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 →
How brilliant that students have a voice at a conference, something I first encountered at FOTE last year and again at PELC earlier this year.
Important issues to consider between the student / institution relationship and online students include aspects of communication as well as integration, engagement, and alienation due to distance. If institution want to invest in more online courses then these issues must be addressed before the students enrol/start and not once they are here.
Online communities are created with or without the institution but the institution should consider these communities and work to bring everyone together (student services or student union to have dedicated post to support this?). The student portal does not reflect or address this: should it or should this be dealt with elsewhere? These students use Ning and Wimba … all external tools to the institution website and/or systems – breaking relationship between students and the institution.
Coming from an engaged and encouraged environment at High School the experience at university is very different and daunting. Despite dedicated buildings designed for the students the spaces were actually more restrictive than not, all coming for the actual construction and structure – the student made this video to explain, artistically, the problems with barriers, blank walls, and barriers to the toilets! “This is an arts school”
“Creativity through mobile devices”: Mobile devices have brought new processes and procedures into our daily routine, and Shilpi talks about ‘iPhone Obsessed‘ book and how Dan has had to change his routine that he used to have for his DSLR work to now concentrate on the iPhone apps. Mobile devices enable instant results – take the photo or video, edit it in situ and upload it for wider consumption (and mixing / mash-up)?
Experiences of ‘my digital life’: showing illustrations of work developed alone and through collaboration on iPhones and iPads. While some of this is obviously based around coursework there is clearly a passion that drove the students to experiment and continue outside of required work (excellent) – Owl and Pussycat interactive book (Aurasma?)
Artmenis showcased so many excellent pieces of artwork that by the time I got the camera readyshe’d skipped another few slides – I hope to find her work on post links here later
Online studies while travelling through Cambodia! From teacher to student, from London to Cambodia. Remote access enabled unique cultural learning experience from both geographical and technological perspective with peers, from Asia to South America, gained close bonds and relationships long before actually meeting in person. Without mobile devices and (limited) available 3G or wifi hotspots this would not have been possible.
It’s not necessary to be in the classroom to study, but online and learning at a distance is not for everyone.
At no point has anyone talked about the VLE today, isn’t that strange!
There was such a maturity and confidence from these students that I can see why their proposals were chosen for the showcase, and the work they talked about should be seen as an inspiration to their peers and to the tutors – a whole-hearted ‘well done’, and the best applause was definitely saved just for them!
Sorry, the title is dramatic, it’s meant to sound a little like ‘Star Wars – A New Hope’, but doesn’t really get there. This isn’t a post about Blackboard as a VLE, nor is it about the trials and tribulations of the whole upgrade process for a heavily used Blackboard system.
This is about one of the best bit of this summers Blackboard upgrade at UoL – the new text editor! Yes, that clunky and often sworn at text editor has been removed and a new one put in it’s place – the ‘content’ editor (if you’ve sign up for it). The best bit is that it works. The next best bit is that it doesn’t take an age to do anything, nor does it eat your PCs processing power, it looks quite nice AND it works – did I say that already?
What is so good about it? Well;
Options for text and font formatting are more tightly controlled – it’s more difficult to change font and font size, therefore making your materials and content more likely to look the same across the whole course.
Cut-and-paste from Word documents strips out the unnecessary hidden code and leaves only the basic formatting (bold, italics, etc), again helping your content have a more unified appearance.
Option to have the content editor full-screen (finally!!)
Edit CSS styles (if you like it that way) and have control over the design of your content.
Insert special characters.
Cut-and-paste tables from Excel or Word actually pastes the table in the editor, properly, and they’re easier to edit too (see below)!
Create and manage tables quickly and easily using the editor.
Edit the image properties easily when you right-click the image when in edit mode.
Insert mash-up (see above) makes it easy to search and insert from YouTube, Flickr, and SlideShare. Once you’ve chosen the content to embed you’ll have the options on how it is presented as well as what attributes are displayed (Blackboard … more mash-up sources please!).
The spell checker is far less clunky than in previous versions, and works in the editor instead of in a different pop-up box. Words are highlighted with a red underline and a left-mouse click on the words gives you the options to correct it.
Don’t miss this little gem – those three little lines in the bottom right of the editor indicate you can enlarge the box so you can see more of your content as you edit it! Yes, this is perhaps the best bit of the new editor, and a very important addition (finally I hear some say?)
There are a fair few resources on the Blackboard Content Editor page, as well as a good list of keyboard shortcuts which can make your online editing life a whole lot easier.
The title of the post ‘A New Beginning’ may be over the top, but the new editor does make working in Blackboard a much nicer and enjoyable experience, it brings the process in line with other online systems I’m used it (WordPress, etc) and one I am very happy to be using.
How about this infographic from Turnitin to start the week? From a survey of nearly 900 educators (Plagiarism Today) Turnitin are trying to “understand what kinds of plagiarism were the most common in academia and, equally importantly, which were viewed as being the most problematic”.
The results showed, once classified, that the type of plagiarism can be identified as one of the following:
Clone: Verbatim copying without additions/subtractions.
CTRL+C: Largely verbatim copying from a single source with minor changes.
Find-Replace: Verbatim copying with key words/phrases changed, often automatically.
Remix: Paraphrasing content so that it flows seamlessly with other work.
The interesting points for me are the frequency results, with the ‘clone’ (direct copy, word for word) and the ‘mashup’ (mixed copies, multiple sources) coming out as the most frequent offences, whilst the clone and Ctrl-C (which are basically the same?) as the most problematic or cause the most concern – but the ‘re-tweet’ and ‘remix’ as the least problematic.
The article linked to above (click the image) has a good summary of the categories as well as the full infographic. The survey also concludes with the advice that students should be included and encouraged to review their Institution’s plagiarism policy, with the following recommendations;
Inform: “Share the plagiarism spectrum with the students and use it as a guide to inform them of the ways in which plagiarism can take form.”
Intent: “The plagiarism spectrum emphasises the range of intent behind the student plagiarism. use the spectrum to guide decisions about appropriate responses to plagiarism.”
Originality Checking: “Give students access to their Originality Reports so that they can see how they may have inappropriately used or referenced source material.”