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Showing posts from July, 2012

Pedagogical foundations for portfolio use in Nursing and Midwifery

Holly Northam and I met this afternoon to discuss a range of technologies that could possibly be used in her Critical Care Nursing unit. The mind map we generated highlights the pedagogical challenges and learning needs of her students and how we saw technology playing a role in addressing these.

Authentic, evidence based assessment for teacher students

With New Standards, Going Beyond Paper and Pencil to License Teachers - " New York and up to 25 other states are moving toward changing the way they grant licenses to teachers, de-emphasizing tests and written essays in favor of a more demanding approach that requires aspiring teachers to prove themselves through lesson plans, homework assignments and videotaped instruction sessions."

Idea: Mahara like social connections for staff using Moodle

My colleague recently raised the point that teaching staff would like to know what their faculty colleagues were doing in their Moodle sites. I too have often come across the desire by staff to share practice - in and out of Moodle. With regard to opening sites the trick is how to make the sites open for viewing without opening all sites, adding staff to all sites, etc - i.e. system based approaches. We need an approach that is tailored to the needs of individual staff and facilitates or strengthen local or personal connections. It would therefore be more appropriate and effective to enable staff to choose who they connect and share with. For example a corridor conversation takes place and staff decide they wish to share each others Moodle sites/practices etc. Moodle should make this easy to do and enable a persistent connection between these people and their units. There is a lot of talk about social networks and their use by students, but there needs to be a way to make it easy for

UC's Unit Outline Block features

Features of UC's Unit Outline Block in Moodle: In 2009 I managed a project to implement a university wide unit outline repository. The unit outline block in Moodle has continued to evolve, so I thought it would be worth documenting the features for when we re-implement the block using a database instead of an object repository. Business Process Awareness: Built in messages targeted to staff and students communicate unit outline business processes. The messages are dynamic, for example if an outline is not in the repository students are advised to contact their lecturer, and lecturers are informed about who to send their outline to for uploading. Network Communication Timeout: 45 Second network timeout so that in case of a fault with the network or Equella the block doesn't wait forever and stop loading the rest of the site. This only matters when the SOAP request doesn't get a response at all, e.g. when Equella is hung, or a network fault results in the request being l

Student portfolios and teaching teams

I'm sharing some meeting notes I made at a recent program meeting. The staff pioneering the use of portfolios in the program revealed to me how portfolios could very much strengthen a teaching team and link staff in unexpected ways. The staff in the Faculty of Education have demonstrated to me how portfolios allow them to see student work from units other than their own. Shared portfolios add a level of transparency to student work not possible in situations where the audience for student work, especially that which intended for summative assessment, is limited to the teacher and tutors of the unit. Shared portfolios, even when used summatively, can easily enable ongoing development and feedback from the whole teaching team and also peers, or even the public. The student portfolios act as a unique catalyst for staff to connect with each other in the context of their discipline, student work, teaching and learning, and/or research.

"Straight text ain't good enough no more" In the article I found a "What to worry about" that for me is something to be happy about. It confirms my feelings that communicating in the digital space offers a very low barrier, as compared with the print medium, to using multiple modalities in all different kinds of communication from word processed document to digital portfolios. I wrote a reflection for my Masters course recently and had no problem inserting a digital photo of a concept map a group of us had drawn on paper. My reflection drew on the content, and augmented my textual reflection on the unit rather well. The image also added visual interest to an otherwise dull 100% text document. "9. There’s a Movie in Your Document What To Like: In-line multimedia in various Office 365 apps puts videos and images right inside the app. What Not To Like:  Waiting for that stuff to download

Today's discovery: Rec:all

"REC:all is a transnational learning technology project that aims to research how lectures are currently being captured and used; to suggest learning designs for flexible and off-campus delivery; to review technical, pedagogical and legal issues and to produce practical guidelines to help teachers."

Dr Helen Barret on Portfolios and Social Networking at TEDxASB

One of the biggest names in the portfolio research and practice space, Dr Helen Barrett:

Portfolio approaches for Graduate Research Students

I wanted to document some of the words and concepts mentioned during a recent conversation with the Director (Prof Deborah Blackman) and Convener (Dr Joelle Vandermensbrugghe) of the Graduate Research Office. GRO are looking at using digital portfolio approaches with GR students. I didn't take detailed notes during the conversation but is was very productive in terms of broadening what "portfolio" could mean in their context - i.e. beyond a conversation about Mahara, cloud platform X, etc. When I got back to TLC I was able to communicate the key points and my colleagues and I concluded the most effective way more permanently capture the conversation was to use a word cloud: What this list reveals to me is how very complex and interrelated the set of needs, possibilities and technologies relevant to portfolio thinking can be. These themes and ideas emerge when exploring the use of portfolios when the discussion encompasses program goals, student needs and emerging