Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

PhD course on Networked Learning and the Net Generation – 1-2 May 2010

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Just want to quickly post/advertise a PhD course I am co-organising and which will be held in relation to the Networked Learning Conference 2010 (just before the conference). The full title is: “Networked Learning and the Net Generation – Implications and Critical Perspectives” and presenters so far are: Chris Jones, Etienne Wenger and Laura Czerniewicz. More information on the course is available here.

Quick note: Cloudscapes and tweets from ALT-C

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

I just thought I would do a quick post about the the interesting online activities taking place in relation to the ALT-C 2009 (Association for Learning Technology Conference). I am not attending the ALT-C – at least not physically, but through twitter (e.g. #altc2009) and cloudworks I can follow some of the debates and access some of the material that people post in relation to the presentations and discussions. In particular I think Cloudscape is interesting, and I can highly recommend people having a look at the ALT-C cloudscape made. What is interesting is that there are both descriptions of sessions, but also stuff people upload and share during the sessions are added or aggregated in this cloudscape (as clouds or through import of tweets, comments and much more) – I think it is really an interesting tool for conferences and other events (and probably also a lot of other stuff :-) )

But really great to be able to follow the debates going on and also being able to view some of the videos (maybe all?). There’s a good video on the debate of: The VLE is dead! (…or is it) (on Graham Attwells blog). This seems to have spurred some debate :-) ….as have the session, I imagine, on “Is there a Net generation coming to university?”…I would really have loved to joined these debates and hope I’ll have some time to do a blog-post on one of them :)

A bit on learning design, learning activities and software

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

A few days ago I was working on a research-plan for an European project we are engaged in. The name of the project is EAtrain2 which is about:

“The aim of this project is to identify the training and educational needs of employees in both public and private sector and university students regarding EA and to fulfill these using innovative pedagogies and practices based on Web 2.0 technologies and active, problem-based learning approaches.”

Our part of the project is to develop a learning methodology, where we aim to support practitioners in designing (training) courses on Enterprise Architecture. In relation to this project, and the COMBLE-project (another EU-project) we have been looking more into the literature regarding ‘learning design’ or ‘designs for learning’. This is a very broad area, which is basically about enabling practitioners to describe and share their ‘learning designs’. This, however, is approached in a number of different ways ranging from software standards (such as SCORM, LAMS, IMS-LD etc.) to developing software which can support teachers/trainers in the concrete design phases (Compendium-LD). I tried to make a very rough and very incomplete mapping of some of the approaches by dividing them into:

  1. Software standards
  2. Models or frameworks for less formalised descriptions (not necessarily software packaged)
  3. Tools for guiding practitioners in the design process

I have pasted the text in below (which is in Danish though) but I would highly recommend Grainne Conole’s blog (and publications) on learning design and work around the pattern language approach (and Yishay Mor’s work on this) – as mentioned the mapping is incomplete and rough, but thought that some might find some useful links from it…

Software-standarder (SCORM, IMS-LD, LAMS)

Ideen med disse er, at man simpelthen kan pakke noget indhold (SCORM) eller en række af aktiviteter + indhold (IMS-LD + LAMS), som så kan udveksles mellem forskellige e-læringsplatforme. Det vil sige, at uanset om men bruger Moodle eller Blackboard, så vil disse pakkede ‘kurser’ eller ‘indholdspakker’ kunne køre. Ideen er naturligvis også, at man så kan dele sine designs og pakker med andre, således at man kan spare tid og ressourcer. Der er en række muligheder ifht. dette men der er også en del problematikker:

  • Oftest bliver det meget ‘instruktivistisk’ (lærercentreret) (specielt ifht SCORM)
  • Selvom der er mange ‘lagre’ så er det meget få der deler og udveksler – givetvis på mange måder for besværligt
  • Ofte har undervisere brug for at kunne tilrette og improvisere meget, hvilket kan være sværere med sådanne pakker

Her skal også nævnes CSCL-scripts, som både lader til at være et rammeværk/model for at beskrive kollaborative aktiviteter, samt at være implementerbart i software. Man kan læse mere om det her: http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/CSCL_script her er der også links til COLLAGE-editoren, hvor man kan designe scripts, som kan eksporteres i f.eks. IMS-LD format – eller som Collaborative learning flow patterns (som er en type LD-pakker for CSCL-scripts).

Modeller og rammeværk – standarder for beskrivelse

Blandt andet på grund af nogle af disse erfaringer, og f.eks. studier af underviseres praksis og forhold til at ibrugtage store forkromede rammeværk (de Freitas, M. Oliver, Mee, & Mayes, 2008), så har flere forsøgt at lave nogle mindre formaliserede måder at beskrive og dele på, end f.eks. med softwareløsninger. I Australien og New Zealand har der været en del arbejde med at lave forskellige modeller og beskrivelses-værktøjer eller måder at visualiserer og arbejde med læringsdesign og læringsaktiviteter (denne side giver et godt overblik: http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/index.htm – og specielt denne side er MEGET interessant for: http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/gallery/all.htm ) – noget af dette bygger på arbejde af bl.a. Ron Oliver mfl. (R. Oliver, 2001). Det er endvidere et godt eksempel på en af rigtig mange net-ressourcer, hvor sådanne ting bliver lagt til rådighed – problemet er, at de ofte ender lidt som lagre, og ikke bliver opdateret over tid (efter et projekt er slut eller lignende).

Andre måder at beskrive designs og aktiviteter på kan findes på nettet og i diverse artikler (f.eks.  de mange gode af Gráinne Conole mfl.). Ligeledes er der f.eks. pattern approach som mange er blevet interesserede i og som bygger på Alexanders pattern language (se f.eks. http://patternlanguagenetwork.org/ eller denne Wiki hvor man kan dele patterns: http://patternlanguagenetwork.myxwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Patterns/ – her er der flere eksempler på patterns). Kernen er at man beskriver et problem,  kontekst for problemet, samt en løsning. Denne beskrivelse vil andre så kunne gøre brug af hvis de har et lignende problem i en lignende kontekst – f.eks. kan man arbejde med forskellige ‘pedagogical patterns’.

Der er ligeledes opstået andre online communities, hvor man kan dele ‘læringsdesign’, men i mindre standardiseret udgave. Et godt eksempel er Cloudworks som er “a place to share, find and discuss learning and teaching ideas and experiences”. Her er der er lagt mere vægt på interaktion og integration med andre tjenester (f.eks. Twitter). Her kan man dele beskrivelser, ideer, samle inputs fra en konference eller lægge links op til inspiration, som andre så kan kommentere, dele osv. Det er hurtigt og nemt at oprette clouds eller konstellationer af clouds (cloudscapes) og beskrive en ide eller erfaring uden at skulle udtrykke sig i termerne af et bestemt rammeværk eller beskrivelsesmodel (der kan findes mere om dette på Gráinne Conoles glimrende blog: http://e4innovation.com/ – her ligger også links til flere artikler om learning design og Cloudworks).

Ligeledes kan nævnes Methopedia wiki og community, som vi selv er involveret i at udvikle, som en del af COMBLE-projektet. Her er ideen ligeledes, at man kan dele forskellige læringsdesign og aktiviteter i et wiki-community ved at udfylde nogle relativt simple templates – som f.eks. denne clothesline-aktivitet, man kan bruge til at få lærende til at reflektere over læringsudbyttet for en dag. Ideen er her at samle og dele beskrivelser, billeder, videoer og andet materiale i beskrivelsen af sådanne læringsaktiviteter eller pædagogiske metoder, som andre kan lade sig inspirere af og bygge videre på.

Værktøjer (evt. software) til at guide praktikere

Sidst kan nævnes en række ‘værktøjer’ til at understøtte praktikeres udvikling af kurser og læringsforløb (f.eks. online). Mange af software-værktøjerne som er udviklet til at håndtere f.eks. LAMS-sekvenser, IMS-lD pakker, CSCL-scripts eller SCORM-objekter hører på sin vis til i denne kategori, da de kan siges at være værktøjer, der understøtter udvikling/design af læringsforløb. Nogle værktøjer er dog udviklet mere specifikt med henblik på at facilitere pædagogisk refleksion i løbet af designprocessen, snarere end de er udviklet til at ‘pakke’ og ‘distribuere’ disse.

Herunder kan nævnes CompendiumLD, som er et tilrettet mindmap-værktøj, der kan bruges til at visualisere læringsforløb, aktiviteter og ressourcer – som det beskrives på siden:

” CompendiumLD is a software tool for designing learning activities using a flexible visual interface. It is being developed as a tool to support lecturers, teachers and others invovled in education to help them articulate their ideas and map out the design or learning sequence. Feedback from users suggests the process of visualising design makes their design ideas more explicit and highlights issues that they may not have noticed otherwise. It also provides a useful means of representing their designs so that they can be shared with others.” (http://compendiumld.open.ac.uk/)

Et værktøj, der ligner dette, men som ikke er et stykke software er CoED-metoden, som er udviklet af mine kolleger Tom Nyvang og Marianne Georgsen. CoED står for Collaborative e-Learning Design Method og kan bedst betegnes som en slags design-spil. ‘Spillet’, som eksempelvis kan udføres som en tema-dag består af forskellige faser med en række aktiviteter, der leder frem mod kollaborativt design af et e-læringsforløb. De tre faser er:

1. Focus the e-learning design process

2. Identify overarching values and design principles

3. Specify design

Nogle gange kan det f.eks. indledes med ekspert-oplæg vedr. e-læring og pædagogik for at få sporet deltagerne ind på e-learning og design. Det vigtige skridt er at blive enige om nogle overordnede pædagogiske værdier og principper ud fra en række forslagskort. Skal der være fokus på kollaborativ læring, gruppearbejde, problemorientering, instruktion, videnstilegnelse? Og hvordan mener deltagerne egentlig at man lærer bedst? Herefter går man mere konkret i gang med at designe et forløb ved f.eks. at pege på nogle ressourcer, aktiviteter og en infrastruktur (det miljø eller miljæer som det skal køre i f.eks. et LMS, PC, CD-rom, spil osv.). Vi har flere gange arbejdet med denne metode ved forskellige lejligheder, og i mine øjne fungerer metoden rigtig godt i forhold til at støtte praktikere i at reflektere over og designe et e-lærings- eller blended learning forløb.

References

Conole, G. (2007). Describing learning activities -Tools and resources to guide practice. In Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and Delivering E-learning (p. 81).

Conole, G., Dyke, M., Oliver, M., & Seale, J. (2004). Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design. Computers and Education, 43(1), 17-33.

Fowler, C. J., & Mayes, T. (2005). JISC e-Learning Models Desk Study – Stage 2: Mapping theory to practice and practice to tool functionality based on the practitioners’ perspective.

de Freitas, S., Oliver, M., Mee, A., & Mayes, T. (2008). The practitioner perspective on the modeling of pedagogy and practice. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(1), 26-38.

Mayes, T., & de Freitas, S. (2004). JISC e-Learning Models Desk Study – Stage 2:  Review of e-learning theories, frameworks and models.

Oliver, R. (2001). Seeking best practice in online learning: Flexible Learning Toolboxes in the Australian VET sector. Ajet Publications.

Ryberg, T., Brenstein, E., Pilt, L., Moczadlo, R., Niemczik, C., & Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2008). Enhancing Blended Learning – Developing a Community Based Methopedia. In D. Remenyi (Ed.), The Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on e-Learning (pp. 394-405). Academic Publishing Limited.

A blog on Learning, technology and new media

Friday, April 25th, 2008

In this blog I will post some thoughts on issues within learning, technology and new media on a somewhat regular basis. The content will probably vary between more theoretical and methodological discussions and more playful posts about gadgets, services and tools that I stumble upon when experimenting with ‘new’ technologies and media in relation to learning. As such the topic is certainly not unique, as many other people interested in learning and technology are blogging about similar issues. But it will give me a chance to plug into debates going on in the blogosphere and comment on those from my perspective.

Also, I will post some thoughts related to my PhD dissertation which I successfully defended in November 2007. The title of the dissertation is “Patchworking as a Metaphor for Learning – Understanding Youth, Learning and Technology” and it can be freely downloaded (and further distributed) from the ‘e-Learning Lab Publication Series – site’. Also, I have created a page with some more background on the PhD-project and some related articles and materials. In a not too distant future, I will integrate this material in this blog as well. For now, I will not say too much about the dissertation, as I this is something I will get back to in future postings.

This is not really my first time trying to initiate and maintain a blog. Actually, I already have another blog which, however, is not as flexible and powerful as the WordPress software (for instance people had to register to leave comments due to spam). Also, I found it difficult to find the time to post on a regular basis which was somewhat reinforced by the lack of comments and dialogue on the blog – this will hopefully improve with the ‘new’ platform…at least I believe my motivation to blog will improve :-)

Now, comes a lot of work on installing widgets, designing the page and figuring out the mechanics of the WordPress software :-D