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Showing posts from March, 2013

Quarter 1 2013 ePortfolio hapennings

For a  January  update see here: February 2013: Supported Cathy Hope in Arts and Design (Communications unit) to plan e-portfolio implementation and create video tutorials of how to create journals in Mahara, how to create pages, how to add journals to pages. Supported Ryan and Kym in Education (Teaching Discipline) in creating video tutorials for Mahara journaling and portfolio page creation as the e-portfolio implementation goes course wide. All first year students begin their portfolio from Semester 1 starting this year, they begin by making their own copy of the course long template. Completed some overdue system administration work for Adam from Education - establishing a separate Mahara institution so he can manage the students rather than sending me the account keeping tasks. We also applied the Primary theme to make the interface more fun for students and the teachers. Met with Sarah

Mashing SBL with e-Portfolios

Kristina Hollis has a great post talking about PBL with Moodle and Mahara . Kristina links to an awesome video from Common Craft that explains the value and process of Project Based Learning approach. At UC I am excited to be working on further SBL developments with Sarah Ailwood and her colleagues in Business, Government & Law. The other day I was talking to a colleague about SBLi, who thought the software was a bit limiting in terms of putting students into an authentic scenario, and that students would be likely to click through to the end. Evidence gathered from evaluations of Sarah's cohort revealed that while there were some students who wanted to meet real people rather than characters in the scenario, on the whole students achieved the learning outcomes that the scenario was designed to help them achieve. My colleagues comments prompted me to think however, how we could meld the virtual scenario and the real world so that the concerns of the student (wanting real


Attending various presentations today at the Inspire Building. Nick Klomp giving the Welcome and SAFFIRE Announcement ( What is SAFFIRE? ): During the festival I met Professor Patrick XW Zou, unit convener of a PG level Risk Management unit. Today we sat down to talk about assessment options for his unit, after chatting for 30 minutes about his unit we spent a further 30 minutes mapping his curriculum in order to make better decisions as to what improvements could be made. Below is a map (one of many possible ways to represent his design and doesn't include everything) that we used to map out his current design. This diagram represents some core elements such as outcomes, content, strategies, assessment and alignment thereof. It allowed Patrick to pull apart his curriculum into components, to help see where improvements or changes could be made to improve the experience for students, and achieve certain goals such as increasing the linkages of content and activities t

UC Mahara Stats - March 2013

Start of Semester 1 2013 has resulted in quite a boost to the number of pages since February. The increases are primarily course/unit driven (The UCPortfolio service is not advertised to students as being generally available, and most of the use is assessment and professional practice development driven). This is evidenced by the jump of ~10,000 pages since semester began, compared to the flat-line growth over the end of year/Summer/Christmas break. The ~10,000 increase in the number of pages is also an indicator of the increased numbers of unit/course now implementing e-Portfolio practice. The range of disciplines now includes: Cross Media Production (e-Portfolio practice based in cloud platforms) Marketing and Communication Counselling (Winter 2013) Teacher Education Food Science and Nutrition Midwifery (MS Skydrive) Sports Biomechanics and Strength & Conditioning (Planned - using Mahara) Nursing (Planned - using Mahara) Occupational Therapy Pharmacy Sports

SBLi & Scenario Based Learning

One of my other interests in online pedagogy (and pedagogy in general) is scenario based learning. Part of the Problem Based Learning family. As with e-Portfolio practice, SBL can be used to help students prepare for professional life (Errington, 2010). At the University of Canberra Invasive Animals CRC has been using SBLi to create scenarios that highlight the complexities associated with attaining effective pest management, and how easy it is to implement solutions that lead to other problems. Some of these scenarios can be found here: The Law faculty, through Sarah Ailwood, also has been piloting Scenario Based Learning since 2009. The Teaching and Learning Centre (through myself and Arshad Hussanee) have worked closely with Sarah one earlier scenarios providing technical support, scenario design support, evaluation support, and also collaborated with her to disseminate the design and impact of the strategy. If

Some ideas for improving forums - well Moodle 2.1 forum anyway

As a learner in a research methods unit that is delivered part face-to-face and part online via content and forums, my experience of the Forum in Moodle 2.1 has left me thinking how it could be improved. What would I like to experience or be able to do/know but cannot, given the current design of the tool. In this short post I would like to list the things I as a learner (to be more specific, a social learner) would like to see. Here is a screenshot of a typical Moodle forum: Problem No.1: I could stare at this screen for a whole day and it would never change - the system is not telling me if anything in the forum is changing. Why should I have to click refresh? Do any modern systems require me to click refresh to see updates??? Isn't this kind of dynamic/"intelligent" system behavior what students now expect? (refresh? what?) Problem No.2: I feel quite isolated and alone - I cannot see people coming or going - who is in the forum with me, if anyone? This is lik