpages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections,

A thoughtful, time consuming sign in process and account verification process that helps place you, your field of interest, institution and students before offering content. 


Filter by: discipline, material type, audience and platform 

Deeply disappointed that having clicked through categories and read through what looked like it would be an up to date YouTube video on Social Media I got the alert ‘This site does not exist’.


Thankfully the next shot, to get a resource that would help students make better presentations with slides was a hit with a TED lecture and blog > https://blog.ted.com/10-tips-for-better-slide-decks/ 


10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea … 

Then directly into creating a learning exercise from it with a lesson exercise sheet to complete >


The Learning Exercise form will allow you to define the tasks, audience and all aspects of the exercise for others to use with the corresponding MERLOT material. Please provide as much information and detail as possible.

Twice more a dead end.

Then not only off site, but further sign in and payment expected. 

Go through THAT official registration successfully but still have no access.  


3

OpenStax CNX


https://cnx.org/ 


Tens of thousands of learning objects, organised into thousands of textbook-style books in a host of disciplines,

Books, so pages, with diagrams, text and exercises. Search by subject, browse by keyword and publication date. 


E.G. 

SWOT analysis > https://bit.ly/2VI8ZsR 

Employer Training and Development > https://bit.ly/2VE5Fim 


However, the community is self-managed, which rather like people who blog can result in some random contributions and domination by an individual. 


3

AMSER Repository


https://amser.org/ 


A portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges 

Applied Math and Science Repository. 


US but many subjects covered even though Science bias, with military science, arts, history etc: but the taxonomy search/browse did not work. More like an index. Some content from 2001. And three times ended up with an empty ‘folder’ with no resources to use. 

1

Solvonauts


http://solvonauts.org/


A search engine that searches across repositories (they also provide open repository software for institutions wanting to set up their own repository of OER).

No sign in. Simple, too basic, too 2010.


More like a directory. The content I considered was out of date and simply a video of someone’s presentation 

1


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Slides

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Age 17 or 18 in the learning centre at Appleby I had a go with the reel to reel black and white Sony video camera to record a video of me showing someone how to create a slide show ... using a box of physical slides. This is like writing a book to tell someone how to cave paint.

Four decades later, even if they are digital, why or why are we so hooked on the 'slide'.

Anyway, these are useful suggestions on how to make the most of them > Ted 10 Tipe for Better Slide Decks



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Ten tips on how to make better slides

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Age 17 or 18 in the learning centre at Appleby I had a go with the reel to reel black and white Sony video camera to record a video of me showing someone how to create a slide show ... using a box of physical slides. This is like writing a book to tell someone how to cave paint.

Four decades later, even if they are digital, why or why are we so hooked on the 'slide'.

Anyway, these are useful suggestions on how to make the most of them > Ted 10 Tipe for Better Slide Decks



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Take Your Teaching Online Week 4

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 21 Dec 2020, 11:08

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • understand the benefits of networks to the online teacher

  • discuss the concepts of communities of practice and network weather

  • develop useful online networks to augment your teaching practice

Teacher who has tried:

  • Private Facebook Group for pupils and pupils parents

  • A community within the students

  • Students supporting each other and congratulating each other on their successes.

Teach academic subjects online via Twitter > astonished.

  • Conferences

  • Fellow professionals

  • Aspergers, Austic High Functioning End.

‘Most of the benefits of networking can be divided into two generic categories: connectivity and sharing’.  (Kozierok, 2005)

As you will have seen in the previous weeks of this course, teaching online requires thought, planning, and perhaps a little bravery in trying new technologies and techniques.

  • Thought
  • Planning
  • Bravery

‘Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly'. 

JV: We need a digital campaign to inform and persaude. 

I have five years experience in the production of such a newsletter to a community of over 6,000 and quickly recognised that recreating something that by design looks like it should be printed off is hugely limiting. There should be analytics attached to the item so it is understood what is opened (if at all) and by whom. 

We need 'shared domains of interest’

There is no shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems – in short, a shared practice.

  1. A shared domain of interest

  2. An active community, sharing and exploring the domain

  3. A shared repertoire of resources.

They go on to say that ‘it is the combination of these three elements that constitutes a community of practice. And it is by developing these three elements in parallel that one cultivates such a community’. 

(Wenger-Trayner and Wenger-Trayner, 2015)

Conversations should be just that > a two way dialogue with meetings centred aroun an agenda and action points resulting. 

Where might you begin to look for easy networking opportunities that may be available to you that you simply don’t yet know exist? In which of these would you wish to begin as a ‘lurker’? Are there any that you might feel sufficiently confident to actively participate in now?

A shared experience works at The Western Front Association because of the last three years we have built up a community centred around someone with the time and energy to oversee activities and bring others in. I have been a lurker in a number of groups, and after a time I have gravitated towards their centre, indeed being given ‘moderator’ status in a massive LinkedIn group on elearning. I have also set up a number of such groups and facilitated and moderated discussions. 

What networking activity do you already participate in that could be modified or refocused to bring you networking benefits?

For The Western Front Association I put out two to five Tweets a day and manage the ensuing conversation. I have a 2,000 member LinkedIn group on swimming which sort of looks after itself. I have tried to instigate the creation of a Lewes District Green Group with no success. What I have learned from managing such groups, and setting them up, is that it requires time and energy > 8 hours a week is my benchmark starting point. 

How could you harness the power of the ‘weather’ that is already around you to benefit your online teaching practice?

The ‘weather’ is bad with poor wifi, low speed computers, poor desktop setups and in general a limited desire to improve things from the grassroots up - instead everything if thought of ‘on high’ and imposed from above. 

Connect with like-minded people by establishing and developing networks.

How to Tweet (what we used to call microblogging)

You'll need to identify the tasks you wish to perform:

  • gathering information on a particular subject:
    make a list of keywords or hashtags that you may wish to search for (hashtags can include phrases and acronyms, but always without spaces, for example #teachingonline, #OpenLearn or #cccotc18.

  • following and learning from experts in a particular subject:
    list the names of the experts you wish to search for.

  • making connections with people in a similar position to yourself: brainstorm how you might find those people – how will you search for them? You may need to combine some keywords or hashtags into a single search, to enable you to filter out information that is related but not precisely what you are looking for.

  • sharing your own work: identify precisely which items you would like to share, list some keywords and hashtags that might describe your work, and practise creating a short microblogging message of the correct length that describes your work succinctly.

There are of course other tasks you may wish to do as well, such as following particular celebrities or information sources unrelated to your work environment.

Twitter 

If you wish to use Twitter, these instructions could help you to maximise the benefits. If you wish to use a different tool, the principles of the instructions will remain valid, but you will need to alter the method and tools to suit your platform.

  1. Create an account (on Twitter, or your preferred microblogging site).

  1. Use your Twitter account to register with Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is a very good way to make sense of the vast amount of information rushing by on Twitter, and helps you to arrange the information you need in easily managed columns.

  1. Use the search function in Tweetdeck to generate new columns relating to your keywords or hashtags of interest, or search for experts and follow them – all tweets from accounts that you follow will appear in your Home column in Tweetdeck, in chronological order.

  1. If you are looking for peers, first find and follow likely individuals – with any luck they will follow you back (it is good Twitter etiquette to follow individuals who follow you). Once you are familiar with one another’s tweets you could then suggest forming a List (a column in your Tweetdeck that gathers together the tweets from your selected individuals, and that others can subscribe to).

  1. If you want to share your own work, learn from how others do it, observe how they use their tweets, how they ask for feedback or for others to retweet them. You need to have built up a good number of followers before sharing your work, so that their retweets will exponentially increase your reach

Think about any networks and communities you already belong to (formal and informal). How do these communities share information? What tools do they use? How could they use other channels or media to improve that flow of information?

How could you increase your connections and reach? How might tools like Twitter, Weibo or other social networking sites help you?

Each of marketing and digital put out a newsletter and what I can only call a flyer - it is not readable. It is content chosen for consumption in a one way fashion and about as readable as the back of a packet of cereal and uses similar design skills. Neither group talks to the other. Elsewhere recognising the difference with digital is that you can change the shape, length and nature of any emailed communication, and change when it goes out, we have learnt to communicate in long or short form, just with text or more magazine style with images … but we do not try to create a magazine or flyer that looks like it would normally been printed out. 

The Western Front Association uses Facebook and Twitter extensively, Instagram a bit more and should open up LinkedIn. It is absolutely the case that by driving traffic to the website and having new contact all the time, we have built our followers considerably and our membership too. All if this task time and skills, not least to listen to the audience before ‘writing’ to them and be prepared to feedback, discuss or debate rather than having communications that are entirely one way,

In education, authentic learning is an instructional approach that allows students to explore, discuss, and meaningfully construct concepts and relationships in contexts that involve real-world problems and projects that are relevant to the learner.

There are four basic types of communities:

  • Helping Communities. provide a forum for community members to help each other with everyday work needs.

  • Best Practice Communities. develop and disseminate best practices, guidelines, and strategies for their members' use.

  • Knowledge Stewarding Communities. ...

  • Innovation Communities.

iYVyGAxyPqHV3gZLvaFjlIrvOkGa5ZoUSgDTZyxIjpJwW385uj7E_XWtjqbKR3tU1A1EOjLsn-LAp1DqFSprgeNVe_8Nwuc6kOh1orGFoc2_r9rleFP4JcaIWNPiScHA28qgh2w8-D9rPhwVQOEnHpLgKK6J7DywcRMlg-IdpXaBWEtuookR4rL0_MbP2yAx8JWE6potuxmSyvJzp2dXFcR8RaCaiWXN0Z79AoTEKbdnYLLLPLWh88XL02HDffW-tP6seD6DyPCQwmX-


REFERENCES

Kozierok, C. (2005) The TCP/IP Guide [Online]. Available at www.tcpipguide.com/free/t_TheAdvantagesBenefitsofNetworking.htm (Accessed 10 Nov 2017).

Wenger-Trayner, E. and Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015) Introduction to communities of practice [Online]. Available at www.wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/ (Accessed 10 Nov 2017).











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90 Minutes teaching online today

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Next week I have FIVE x 90 minute sessions with students. All of this will take somethign I have picked up from Open Learn's 'Taking Your Teaching Online'. I will be seeking to help students augment their slide presentations by adding audio, or making a video or using screencast technology.

Today it was a belate introduction to their new Tutor - me. I used this as an excuse to talk about how we should all try to understand ourselves. The only error was to think the students could see my profile on LinkedIn without signing up to the platform themselves, I should have used the two or three slides which would have introduced this.

As I have a recording I have something to offer for obsercation too.

I was shaking by the last 30 minutes I was so pumped up on adrenaline. A mixed outcome and too many technical hiccoughs, but I survived. 


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Low-Tec Video : And why this is the most important thing I have been told in 2020

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 3 Dec 2020, 06:10

Demonstration of using low-tec video to record a component of a class and share it with students

1) Low barrier technology > flip the classroom

  • Camera on a tripod with a white board

  • One record

  • No need for fancy cameras and editing which will put most off

Demonstratio of using low tec video to record a class

2) Requires a deeper level of thinking

  • Gets to the essence of what you have to say.

  • Brief, treatment, script, know what you want to say.

Demonstration of using low tec video to record a class

3) Utilises the power of note taking 

  • Increase retention of information

  • vs the density of notes on PPT. 

  • Vs printing off and handing notes. 

  • Develops handwriting 

Demonstration of using low tech video to record a class and share.

4) Benefits of Video

  • Eye contact

  • Facial Expressions 

  • Gesturing to keep the student engaged 

  • Teacher 

  • Screen Capture with the teacher in a thumbnail 

Demonstration of using low tech video to record a class and share.

5) Modeling a low barrier creative process

  • Focus on the content not the technology 

  • Beware the overwhelming possibilities it is NOT about the font or colour that matters. 

  • Freedom is lack of choice / keep it simple

REFERENCE : Why use low tech video to flip the class  Part of Week 3 of the Open Learn course : Taking Your Teaching Online.

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The SMAR Model

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020, 18:59


Substitution

Where technology is used as a direct substitute for what you might do already, with no functional change.

Slides, now Peardeck or Prezzi. Same thing.

Augmentation

Where technology is a direct substitute, but there is functional improvement over what you did without the technology.

Link to sites

Add audio 

Embed video

Modification

Where technology allows you to significantly redesign the task.

Web page(s) 

Quiz

Redefinition 

Where technology allows you to do what was previously not possible.


Podcast

Short video

A quiz

A VR interactive tour 

Blog it 


I can work with this from Open Learn's 'Taking Your Teaching Online'. Here if thought it through in terms of students I will be working with to enhance their slide presentations. 

Eight Principles of Effective Online Teaching

A Decade-Long Lessons Learned in Project Management Education By John Cable and Clara Cheung


  1. Encourage student-faculty contact
  2. Encourage collaborative learning
  3. Encourage active learning 
  4. Give prompt feedback
  5. Emphasise time on task
  6. Set and communicate high expectations
  7. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning
  8. Make use of technology 

REF: Love, C. (2015) SAMR: A model without evidence [Online]. Available at https://charlielove.org/?p=10025 (Accessed 9 November 2017).

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Learning Objects

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020, 18:51


I'm finding this Free online course from Open Learn reall handy. I feel under pressure to take a few classes online myself and will do this via Google Meet, but as we are told all the time, and I know - teaching online cannot be the same. The content is so different. Rather than winning over a captive audience with our charms we must hold their attention through lots of activities, good ommunication, doing just a little at a time, taking breaks and getting them to do stuff. 

This is an old concept but it is worth revisiting. 

We understand that it makes sense to deliver education in small chunks with clear learning outcomes. The BBC understood this with BBC Bitesize. 

In "Taking Your Teaching Online' Open Learn shows that a learning object is not a list of ingredients, or a recipe but all of this and  instructions on how to do something. 

A learning object online used only to be text, then we could add graphics. 

The we advanced to adding video, with audio or animation

All of this made even better with  interactivity where a quiz can be added, students can choose learning paths and connect with others. 


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Learning at the speed of need

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020, 04:30


I used this phrase like this some years ago. I should dig it out. It might be in a 2001 blog. It was in a response tgrigger to studying elearning. If not 2001 when I started the MA in Open & Distance Learning, then certainly in the first module of the MA in Open & Distance Education that I began in 2010 and completed in 2013. 

I was then still wedded heart and soul into corporate learning and development. In the mid 1990s I did a lot of video work for Unipart who were developing their logistics capabilities fast and were adopting and adpating Japanese manufacturing methodolies. All I did was take 'just in time', a Japanese approach to car manufacture that was being applied and think of it in terms of learning on the job; it should not be done in the class, but called up instantly as needed.

It can be now. We do have the answer at our fingertips - literally. 

This is easily applied to business. By forever asking, 'what is the problem'? you look for a fix and apply it to the issue. Is that not hypocondria on an industrial scale? Is it helpdul to be forever thinking there is something wrong? Actually it is 'continual improvement' that is meant to be the drive. The desire to be quicker, faster, more effecient - to be better than the competition.

Now I'm getting a nasty taste in my mouth. This is NOT something to apply to education surely? People are not machines; by definition they are the exact opposite. Perhaps this is the point; people need time. And different people need different time in different amounts.

What if everyone could have their own tutor, their own governess? There was a time, not so long ago, when 'homeschooling' was the best choice - at least until you were old enough to be sent away to school. I should compare and contrast the 'life of hard knocks' experienced by Ely Green whose autobiography I am reading and that of Lady Anny Clifford in the 16th century - education was the exception, not the norm. The gulf between those who got an education and those who did not was vast. In the case of royality and nobility it is what set them apart.

There is a growing digital divide, between those able to race ahead because of ready access to the Interent, the right kit, the best wifi and access and even the money to pay for the courses. 

All of the above has been brought on by panic at the prospect of running a 90 minute online Meet for a class of 17 year olds; I remember what I was like age 17 - not quite as bad as the 15 or 16 year old. 

I'm back on this subject 7 years later - is the answer to all problems a question posted to a smart speaker? 

My inspiration, or urgency, is the need to hold the interest of 20 17 year olds in a 90 minute class without telling jokes or taking my clothes off (metaphorically). I feel myself inching towards the advertising 'Creative Brief' to bring a Churchillian one page answer to the task; what is the problem, what is the opportunity? what do I want to say? how do I want them to respond? How will I say it? 

Ref: Learning at the speed of desire (2013) 


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Does it ever stop?

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I'm over at Open Learn clicking through the free course 'Taking Your Teaching Online'. I am spurred on by the need to be taking a class this Friday, and then five next week, entlirely online with a group of 17 and 18 year olds. 

I have run workshops online with adults (staff, colleagues) so this will be different. I must not see the students as 'the enemy' but I must also be forewarned and forarmed. It looks like this course will give me some of the insights and amunition that I need.

Set aside some time to play and familiarise yourself with the tools you expect to use.

Engaging and motivating students online > https://youtu.be/DvJuzE-g7OM

  • They need to see the value … to tie it to assessment. 
  • Have some participation marks involved.
  • Engineer the momentum. Establish some ground rules.
  • Set expectations: say ‘Hi’, a sentence … a couple of sentences.  
  • Engage in ways that they enjoy, not simply that I am used to.
  • Have students sensing your presence there.
  • Not dominating, but the ‘guide on the side’ to help them along.
  • The quieter voice may flower online.
  • Create an online learning community 



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ADHD ? Not a chance

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I've just cracked on through the first week of 'Understanding ADHD' with King's College, London completing it in a little over 2 hours. I think I can conclude from this that I am not ADHD, that I am feeding my curiosity and therefore defeating my greatest bugbear - boredrom, at every turn. That's not to say I don't present with some of the symptoms. That I take on too much. Am impulsive. Sometimes a little paranoid. Misread people's motives and have more of a 'flight' than 'fight' response to circumstances. But was this course ever about me? I think it is about another family member, and recognition that a number of diagnoses disorders run through the extended family. And I will come across it poolside with kids age 6 up and in college with teenagers. 

I only wish we lived in a culture where more was done inside the extended family to accommodate our disorders and differences rather than expecting sociatel conformity. We cannot expect the community or the state to pick it all up. They never had to. If ADHD is a human trait then it has been around for ever. What happend if you were ADHD in the time of the Pharaohs or Romans? You'd not have to worry about being spolit for chocie as a slave. Is ADHD a disorder of easy times? 

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The world of education is changing forever.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020, 17:18

Education coming out of Covid will put 25% to 100% of their content online, whether or not students come in for classes or workshops, the go to place will be digital and online. It can therefore be used as flipped or blended learning and will replace textbooks. In some instances colleges will go down the Open University model and close their estate and put everything online. 

The role of marketing to sell digital to students and staff, or at least the skills of advertising, marketing and PR to get and then hold the attention of users is becoming all the more important. This is not just a case of getting the message out on digital platforms, but getting our wishes in front of students the traditional way too: in posters, displays and with electronic signage - but in a coordinated rather than a fragmented manner. 

Teachers will have to become facilitators and moderators of content created by others. For example, taking Geography in the UK. How many teachers does it take to get 240,000 students through their GCSE in Geography? And how many of these also support the 36,000 students at A'Level? In the physical world I'm guessing 1,300 or so? 

Online Barbara Oakley created 'Learning How To Learn' module on Coursera. 2,649,556 have enrolled on the course. A handful of people created the content, with Barb as presenter, writer and lead producer, a resident expert to offer further weight to the science, some greenscreen presenting and some simple graphics and animations. There has been a 'moderator' role - I have done this on a volunteer basis having taken the course but it is being down played and even discontinued by Coursera. These are designed to be self-paced courses. It's simple and it does the job. Why look elsewhere to 'learn how to learn' ? Who is doing this for other subjects? Well, there the Khan Academy for Math. What about History, or Biology? 

Ok, we cannot have 75% of students dropping out in the first week! This doesn't mean we can't use the very best online content out there, it simply means that the role of teachers should be collectively to make the experience even more engaging without simply recourse to holding the interest of a captive audience in a classroom.

And a module on Coursera is not two years of education delivered over three terms a year. It will take time an investment to create the content. Are the likes of City & Guild Kineo, and Pearson not doing this already? And what about universities that have committed to 100% online, such as the University of Coventry in the UK and Duke University in the States - and not forgetting the Open University (as everyone does) who have been online since 2001.

If teachers are creating their own content from scratch, beginning when they set out as trainees, are they not reinventing the wheel every time? Have their predecessers not produced materials already? Lesson plans to follow? Top notch resources? If not, why not? I see the value and pride of ownership of this work, of reliance on it to deliver in the class. Can one standup comic hand their material to another? Or might I be saying, the comic presenter has his or her team of writers? What if teachers deliver scripts others have written and that we all work to perfect? 

The model and financing will be more like the Open University producing high quality and engaging content. The issue for teachers is if this is seen to undermine their role, their lead role in the class and their pay. The issue for college is paying the licence fee for such content - unless of course it is pre-paid for and offered as a free Open Education Resource. 

I'm hazzarding a guess that if we with with the Bell curve of normal poplatoin distrubution in a cohort of teachers 70% will find a way to treat going digital and getting it online as part of their job, the rest will split into two camps: 15% who would prefer to leave - to take early retirement, the resist the change and technology absolutely - while the other 15% of ‘outliers’ are already ahead of the curve when it comes to creating content. They may even feel the benchmark has been set too low.

There is a need to collaborate with others in order to deliver the class. Teachers should not be expected to achieve the Google Certified, Microsoft Certified or Apple Certified Educator Level I, II or II but rather educators should be supported by a larger team of coders and designers in order to deliver content, but rather they feel supported by someone with the skills: like a director working with an editor to deliver the content. 

There are some who think that the creation of materials should go down the OER path. There are issues with IP over content created by teachers. They want to be paid up front for their time, not put on some option or share deal.

One way or another, things are going to change. It ought to change for the better for the student, where the student who gets behind receives support, while the student who gets ahead is offered an ever greater challenge to feed their curiosity and desire.

REF: Geography in the United Kingdom 2004 Belgeo 

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