Saturday, 9 July 2011


e-learning forum –
mobile TECHNOLOGIES FOR teaching and learning

Here is some information about this recent session and what was discussed.

This session looked in particular at the ever increasing opportunities that mobile platforms such as tablets and smart phones are bringing to learning and teaching. The learning technology team, at the AEU wanted to ‘kick start’ a special interest group to explore these developments with you.

Thanks to Alex Spiers and David Sorfa for presenting.

Conclusion is to continue building this group and run a few more ‘get togethers’ to share experiences and knowledge over the next year.

The discussion highlighted for us these issues and opportunities

· Staff perceived as being available 24/7. Those students may see this as an increased opportunity to access staff.

· Digital literacy of students and staff in knowing the issues and opportunities

· The increased level of support needed to help students using a wide variety of different hardware


· Martin Hanneghan from Computing and Maths is willing to support the technological development of any good ideas for teaching and learning tools.

· Geo location as a focus or one of the main opportunities to be explored regarding this development

· The use of QR codes to support students in a variety of ways. Martin Hanneghan has developed a way of using them to identify students locations within large and complex buildings.

· Access to more timely information of equipment availability and booking this online.

· Research Blackboard Mobile and its effectiveness at other HEI’s

· Linking different level of student service. There is a possibility that students could have an opportunity to print lecture notes for free for a limited period, but still have access to online copies.

· Meet up to share handy mobile apps


JISC Mobile Learning Programmes
JISC Mobile Web Apps Briefing Paper
JISC Mobile and Wireless Technologies Review
Growth in Mobile

Jim Turner + Alex Spiers

Posted via email from abstractrabbit (Jim Turner) posterous

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Enhanced and Transformed Conference and Feedback

Apologies, arrived late for Allison Littlejohn’s keynote presentation: 'Collective Learning: enhancing learning, transforming practice' - She got us to discuss in group a new dimension in learning technology. It’s always good for a bit of interaction, even in a keynote. Her current research has been modeling ‘expert’ behaviours of informal learning in industry. She is trying to formulate a different way of mapping these activities that allow colleagues/students to learn from each others methods. Really interesting research. What worries me is in large organisations, informal networks and learning methods happen within human social political environments. These can distort the honesty/trust within the system. Basically some people play different games in order to take advantage. Not all the informal networks can be accessed at the same level by all. I’m reminded of the Al Pacino character in Glengarry Glen Ross.
We were asked why H.E. is slower at adoption than secondary school sector. I commented about the size of organisations or teams, which was poorly considered, but I still think I had a point. There is lots of research exploring the effect of trust in smaller teams, e.g. all the stuff that comes from the Dunbar studies.
True, all large organisations are made from small teams, but the larger the organization the harder it becomes to direct. What I really meant was the different cultures and diversity of values are more complex.
Sasha van Straten from Berkhamstead School commented that he comes from a very large secondary school, were they are making many innovations. But, what helps is the school head is behind the development. Any chance of a job!
Allison also mentioned swirl another interesting tool from google. This provides a different viewpoint on banks of images and content. Allison should look up the ensemble project
Someone else questioned the level of idealism within Allison’s vision. And this theme continued for me with some of the other presentations.
I chatted to the pupils, teacher and Sasha from Berhamstead in the break. He does have a very well organized programme of staff development and all the right motivational tools to get engagement. The project they were here to present was very interesting. Using google docs for staff to give live feedback on, and students watching and/or making changes as they go. Oh. . . that’s nice. I know a few people who would enjoy trying that out.

Transforming a face-to-face PGCert for an online environment: a transferable pedagogical model. PowerPoint show Will Stewart
I went to Will’s session, he outlined is framework for a online activity centred model of distance learning. His energy was infectious, although I do think there would be problems scaling up this model. Mostly because you can scale up Will, who I suspect is one of the main reasons why this model works. The model itself is closely connected with e-tivities type courses.

Then went to see
Nesting in, taking flight: Embedding innovation and inspiring new practice with distance Masters students in the DUCKLING project PowerPoint show Terese Marie Bird
Some great research, that has 'nested in, and 'taking flight'. It also shows how fast the technology is moving. Their research into e-books as distance learning delivery tools has been completely surpassed by ipad development. The data about the effect from the introduction of podcasts within the vle was very useful. Forgive me if this is wrong but it appears it had a big impact on retention and efficiency for staff. I asked if the money from the project had made a difference in the level of engagement from the staff. Helen Beetham (JISC) was there and the evidence from jisc is that money does make some difference but not as much as giving the project a name and all the internal kudos that surrounds it.

Lunch, were I discussed the future of H.E. with a few people. One reflection was the lack of future scoping and market research that is undertaken in the sector, something that was latter commented on by Helen Beetham

After lunch I did my talk Digital Identities – the fine art of blogging. I was expecting to have very low attendance because of the subject area is very particular and not easy to replicate. But I got around 30, which freaked me a bit. Questions were a slow coming, which worries me that I delivered too much, too fast. Met a great contact afterwords with someone working in the same area and using wordpress. Our institution charges around 250 a year to run this software, which is frustrating, but might be something to work on.

Ten Tales of Transformation PDF Helen Beetham was very, very useful. She presented 10 stories of projects in developments that meet the current challenges. Some of the projects I have heard of but others could be very promising. But it is also a little depressing that we are not this far ahead, and are still a little distracted and confused. The general picture is of instigating programme level of change and supporting this with looser quality procedures built on trust.
I asked my usual question, and still don’t have an answer. Internal student run consultancy. Wow needs to run one of these for us workshop idea using cards, similar to carpe diem

All in all very useful, interesting bunch of people and some good presentations.

Posted via email from abstractrabbit (Jim Turner) posterous

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Useful study when discussing the merits of moving to a more active teaching approach

Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student
survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses

A survey of pre/post-test data using the Halloun – Hestenes Mechanics Diagnostic test or more recent
Force Concept Inventory is reported for 62 introductory physics courses enrolling a total number of
students N 􏰔 6542. A consistent analysis over diverse student populations in high schools, colleges,
and universities is obtained if a rough measure of the average effectiveness of a course in promoting
conceptual understanding is taken to be the average normalized gain g . The latter is defined as the
ratio of the actual average gain ( %post% pre ) to the maximum possible average gain ( 100
􏰓 % 􏰍 pre􏰄 ) . Fourteen ‘‘traditional’’ ( T ) courses ( N 􏰔 2084) wich made little or no use of
interactive-engagement 􏰏IE􏰀 methods achieved an average gain g T - ave0.230.04std dev In
sharp contrast, 48 courses ( N 􏰔 4458) which made substantial use of IE methods achieved an
average gain 􏰍 g 􏰄 IE-ave􏰔 0.48􏰕 0.14 􏰏std dev􏰀, almost two standard deviations of 􏰍 g 􏰄 IE-ave above that
of the traditional courses. Results for 30 ( N 􏰔 3259) of the above 62 courses on the problem-solving
Mechanics Baseline test of Hestenes – Wells imply that IE strategies enhance problem-solving
ability. The conceptual and problem-solving test results strongly suggest that the classroom use of
IE methods can increase mechanics-course effectiveness well beyond that obtained in traditional

Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student
survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses
Richard R. Hakea)

Clickers and how different types of students respond to them and the impacts that makes

The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of technology proficiency and
clicker use on students’ perceptions of clickers, engagement and class grade point average.
Four hundred five students completed a questionnaire that measured Student Technology
Proficiency (STP; Garcia and Zapf, in press), and participated in the validation of two new
dependent measures: perception of clickers and student engagement. Class GPA was
collected after the semester ended. A 2x2 MANOVA experiment was conducted and yielded
no differences between students enrolled in a clicker class versus not, but there were
several findings between STP groups. Students high in STP had a favorable view of clickers
compared to students low in STP, but students low in STP had higher engagement and
earned higher grades than students high in STP. We speculate that clickers continue to fill
a pedagogical niche, but only in conjunction with effective teaching practices. Implications
for teaching and learning are discussed.

The Influence of Tech-Savvyness and Clicker Use on Student Learning
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Vol. 5, No. 1 (January 2011)

Posted via email from abstractrabbit (Jim Turner) posterous

Classroom culture and feedback

This paper is an example of a situation where a particular culture has grown from the attitudes all parties in a classroom. the result being a very strategic view of education as passing a set of tests, and teaching being about preparing you for these tests


Nice summary to qualitative action research findings

"I have attempted to understand and represent students' experiences as fully and fairly as possible, and to report (in Bruner's words) "what they say their worlds are like." As in all research, these findings are interpreted first through the lens of the researcher - and then by the reader. In spite of the limitations of our constructed understandings, it is important that we attempt, as Beekman (1986) suggests, to see students' motivational struggles and the world of classroom literacy from a "common horizon" with students."

Posted via email from abstractrabbit (Jim Turner) posterous