Open educational practises – opening up (5 / 5)

December 3, 2013 12 comments
MOOC screenshot - Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business

MOOC screenshot – Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business

The concept of opening out education is increasingly popular with the UK government investing £15m on open resource projects since 2009 (Jisc, 2013). One of these projects is Jorum, based at Manchester University allowing people to freely share learning and teaching resources. An example at Salford is USIR our open paper repository, I use this to share my papers with the world and look for other useful papers.

I have recently been working on our first MOOC in Search and social media marketing using YouTube, Twitter and web pages. The concept of massive, distance and open courses has a long history. For example, print has been used for many years as a first generation of distance learning. TV and radio has been used to deliver free and open learning as part of a second generation (Anderson, 2012 p.3). I have been attending and developing distance web based distance learning courses since the latter 1990’s. Some of these are free and open and others, specific to an organisation or paid for.

Web 2.0, the rise of social media and better and faster computers and broadband speeds have further enabled participation in open courses via the web featuring multimedia content and collaborative tools and led to the Massive participation of MOOC’s (MIT, 2013). The recent launch of the UK’s first MOOC platform Futurelearn is a signifier of intent for MOOC’s in UK HE.  VC of the OU Martin Bean stated ‘cannot make buildings fast enough to meet the worldwide demand for education’ (Morgan, 2013). The technology we have combined with an open approach means that MOOC’s can help to meet this demand. This could be further bolstered by the announcement of the Janet6 network to deliver more data, faster.

Martin Bean quote

Our continued employment at our organisation and its existence currently hinges on our students paying their fees, so the question that  arises about open educational practises is, what is the business model? (DBIS, 2013). I work with Masters students and run CPD courses which contain face to face sessions, tutor support and access to equipment and expertise. By ‘giving away’ our content to the masses, will this impact on the sustainability of our organisation? In our case, our search and social media marketing MOOC  is offered mainly as a set of videos and activities with no official tutor support. The MOOC has been quite popular around the world so far and has been an important source of traffic to our Business School website. From a marketing perspective, this may ultimately lead to more people attending our paid for courses. Time will tell.

70 windows

70 Windows open education project

OEP’s have the potential to reach out to people in groups that may have a physical or social reason not to attend our traditional face to face courses. I attended a focus group recently on this subject at the University featuring several members of local community groups. The message from these groups was that there is a real lack of access to technology and barriers to University for the disadvantaged in Salford. Could I be doing more to reach out to people that could not typically come and study at a University?

This is certainly on the agenda of the University’s teaching and learning strategy (ASPIRES, 2013) and has an integral connection to the all of the UKPSF (2012) professional values v1 – v4. Many of the open resources we have so far are aimed at the kind of people that already have access to the technology and have time to study. I have been involved in several projects to try and engage these audiences and community groups. We are certainly moving in the right direction for UK HE to do more to use open educational practises to bring teaching and learning to a wider audience. MOOC’s have been used successfully  for widening participation, particularly with younger people (Parr, 2013 and Low, 2013). I intend to continue to investigate and work in the subject of widening participation using MOOC’s and opening up educational practises as this has clear value to our organisation for widening participation, teaching and research.


Anderson, B., & Simpson, M. (2012). History and heritage in open, flexible, and distance education. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS). (2013). The Maturing of the MOOC, Retrieved 02/12/13 from

Jisc (2013). A guide to open educational resources. Retrieved 02/12/13 from

Low, R. (2013). MOOCs and Widening Participation in Higher Education:
Case Studies from Mount Druitt. Mount Druitt University Hub. Retrieved 18/12/13 from

MIT (2013). Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, MIT Retrieved 02/12/13 from

Morgan, J. (2013). Moocs UK will offer escape from ‘The Man’, says Bean. Times Higher Education . Retrieved 02/12/13 from

Parr, C. (2013). Moocs: another weapon in the outreach armoury,
Times Higher Education. Retrieved 18/12/13 from

The Higher Education Academy. (2012). UK Professional Standards Framework. Retrieved 02/10/13 from

The University of Salford. (2012). Learning and Teaching Strategy 2012 -2017 ASPIRES. Retrieved 24/11/13 from

Categories: FDOL Tags: , ,

How do I support my students and what are the opportunities for further improvement through digital technologies (4 / 5)

November 19, 2013 6 comments

I have spent most of my career as a web programmer and digital developer. My teaching responsibilities have increased over the years and these things can cross over and weave together to support students. Creative Hive is a web platform that I developed to support students to create a blog and website to showcase their work. We have effectively created a community of practise (Wenger, 2007) consisting of staff and students. I consulted members of this community with regards to its use and alignment with the UKPSF and the results are below.


The original idea for the project was to allow students to showcase their work both on the web and in the virtual world of Second Life. The virtual world element never really took off. Denielsen (2009, p.7) discusses how Second Life has been used effectively for teaching and learning in over 190 HE institutions worldwide. Embedding Second Life carefully into modules can lead to some positive results and engagement. I’ve reflected in my previous post about using synchronous technologies like Collaborate in my sessions and virtual worlds can offer additional reflective and experiential learning (Moon, 2004).

I undertook a survey asking why students joined Creative Hive of their own accord (Fenton, 2011). Results concluded that students were motivated to join and set up an advert free showcase of their work and connect with other people working beyond graduation. At that time I was not involved with teaching and consequently, I had not adequately understood how the project may benefit teaching and learning. I had built a car with no driver.


At that time, Creative Hive was purely an optional tool for students and if they were setting up a website, they were often choosing other routes. Some of the pedagogic and operational advantages of Creative Hive over other platforms for teaching and learning are

  • simple to use, supported technically
  • open access
  • free & not time limited
  • variety of multimedia can be embedded
  • allows group pages of students (example) to be set up.

To support students I run workshops on digital literacy and showcasing work on-line using Creative Hive and I support staff and students by email and Twitter (UKPSF A4, A5,K4). I have also set up a wiki to allow people to ask questions and share their knowledge.

Creative Hive has been used and backed by our University, but it is not officially supported, this means that there is no official contingency plan if these systems fail (QAA, 2011 P.59). Technology embedded into modules should ideally have a backup support plan. This is one of the operational and quality issues with using systems that are not officially supported by the University.

Creative Hive really is aimed at widening participation (UKPSF v1-v4) and I wanted to support people with disabilities (v1). Beetham (2007 p.140) in a study of disabled users and technology notes that support for online learning materials that are tested to be accessible is crucial for people with disabilities. It is also a legal requirement to  make materials accessible to all.

Weaving into modules helps to address the issue of providing an empty experience (Stephenson, 2001). My intention is continue to use and support this platform whilst it is pedagogically sound to do so. Ultimately, it is vital to choose the correct technologies to support pedagogy, operational aspects and learning outcomes and avoid creating an empty experience.  (UKPSF K2-K4).



Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (Eds.). (2007). Rethinking Pedagogy for the Digital Age. (London, Routledge).

Danielsen, J. and Deutschmann, M. (2009). Learning and Teaching in the Virtual World of Second Life. Tapir Academic Press

Fenton, A. (2011). Beyond the closed e-portfolio: Designing for the digital curation of professional identities for lifelong learning , in: Education in a Changing Environment (ECE) 6th International Conference : Creativity and Engagement in Higher Education, 6 – 8 July 2011, The University of Salford

Moon, J. (2004). A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning , Routledge Falmer, London

Stephenson, J. (2001). Teaching & Learning Online: Pedagogies for New Technologies. Stylus Publishing, Inc., 22883 Quicksilver Dr., Sterling, VA 20166-2012, 2001.

The Higher Education Academy (2012). UK Professional Standards Framework. Retrieved 02/10/13 from

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education. (2010).
Collaborative provision and flexible and distributed learning,. Retrieved 06/11/13 from

Wenger, E. (2007). ‘Communities of practice. A brief introduction’.Communities of practice [ Retrieved 26/11/13].

How I extend collaborative learning using digital technologies (3/5)

November 6, 2013 9 comments
SSMM course

Opportunties for change – support for flexible and distance learning Photo by A.Hickey

Flexible and innovative learning models and also CPD are actively supported by Salford University as outlined in the teaching and learning strategy (The University of Salford, 2013, p.13). On a wider level, QAA (2010, p.63) also supports the quality facilitation of collaborative learning in HE.

Our Search and Social Media Marketing (SSMM) CPD course course outline covers social media tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and other web 2.0 tools. We also use some of these technologies to enable collaborative and flexible learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Thinking subject specifically, this reminds me of McLuhan’s (1967, p.26) concepts of the medium being the message or in this case, the medium being both the ILO and the learning support tool. Part of our ILO’s are to make the technologies become seamless (Anderson 2012, p.6) or an extension of the brain (McLuhan 1994). It would appear that there is some correlation between the subject matter and the learners confidence with technology as to how effective learning technologies may be (Beetham 2007, p.36) and this certainly rings true from my experience and that of my colleagues.

SSMM LinkedIn group

SSMM LinkedIn group

Our LinkedIn group is always relatively well used. Macdonald (2011, p.60) states that participation can be higher when use of a forum is aligned to assessment. In our case, the CPD course is not credit bearing and there is currently no formal assessment, so why is the forum so popular? Using Socrative, I gathered feedback from my current SSMM cohort about how they felt about using all of the technologies including LinkedIn and they all unanimously found them useful. Developing effective learning environments is key to UKPSF (2013) A4 and K4 & K5 (evaluating appropriately). Our CPD students are sharing articles and resources and are generally motivated and keen to learn to advance their careers as predominantly mature students. This is a short course and we talk about the LinkedIn Group regularly in the class and make a point that there are useful resources and an opportunity to discuss and share knowledge. Research shows that using a forum in this way can help to support learning (Macdonald, p.60).

Student feedback on our use of TEL on SSMM

Student feedback on our use of TEL on SSMM

We have a record number of people on the current SSMM course and people travelling to MediaCityUK from as far as the Lake district and Newcastle. In addition, most people are working full time, so there are increasing requests from students for access to digital materials, recording of lectures and synchronous live streams. These are things that I have experimented with over the last two years and are on the rise in HE (Beetham, 2007 p.57). Having participated in a fully online module using Blackboard, Twitter and Collaborate and studying the FDOL literature is really helping me to advance my understanding and to try new things.


Using synchronous technologies to live stream a session

After Thursdays evening SSMM session I had something of a light-bulb moment about a potential plan for both making SSMM more flexible and opening it up to more distance learners. This strategy will involve professionally recording more sessions and also using Collaborate to live stream and record sessions. I also have an idea how we could improve our current offering of Dropbox and Google Docs to deliver a more central place for resources. This also ties with the quality standards guidelines around reliability and contingency plans (QAA 2010 p.59). I have started to research and discuss this further with colleagues.

I want to use FDOL and my current SSMM course to continue to experiment with collaborative learning and then based on research and feedback, roll out a more flexible, blended version of SSMM for March 2014. Our SSMM MOOC project and FDOL have given me further inspiration and confidence to make the SSMM CPD course more flexible and blended. I am also conscious of UKPSF v1 – respecting individual learners and diverse learning communities, which is another driver in my thinking and an opportunity for positive change.

The Tweet below was sent by a student after my first ever live stream session with Collaborate today.


Anderson, B., & Simpson, M. (2012). History and heritage in open, flexible, and distance education. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.

Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (Eds.). (2007). Rethinking Pedagogy for the Digital Age. (London, Routledge).

Macdonald, J. (2011).  Blended Learning and Online Tutoring 2nd edition. Gower 

McLuhan, M., Fiore Q. (1967).  The Medium is the Massage : An Inventory of Effects. Penguin

McLuhan, M. (1994). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Cambridge: The MIT Press

The Higher Education Academy. (2012). UK Professional Standards Framework. Retrieved 02/10/13 from

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education. (2010).
Collaborative provision and flexible and distributed learning,. Retrieve 06/11/13 from

The University of Salford. (2012). Learning and Teaching Strategy 2012 -2017 ASPIRES. Retrieved 24/11/13 from

I would love to hear your thoughts about live streaming and recording sessions and whether you think it will improve the student experience. If you would like to participate, please enter the poll and/or a comment below.

Categories: FDOL Tags: , , , , , ,

My digital teaching practice and opportunities for change (2/5)

October 29, 2013 10 comments
Our face2face CPD courses are restricted to a geographical radius

Our face2face CPD courses are restricted to a geographical radius

Flexible, Distance and Online Learning (FDOL) is inspiring my thinking about the potential for pedagogically sound flexible and distance learning elements of teaching and learning. The module has got me reflecting and experimenting more about technology enhanced learning (TEL) strategies and how distance and blended learning courses could offer our students a better experience and more choice (Macdonald, 2011, p.16).

My face-to-face CPD courses currently serve a geographical distance from MediaCityUK between 0-100 miles maximum radius. Feedback shows that many of our delegates travel a long way and find it hard to balance work and attending our course every week, spending a long time travelling. As a result of student feedback, I have started to make the course notes and other materials available using Dropbox. This has really helped people that have missed sessions or been a point of reference during or after the course.

FDOL has got me thinking and researching potential options for CPD and flexible learning whilst keeping contact as a feature of the course (Macdonald, 2011, p16). Learning technologies can also help reflective practices, which is also an important element of blended learning courses (Heinze and Procter 2011). We are currently using a variety of platforms for in class activities and out of the classroom. These include,

These platforms have been selected for pedagogical and operational reasons but it can be time consuming  for me and the students to maintain all of these platforms. Research suggests it may not be pedagogically sound to use so many tools for the course (Watson, 2011). The quantity may also reduce engagement and the seamless effect of the technology (Anderson 1999, p.6). This may be offset to some extent by the subject area of the course as the tools in question are part of the subject area of the course. I intend to seek more research and feedback in this area.

Are we at tech breaking point?

Are we at a TEL usability and operational breaking point?

I am researching and thinking more about how a system such as a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) may be operationally easier to maintain and use as a central point of reference. An appropriate VLE may become more important still if we decide to produce a distance blended version of our course and go further on-line. SPD who run our CPD courses do not currently have a VLE or many examples of distance/blended learning CPD courses. CPD courses also have operational difficulty using our institutional VLE (Blackboard) due to the temporary nature of the students and our University IT policy. I am researching the blended and on-line options within and outside of our own institution and thinking more about how those tools facilitate the learning and operation of the course (Beetham, 2007 p.33).

Collaborate is one part of our VLE software that is currently accessible to our CPD delegates. I am planning a virtual session after the course has completed. This ties with the Aims of the UKPSF (2012) (A2 and A4) to better support students using appropriate learning environments (see also video below). I would like to evaluate the effectiveness of this virtual meeting tool for this cohort.

Face to Face CPD session at MediaCityUK

Face to Face CPD session at MediaCityUK

I have a lot of enthusiasm for teaching, learning and TEL, but I think historically, I have put technology before pedagogy (Watson et al, 2011, Anderson 1999 p6). FDOL is helping me to better understand teaching strategy, allowing people to interact and learn outside of the classroom and making the technologies become seamless (Anderson, 1999 p6) and (UKPSF K2, K4). I am becoming more aware of the changing nature of knowledge and responding better to our learners needs (Hague, 2010). With appropriate research and experimentation, it will be possible to utilise FDOL to improve our offering and strategy (UKPSF v3).


Anderson, B., & Simpson, M. (2012). History and heritage in open, flexible, and distance education. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.

Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (Eds.). (2007). Rethinking Pedagogy for the Digital Age. (London, Routledge).

Hague (2010). Digital literacy across the curriculum. Futurelab.

Heinze, A., & Procter, C. (2010). The significance of the reflective practitioner in blended learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL), 2(2), 18 – 29. Available online

Macdonald, J. (2011).  Blended Learning and Online Tutoring 2nd edition. Gower 

The Higher Education Academy. (2012). UK Professional Standards Framework. Retrieved 02/10/13 from

Watson, K. (2011). Learning to teach online. UNSW Cofa Online.

#fdoljc FDOL Twitter chat

October 24, 2013 2 comments

We have just finished our FDOL Twitter chat discussing a paper called Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control  by Marion Coomey and John Stephenson

I joined at around 9.30 and the conversation was already well underway. @lizhannaford had made the excellent point:

212. lizabeth hannaford ‏@LizHannafordHello #fdoljc The paper pre-dates much of social media ‘revolution.’ Does that make its findings less relevant, do you think?

This was exactly what I was thinking when I started to read the paper, 2001 pre-dates many advances in TEL and the paper draws our attention to this

Web-based online learning is too recent a medium to have been the subject of a systematic and comprehensive research programme to test its overall educational effectiveness. However, there is a growing number of small-scale research reports, case studies and reviews of practice.

However, as I read on, I was very engaged by the DISC concept dialogue, involvement, support and control. We had an interesting debate started by Emma Young ‏@EmmaYoung about the ability to theorize about FDOL generally with constantly evolving technology. I think this linked back nicely with the Anderson and Simpsons ‘History and heritage in distance education‘ paper .There is a lot of history with technology and learning dating back as far as you care to look (before radio and the printing press even!). Should it then be possible to theorize to some extent about technology and learning although it is important to keep studying new technologies and of course learners!

The conversation was chaotic at times and we had to be reeled in nicely by Gillian and Chloe to keep us on track and discuss DISC in more detail. It was interesting to hear people’s thoughts on where FDOL sat in the quadrant diagram as below.


Some people felt that the FDOL group activities were NE and some SE and the other activities were perhaps NE. As FDOL does have several specified tasks, I felt that it may be more toward the E to NE side. The question was raised though, are NW strategies still used and would people feel like they are getting value for money with SE. These are really interesting questions for further discussion. Because of the transient nature of Twitter, I thought it would be good to copy and paste the #fdoljc chat  into a Google doc  for future reference. This was interesting in itself as without the threads, it looks chaotic. I really like the idea of visualising data, so I thought I would paste this into Tagxedo or Wordle  and see what happened. The results are below – the first shows everything including our names and the second, I tried to filter out our names to cut to what the crux of the conversation. The big surprise for me is the word THINK – this mainly comes from ‘I think?’ or ‘do you think?’ – it’s great to see everyone putting forward their views on this fascinating topic and posting questions also to get people THINKING more about TEL and strategy.

It was a great experience to use Twitter to chat on this scale – I was a little concerned about my inbox and spamming my followers, but it was all in the name of CPD and TEL! I preferred Twitter to Blackboard discussions in this case because of the level of engagement, but the short messages certainly mean shorter comments and questions, this combined with it being part of a structured activity during class time, really got us engaging online as a group.


Tag cloud showing our #fdoljc  chat (names filtered)

Tag cloud showing our #fdoljc chat (names filtered)


Categories: FDOL

The digital me: past, present and future

October 2, 2013 8 comments


TEL Crowd-sourced experiment for reflective and experiential learning

I started off with a Spectrum 48k computer when I was 7, I was completely fascinated by it and soon after began to program my own basic games with my friends. This love affair with the digital lead me to do a BSc in Electronic Imaging and Media Communications just as the Internet was starting to become popular in the mid 1990’s.

I started teaching Flash animation in Manchester almost 15 years ago. I have always enjoyed helping people with technology. I was born too early to fall into Prensky’s concept of the digital native (Prensky, 2001) but this concept, whilst interesting, has many critics such as Combes (2009, 2) who refutes the idea and in fact argues that we have failed generation Y by assuming they are more skilled with digital technology than they are in reality. I view myself as more of a digital omnivore (Gahran, 2011), consuming digital media and the internet through my personal and professional life through a variety of different software and devices from a smartphone, laptop, PC or TV.

I now teach digital literacy and search and social media at MediaCityUK to a wide range of people of different ages and walks of life. From my own experience and that of my peers, Prensky’s concept of digital natives does not ring true. Beetham (2009, 32) warns against stereotyping learners. People are individuals and their age, socio-economic background, culture and many other factors make up their personality. This maps also to v1 of the UKPSF (2012), respecting individual learners.

I have been a relatively early adopter of digital, the internet and social media. With social media, I try to draw a clear distinction between  my professional activities and for keeping in touch with friends and family. I use LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter mainly for professional activities and Facebook for friends as that tends to be where they live. I am happy to adopt new platforms quickly where there is clear value. Turkle (1997) says that our choice of technology helps to construct our personalities. The digital media we engage with plays a vitally important role in our lives and in personal and professional relationships.

Part of my teaching focusses on using social media for marketing and for digital identity. These platforms are also used to support learning as activities and for discussion and questions outside of the classroom. I derive the information, activities and choice of platforms from my own experiences, books and research studies and the experiences of my colleagues and personal learning network in accordance with (UKPSF 2012) v3. I am interested in how people engage with digital communities and I have created two digital platforms for digital media showcasing – Creative Hive and Onlocation (video of this below). These have been quite popular also for teaching and learning at MediaCity.

The PGCAP so far has made me put more thought into the choice and application of technologies for learning.  These choices do form a key part of my session design Beetham (2007, 33).  The LTHE module has had a positive impact on these choices and the way in which I think about using the available tools and the design of those tools by the feedback and engagement of students. The FDOL module is helping me to gain a deeper insight into these digital technologies for teaching and learning. By further research and working with my colleagues and student feedback, I hope to gain a deeper understanding  and become a better developer and more effective teacher understanding how and why things happen and evaluating the results.

I have experimented with PBL in my own sessions, but I would like to gain a deeper understanding of this by participating in the group activities and reading, gathering feedback and experimenting. I hope to understand more of the pedagogy of e-learning first-hand. I am particularly interested in improving in areas K3 and V4 of the UKPSF, my continuing development and using the appropriate learning technologies.


Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (Eds.) (2007). Rethinking Pedagogy for the Digital Age. (London, Routledge).

Combes, B. (2009). Digital natives or digital refugees? Why we have failed Gen Y? (ECU Publications)

Gahran, A. (2011). Mobile digital ‘omnivores’ are radically changing media. CNN. Retrieved 02/10/13 from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon

The Higher Education Academy. (2011). UK Professional Standards Framework. Retrieved 02/10/13 from

Turkle, S. (1997). Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. Simon & Schuster

Categories: FDOL Tags: , , , ,

Implementing the UKPSF in the Digital University webinar

I’ve been watching this BB collaborate webinar recording today. The webinar was on Tuesday, but I couldn’t access it at the time, but the recording is really useful. Here is a link to the webinar recording. 

The Webinar was a sell out and is hosted by marianne Sheppard, david baume and  helen beetham

They have been working together with JISC and most of the professional organisations to produce this initiative, which started off life as lots of documents with hyperlinks and has now grown into the JISC design studio:

The Design Studio is a developing toolkit which draws together a range of existing and emergent JISC resources which support technology-enhanced teaching and learning practice. The Design Studio will provide access to project outcomes and outputs from a range of Jisc programmes as they are developed through an open sharing and synthesis approach.

I found the webinar and debate fascinating – the resource is new, but there are already some great case studies against each area of the UKPSF:

David Baume and co. were very pleased with the positive reception to this new resource and asked for more case studies. The attendees noted also that they would like to see more tagging, better search tools and more interactvity, via rating or comments.


Helen Beetham (right) posed some very interesting questions with regard to DL in HE

develop a repoertoire for acquiring new skills
Technologies date rapidly, practices change slowly
What dies a reflective critical awareness of technologies bring to teaching practise?
How do we develop teachers confident enough to use technolgoes with which they are not confident?
What opportunities do digitial technologies afford for specialisation, padagogic research, career progression?

The following represent my notes from the webinar recording so far:

– digital literacies, 2 year programme, developing coherant inclusive approaches within the sector
– Jisc design studio + #jiscdiglit (twitteR)
– describe, explain and illustrate some ways in which the development of DL / fluency can be demonstrated in each of the areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values

– postmodern age – everyone has become their own developer – David Baume
– Marianne shepherd – click UKPSF link
– resources for developers
– Blooms digital taxonomy
– Purpose for PCGERTS, but CPD is becoming more and more important
– Role of CPD for staff development

Categories: LTHE

UKPSF and LTHE ILO’s – progress so far

April 29, 2013 Leave a comment



LTHE Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding:

On successful completion of this module, students will have had the opportunity to:

1.    Examine effective teaching, learning and assessment practices in a variety of educational and disciplinary contexts

Through the LTHE sessions and through observing a psychotherapy session, it has been interesting to reflect and discuss teaching and learning in different contexts. The diverse range of people of the LTHE cohort have been very interesting to meet and have also helped this ILO as has the reading material from the core list and other material and studies. Looking at ways in which LTHE has been assessed and discussing with others how this works in their own discipline has helped but I think I could do more to further understand assessment practices in different contexts.

2.    Identify student learning needs in order to formulate relevant and inclusive learning support and guidance strategies

This is a key ILO for me – I think this is the one that is most pertinent and underpins so much that we do. LTHE has really helped me to understand why student needs are important, the student experience and quality particularly (UKPSF K6). Contemplating inclusive learning support is something that I would like to study more as this is becoming increasingly important both in my practise in and in HE generally as we promote participation and equality (v3)

3.    Discuss how learning technologies and other resources can be deployed within different educational contexts, based on an informed pedagogic rationale

Learning technologies such as online portfolios, Socrative, digital storytelling, Google+, webinars, Skype and many others are used to create effect on LTHE. I am fairly familiar with most of these already, but deploying them effectively and with an informed rationale has been a bonus. I have learned to question everything and not just pick technologies for the sake of them, but based on evidence such as research, colleagues expertise and feedback. (UKPSF k4)

4.    Critically evaluate theoretical perspectives on, and approaches to, student learning and motivation within different educational contexts

Student learning and motivation are recurring themes and I reflected on these in both my educational biography and one of my observation reflections. This gave me the opportunity to look deeper into theoretical perspectives of learning and motivation as a bigger picture within my own and other areas, critically.

5.    Critically discuss the key features of quality assurance, enhancement and evaluation within a Higher Education context

 Week 9 was fully online. There were a lot of materials that we had to read beforehand (Ramsden and Gibbs) but these were some of the most interesting areas for me. The way in which we read and then discussed quality on the Google+ community worked really well for me. This subject came up on the Jisc UKPSF webinar also, which made the point that k6 of the UKPSF with regard to quality can be particularly tricky to communicate and evaluate. Traditionally, as a nation we have been less effective at measuring quality data accurately (compared to the US), but this is improving. Quality assurance is vitally important to HE and to me as a teacher and learner.

Transferable skills

On successful completion, students will have had the opportunity to:

1.    Critically employ effective communication, facilitation and supervisory skills

These skills are woven into LTHE – one point that became clear from every angle was that quality teaching and learning is bound to these three skills – I think I have become a better facilitator and will continue to improve in this area.

2.    Demonstrate problem solving skills

Problem solving is ever present in LTHE – it is present in many of the activities in the face to face sessions and there are problems to be overcome through the independent study and assessment. The PBL week also was an out and out problem solving exercise that worked really well.

3.    Demonstrate group working skills

As above, group work is vastly important and embedded into all of the face to face sessions. What is interesting is that our feedback buddies and action learning sets are prescribed for us, but in truth lots of different groups or communities of practise and learning cells emerged. Group work was key to feedback and progress so this ILO was well and truly ticked.

4.    Develop a scholarly and ongoing professional, critical and reflective approach to enhancing academic practice and to demonstrate that their practice is effective

I feel that I already had a scholarly and professional approach to my work, but the reflective approach has been hard to adapt to but beneficial. I don’t think that I reflected enough on my teaching previously, I just got on with it. This has really helped me to develop and further demonstrate what is working and what is not, learning by my mistakes.

5.    Actively seek feedback and constructive appraisal from peers and provide supportive feedback to colleagues within and beyond their discipline area

This is build into the assessment as part of the observations and we are actively encouraged to read each others posts, particularly in different discipline areas. I really tried to embrace this concept and my reflections I think demonstrate that this has been beneficial.

6.    Advance a moral and ethical purpose with regard to professional Higher Education practice.

This maps to v1 of the UKPSF. I think this is something I’ve tried to do in my work, but understanding the bigger picture has been useful. This is something that I would like to look more into.

7.    Access and critically appraise a range of information sources including applying prior and new information.

We are encouraged to spread the net and look at a very wide variety of information. I have tried to look at as much relevant material as I can from the reading list and stretching into my own subject area.



Categories: LTHE

Shute – Formative feedback

April 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Feedback is one of the most instructionally powerful and least understood features of instructional design.

Task level feedback as opposed to general summary feedback gives immediate and timely feedback to students – takes into account current understanding

Feedback that is critical or controlling thwarts efforts to improve performance, low levels of specificity

Categories: Uncategorized

Week 9 reading

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment,cookie,ip,url,uid&db=nlebk&AN=95908&custid=s2888710&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_210

p.209 Good teachers are always evaluating themselves
209 execising control over the process of learning to teach better
210 – good teaching = high quality learning
210 – when the first edition of the book came out, quality was a small cloud on the horizon. (now it is part of K6 of the UKPSF, which is tricky to explain but it is key)
211 unprofessional teaching no longer tolerated, but the new regime is not always based on evidence
211 What do we want our students to know about the subject?
212 good teaching is complex, individual , content related and delicately balanced
215 – what are the effects of your teaching on the quality of student learning? How do you know?
216 – apply the best evidence to improve your practise,cookie,ip,url,uid&db=nlebk&AN=95908&custid=s2888710&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_210

221 Keeps quality in the hands of academics and keeps it there (Massey 2001)

p225 evaluation is not about judging or justifying, it is about improving the student experience (student learning)

p225 evaluation during a course cannot replace it within a course

227 dispensing the information giving and moving towards methods that would allow them to link their knowledge to professional practise.

227 evaluation as a continous endeavour by tutors that care for students

232 seek external and internal feedback and act wisely on it

To page 233,cookie,ip,url,uid&db=nlebk&AN=95908&custid=s2888710&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_233

223 The way to improve teaching is to analyse our students experiences of learning

223 student learning first and assessment and teaching second

234 Cooperation and peer feedback within a team is motivating and helps people to learn

236 even where external factors such as student motivation were the same, good teaching was able to create a positive learning environment

237 self development through reflective evaluation

237 links between teachers approach to teaching and students approach to learning

243 Noone can ever know enough about how to teach – it never ends

245 key to professionalism is fusing theory and practise

245 method and reasons, not detachment (disconnected ideas , whitehead)

246 rigorous evidence, reflection, inquiry, documentation and communication

247 – I make a mistake, I understand

247 The focus of the course is student learning

252 if we understand how to help students, we understand how to improve teaching


Categories: LTHE

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