Here is what our focus is for Week Two:
Educational use of social media
(Starting Monday Nov 19 - Wrap-up Sunday Nov 25)
We will look at:
- Using social media in a pedagogical way
- Links to real examples of educational use
- Decision making around when to use what social media tool
This week's elluminate session will look at 'tagging' but not the graffiti kind (for all you hip educators out there).
Now this is a very useful model that could be used for helping young folk to vent and express, in ways that are meaningful at a difficult teen time:
I particularly like the 'brick tags' (yes, thats a segue for this weeks Elluminate!).
Online Pedagogy: Theories & Best Practices
" New technologies can communicate high expectations explicitly and efficiently. Significant real-life problems, conflicting perspectives, or paradoxical data sets can set powerful learning challenges that drive students to not only acquire information but sharpen their cognitive skills of analysis, synthesis, application, and evaluation. "
Chickering, A. & Ehrmann, S. (1996), Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever" at http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html .
Comprehensive Websites about Best Practices
- RODP Standards and Template Guidelines at rodp.org
- SREB Principles of Good Practice at ecinitiatives.org
- Guiding Principles for Faculty in Distance Learning at ihets.org
- Good Practices in Teaching and Learning as ucd.edu
- Best Practices for Teaching Online at deltastate.edu
- TLT/Seven Principles Library at tltgroup.org
- Low-Threshold Applications as tltgroup.org
- The Design of Constructivist Learning Environments at missouri.edu
- Good Models of Teaching with Technology as knowledgeloom.org
- Assessment at uts.edu.au
- Good Practices in Student Assessment at ucd.edu
Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education
Chickering, A. & Gamson, Z. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin (39)7. Summarized several places on the Internet including: [ http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/7princip.htm ]
Good practice in undergraduate education:
- encourages contact between students and faculty;
- develops reciprocity and cooperation among students;
- encourages active learning;
- gives prompt feedback;
- emphasizes time on task;
- communicates high expectations; and
- respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
I just skimmed some of the resources you posted. The one that caught my eye was Distance Education: Facing the Faculty Challenge. Great article. My own experience in trying to promote post-graduate work-based Master's education in a UK university, around 2000, came up against the sort of institutional rigidities the article suggests. (I have only skim read it so might be misinterpreting).
I now use the techniques and methods I used then, and continue to use in a consultancy capacity with the same university and in my own business. I hear from colleagues at the university that there is still concern over quality in work-based programmes. I had stopped arguing about quality with colleagues. Concern with quality is of course appropriate. What I was dscerning was an inability or unwillingness to shift mental models. In designing a wok-based Master's programme, we started with the university-wide definition of the characteristics of Master's level learning - dealing with uncertainty, complexity and demonstrating higher-level cognitive skills like judging, assessing, critically reflecting, choosing, dealing with ambiguity, tensions, paradoxes, trade-off etc.
Eveything we did -drafting learning outcomes, shaping asessment criteria, specifying modes of assessment, was rigorous. Probably a bit of a pain to the students. Our early attempts to demonstrate academic rigour may have disadvantaged some students. Then we realised that no matter how we demonstrated our commitment to quality, we were always going to be accused on being not quite academic, just by the very fact that we were doing something different.
How do we begin the dialogue? How do we begin to communicate to people who have worked in a particular way that there is a place for teaching and there are different ways of learning that increasingly have their place in complex, rapidly changing work environments? From what I hear, that particular conversation still needs to take place in this university.
Of course it is the deep concern of the adherence to quality that has educators (and clearly academics like yourself) alarmed at the shift to a highly 'flexible' learning modality. How to benchmark the rigour within the new context is doubtless a question many are asking and probably the reason for some luddite behaviours. It's probably hard enough to get all bases covered every semester without having to assess, adopt and deploy fancy new processes that may or may not bring something valuable to the learning table.
However, the dialogue ought to begin with where everyone is and what they think would indicate an improvement by virtue of installing the new capabilities. What can be defined as advantageous? More creativity, more student input, greater ownership of the learning opportunity. I believe that these creative technologies offer just such and enhance the learning process.
What are the barriers and challenges that prohibit that happening?
"It's probably hard enough to get all bases covered every semester without having to assess, adopt and deploy fancy new processes that may or may not bring something valuable to the learning table."
Correct. Fancy new processes and fancy new technologies at a time, in the UK at least, where the government's desire to increase the intake of 18 - 30 year olds to 50% means that student numbers have escalated with no comensurate increase in resources. My academic pals are not having an easy time of it.
I agree that the dialogue starts where people are - on both sides. And that means giving those of us involved in distance / work-based learning the credit for being as concerned with quality and academic standards as colleagues from more established pedagogic traditions.
And that means giving those of us involved in distance / work-based learning the credit for being as concerned with quality and academic standards as colleagues from more established pedagogic traditions.
I'd add to that the need to recognise (which does seem to be happening, certainly at my university - also in the UK) that a lot of effort needs to go into developing and maintaining an online course. It's not "put the notes up" - it's altering the whole approach to teaching, an approach that, lets face it, has worked for really a rather long time. Not only do students have to learn to learn on line, so staff have to learn to teach online - and it's a big change. I think that if you don't take on board that need to change, then ensuring standards can be very difficult.
Sounds like a wise move. I can empathise completely as I am often the ideator for a lot of content that goes on to assume the profile of the brand!
What do you think can be done to improve this situation?
Designers and artists are caught in the middle, their work/creativity contributes to course development, yet it is rarely acknowledged because technically they have no ownership claims. The Extension Division here had a policy that the instructional designer's name was included next to the subject matter expert on a credit page, but that may no longer be required under the new structure. Once the designer/artist leaves an organization, they no longer have access to a course and can't demonstrate it to prospective employers.
My advise to instructional designers
- keep a portfolio of your best work separate from the project
- participate in publishing articles to raise your professional profile and don't let yourself be listed too far down the list of authors on joint publications. Presenting at conferences is great, but it doesn't have the same cachet with faculty as being a published author
- become very familiar with the journals that accept submissions from designers
- write a blog
- initiate the idea of doing a research project about the course right at the beginning of a project and it will raise you from servile to collegial status as well as adding needed research.
Good advice, Deirdre. As an instructional designer myself, I do not create materials and processes for online only per se, but your suggestions made me think of others who share such issues.
Do you know if there are any communities or organizations for instructional designers or those looking to continue sharing these types of suggestions? I know there are some real techy-ones, but my organization (about 13,000 employees) has trouble understanding what I do unless it directly relates with specific projects (and, let's face it, which ones do not??!!). Some ongoing conversations would be very helpful . . .
I've been thinking that a NING group might be in order just for designers. What do people think? http://www.ning.com/
Great idea! I have been wondering if such things exist, though have found them somewhat elusive. Let me know when and how you want to begin!
I'm a huge lurker here, but am always learning with you all. I loved your idea, Deirdre, about the ning group. How about iDesign or InDesign or eDesign? Just speaking up my mind.
A Brazilian EFL instructor
I hear clearly what you are saying about the amount of effort in designing and maintaining online material, and ofcourse there is a real danger of standards being compromised if staff and students are not supported through such fundamental changes in approaches to learning.
Supporting workbased learning is equally novel and staff intensive, requiring new skills from facilitators and students alike. For staff, this includes adjusting to new pedagogic / andragogic methods and developing sophisticated inter-personal skills in working with students. In my experience, WBL can be stressful and emotional. Now add social media technologies into the mix - it all needs careful and sensitive handling. Not easy for already over-committed lecturers.
Threat to quality under these circumstances is related to appropriate resourcing and support. Some traditional educators think that work-based and distance learning is inherently academically inferior and therefore threatens quality. It is very pleasing to be able to demonstrate otherwise.
Forgive me if this has already happened, but with all these great links, has anyone set up a del.icio.us tag where we can share what we bookmark?
I believe Therese is masterminding both the wiki and the del.icio.us aspect because Im her pupil in this regard..!
And remember, Therese also parcels the goodies at the end of the session with a take away pdf if all else fails.
Im the retriever, she is the librarian extraordinaire...
I LOVE your bookmarks.
I was following your random mind bookmarks before I knew who they belonged to. You have a good eye and a knack for finding what is new and interesting online. Kudos to you.
We are tagging our bookmarks with Scope668
A lot of what was discussed and presented at the conference centred around how to engage learners - much was made of Google Apps and other social tools for engaging learners and almost without exception it was collaboratively and in a mobile space - online, blended or a variation of the two.
I know that in my own practice that I have evolved to a place where almost all of the learning that happens, happens collaboratively - as team members in a project, as classmates contributing to a wiki, ad so on.
There is so much information out there today that the only way it can be successfully gathered, interpreted, and managed is collaboratively - learning has become a team sport - while the individual learner must still take on board skills and knowledge, they are doing it collaboratively with each other with us as the educators along for the ride.
So here is another paradigm shift to consider - has learning and how we learn changed from an individual venture to a collaborative one where to be a successful learners you must have social skills, and be able to use social tools to collaborate? Have we reached a point where social media tools have become the blackboards, chalk, and scribblers of yesterday? Hmmm...
I can open most of those below the list of the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, but only a few in the bulleted list above it.
But there are so many - and so much there -- that it's almost too much to take in anyway.
Thanks so much for sharing them.
Online social networking benefits youth, study says is an article in the Beacon
Social surfing and tagging
Weblin, recently launched in beta, is a program that lets you create a web avatar that travels with you on your web journey. When you come across a site where there are other Weblins, you’ll be able to see them and strike up a conversation. In this sense, Weblin is nearly taking the characters out of Second Life and letting them follow you around the Internet. The similarities between Weblin and Second Life don’t stop there. While their service is currently free during their beta mode, in the future you’ll be able to buy a virtual currency, and even sell your avatars. You can choose several characters to represent you on the web, and Weblin offers some image and 3D avatars or you could upload your own.
Weblin offers a tag cloud for the most visited sites for Weblin avatar. Still early days for this concept, but I can see it catching on.
What is twidox?
- Publishing of quality documents
- Search our online library for quality documents
- Find quotable documents for your publications
- Downloading of documents, podcasts and videos
- Networking with Users that share your field of interest
- Finding learn material and lecture handouts from your University
- The complete service is FREE!
Near-Time generally performed well in creating content, collaboration, and sharing knowledge — all at a low price.
If you are looking for a way to communicate with teams (local or distributed) then don’t waste any more time. Give Near-Time a spin.
Having fully committed to use this tool for one of the companies I manage, it is nice to see you aggressively updating and improving.
“We needed to find new ways to communicate with our community. Our customers are very busy during the day, and the blog/wiki’s clean, readable style makes it easier for for our customers to quickly get our latest communications.”
Netscout Community Manger
Highly recommended and perfect for things like year-end tax planning among specific client groups or the dissemination of information related to an acquisition. Think of the time savings alone of having an interactive, multi-media environment? What about inviting clients in? Now that’s radical.
I must say that I am INCREDIBLY impressed with near-time… you’ve just got a great thing here that so many people could benefit from!
It changes the way you teach. Our teachers are able to edit and correct the writing more immediately, too. We get more ‘time on task’ in a Near-Time learning environment than we had in our computer and print learning environment in the past.
Columbia College Chicago
Repost as I couldnt see it
P2P and Human Happines
The emergence of distributed networks, defined by capacity of agents to freely determine their actions and relations, and of the internet and the social web in particular, have created a new set of technological affordances creating a broad range of open knowledge and open design communities functioning according to a ‘peer to peer’ social logic. These communities have set in motion a new set of social processes for the creation of value, which we could summarize as peer production (the ability to produce in common), peer governance (the capacity to self-organize) and peer property (the capacity to make common production universally available). The social web has created the possibility to create complex social services, and ‘productive systems’, through the global coordination and scaling of small group processes of mass participation, moving them from the periphery of social life to its very center.
The aim of this paper is to describe the characteristics of this new social process, and to see how they are specifically related to the issue of human happiness.
Added: October 12, 2007
A short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.