As we have only two weeks to plan, develop and test an online learning activity, I'm opening up a new topic thread to get us started on the first steps of the practical aspects of this seminar.
Alice pointed out that we need to ask some further questions as we explore ways to develop engaging online learning activities: Who? What? When?
From the teacher/instructor perspective:
"Who (are the Learners)?
What (Actual Techniques linked to real learning objectives)?
When (Timing within the learning/teaching framework)?"
and more importantly, from the learner/student perspective:
“What is in this for Me?”
I've compiled a simple LinoIt bulletin board of questions to help us collect and discuss useful questions - if you'd like to add your questions (this will be a shared resource so you can use it afterwards if you find it has value), let me know and I'll give you access to contribute.
Please review the questions and use the ones you find useful to begin to develop your online learning activity (or repurpose an OLA you want to improve). I'm going to blog about how I apply these questions in the development of a new OLA. You're welcome to do the same and share your planning with us or you may want to share "nuggets" from your planning back to this forum topic thread?
So, to reiterate,
1. Review the collection of planning questions in the Linoit bulletin board. Share any additional questions (or thoughts about the questions that are there?)
2. Begin to plan your online learning activity - share with us the highlights (nuggets?) of your planning or any challenges you encounter as you try to answer the questions for your project.
How do I add a new question to your bulletin board? I would like to add questions about how to assess student learning and how to help student self-assess and self-direct their learning.
Your question about the level of student skill in both the tech area and content area is important to me as I work with students with low math skills and often low tech skill and experience. I see my role as the resource person is to set up activities to help my students learn these online tech skills while they are still in an F2F situation and before they start online courses. At this level, teaching the tech skills without interfering with teaching the subject content skills is often challenging.
I look forward to hearing from the experienced facilitators in our group.
Out of confusion comes clarity,
I've reset the preferences on the bulletin board. You should be able to post stickies now. It may ask you to sign up - not absolutely sure that "guest" privileges require identification.
Just select the colour of sticky you want to use and click on it. It will open a sticky and you can type in your question - you can select different font sizes or it provides access to more colours to choose from - for sticky backgrounds and for font colours. Click "Post" when you're done. You can click and drag the sticky to a location on the board; resize it by clicking and dragging the bottom right hand corner.
I think we all struggle with trying to create engaging online activities without creating too much additional work to learn how to use the tool. While I want my learners to focus on the content or topic of the activity, I'm also trying to build their familiarity and comfort with online learning using a range of tools (not just Facebook ;-)
I'll be curious to read what other experienced online facilitators suggest but I try to keep it simple if I know my students are unfamiliar with learning technologies or have limited access to technology and connectivity. I make sure I have some simple tutorials (or "how-to" documents or screencasts) that I can share if required. If I'm in a blended situation as you are describing, I might set aside 5-10 minutes at the start of each class to "work out the bugs" .
What can make this kind of decision even more challenging is when you are hired as a sessional instructor (as so many teachers are these days) and you're assigned to teach a course you haven't taught before to a student audience that are completely unfamiliar. In situations like this I've tried to tease out student comfort levels and knowledge through introductions or by having them complete brief surveys.
My hope for the practical focus of this seminar is that you will actually apply your questions (and the others on the bulletin board) to your selection of the type of learning activity you will test and the tool(s) you choose to build it. YOU get to choose the complexity of the learning activity and the tool you want to use to build it.
And if you can get it roughed out before August 15, then you have an audience to present it to who will help you figure out ways to improve it or to make you think ahead to avoid challenges you may not have perceived yet.
Here is my attached first attempt at putting together a success-building table (rubric) and guided review and reflect questions for the learning journal. At this level, this is the first time most of my students have heard about Blackboard Learn, our UFV LMS, so I need to teach them step-by-step how to use Blackboard Learn in our f2f class.
One of the activities I start with is the Review and Reflect journal as I want them to use it weekly for self-assessment. I have started with word descriptions as I have to learn how to make the visual descriptions; that's what I am learning to do now.
This is a draft; I'm open to suggestions.
Out of confusion comes clarity,
Thanks for sharing your plan as you begin to develop your online learning activity idea!
I went through your document and added comments about specific questions or ideas that occurred to me as I read each step. I've uploaded the annotated document here with my initials at the end to identify it.
My general responses / questions are as follows:
1. What are your main objectives? Do you have a specific intended learning outcome for your activity? Is it to teach them the metacognitive skill of tracking their progress and thinking about their learning? Are you teaching them self-assessment skills?
When I read the reflective questions, it would appear that you think they might be going out and finding other information about the weekly topics? You ask them if they have any learning tips to share - is that something you teach them about? How to analyze their own learning You also ask if they have other resources to share? About what and where would they find these? Would it require them to know how to copy and paste URLs? Do they already know how to do this?
2. I believe you want to build their comfort with the learning environment as well? From reading your directions, I'm uncertain whether you want to teach them how to copy and paste from one document to another OR to post to a learning journal, be able to access teacher comments, and perhaps, respond to the teacher's comments to ask for clarification?
I've questioned why the copy and paste of the table is important? And added some questions about how you will provide the table and reflective questions to them.
Could you add a short paragraph at the beginning to explain your overall intent to someone like me, who isn't a member of your class? From a teacher perspective?
I'm going to try blogging about my developing online learning activity and then put the basic components in a document I think - maybe a Googledoc? My blog post will talk about what I'm trying / hoping to achieve in terms of design and learning; my document will lay out how the student will learn about the objectives, the steps, directions and the tasks I ask them to complete (and maybe some sidelinks to helpful documents/screencasts).
Thanks for being first into the pool on this one Leonne.
When dealing with students, many innovative teachers try to introduce new tools that in some cases become complex to master (even for the digital generation) and the focus can get displaced from the learning topic itself to the use of the tool.
Anyway, I don't think this is the case as I believe all teachers here have an average management of technologies and the use of a new tool just makes learning more interesting (at least that's my case). However, the addition of a tutorial is very helpful in all cases.
Thanks for your advise and guidance.
Sylvia and Carlos,
Thank you for your comments. There are many teachers like me - just starting out to use ed tech in their f2f classrooms and feeling the push/pressure now to develop the skills to teach "tech enhanced" activities in the f2f classes, as well as develop/teach blended/hybrid courses and fully online courses.
We are in a transition from traditional to technical, and there are many teachers who are not yet comfortable with their own ed tech teaching skills let alone with the institution's Learning Management System. That is why the Scope FLO and FDO courses and this type of seminar are so valuable for teachers like me. I take that leap of faith and jump in. I must admit though after I read the intros of who else is in this seminar, I feel a bit intimidated by the tech skills and wonder why I'm here. I know it's because from experience this is a safe and supportive place to make mistakes and learn from them. Learning starts in confusion; it's only easy once you know how to do something.
Out of confusion comes clarity,
Please don't feel intimidated by technological tools. After a while you get familiar wiith themIt happens to all of us. I applause your leap of faith. Don't hesitate. Jump in. I'm sure everyone in this community will be glad to help if you need it.
Although it's my first time participating in Scope and English is not my native language and I get confused with the use of so many inicials like FLO or FDO and more that I don't know what they mean, I'm here too, ready to make mistakes as well and learn from them and from all of you.
Whenever you consider necessary If can be of any help, please let me know. I'll be very glad to help or look for someone else's help together!
Thank you for your offer to help and your "motivating" words. FLO is the Facilitating Learning Online course and FDO is the Facilitating Development Online course, both offered by Scope and with Sylvia R as one of the co-facilitators. These courses were my first introduction to online courses and so worth taking. I experienced both sides - the student first in FLO and then the facilitator in FDO - hence my saying,
Out of confusion comes clarity,
Thanks to Leonne for leading the way.
I've finally settled on a basic idea for an engaging online learning activity. I was really struggling to focus as I've been so immersed in the options that I was getting dizzy!
I think the Principles that relate are Interactivity, Engagement, Tension
I've tried to answer the questions on the Bulletin Board in a Google Doc that I'm including here.
My Plan - Engaging OLA (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aX9qNnxIg3dZSIPQ5v1fMCdjsTPqJhJOsOzFv-xfxTE/edit?usp=sharing)
I look forward to any feedback you care to share!
I look forward to seeing more of your ideas as you have time to write them down (or share them in a video or?)
A great example of the value of planning and testing before you start teaching!
I was unable to share my example interactive video (using the H5P interactive video tool) during the LIVE Collaborate session on Friday because I couldn't get it to share publicly (it wanted viewers to be logged into my website.
With the help of an eagle-eyed friend, I found the setting that I thought would allow people to try the activity more than once but instead that blocked the video from displaying publicly.
Here's the link - the interactions (questions and statements) are shown as blue dots along the video timeline below the video itself. I'm really enjoying this H5P set of tools but they take a bit of learning.
A guided viewing of Daphne Kollner's TEDTalk "What we're learning from online education"
I watched on my iPhone to about the halfway mark but no questions came up. What is the time stamp on the first one? I'm not sure if it's working correctly or not. I know you're sensitive to participants' desire to use their time well, so here's what I might do (learned in a video production course) especially if this is your first time using a new technology.
(1) Expect glitches so create a way for users to test for them very early. You could, for instance, put a brief 'production path' test at the very beginning overlying the opening title. In the text intro to the activity, say what to expect & when, how to tell if it's working, & ask for a response either way in a special 'production path' thread or forum. Make sure to tests all functions the (eg. -- question appears, answer is accepted, feedback if used is provided, process can be skipped or not as you wish). That way the participants will not have to watch beyond the 30 sec mark before knowing if the technology is working on their device. You can't possibly test them all so enlist the help of the group.
(2) Don't assume because the first one worked, they all will. Providing a list of the time stamps of all subsequent questions can give those who want to jump ahead a way to do so. Some may have seen this TedTalk & may not want to watch it all again. Others may like to preview and work back & forth. Knowing where the questions are can help them stay engaged. There may be a few hot shots who on their own will take on the role of tech previewers & send you feedback. You can thank anyone who does that (e.g. sends you a message or posts twice in the production path test thread) with a surprise merit badge. They do wonders for morale as I learned when my brother sent them to me when I was in hospital last year!
That's my 2 bits worth for today. As for the video, it must be several years old ... Interesting that the audience was so receptive to her results (they even applauded the stats). I'm not sure this far post Coursera start-up if her results would go unchallenged as indicators of successful learning. And now if you want a certificate I think you have to pay, so it's moved from free to freemium. So much for altruism in higher ed.
PS One final note -- you may want to check with your campus copyright people to be sure the TT copyright is not infringed by editing their video in this way. The statement of what one can/cannot do without the speaker's permission is quite limiting, but our fair use for education regulations may supersede that.
I really appreciate the thoroughness of your feedback Sue. My responses are in purple between your comments/suggestions.
"I watched on my iPhone to about the halfway mark but no questions came up. What is the time stamp on the first one? I'm not sure if it's working correctly or not. I know you're sensitive to participants' desire to use their time well, so here's what I might do (learned in a video production course) especially if this is your first time using a new technology."
The first interaction (a multiple choice review question) is at 2:24. The video is supposed to pause (it does for me on computer and Samsung phone-Chrome browser). What may be the problem is I left it at the default position (top left corner) and it's not visible enough as it sits overtop of the red letter "E" on the stage. Missed that. I'll doublecheck all the positions when I do my edits.
"1) Expect glitches so create a way for users to test for them very early. You could, for instance, put a brief 'production path' test at the very beginning overlying the opening title. In the text intro to the activity, say what to expect & when, how to tell if it's working, & ask for a response either way in a special 'production path' thread or forum. Make sure to tests all functions the (eg. -- question appears, answer is accepted, feedback if used is provided, process can be skipped or not as you wish). That way the participants will not have to watch beyond the 30 sec mark before knowing if the technology is working on their device. You can't possibly test them all so enlist the help of the group."
I'll try that. I had planned to create a document to explain how the interactive video works and what they would see - BUT - I hadn't thought of embedding this in the video. I'll try it and see how it looks/works.
"(2) Don't assume because the first one worked, they all will. Providing a list of the time stamps of all subsequent questions can give those who want to jump ahead a way to do so. Some may have seen this TedTalk & may not want to watch it all again. Others may like to preview and work back & forth. Knowing where the questions are can help them stay engaged. There may be a few hot shots who on their own will take on the role of tech previewers & send you feedback. You can thank anyone who does that (e.g. sends you a message or posts twice in the production path test thread) with a surprise merit badge. They do wonders for morale as I learned when my brother sent them to me when I was in hospital last year!"
I love the idea of the merit badge for pretesting. We talked about the impact of simple digital badges before we integrated them into the last Facilitating Learning Online workshop - it surprises me how much I like them too.
I had already started working on the transcript that lists the events (questions/statements) after your suggestion in our Collaborate session on Friday - thanks! And TED Talks provide a really useful, clickable text transcript of the talk which I was going to reference (include the link) in my transcript.
"That's my 2 bits worth for today. As for the video, it must be several years old ... Interesting that the audience was so receptive to her results (they even applauded the stats). I'm not sure this far post Coursera start-up if her results would go unchallenged as indicators of successful learning. And now if you want a certificate I think you have to pay, so it's moved from free to freemium. So much for altruism in higher ed.
PS One final note -- you may want to check with your campus copyright people to be sure the TT copyright is not infringed by editing their video in this way. The statement of what one can/cannot do without the speaker's permission is quite limiting, but our fair use for education regulations may supersede that. "
I've done some poking around on the Internet to check any critical responses to her somewhat excessive claims for international educational transformation, etc. and haven't found anything really coherent / cogent yet but I'll keep trying. There must have been some kickback to this video. If I can't find anything good, I'll bet some of my first participants will. Or I'll blog / tweet to see what I can elicit from the cloud ;-)
Surprising to me that so few people question anything that comes with a research reference. I'm planning to review her cited articles for some follow-up discussion about the "value" of educational research.
And yes, it's "freemium" now. And it never was "open" as you have always had to sign away all your rights to any data they could collect from your registration, connection, and activity in a course. If you produced anything in response to course questions/assignments, it was theirs. Yup, I'm hoping for lots of good discussion about the fact that "free" never is and that people who claim to want to provide "quality education" to the world have different ideas about quality than we might have. Lots of issues to think about but Coursera MOOCs are still very useful to many people. We'll explore that too.
And, as to copyright, I thought I was OK because I was using the streaming version of their video and I knew that Ted Talks have a Creative Commons license so educators can use them easily (https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization/our-policies-terms/ted-talks-usage-policy).. Darn!!!!!!! I just went back and reviewed the terms of the "BY NC ND" and it won't work - you're right. DARN!!! The ND specifically states that I can't do overlays - I thought I was in compliance because I wasn't changing the actual video.
But - I'm not defeated. I'm going to embed this with questions in Vialogues which will allow me to add bookmarks with questions and adds a discussion forum underneath. Stay tuned for Version 2!
But I guess we're done so I'll keep working on it.
Re copyright: I found this from the TT people << http://blog.ted.com/meet-popcorn-maker-beau-lotto/>> which encourages people to add layers using Mozilla Popcorn, so I think your original work will be OK after all.
Re viewing on iPhone (using Safari) -- if the overlays are flash-based, they won't show up on this device. For example, I get a message on that Kink I provided that I need a flash player to see Popcorn popups.
I'll try it in Chrome to see if it works.
[Did that -- not seeing it on Chrome either. It could be the location. In that frame I think you'd be safe to set it in a more central spot & make it bigger if you have that kind of control.]
PS I checked the H5P website & apparently their videos not playing on iPhones is a known one. Then I looked around online & it seems to have to do with getting the video to play inline rather than triggering the normal Quicktime player. This seems to have been a problem in IOs which some people say has been fixed in the most recent update which I don't have & can't test. There are ways to fix the code at your end which are supposed to take care of the problem (I can send links if you are confident about playing with code) or there may be a player app you can recommend to people who are having this problem. Oh the joys of technology!!!!
Thx Sue! I owe you a coffee for sure.
Funny thing about Popcorn Maker mashups - I can't get them to play properly in Mozilla Firefox (current version), Chrome (current version) nor Internet Explorer - the audio plays fine and I see their overlays but I don't get the actual video stream.
The H5P tool is html5 compliant so Flash isn't the problem - something else?
Re Popcorn: I included the Popcorn article more because it seems to be permission/encouragement from TED to add layers to their videos (contrary to what their copyright restrictions suggest) more than to suggest is as a technology choice. Sorry that was not clear.
Re HTML5 vids: although HTML5 is being touted as the fully compatible alternative to flash, there is a problem getting them to play on iPhones (seems better on iPads. but not 100%). One site I read said this seems to have been improved in the most recent iPhone iOS but I'm running an older version so can't test it. The problem seems to be that iDevices don't play embedded videos inline. Hitting the big play button triggers the opening of the full screen Quicktime player & Apple seems to have locked out HTML5 like it did flash. What I see is the original video without your Questions, etc. I'm assuming you used some sort of embed code to get the video to display on the test page. I probably used an iframe and that in itself may be part of the problem. (I've just skimmed the articles found online as I'm not actually trying them out so am tossing out bits & pieces that were mentioned as causes & solutions.)
The folks at H5P are aware of this (as I read in their forum on video), but make no suggestions as to how to work around it. Unfortunately, despite the fact that they know their videos don't work on iPhones because of the HTML5 problem, they don't make that shortcoming clear to prospective users of their product. Unlike some companies which have developed their own HTML5 video/product players or player apps, H5P seems to have decided not to do that, yet still advertise their product as working on smartphones!
Suggested solutions found online include changes to the code &/or using a different video player on your website. The idea seems to be to turn off the big play button & add replace it with a set of controls that will allow the video to play inline (small screen on the page). I haven't checked Moodle forums yet to see if they already have an alternative video player plugin that works, but that might be an avenue to try. Can you download your H5P video & upload it to YouTube? They have apparently fixed their player so HTML5 vids play universally. That might work.
I've been looking for a video player app to install, but no joy there. The fixes all seem to have to do with adjustments to the website not on the iDevice.
Wish I had better news & that I knew more about code. You may have to develop a parallel experience on a different linked page that participants can jump to if the first 'test' fails on whatever computer or device they're using. This could be a good model of how to make online activities available to all and there may be someone in the next workshop who knows the solution :-)
That's all I have for now & coffee some time would be fun. I'll see what the Moodlers have to say.
My video teacher would have called this a good lesson in the value of testing the production path before investing a lot of time developing a full end product. He used to have is do 30 sec. takes of anything & test all functions as the first activity in any lesson so we wouldn't be tearing our hair out when an assignment was due ... Wise man!
I've been popping in and out of a MOOC from the University of New South Wales currently running in Coursera (Learning to Teach Online). They've developed an approach to supporting peer assessment of online activities, assessments or resources that includes some questions I thought were also relevant in this context.
1. Have you included a description of the activity that includes specifics about what the students and the teacher would have to do?
2. Have you identified how the online activity aligns with the rest of the curriculum (or with the course)?
3. Have you identified the strategies you have chosen to engage your students (and provide some evidence or reasons).
4. Have you got a plan for how you'll evaluate the effectiveness of your online activity?
I think that there are two levels to evaluating the effectiveness of the online activity: integrating an assessment component to identify what the student learned (this can be teacher-assessed, self-assessed or peer-assessed); and, a method of evaluating how well the activity itself was received and understood by students and the workload/payback for the teacher.
I'll add these questions to the Padlet bulletin board and consider them in my own activity plan.
Let me know if you find them useful.
Thank you for your comments on my first draft. I hope I have answered them. I find it challenging to design an activity for one Learning Management System (Blackboard Learn) and talk about it in another LMS like Moodle when you can't see it. When I teach in the e-room, f2f with my students, they see the actual program, so I don't have visuals. I have found that by using online reflective journals with my students, I have much better ongoing communication with them than having f2f office hours that students don't have time to attend. This term, I'm adding the Success-building Table as a gentle introduction to self-assessment rubrics, along with the Review and Reflect questions, and since this is a math course, I call it a table and show how math can take words and turn them into numeric values.
I have two learning objectives for my classes: (1) learning the math content and (2) learning about learning, which also includes writing across the curriculum and learning to use the computer and Blackboard Learn LMS in a tech-enhanced class.
The notes highlighted in yellow would not be in the student activity, but they are to help explain what I am doing.
Journal Nugget: These past two weeks I have thought a lot about what motivates me to take an online course and complete the online course. I start off highly motivated with the prospect of learning new skills and meeting new people interested in the same topics. As time passes, my family/work priorities motivate my use of time, and my online course work seems to slip down the priority list. Then, I start to think about how I would feel if my students didn't participate as I had hoped they would, and I start to feel a bit guilty about not fully participating and supporting the facilitator and the other participants....so here is my second draft.... I feel better now!
I look forward to the Collaborate session tomorrow.
Out of confusion comes clarity,
That looks lovely Leonne!! I specifically like how the activity relates back to the University learning outcome and you have chosen an appropriate tool that promotes privacy. I feel that the activity is motivating, where learner's opinions are valued. The emphasis on self-reflection is wonderful, as the use of this skill is life long! Well done!
Thanks for your responses Leonne. I have a much clearer picture of what you want your students to do and learn and how you will support and encourage their reflections.
I especially appreciated what you shared about what you learned about what students "saw" and understood.
CYA in the Collaborate session.
I apologize for the delay, however it has been quite a busy time! Attached you will find my focused conversation model, I look forward to your thoughts!
Sounds (reads) like a really engaging and very thought-provoking learning activity. I've just scanned it but I'll take a closer look after the LIVE session at 11 am today - hopefully you can make it.
I'll provide comments/ideas/kudos ;-) tomorrow.
A few thoughts come to mind. Caveat: I'm not familiar with this strategy & had to look it up, so my comments may miss the point of how this structured conversation is supposed to work. If that's the case, I apologize.
First I like the issue & quotes you've chosen. The controversy is clear and timely (springs from the recent measles outbreak?). However, you seem to have made a deliberate choice not to set this activity in that context. I think making students aware of how visceral this debate became could enhance their motivation to participate fully (tension; authenticity), and so I might have set the stage with news clips, blogs, forum discussions, etc. from that time. If I recall correctly there was some thought of forcing parents to have their children vaccinated & even to prevent unvaccinated kids from attending school. Feelings ran very high with 'good health practices' (the greater good of the community) pitted against parental fear of unintended consequences (protecting one's own). Parents who refused vaccines were painted as stupid & irresponsible & even criminally endangering others. The parents wanted irrefutable proof from the scientific community that the vaccine could not cause autism. Both sides claimed they had science on their side.
Also, although I appreciate your concern for students' privacy, I'm not sure how this version of the strategy is a conversation. Conducting the objective step 'in the open' could help students see both sides of the issue. You could assign roles (parent; community health authority) and ask them to find the data to support or debunk the various quotations. Watching a Google Doc grow could be enlightening.
Next, I would give the students the option of making their written submissions public or just for you. You might find your fears about their privacy concerns were unfounded and use the activity to build 'quick trust' among the students which can enhance peer-to-peer learning in online courses.
Finally I'd debrief the entire experience in a synchronous meeting to explore the students' experiences and anchor your intended learning outcomes.
I apologize for being so prescriptive in this response. Under ideal conditions, I'd have asked more questions and held off on posting suggestions, but time did not permit a longer discussion.
Whatever choices you make, trying this with a class will be a great learning experience for both your students and for you. Have some fun with it, and don't shy away from sharing your learning with the group. That alone can be highly motivating & engaging for online learners.
Thank you Sue for your thorough feedback, it is much appreciated!! Yes, I can see how bringing in the clips, blogs, discussions etc could be motivating as well as taking on a particular role (parent, authority, etc) and sharing that could be eye opening. Thank you! I have cut & pasted your feedback to refer back to!
My pleasure :-)