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Reflections: MoodlePosium 2014 #mpos14 #moodle & #elearning forum

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Monday 3rd

Keynote on "Personalised Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age" by Professor Mike Keppell

Professor Mike Keppel gave an excellent well rounded overview of current and emerging concepts and practices that relate to and underpin this topic. Find his slides at +Mike Keppell

USQ's Personalised Learning Toolkit includes the following elements:

"Lecturing into the abyss - tips for connecting with the invisible student audience" by Amanda Burrell

Another topic I was interested in was learning how to connect with an audience via recorded lecturers where the is no audience - e.g. recording a short talking head video (or even a narrated screencast) in an office. I've created a number of narrated screen cast howto videos as well as some talking head introductions. I found the narrated howto videos (for Mahara) especially challenging to create, now I know one tip to make it easier is to make them standing up.

Some tips I gained were:
  • stand up when talking - voice is carried on breath and it's hard to breath effectively when sitting down. So to improve your voice when recording stand rather than sit.
  • exercises - use breathing exercises to make sure you are using your diaphragm to inflate your lungs rather than your chest muscles, and try to achieve a "neutral stance" (not slouched, not too rigid).
Recording of a stand up presentation

Some references that support Amanda's work for further reading (some words are obscured by the reflection but can be roughly deduced):

UNSW "Systems Engineering Mooc's" by Dr Michael Ryan

Some take home points for me were:

  • Stats report an exponential drop off in the number of students during the life of the unit which is common to Mooc's
  • A belief that many people enrolled, downloaded everything, and left. (My thoughts: Perhaps "conditional release" or "levelling where achievements unlock next level content" would help get around this by restricting content access to those who are engaged?)
  • Coursera seems suited to one instructor for large numbers of students (one-to-many) but not designed for many instructors for many students (many-to-many).
  • Forums: scanning efficiency for teachers needs improving.
  • Quizzes require manual steps that could be made easier.

"Game on: Gamifying for engagement" by Sharon Hebdon (Holmesglen Institute)

Impressively this team achieved the following by converting a usually content heavy unit (lecture/tutorial based) into an engaging gamified experience with the following outcomes: (The following have been taken from their presentation slides)
  • Students engaged in their own learning
    • they set the pace
    • they want to come to class
  • Created a learning community
    • peer learning
    • a sense of inclusion, wanting to keep pace with the group
  • Students are reading
    • e-Reserve hits (from 26 up to 81)
    • additional activities
  • Indentification of students 'at risk'
    • real-time tracking of student involvement
    • no-one gets left behind
The experience had the following features:
  • a linear 'challenge'
  • series of levels increasing in complexity
  • applied constructive alignment principles
  • bonus activities available
  • performance rewards
  • understandings applied to quizzes, case studies, competitions
  • blended delivery
  • weekly tasks
  • graded and non-graded + self assessment
  • leader boards kept (students wanted to have their achievements noted, competed with each other)

'Taking part in the Mobile Learning Revolution' by Dr Graeme Salter +Graeme Salter 

  • When marketing courses/units/anything: Highlight the benefits to the audience, rather than the features of the product. 
  • Graeme has Technology + Education + Marketing skills = a very powerful combination, writes and markets own apps etc.
  • Have ideas? Act on them.

Tuesday 4th

Our presentation: 'Should badges become a Gateway Assessment?' by +Mel Timpson  and myself. 

I work closely with Mel supporting the teaching staff and initiatives of the Business, Government and Law faculty at University of Canberra. Mel has written up her reflection of our presentation on our use and possible role(s) of badges here:

Some points of interest out of the session in my view:

  • See Mel's post for the various roles people thought Badges could play.
  • Badges can form part of a Personalised Learning strategy through bolt-on modules (students use these to up-skill as required).
  • Faculty and other areas will likely start creating badges with or without central support/infrastructure/policy so it would be wise to get ahead of the ball, or face a scenario where the badges produced by an orgnisation:
    • don't have a coherent design that results in lost opportunity for brand promotion and recognition
    • end up overlapping with each other partially or completely wasting effort and confusing people who want to earn them
    • are scattered everywhere, lacking a central location to market/discover them
    • suffer from varied quality and proposed value for badge holders and those who are using them to evaluate the holder.
    • potentially breach existing related policy, result in practice that would otherwise not have been possible if policy existed, or result in rushed policy changes, either way putting the institution in a strained position
    • results in a poor student experience

'Reconceptualising Space, Time and Practice for Education in the Digital Era' by Dr Panos Vlachopoulos (Macquarie University)

Dr Panos introduced his practice as being based on educational philosophies such as those by Plato and other Greek philosophers, and that philosophical underpinnings are necessary to design and teach.

Slide: A useful framework: 3E developed by Professor Keith Smyth
  • Enhance: Adopting technology in simple and effective ways to actively support students and increase their activity and self-responsibility.
  • Extend: Further use of technology that facilitates key aspects of students' individual and collaborative learning and assessment through increasing their choice and control.
  • Empower: Developed use of technology that requires higher order individual and collaborative learning that reflects how knowledge is created and used in the professional environment.

Thanks to MoodlePosium 2014 organisers, the hosts UNSW Canberra ADFA, and all the people to attended and contributed.


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