After attending a FutureLearn partners webinar about designing online courses, the age-old issue of encouraging and engaging learners in online communication came up. It made me reflect on my past posts about online learning, specifically this one: MOOCs – 9 points on what I like, and what I don’t. If you want to go and read it before carrying on, be my guest.
Glad you came back. What annoys me about MOOCs, and some people who design online courses in general, is the assumption that everything you build will be used, and be used the way you want it to be used. VLEs are somewhat to blame for the apathy or lack of engagement in online activities, especially discursive or forums or comment sections – you’re locked into one specific tool for engagement. Continue reading →
Over two years ago I wrote about a few experiences I’d had with some online courses / MOOCs, and why I ‘failed’ (according to the general headline figures of engagement, attendance, etc. that are used in mainstream press).
I want to revisit this, in light of more experience in both designing MOOCs and being a student on them.
Disclaimer: This is based on courses I’ve taken on the FutureLearn, Coursera, Cloudworks, EdX, and WordPress (OcTEL) platforms. I also highlight whether is was a student on the course, or part of the development team.
1. Comments and Engagement: For the most part I’ve been a silent students. This is both deliberate and accidental. Where it’s been a deliberate choice to not engage in the comments and discussion it’s been because I knew I didn’t have the time or inclination to trawl through the hundreds of fairly uninteresting posts to add my two-pennies worth or find the one nugget of insight that is worth anything. It’s also because, for some courses, I didn’t have enough interest to take my engagement further.
My thoughts on courses and training, as I mentioned above, as just this: courses tend to fit the organisational structure of the issuing body and don’t always fit the ‘need’ of the learner. You join (example) a specific school or faculty to start and complete your degree in Business Management or Economics or Sociology. But what if the specific subjects you really want to study are only loosely based around the course structure that the institution wants to teach? Continue reading →
After such a successful run earlier this year, the team behind BYOD4L (Sue Beckingham, Chrissi Nerantzi, Andrew Middleton, et al) are working their magic again – put the dates in your diary: BYOD4L July 14-18. I have been invited back again this time to work with Sue, Andrew, and Chrissi (and the other team members) and will be engaging course participants online.
Looking back over the work on BYOD4L, my recent changes in circumstances, and my approach to the role I’m in, I was asked to write about something about the challenges of being creative (or not) in a role that doesn’t always require creative working or operation.
Due to the reflective nature of the post, that I am thinking and working towards being a better ‘learning technologist’, this forms the 13th part to my series of ‘what is a Learning Technologist?’
As a Learning Technologist I tend to make or create things. Everyday I write emails, attend meetings, take notes, support staff, advise colleagues, demonstrate systems, deliver workshops, etc. .. and that’s the ‘required’ stuff that an employer would see as my role. Continue reading →
As basic Internet speeds up, more and more people are incorporating video in their online lives. Whether it’s a family event,m working from home, or taking part in webinars, webcams are being used.
This handy guide will, hopefully, put an end to those dark or overlit videos .. “how to look good on camera”. It covers lighting, positioning, and connection, and could help you appear more professional (and certainly easier to see/hear).
The ‘mobile learning’ toolkit from JISC is excellent, go take a look. I’ve brought this one aspect to the fore … ’10 steps to mobile learning adoption’
“The generic 10-step process outlined in the image above has been adapted from Gary Woodill’s very detailed mLearning Road Map and is a useful overview as to how to successfully implement a mobile learning initiative:”
Whilst searching for some resources on planning and designing online courses I came across this excellent brainstorming ‘sketchnote’ (I’ll write more about these another time) from Giulia Forsythe called ‘planning your online course’.
Take some time to look at this in detail, there’s a lot here for you (click to enlarge it).
I didn’t want to leave my journey into #BYOD4L without one final reflective ‘thought’. I wanted it to be different, graphical, interesting, and fun. From the Foldify avatar I produced for the final day of ‘creating’ I had the spark of an idea … and here it is!
The final day for the short BYOD4L framework is here – creating! With the guidance and preparation of the below, we knew we were in for an interesting time:
“We want to encourage you to explore learning through ‘making’ – meaning how you can use smart devices and applications to develop original and meaningful outputs as an individual or within groups. An opportunity to find ways to express yourself creatively and develop personal learning activities that are relevant and meaningful to your needs.”
The first thing I saw on the final day of BYLD4L was Chrissi Nerantzi saying we needed to check we could tweet pictures. So I did. 8:31 this picture was tweeted as I waited for my day to start (a rare peaceful moment before the students arrived and made some noise): Continue reading →