OU blog

Personal Blogs

Kim Aling


Visible to anyone in the world

I've signed up to do this MOOC on Technology Enhanced Learning.  Firstly to see what it's like to do one of these course and secondly to get involved in the discussions with like-minded people and share experiences.

My first impression was the shear number of emails of introductions from what could be 1000 participants.  I quickly switched to digest view so it is more manageable.  Secondly, I checked out the LOs and activities for this week.  It is not unlike some of the MAODE modules I have done, though without the tutor group.  I signed up to a couple of small groups in my areas of interest which will hopefully replicate the tutor group feel. 

Anyway the first activity is to think about the big question in TEL.

The biggest question is in what ways does technology enhance learning?  Does it improve understanding of a subject? Does it make learning more authentic?  Does it improve motivation?  Does it make learning more interesting?

I’ve worked for the OU as a tutor for 12 years now and used several different technologies to help learners, from telephones when I first started to plethora of online tools developed over the past 5 years including forums, blogs, online tutorials, Google apps, Moodle, email, Twitter, internet and still not forgetting the telephone.  I would argue that it has changed the way OU students learn and made them less isolated.  The old image of an OU student alone with his/her books in the attic is shifting to a more social form.  This does actually pose some problems as some students still wish to study in this way and eschew contact with their peers.  Technology has made it easier to support students and quicker to help them when they have problems.  Electronic submission of assignments means richer feedback and faster feedback. Technology has also made sharing resources easier now that students can post links to items of news to discuss with others.  For those that want to get involved, learning is a richer experience.

More lately TEL has come to FE.  In what ways has it enhanced learning?  This is trickier as it has had to be integrated into a traditional system of f2f teaching and, arguably, a more teacher-centred system. However, the students themselves have involved technology with the use of computers and the internet and computer use at FE is ubiquitous now.  There are pockets of innovation where teachers are involving their students in forum discussions and encouraging reflection through blogging.  Teachers are gradually making more use of the VLE so that students can access materials and learn outside of the classroom.  However, use of technology is developing slower here, though I know some FE colleges are much further advanced.

I think both experiences have demonstrated that it is both the attitude of the institution and the students as to how far technology is used in teaching and learning and how far it is then able to enhance learning.  I would be interested to hear others thoughts and experiences. 


Share post