Well it’s the end of week 2 for most of you but I have finally finished working through the week 1 materials. It has been hard to fit in alongside everything else but definitely still feels worth while.
Words of the week
- Embedding – a useful reminder that this is key and that we are always working towards the idea that ‘Blended Learning’ will eventually become just ‘Learning’. The Learning Designer, with it’s ability to alter the balance of delivery types of the same content was a useful illustration of this.
- Healthy competition – the power of this should never be under-rated – I certainly recommend giving the Socrative Space Race option a try. Recently, I realised that our Moodle Page Of The Month scheme was still generating an unexpected amount of ‘healthy competition’ as having missed a few months I got several email from staff asking me to consider their course page for the next award.
- Video – once again, more evidence of the power of being able to provide video demonstrations in vocational subject areas – our previous research suggests there are lot of benefits to having these videos created by and starring the students themselves as students take great pride in having their work filmed for other students to watch – see our Learning Futures project: http://lfutures.co.uk/project-blogs/Hull+College
- Independent study – we are all in favour of less spoon feeding but it is important to consider the increasing need this may create for good information literacy skills and the ability to evaluate as well as locate information – time to talk to your librarian!
- Collaboration – this still seems to be an underused aspect of new technologies – we still have groups in the library creating a Powerpoint by creating one slide each and then piecing it together – much more could be made of Prezi, Google Docs and Office 365 by both staff and students.
- Advantages – there are so many to having an online element when you sit down and think about it – being able to testing yourself and get immediate feedback, the ability to work at your own speed, where and when you like and to quietly repeat bits when you find it difficult – we must provide these things to our students wherever we can.
- Basic information – looking at staff Moodle pages I can’t help but feel that it is the most basic things that sometimes get missed – information about hand-in dates, use of calendars and reminders, letting them know how to contact their tutor – it’s odd that the simplest things often cause us the most difficulty.
- Complex information – Learning Analytics can give us so much information but I can’t help feeling this is something for the future – many of our tutors are still at a stage where they feel overwhelmed and confused at the idea of introducing blended learning – we need to be careful not to add to this by getting in to the practical and ethical issues of data gathering too early on.
The main thing however I have taken from this week was from a response by Errol Pitts to my despair at the difficulties of getting staff together to share good practice face-to-face. Inspired by this, I have created a Yammer group and am off to try and get them talking about the potential uses of the Learning Design.
Thanks for reading – see you next week (hopefully)