Friday, 27 August 2010

Marking on screen? journal article says the is no difference

This experiment based research gave short essays to 12 markers to mark on screen and on paper. 'analyses suggests that mode presented no systematic influence on marker reliability...markers' profiles appear largely unaffected by mode'

The stats produce show a very small difference, although research does have limitations.

Johnson et al (2010) marking essays on screen, British Journal of Educational Technology, vol 41, no 5, pp 814-826

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Simple use of podcasts makes a big difference to students and staff

where; leicester university Course; occupational psychology (distance)

Student numbers; 34 aprox

Course issues; student isolation, flexible resources, engagement Solution; action based research focuses on development of 59 X 10 minute podcasts on variety of curriculum and course related topics

Result; staff found it easy, effective and fast [design one deliver many times]
Students; responded to the personalisation, clarity, 'livening up' the learning, reducing feeling of isolation and mobility

Successful podcast ideas include tips for writing a dissertation and 'why you should love your handbook'

Reference Nie et al (2010) the role of podcasting in effective curriculum renewal, alt-j, vol 18, no 2, pp105-118

Additional notes
Action based research method was McNiff & Whitehead 2006. All you need to know about action research. sage

Good literature review on page 106 including negative results from Cann 2007 and Deal 2007.

Links to research into drop out rates on distance learning courses, for example, 20-50% dependent on nature of course (Xenos et al, 2002; Pierrakeas et al, 2004)

Also the idea of running a learning technology festival.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Article Spinning - the mass production of repeated texts - Orwell would be proud

I came across this technology today and the buzz that surrounds, it hit me after a while how interesting this development is, it's all very Orwellian.

This type of technology comes in 2 basic forms, one where the original document is run through the software which produces alternatives automatically, or one where the author writes an original that contains lists of specific alternatives to words or phrases. The main reason for using the tool is to create multiple versions that can be spread across many websites creating increased hits for the author. The implication for the reader is they may find themselves reading the same document. written languages are complex, and it might take a while to develop the skills to notice this. meanwhile the reader is superficial persuaded that everyone seems to have the same opinion. This form of spamming would lead to an avoidance measures, changes in search engines or in the trust people have in sources. Many of the auto spinners produce unreadable junk documents.
If the use of the tool grows, the result could be a whole chunk of badly written documents. Which you could say already exists. The use of this tool to intentionally plagiarise are therefore low. Tools such as turnitin can detect the sequence of joining words that are difficult to change. . The loss of the original - or a new original?
The last type of spinner requires the author to write in a different way using calls a new skill, or authoring process that forces them to build into the document different permutations. Previous to this the author would write and select the exact phrase that captures the meaning. This process of trimming and shaping, reduces and defines the text and meaning. However, imagine including those permutations as part of the process. The original become a very difficult document to managed and read. Perhaps this tool could be used in a creative way, how abot spinner poetry, or short stories.

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Monday, 23 August 2010

how to evaluate learning spaces - evaluation frame work from Centre for Effective Learning Environments, Paris, France , May 2009

International Pilot Study on the Evaluation of Quality in Educational Spaces (EQES).
(Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Centre for Effective Learning Environments, Paris, France , May 2009)

Provides a guide for those involved in the International Pilot Study on the Evaluation of Quality in Educational Spaces (EQES): national coordinators and research teams, teaching staff, students, school principals, and others. The purpose of this pilot project is to assist education authorities, schools and others to maximize the use of and investment in educational spaces. The manual describes four research tools: 1) priority-rating exercise for quality performance objectives, 2) educational facility analysis. 3) student and teaching staff questionnaires, and 4) focus groups. For each tool, this manual presents the tool's objectives, research questions, expected response time, step-by-step instructions on how to implement the tool, and presentation of results in the final report. 71p.

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10 youtube url tricks you should know about