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Showing posts from November, 2013

What questions can teachers ask themselves when developing curriculum?

The other day I was part of a team delivering a workshop on learning outcome development. The information presented (AQF standards, Blooms taxonomy, etc) was valuable however I wondered what questions we could ask that would make people think about their current attitudes and practices regarding intended learning outcomes, in a way that would document and make transparent the attitudes and practices people had regarding intended learning outcomes. Using this information we can hold more targeted and meaningful discussion, starting with peoples current understandings and perceptions. I brainstormed a number of questions designed to target and elicit participants deep conceptions of ILO's, and wrote two of them on the wall for people to respond to. I encouraged people to come up and write their thoughts for others to see. Later on I had people tell me that the activity really helped them to see Intended Learning Outcomes differently thanks to what other people had written, this was

A guide for practitioners: Learners’ expectations of e-learning

Useful snippet from my colleague, Lynn Berry: You may be interested in this guide from #JISC – it is fairly straightforward but could be useful for unit convenors. There are a series of guides and according to the JISC site: “The series of guides offer recommendations on how institutions can better respond to learners’ expectations and uses of technology and offers practical guidance on how to embed the learners’ voice more effectively into institutional processes and practice.”  

Blockly: A visual programming editor

Just came across this after watching the Google in Education video- #blockly. It's a visual programming language - fully web based (using javascript) and based on constructivist theories. No download required to use it! "Blockly is a web-based, graphical programming editor. Users can drag blocks together to build an application. No typing required."  Find it here: Find out more in this video with Ellen Spurtus:

Open University: Innovating Pedagogy 2013 report.

This email was shared by my colleague James Meek: "This week's offering is from the Open University:  "Innovating Pedagogy 2013".  Seems it's been out for a month or so... but I've only just tripped over it.  I'm thinking it could be useful to refer others to for sake of simpler sharing of some bigger ideas. It's is a 42 page report from a series that...   <snip> " ...explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation.   This second report updates proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education." <unsnip> Contents: MOOCs - Massive open online courses Badges to accredit learning - Open framework for gaining recognition of skills and achievements Learning analytics - Data-driven analysis of learning activities and environments Seamless learning - Connecting

How to increase your website ranking in Google search results - and the important of social media

I came across this interesting site on ways to increase your website search rankings. Google is using social media presence is to determine the popularity of your site - the more popular the higher the search ranking will be. Read on to find out how all this works. 6 Reasons Social Media Is Critical To Your SEO (SEO: Search Engine Optimisation) Update: Also see Googles own guide at - Updated tip: Post briefly about how to increase search rankings. (joke)

The Cloud and Mahara

These days there are any number of cloud services aiming to provide storage, as well as let users create a variety of digital content. Since 2011 I have managed the implementation of Mahara at my university. My colleague, Dr Alan Arnold, and I realised that we should leverage this cloud storage in a way that would help keep internal Mahara quotas low. This led to UC commissioning Catalyst IT to make it easier for Mahara users to embed content from the cloud - this functionality arrived in mahara 1.5 and 1.6. As a consequence of this functionality it is now also easier for Mahara sites to enable the embedding of content any number of cloud services. For students this means they are free to leverage the mediums and tools that suit their content creation needs and then, if the service provides embed code, embed that content into a Mahara portfolio. But why would you want to do that? The answer may lie in portfolio practice itself. The artefacts that people create in the cloud can be bro

Detecting, or better minimising, plagiarism using ePortfolios

The ongoing and transparent nature of ePortfolio practice may offer part of the solution to detecting plagiarism. For instance, rather than having access to just the product of student performance, i.e. the assessment item, a portfolio of student work could be required to show the process they went through to create the product. An Ascilite paper talks in depth about "Using portfolios to combat plagiarism" Please post back your reactions to this paper.