The goal of the JISC Report into the ‘Challenge of eBooks in Academic Institutions’ project is to help “orientate senior institutional managers and to support institutions in the effective adoption and deployment of eBooks and eBook technology. As a consequence the project helps to support the wider ambition to enable improvements in the quality and impact of teaching, learning and research and meet rising staff and student expectations.”
“At present, for academic institutions, the ebook paradigm largely remains one of PDF format ebooks consumed using PCs. This is now dissolving. The ebook landscape is changing rapidly, driven to a large extent by developments in ebook readers and tablet devices which have enabled better ways to consume econtent.”
In this TEDx talk Todd Rose compares the difficulties and issues encountered by the US Air Force in the 1950’2 and 1960’s in a severe drop in performance in it’s fighter pilots to the drop in performance in today’s education. The comparison is the design of the cockpit / classroom.
Guess what .. the Air Force found out the hard way that there is no such thing as the ‘average’ pilot. Todd argues that isn’t it about time that education and policy makers figured out that there is no such thing as an ‘average’ students, and that we should be more flexible in how we design learning. Continue reading →
Online learning, or distance learning, or eLearning (or even e-learning) has been around now in various guises for quite some time.
This article from eLearn Magazine “7 Student Myths of the Online Classroom” highlights some of the more popular myths surrounding the student’s perspective of online learning. Please read the full article using the link above as the below is only my interpretation of them:
I can log into the class any time I want.
Yes, you can, but obviously the materials, resources, activities are (or rather should be) designed to encourage interaction, collaboration, and engagement with your fellow students. While you may not be scheduled to be online at 8PM every Thursday evening (remember any differences in time-zones) it is likely you ought to try and work out when others will be online so you can coordinate responses and make the most of your time together.
Instructors are available 24/7.
Don’t be silly. No one person, while at work, is available 24/7 (and if you are please stop it!). Even if the customer service of your supermarket or bank is available 24/7 you can be sure that it is staffed by a rotating shift pattern to rest the individual. We live in an always-connected world but we still need to disconnect and do something else. Online/distance learners do need support and guidance and, if their study pattern is in the evening and at weekend ‘should’ the Institution put something in place to support them during those hours? Discuss … ! Continue reading →
The report summary has the following key points and recommendations:
Blended-learning environments are the norm; students say that these environments best support how they learn.
Students want to access academic progress information and course material via their mobile devices, and institutions deliver.
Technology training and skill development for students is more important than new, more, or “better” technology.
Students use social networks for interacting with friends more than for academic communication.
Look to emerging or established leaders (other institutions, other countries, other industries) for strategies to deliver instruction and curricular content to tablets and smartphones. Learn from their exemplary strategies for IT support and security with student devices as well as planning, funding, deploying, and managing instructional technologies, services, and support.
Prioritize the development of mobile-friendly resources and activities that students say are important: access to course websites and syllabi, course and learning management systems, and academic progress reports (i.e., grades).
Bridge the gap between the technologies that have seen the greatest growth (e-portfolios, e-books/e-textbooks, and web-based citation/bibliographic tools) and students’ attitudes about their importance. Focus training/skill-building opportunities for students, professional development opportunities for faculty, and support service opportunities on these emerging technologies.
Use e-mail and the course and learning management system for formal communication with students. Experiment with text messaging and instant messaging/online chatting, and don’t focus efforts on using social networks and telephone conversations to interact with students.
(See the 2012 report for a full list key messages, findings, supporting data, and actionable results.)
While it’ll take some time to digest the report and it’s findings/recommendations, they have also produced this wonderful Infographic:
Cathy Moore writes, about using scenarios in eLearning, “Imagine that you’re in a competition to overhaul an information-heavy course so it creates a real change in the world. What changes would you make? Check out this story-based presentation to see what one fictional company did.”