Thursday, 25 November 2010

Symbolic violence - bourieu 1998

This is where control is disguised, to the point that the controlled and even the controllers do not recognise it. Within this disguise is a form of control that allows it to remain hidden, as if it were designed not to be spoken about. It is systematic and may evolve, and will not be planned but come about, even though is may not benefit either party.

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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Students creating a questions for peers to answer


This is a very interesting idea. I know of a case study where level 3 students, as part of their summative assessment, write MCQs for level 1. These questions are then reviewed and marked on s specific criteria by the tutor, and the best ones are used with level 1 students.

There are a couple of different ways of doing this.

How many students?

Would it all be in one test, or separate test presented by each student?

How many questions per student?

Would the students be collating the marks, or do you what to do this?

Will the results be anonymous

Version 1 ‘clickers’

Small group, small number of questions, quick turn around in question-to-feedback, MCQ type questions

Students write the questions using turningpoint software, available on the network. These slides can then be copied and pasted into one big powerpoint presentation. All the students attending session get a clicker and answer questions, student who wrote the question stands up and says which was the right answer and why.

Advantages – ensures participation, students can ask questions and get feedback from you or the writer of the question

Disadvantage – have to organise session, book out clickers, session might drag on depending on numbers of students and questions.

Guide - Clickers (Classroom Voting Systems)

Version 2 ‘Survey monkey’

Large group, large number of questions, students manage the collating of results, allows wide range of question types

Students use this free online tool, create their questions, distribute to urls via blackboard. Students answer questions, and receive any feedback that the student provided. Students can review results.

Advantages – good for large groups, students manage the whole process promoting independence

Disadvantage – students might get questionnaire fatigue and not answer them all. This is an external service, and student will be required to submit details in order to create an account – so there are data protection issues. Answers are anonymous

Version 3 ‘BOS’ Bristol Online Survey

Large group, large number of questions, students manage the collating of results, allows wide range of question types

This is the same as the version above only this is ljmu hosted service, so no DP issues.

Guide - BOS (Bristol Online Survey)

Version 4 EXCEL and Blackboard

Large group, large number of questions, MCQ question type only, marks are not anonymous, staff member collates the marks

Students create a very simple excel spread sheet, which is sent to tutor. The tutor then uses a special blackboard tool to import the excel spread sheets. This create a single quiz or multiple quizzes in blackboard. Student can then do the online tests. The marks for the tests can be collated and are not anonymous. Students get basic feedback on what the right answer was

Advantages – good for large groups, marks are not anonymous, questions are easily reviewed by staff member, questionnaires can be randomised so students don’t all sit the same quiz but all do the same number of questions

Disadvantage – tutor has to upload questions (which is only a couple of clicks), questions don’t contain feedback

Guide - Creating questions in excel and uploading them into blackboard

Further Advice

Best practice would point for students to understand the basics of writing a good MCQ question

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Monday, 22 November 2010

ljmu e-learning forum on open-learning objects

Theme: “The BIG Share” Open Learning Resources

Institutions are starting to open up their resources to the wider world, projects that enable open sharing of content are happening across the sector, making content available on the web supporting your teaching and learning.

This e-learning forum will concentrate on these emerging resources. If will give the background context, discuss the educational implications, provide examples within the institution and provide support for you to look for yourself. 


David Kernohan (JISC) Virtual Presentation Via Wimba

David Kernohan has worked for JISC since 2006, latterly being involved in managing the UKOER programmes and related work. He's worked for HEFCE, and "has stories" about CETLs, FDTL and professional standards for HE teaching staff, and once upon a time ran staff development events, lectured in Music Technology, and prepared for QAA audits. He also blogs on educational openness and policy at and keeps a running commentary on twitter as dkernohan.

Traci Hudson (HEA) Module/Programme leader. Joint Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator

Traci will be discussing how nursing courses at LJMU are using resources developed by Nottingham University.

Ruth Nagus (ECL) ECL Faculty Learning Technologist

Ruth will be discussing how education courses are embedding a range of external resources to support learning.

Alex Spiers (AEU) – Learning Technology Officer

iTunesU – Alex will be discussing the current LJMU development project for the introduction of this service.

Katherine Harbord (MAS) – Senior Lecturer

Katherine will be discussing her use of open learning resources to support her students

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iPad homemade teleprompter

I love this video,

There are more basic ones that don’t require an ipad made from wood – but I just love the reuse of the ipad packaging and the whole simplicity.

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Squarepusher, scott mcCloud and educational innovation/creativity

Scott mccloud is an american comic book writer. I only know his books on the history and culture of comics, which are innovatively written as comic books. In the second of these, using only a few frames he describes the journey a someone makes when developing within a field. I'm making a very short summary here. We become skilled enough to become part of the group, this takes several steps,then we become highly skilled, equivalent to a master crafts man, but are only really copying what has come before. Then we become aware of the practice we are in and see areas for innovation, then we become aware of ourselves in the group. Finally we become aware of the group as if standing outside looking in. this is the final level, which many do not reach. This simplified version does do the comic panels justice, however, scott captures the journey from newbie to accomplish artist, from student to phd, from new academic to high level research, and from student lecturer to innovative lecturer.
It has all the levels of Biggs' SOLO taxonomy and the practice community of wenger. in an interview with bbc culture show the highly innovative bassplyer Squarepusher, talks about the way he approaches the instrument. to sum t is up it somewhere between knowing everything about the instrument and how it is played now, and rejecting all these in order to play it as if you have never hear or see it before 'like a monkey' as he puts it. This sessms a very obscure reference, but in particular approach to innovation we need space to play, a high level of skill and knowledge of the field, but also the confidence to reject established practice. I present these as interesting ways of thinki about innovation. They have connection and links with academic research in this areabut also jump out at me as a different way of thinking about it.

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Friday, 19 November 2010

It's so obvious, adoption happens at a local level, so issues, policy and response must be cated there - Trowler notes

Trowler uses so vignettes to illustrate this. The india nation 'blackboard' campaign tried to improve teaching practice with packs of training materials and teacher training. it had very little impact. It was seen as 'proving a remedy to the wrong ailment' and 'confirming to an ideal' where the reality was completely different.
NewU brings in a policy to broaden the student experience with elective modules. Staff find creative to conform to this policy but without offering any electives. There are even cases on 'compulsory elective'.
This localised adaptation can lead to real problems Analysis of the shuttle disaster was connected to a 'the normalisation of deviance'. Health and safety procedures were adapted over time and through a social process that allowed it to become acceptable.
Trowler cultures and change in h.e. P42

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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Useful ref for the social appropriation of technology

As tools are adopted by different cultures they become part of that culture, have a history and a social significance which can be contrary to the original intention.

They are almost always 'domesticated' [bakhin 1981]

They are 'marked' with a rich history and context [de certeau 1984]

So in the introduction of tools it is not just a problem of learning the techniques, it is being very mindful of the context, the change in power relationships 'the deeper social significance' [wertsch 1998 p66

But individuals + tools + skills are all iner-dependent. And a difficult to transfer. wertsch use the metaphor, learn to ride one bike and you can ride then all. But this is rare for tools and skill toe so transferable. The complexity of contexts makes it so.

From trowler 'cultures and change in higher ed'

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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A focus on the workgroup, notes from trowler book

The missing level of analysis is the meso level, as opposed to institution or individual. But this is simply a choice, by looking at this you are not fundermentally changing the nature of what you are looking at on the level of the 'figure' and its 'ground'
In looking at the individual, you recognise, explore and record the context.

Structure and agency in workgroups
Socialisation of teachers and lectures is very strong. They come with ready made symbols , guiding metaphors and beliefs that are hard to change. [entwistle et al 2000]

Here is a useful reference of the idea of institutionalisation berger and luckman 1967. 'gradual hardening of behaviour into taken-for-granted patterns'

'the interaction between structure and agency, between forces in social life which impose regularity on our behaviour and our ability to operate freely is what giddens calls 'structuration'.' .... 'people are carriers and creators of webs of meaning'

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Monday, 15 November 2010

Sociocultural understanding of teaching learning and assessment

Using a quote by tyack and Cuban 1995, Trowler highlights that deep culture stifles deep change. Proposition one - He uses fences and wells analogies to look at meaning and significance. Proposition two – "people's interaction with objects (tools technologies) is socially mediated: the objects themselves may influence the nature of social reality in significant ways"
Proposition three – "workgroups develop sets of discursive repertoires, which both express social realities and operate to constrain and delimit them."
Proposition four – "work groups develop unique ways of using the tools available to them and a context-specific understanding of aspects of their project"
Proposition five – "individual identities, or subjectivities, are similarly mediated and conditioned by social context."
Proposition six – "historical background, or least narratives about the past constructed by participants, has very significant influences on the social life in the present" (notes to self. This could be a really interesting area to explore in a study)
"any attempt to generalise across social contexts is fraught with danger" pp18 this is a great trawler quote and urges us all to take care in working across organisations. "Sociocultural and psychological approaches: the need for rebalancing"
Trowler says that H.E. approach to teaching and learning are dominated by psychological perspectives eg deep and surface learning. The context has been removed, as in this video

The reason why this approach has not affected T/L practice is because the 'local' has never been engaged. The cultural, historical and emotional aspects of the discipline and workgroup are ignored. But this isn't and either/or trawler is only looking for a rebalance.
He argues that the Meso level what i would call the local level is never considered. "When people go to work at their university they go to their department."

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Trowler - Multiple Cultures in Organisations, notes

Trowler uses Alvesson 1993 to highlight the great mix of levels and types of cultures an individual or group can belong too.
"the idea of multi cultural configurations takes ambiguity seriously without placing it at the centre of the analysis" Alvesson quote. So even if we add all this complexity we resist the temptation to make everything relative.
In reviewing this type of frame Trowler also points out that cultures are never 'birthmarked' (Greco,1988) or forever shaped by powerful personalities as in Clark 1972).
This is part of the picture why large scale implementations are difficult, because we tend to have a homogenous view of institutional cultures. We need to think 'market garden' and not 'agribusiness'.
'all models are wrong, but some are a good deal more useful than others'

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Friday, 12 November 2010

Henry et al - 1992 - eva project at uclan looking at institutional ethics and values audit

These are abridged notes from trowler 2010 p8-10

Attempting to do a psycho-metric, management consultant style audit for specific applied purposes. [personal reflection; my study has the applied approach, but with my job it is in escapable.]

It's designed to map individual' personalities, abilities and potential. [this seems unfairly damming of trowler and needs further investigations]

eva is a multi method approach, which is looking at the whole institution. As trowler says this is missing the point of loosing the local dimension and demonstrates the asumptions made about culture.

Eva looks as a very few aspects of ethics and values, these include trust, collaboration, information flow, power and professional respect. [trust should be review in this study] trowler argues that other aspects such as curriculur content could reveal much about values of individuals and institution. [taking a theme such as this a looking at all the different approaches, descriptions and values associated with it could reveal many dimensions]

distinct boundaries are very difficult to maintain between broad concepts such as ethics and values, they stray into other areas. This in natural and somewhat predicted by the background of the author. The author must be explicit when discussing them.

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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Trowler - cultures and change in h. e. - notes 1

What is culture
Lazy science because you can't define it - gerth and mills 1970
'the way we do things around here' geertz 1983

Look at it phenomenalistic - kuh and whitt 1988 but this looses and coherent narrative Could use a 'nomothetic' approach by naming different possible cultures Or
'inductive derived categorising' which build categories of culture from ground up.

Name some possible cultures and slot examples later. This tends to be functionalist 'for a reason' looking to better the system
The approach is defind in waterman 1993

Handy has a go in 1993
-power culture
-role culture Task culture -person culture

Berquist has a go in 1992 looking specially at universities
-Collegial culture
-managerial culture -developmental culture -Negotiating culture Mcnay 1995 mirrors berquist Collegium, bureaucracy, corporation and enterprise Inductively derived categorising [idc]
Nomothetic is imposed - idc reverses this, built from observation but avoids phenomenologic perspective. Uses participants to build frame work. Bill tierney 1988 builds framework from college over an academic year. framework includes -environment - what external pressures -mission, eg how is it decided Socialisation - how do newbies get inducted
Information - ownership and dissemination
Strategy - decision making
Leadership - formal and informal This framework is missing sub-cultures and tends to be all at the same corporate level. Withcomb and deshler 1983 conducted 83 interviews at CSU and distilled this frame work
Ccommitment to institution Unity/community Humanistic values
Academic quality
Educational freedom Ethical values
Institutional indentity

This is still corporate in nature, but does go deeper than tierney Henry et al 1992 - EVA study of uclan. This uses a rae of tool to develop a deep and higly interlated set of themes that support values

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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

watermarking image content for blogs - Lots of our students are getting excited about blogging. But are unsure of releasing images of their work (art + design students). This service reduces the image size and watermarks the image for free. It also does not hold any rights over images upload to it’s service and destroys any content after 4 hours. With a couple of clicks you can have some kind of peace of mind over your image rights.

It also links directly with flickr

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Friday, 5 November 2010

Report to hefce by nus - we want more tech but we're not sure why

This is being a little unfair about this report produced by nus that does capture [although somewhat depressingly] the perceptions of the student body.

Through desk research and focus groups they conclude, students want more choice, lectures that can use the technology, not a standard approach across disciplinesbut they are not sure that it really works.

the main point that stands out here is if you discuss innovation with people who have relatively little experience to draw from you will get thesse kinds of answers. A real opportunity was missed here by not involving students that had experienced a fully blended course that demonstrated a very different or radical approach to learning. this could have provided all the participants with a different vision and moved the debate on a bit further than where we are. Instead we experience the very conservative nature of students, that does represent the majority but does nothing for the possibilities.
They use the big reviews eg becta and newspaper articles to draw some conclusions. I'm very sceptical of how guardian reports are reliable enough to be considered uses to this report. Interesting points
Point 107 - answering the question in the symposium 'why might students want this technology? 'the most immediate answer is that the rest of the world is moving in that direction'. isn't a liitle sad that students don't believe that this can help and support learning and instead focus on the 'well if they've got one then we need it too.

Point 108 to summarise- 'e-journals are okay but they make access too easy'. By allowing greater access to resources we are damaging student learning because it's too easy. We need to make it harder, have only one paper copy, that is lost somewhere in the library.

conclusion This is a very useful report that shows us the huge gulf between the benefits thst technology can bring and the experience and perceptions of students. Come NUS you can do better than this
Student perspectives on technology, demand perceptions and training 2010

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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

clicker ideas . . . Great list of ideas to inspire creative use of voting systems

Derek has just published a book on the subject. I can’t vouch for the book but this site is overflowing with different ideas.

I particularly like running live experiments using the clickers

And student perception based questions, where students rate a particular outcome (eg nurses giving opinions on what symptoms indicate,%20N3%20Bruff.pdf

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Monday, 1 November 2010

Tumblr as student visual portfolio system - terms of service implications

Tumblr as student portfolio system

The service agreement

-       Back up

You are strongly urged to take measures to preserve copies of any data, material, content or information you post or upload on the Site. You are solely responsible for creating back-ups of your Subscriber Content.”

This is a fairly standard statement, but all students wishing to use the site will need to understand that they and not LMJU or Tumblr, are responsible for backing up content. How do students do this. I’m still looking into this, there does seem to be download tools out there, but how buggy these are would take some work.

-       Data is not shared with third parties – but in the event of a buy-out tumblr would pass on the user data

-       Copyright infringement  by students – Students accounts could be removed if a claim of use of copyright infringement is brought against them. Students should be aware of using copyrighted materials on their site

-       Students ownership of uploaded content – tumblr makes no claim over these materials “You own and control what you share on Tumblr”

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