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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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Learning in extremis

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 25 Jul 2012, 18:13
My wife went into labour at 2.30am, we'd planned a home birth (this is her second) however our hospital was some 37 miles away and our allocated Midwife was another 20 miles beyond that. SHe spoke to my wife betweenp contractions – she wouldn't make it. Call an ambulance and she'd be over in due course.

"Emergency Home Birth!" my wife exclaimed pointing at a book on pregnancy and childbirth.

Chapter six looked like it needed half an hour to read and the same again to digest; there wasn't time. Thankfully om the facing page of Chapter six the editor had laid out the essentials in clear bullet points – towels, scissors and string are the ones I remember, probably because I required all three, these and the reminder that the umbiliacal cord can get caught around the baby's throat.

And so it was, at around 3.20am, my wife on all fours at the end of the bed, towels in place that our son was born. First his head, the umbiliacal chord wrapped tightly around his throat. I eased this over his chin and around his head, surprised at how thick and tough it was – then one,the both shoulders and he feel into my arms like a muddy rugby ball out of a scrum. My wife rolled around and sitting at the end of the bed she took him into her arms.

A few minutes later the midwife arrived, thought everything was going well and went to run a bath. In due course she showed me how to cut the umbilliacal cord then took my wife to the bathroom.

Learning in extremis? I didn't need a book, or a training video and given this was 1996 I wasn't going to have Google, Quora or YouTube offer some advice.

I've had no further need for these particular parenting skills, though it's been an adventure following two infants through childhood into their early teens.

Learning works best when it is pished, when there is a challenge of time and circumstances, where it can be applied and seen to work.

How do we apply this to formal education, to stuyding for exams through secondary and tertiary education? What is the difference with learning in the workforce, between physical actions on a factory floor, in a mine, power station or warehouse, out on a civil engineering building site or in an office or boardroom?

There need to be exams – from mocks to annual exams and finals.

Essays and regualr assignments are part of this best practice. And how about tests, even the surprise test, not so much for the result, but for the pressure that ought to help fix some learning in our plastic, fickle minds?

In advertising we often spoke of 'testing to destruction' that nothing beats a clear demonstration of the products power, staying power or effectiveness in memorably extreme conditions.

I like the idea of working Against the clock, of competition too, even learning taken place, as I have heard, as someone cycles around Europe, or drives a Russian Jeep from Kazikstan back to Britain.

I believe in the view that 'it'll be alright on the night' – that you can galvanise a group to rally round when needed and those new to this game will pick up a great deal in the process; personally I loved the all nighters we did in our teens breaking one set then building another in the Newcastle Playhouse, some sense of which I repeated professionally on latae night and all night shoots, often in 'extreme' places.


Then there's another kind of learning extreme - pscking it in - QA on 240 links or proofing eight 40 frame PowerPoint e-learning wireframes.

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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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What is a media component?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012, 12:50

'Media Component' is the term, like e-learning, that I believe will supersede most others to define the activities, or 'e-tivities' (not sticking) Salmon (2002) that learning designers put into or developers and builders devise for e-learning modules or courses.

Media components are, if you like, the stepping stones that take a learner from ignorant to informed, with learning objectives the aim, but increasingly with effectiveness through greater engagement as we move away from the chronology of the stepping stone, itself a derivation of turning to the next page towards something more exploratory, game–like, intuative and where appropriate – in context for the learning. Where better to learn about health and safety for the nuclear power industry than in a nuclear power plant, where better learn to apply best practice in a retail bank than in the banking hall.

Twelve years ago these media components were described as Lego building blocks (Downes, 2000), though in practice they are more akin to Lego Technics (Pegler, 2002) - they do something. Coming from a background in linear and non-linear (interactive) video-based corporate training, I am trying to think what terms and expressions we used on the paper storyboard pads on which the interactions were devised?

Perhaps as they were added to linear video sequences and derived from scripts written in this form they were 'interactions' or 'interactivities'.

They were built into the narrative like an action sequence we shot as video.

For a while, as we migrated such content to the Web we called it all 'stuff' as a catch-all for content, whether it did something or not.

(A decade on I am yet to see anything as engaging or rich as the DVDs we produced in the 1990s with broadcast standard drama reconstruction or 3d animations, winners of IVCA Gold for their originality, impact and efffectiveness).

Today we are still producing the web-page derived equivalent of the leaflet or workbook, not least because it has taken broadband speeds and the devices and infrastructure a decade to catch–up.

The greatest shift has been to put the learning in our hands on Smartphones and Tablets and with this the desire for greater game–like tactility.

I wonder if another metaphor might be a sequence in music, a number of bars, a phrase that has a certain effect. This might be another way to design the actions.

An architect works on 2D blueprints to create buildings in three dimensions; composers use a score to lay–out music that surrounds us and touches us, film–makers have scripts and storyboards.

If we use PowerPoint to express a sequence or selection of interactivities, of 'media components' or 'learning activities' no wonder they are linear rather than exploratory.

We need to design onto maps and navigate as our heads do – independently.

DSC00727.JPG
From Lady Anne Clifford's Great Picture 1646

I am drawn to the image of a 17th century triptych, the Great Picture that expresses the life story of Lady Anne Clifford. There is logic to the left and right panels, Lady Anne age 15 and 76 respectively, while the borders, like going around a game–board give ancestors, relatives, and artefacts any of which, in the 21st century could be brought to life with a link at least or an interaction at best, even in Web 2.0 terms the opportunity to share with others synchronously or asynchronously.

I've heard the phrase 'sand-pit' used too, the thought that you do these things in a playful, perhaps even in an incomplete way, measuring effectiveness will be the driver - media components that work or sequences that have a ressonance for a topic or audience will be used again.

This should not however be at the cost of accessibility. Anyone can play in a sandpit, but not everyone can play in an orchestra or all the instruments in it.

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. Wiley imwgined them to be more like atoms (2001). The reality is more mundane, your e-learning module can be like a marathon or the 400m hurdles, with some imagination it can be a triathlon or heptathlon even the modern pentathlon.

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

To this list of qualities I would add a thirteenth: desirable - is it a media component or activity (e-tivity, Salmon 2002) that your colleagues want to use when building the module, let alone something users take to when faced eith it. And then can it be used too often or inappropriately?

And a fourteenth - they should be reusable too, readily combined, reskinned and rebranded like type in a printing press that can be reused, or a component in a game from picking a card, rolling the dice or answering a question correctly. Is this media component transportable?

In an e-learning module these are multichoice, complete a phrase, connect or put into order.

And a fifteenth – and surely at the top of the list: effective.

Which probably means a sixteenth – measurable, or accountable. We want to know how it behaves and derive meaningful anslytics from it.

Even a seventeenth – fashionsble, or at least of the age, suited to the user group, appropriate for the identified personas doing the learning.

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.

Salmon, G (2002) E-tivities

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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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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Creative Technique: Working with Dreams and/or Keeping a Dream Diary

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012, 07:56

This from B822 Creativity, Innovation and Change which ended in April.

Several reasons why as a technique it is out of the reach if most of us and impractical as a management tool.

a) What good is it 'dreaming up' something at random.

b) That has nothing to do with the course.

I found myself giving a presentation to an eager group in a crowded boardroom. I don't know why.

'and Jonathan is going to give you the criteria'.

And up I step, in a two piece suit with the manner of Montgomery addressing the troops - effusive, informed, consided and persuasive.

It went something like this:

"We human are blessed with an innate ability to float in water, though not necessarily fully clothed, or carrying a backpack and rifle."

Laughter.

"We should encourage swimming for a number of reasons: for the love of it, as a life skill, as a competitive sport and for fitness'.

At which point I am full conscious, which from a dream state meant 'I lost it'.

Why this dream?

I am reading a good deal on the First World War and I am swimming four or more times a week again after a long, slow easing back into the sport over the lt five months. I even got papers through yesterday which I only opened late in the evening before going to bed to say that I had passed the ASA Level 3 module on Sports Psychology (which makes 10// modules down on that 'Front'.

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Parents

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012, 14:14

Who said your perspective on life changes when your parents are no longer alive?

It makes life feel terribly short.

You reflect on the life of the person who has just passed away (or is on that path)

Twice last year I create a 'Book of Condolences' for colleagues which in the immediate week and then for a few months gather some 100 or 70+ comments respectively.

As someone said, 'funerals are for the living'.

Sorry to sound downbeat, but I do wonder 'what is the point?' Short of completing the animalistic duty of reproduction. Growing old can be enjoyed with marriages, births and memorable anniversary but there comes a point when even the grandchildren are forging lives of their own and the generations forget that the oldest generation is still with us.

Especially if you are part of what I call the 'splat generation', those kids who went away to university (when the government and local authority was paying for it) and don't go back.

On reflection I'd have liked to have bound our extended family more closely, that having us in the same town/region or community would have benefited everyone, not least from the love, encouragement and 'life-lessons' we pick up from each other's behaviours (mistakes especially).

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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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Research a subject until the narrative reveals itself or Read in a subject ubtil you can hear the people speak (history)

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Both apply, but why tell the former to A'level Oxbridge students? And neither is likely to work particularly well until you are into postgraduate studying even at PhD level surely? That or give it ten years. Nor do any of us have the time or inclination if the goal is to complete a module or gain a qualification. In both cases, the first was said on the radio six months ago or so while the second, quoted by Bill Clinton in his autobiography, is said in a general introduction to history by EHCarr (I think, do correct me if you know better as my best efforts struggle to find where it is written down).
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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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Characterising effective elearning resources

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

Characterising effective elearning resources

Littlejohn, Falconer, Mcgill (2008)

Pressented in August 2006, accepted in July 2006 and published in August 2007 or 2008?

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.

Conceptualization: source information. construction: repurpose anduse 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 (mashup) (Which I would call adaptive productive: (which Littlejohnet al called prodcutive 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


reject Lego metaphor of learning blocks

chemist combining chemicals to form atoms (Wiley)

1 easily sourced 2 durable 3 maintained 4 accessible 5 free from legal limitations 6 quality assured 7 appropriate cost 8 resizeable 9 easily repurposed 10 meaningful 11 engages the learner 12 Intelligible

Towards dynamic resources constructivist and ownership. their use in context is key

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Business e-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Jul 2012, 05:00
The Gap between theories, tools and readily available learning tools to 'afford particular learning advantages'. Conole (2007)

It has taken over a decade from the early migration of interactive learning content from DVD to the web to the current 'every day' practice of creating e-learning of all types - modules, programmes, courses, qualifications and so on that are as commonplace to business as the annual audit - is e-learning bread and butter to business like accounting and legal advice, or is it the jam (or Marmite) that complements?

The 'learning advantages' Conole spoke of in 2007 are the business advantages of 2012 - everyday induction (or 'on boarding' as it is called in North America), talent management, product knowledge, skills development, management training, health and safety - you name it. What two decades ago was a linear video, or an not so linear though perfectly valid leaflet, or workbook, with or without a facilitator, is now largely self-regulated e-learning, carefully monitored, with a blended component (a tutorial in tertiary education is a workshop in business)

Littlejohn et al (2008) gave names to some of the emerging tools that are six years on, common place APPS, or software plug-ins that are easily built into a course:
  • 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.
For the rest of the week I am going to be looking out for everyday examples of the above in business applications. If you can offer some examples please do.
REFERENCE
Conole, G.  (2007) 'Describing learning activities and tools and resources to guide practice'. In H Beetham and R Sharpe (eds) Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing and delivering e–Learning (2007) Littlejohn, A., Falconer,I., Mcgill,L.  (2008) Characterising effective eLearning resources
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Nine types of learning, starting with: indulgent, aspirational, applied and compulsory.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 05:13

 

Indulgent Learning

 

There are all kinds of words for this and I'd like to find one that is non-commital. The OU calls it 'recreational learning' for those doing it, what, 'for a bit of a laugh', and if as an indulgence, so what - it's their money. There are many shades of 'indulgence' which has to include at one end of the spectrum 'inspired' - the person who learns with such passion and obsession that it may appear to some as indulgent but because the person is motivated serendipty may take this indulgence into a career (or at least a life-style). In any case, what's wrong with learning? Surely watching TV passively is more indulgent, or learning to become an expert at a game?

Aspirational Learning

Here the person aspires to be (dangerous), or to do (better) something and requires (professions) or understands it would be useful to have and to demonstrate a skill or knowledge. The motivation may be extrinsic, but he desire to get on, to secure work you feel informed about or even enjoy is a healthy aspiration.

Applied Learning

Perhaps this follows on from these first two - if you turn professional or get them job then further learning on the subject that is your work has the benefit of being applied, it develops your confidence, raises your skills, allows you to take on new challenges.

Compulsory Learning

Not necessarily the worst form, I have to look at elements of military training in time of war or conflict and whether compulsory or not they serve a practical purpose - kill or be killed (or in current parlance, 'keep the peace'). For a student at school to feel the subject they are studying is compulsory the motivation is slight, no love for it, that intrinsic fire has been put out. The extrinsic motivation - the cane or class prize may work for some.

I only came up with a set of descriptors of my own as I read 'Preparing for blended learning' Pegler (2009) for the third time in a wholy different setting than when I read it first as a returning student of e-learning two years ago unsure if I'd find my way into an e-learning role, a year ago when I found myself at the hub of distance and e-learning, The OU, (though not in an e-learning role) and now two and half years on, where I started this journey over a decade ago - in Brighton in one of the many leading, international e-learning companies where modules are created for multinationals, blue chips, Fortune 100, FTSE 100 and Governmente Departments.

I feel like a child who has spent years learning a foreign language and this week went to a country where the language is the mother tongue (I'm getting this from a daughter who has done three years of Spanish and finally made it to Madrid last week and overnight wants to make it an A' Level choice). I know the language of e-learning. I can, understandably, 'talk the talk.

Now I get to see how to do it effectively, winning the trust of clients, collaborating with an array of skilled colleagues to take an idea, or problem or objective, and create something that works and can be scrutinised in a way that is rarely done at academic levels for effectiveness - a pass isn't good enough, for some 'modules' 100% compliance is required. Do you want people running nuclear power stations, our trains ... or banks (ahem) to get it wrong?

Turning back to the books then I am going to spend the rest of the week looking out for some of the following. I imagine the practised learning designers have the outcomes in the back of their mind rather than the descriptors given here. Across the projects I am working on I want to see how many of the following I can spot. And like learning a language (I eventually cracked French and recall this phenonmenon) the fog will slowly clear and it will come fluently.

Laurillard's Conversational Model (2001).

1. Assimilative: mapping, Brainstorming, Buzzwords, Crosswords, Defining, Mind maps, Web search Adaptive. Process narrative information (reading books, e–books, attending talks, lectures and classroom teaching, watching a video or TV, including YouTube listening to the radio or a podcast). Then manage this information by taking notes (which may be blogged or managed in an e–portfolio or any old-fashioned exercise book or arch–level file).

2. Adaptive: Modelling. Where the learning environment changes based in the learner's actions, such as simulations or computer games.

3. Communicative: reasoning, Arguing, Coaching, Debate, Discussion, Fishbowl, lce-breaker, Interview, Negotiation, On-the-spot questioning, Pair dialogues, Panel discussion, Peer exchange, Performance, Question and answer, Rounds, Scaffolding, Socratic instruction, Short answer, Snowball, Structured debate, discussion, ice–breaker, debate face–to–face or online (and therefore synchronous and asynchronous)

4. Productive: Assignment, Book report, Dissertation/thesis, Drill and practice, Essay, Exercise, Journaling, Presentation, Literature review, Multi-choice questions, Puzzles, Portfolio, Product, Report/paper, Test, Voting, creating something, from an essay to a blog, a written paper in an exam and sundry diagrams, drawings, video, sculptures. Whatever is produced as an outcome from the learning activity? (Increasingly created online to share on a platform: blog, audio podcast, animation, photo gallery, video and any combination or 'mash–up' of these).

5. Experiential: study, Experiment, Field trip, Game, Role play, Scavenger hunt, Simulation, interactive problem solving from a field trip to a role–play. Creative Problem Solving techniques might include Heroes, Human Sculpture, and Time Line).

REFERENCE

Pegler, C (2009). Preparing for Blended e-Learning (Connecting with E-learning) (Kindle Locations 2442-2444). Taylor & Francis. Kindle Edition.

Conole, G (2007) ‘Describing learning activities and tools and resources to guide practice’, in H. Beetham and R. Sharpe (eds) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and Delivering e-Learning, London: Routledge, (reformatted)

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Making money from blogging

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Though there is nothing to do here on external sites you can add things like AdSense. In 13 years of blogging I've never done this, and sometimes paid a modest fee to stops.

This afternoon my son put AdSense on his Tumblr account, as he is 14 this has to be registered in my name. His teen fashion aggregation thingey clearly has an appeal: he's already made £9.83. His motivation to code, to follow the analytics, to dream up ways to promote his blog and to select images and make fashion choices is compelling to witness.

Vicarious learning? On the fly? Collaboratively? Touch-typing. Online Marketing. Social Marketing.

Wit and youth appear to do the trick.

Meanwhile a game I played scribing content for an old blog and pandering to thes viewing figures may find its reincarnation.

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E-book, paperback or hardback?

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PDF file printed out or not? Notes taken directly on an ipad or long hand? I am tempted to buy e-books I already have in hard copy to give me a more flexible snd versatile way to read, highlight, store, order and share notes. Currently goving 'Rethinking pedagogy in a digial age' Rhona Sharp a second look, also 'E-tivities ' from Gilly Salmon and 'Preparing for blended e-learning' Chris Pegler. And refreshing myself on e-learning for disabled people by reviewing the many H810 student blogs.
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New blog post

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 20:02

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I read this last in 2001; I was on the Masters in Open & Distance Learning (as it was then called).

Whilst there are hints at e-learning the closest this gets to interactive learning is the video-disc and the potential for CD-Rom. Actually, there was by then a developed and successful corporate training DVD business. In 2001 the OU sent out a box of resources at the start of the course. 16 books and a pack of floppy discs I recall to loud 'ListServe' or some such early online collaboration tool.

 

The nature of evaluation


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Evaluation Stages

  • Identify an area of concern
  • Decide whether to proceed
  • Investigate identified issues
  • Analyse findings
  • Interpret findings
  • Disseminate findings and recommendations
  • Review the response to the findings and recommendations.
  • Implement agreed actions.

There's an approach to everything. When it comes to evaluation it helps to be systematic. At what point does your approach to evaluation becoming overly complex though? Once again, think of the time and effort, the resources and cost, the skill of the person undertaking the evaluation and so on. Coming from a TV background my old producer used the expression 'pay peanuts and you get monkeys': skill and experience has a price. Evaluation or assessment, of the course and of the student (in the UK), of the student in the US.

Improvement as a result of evaluation (Kogan 1989):

The idea of summative versus formative evaluation i.e. the value of the course to achieve a task vs. aspects of the course that can be addressed and revised.

Anthropological vs. 'agricultural-botanical'.

Illuminate evaluation. People are not plants. An anthropological approach is required: Observe, interview, analyse, the rationale and evolution of the programme, its operations achievements and difficulties within the 'learning milieu'. Partlett & Hamilton (1972)

CIPP (Stufflebeam et al 1971) evaluation by:

  1. Context
  2. Input
  3. Process
  4. Product

CONTEXT: Descriptive data, objectives, intended outcomes (learning objectives)

INPUT: Strategy

PROCESS: Implementation

PRODUCT: Summative evaluation (measured success or otherwise)

UTILIZATION: None, passive and active.

CONCLUSION

 

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There are other ways to quote from this chapter:

  • Handwritten and transcribed
  • Reference to the page but this isn't an e-Book.
  • Read out loud and transcribed for me using an iPad or iPhone
  • A photo as above.

Does the ease at which we can clip and share diminish the learning experience? Where lies the value of taking notes from a teacher and carefully copying up any diagrams they do? These notes the basis for homework (an essay or test, with an end of term, end of year then end of module exam as the final test?)

GLOSSARY

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REFERENCE

Daniel, J (1989) 'The worlds of open learning', in: Pained, N (ed) open Learning in Transition, London. Kogan Page.

Partlett, M and Hamilton, D (1981) 'Evaluation as illumination: a new approach to the study of innovatory programmes. Originally published as a paper 1972 for University of Edinburgh Centre for Research in the Educational Sciences. in: Partlet, M and Dearden, G (eds), Introduction to Illuminative Evaluation: Studies in Higher Education, SRHE, University of Surrey, Guilford.

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This is the tea party of blog platforms, the Wild West is long gone.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 08:38

Going for 250,000 views before graduation. At 1000 views a week and my final module coming up why not. But why? It is'nt a qualitative thing. And I'm never about to post completed assignments. I am, as we alll become online, very aware of the context. This is no different to what we do anywhere, we behave accordingly. 12 years ago online was the Wild West.

 

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Ouch. Learning just dropped the 'E' on my foot,

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 27 Jun 2012, 19:30

It can't be 'E-learning' and never would have been for long.

No more e-tivities, or e-moderators.

Come on.

Are you a parent with kids coming through secondary education?

The idea of 'E-learning' is a gimmick.

It is and can only be 'Learning'.

There is continuity with all the great educators of the last few hundred years. They have NOT been replaced by technology.

Last month Lewes Old Grammar School celebrated its 500th.

Next year Ballliol College, Oxford celebrates its 750th.

Can we go back further still?

Greece. Even earlier universities in Bologna.

Not that we humans have'nt had a desire to learn forever. This is ours purpose. We learn and move on.

Where was the 'E' in any of the learning that we human folk have busiesd oursleves with over the last 1000 years?

The VERY BEST record of I see and witness, relate to and understand is the Bayeux Tapestry, with re-enactments of the Battle of Hastings every October down here in Sussex.

However warped this history might have been.

E-learning as in 'embroidery' learning?

It is and has been a passing phase, a passing term of this decade, a decade I started uploading interavtive DVD content to the web in 1998.

When we called it i-learning, even 'web based learning'.

In any case, how we learn and what we learn and what we do with it has so much more to do with who we are and the context.

What education needs are inspirational educators

Who are they?

Parents with the time to care

Grandparents who relocate rather than expecting kids to come to them.

Siblings and cousins who stay around

A sense of community

Have I said anything about school yet?

People.

The teacher. The quality and meaning for this person to be an educator. If the motivation is convenience, desperation or fell into it then THEY ARE NOT suitable.

All of us can celebrate great teachers and tutors. We should spot the wasters and have them demoted and removed.

 

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Distance Learning 80 years ago

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012, 17:55

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I am reading a 52 piece part work 'World War' edited by Sir John Hammerton and published between 1936 and 1937 with occasional contributions from H G Wells, this alongside various staple and new reads on World War One.

As a piece of learning design what could be simpler? A magazine delivered each week, chapters deliberately left unfinished between parts, photos offering points of interest explained and developed in later issues.

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Perspectives shift of course, just as they had a view on the Napoleonic Wars. However, in many cases 1914 was not dissimilar to a battle of 1814, or 1870.

'Read in a period until you hear its people speak' E H Carr.

I play this trick of falling asleep with an event in mind and courtesy of the painkillers I am currently taking I enter a vivid dream world much of which I can recall.

The problem with WW1 is the clammer of voices, not just what you can read, but the voices you can listen to on DVD or podcasts, indeed I have several hours of my own grandfather in a County Durham accent that those not familiar with the North East would call Geordie and find, at times, incomprehensible.

How does an historian deal with history when the record is everything? Had a soldier gone into battle in 1914 with a video headset what would we do today with years of material? My grandfather, for example, had no leave from the day he left England in early 1916 to his transfer to the Royal Flying Corps at the very end of 1917.

Would the reality be a huge amount of sitting around dealing with the boredom, discomfort and fear?

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This is a map I drew with my grandfather in his 97th year. This and his visit to the trenches the previous year would allow me to retrace his steps, almost by the day between September and end of December 1917.

But why?

A researcher from UCL quizzed me on this some years ago and I had to conclude that for me it was less an obsession with WW1, but rather reminding me of a dearly loved grandparent. I can't see drawing up maps of my grandmother's trips into Newcastle on the tram having the same appeal (or historical record or value).

Gradually online I am connecting with grandchildren of veterans and others interested in WW1 so that there is a component of 'Social Learn' between blogs and Facebook. All the books I read I share on Twitter, which may help promote the book, but is also attracting many like-minds.

At what point do I become so well informed that I could sit an exam without sitting for the qualification?

Can I short-circuit the steps to an MA in History? There are two parts to the degree, but it is the second part, the ellective, that takes me into WW1 territory.

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Studying e-learning but sometimes the old ways are best!

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012, 14:59

DSC03517.JPG E-learning can never be replacement learning, rather it is a tool, a support, a method, an approach that enhances distance learning and complements 'learning'. It has its own vibrancy and currency, with a universe of information and even free 'Open' courses at your finger tips ... and is increasingly mobile.

Imagine taking a slate away from a Victorian child and handing them an iPad.

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It would take them no time to figure out what it is about. Increasingly, though my background isn't 'traditional education' I find myself turning to simple skills of involvement and engagement, such as this excuse last month as Lewes and Lewes Old Grammar School celebrate 500 years of teaching with a march through the streets of Lewes and a party in the Paddock (our park).

The Queen had her 60th on the River Thames, we have the 10th of the First World War to think about and an Oxford College has its 750th to mark next year. Keep it simple, dress up, create some banners or the odd float, and march to a band.

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