Designing learner support


This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  glenn 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #21919


    For this activity you may choose to focus on tutor support, peer support or a combination of both.  Drawing on the list of resources provided below and your own previous experience,

    • describe how you, as a tutor or supporter of student learning, would implement one or more kinds of support to meet the needs of your learners;
    • suggest which types of technologies would be most appropriate to support this and why.
  • #24188

    ed3d (Peter)

    First thoughts on learner support for an OpenSim-based workshop series.

    • #24476


      My thoughts on your post:

      1. If the design / approach or mix of approaches is appropriate for the given context;
      2. Aspects of the design you think work particularly well;
      3. At least one suggestion for improving the design;
      4. Resources they might refer to in order to improve or extend the design.


      Firstly, I am a big fan of the gamification of learning. It actively stimulates and engages learners with a quick achievement and reward system that encourages, motivates and engages them with the learning. I have used immersive environments to teach from such as Minecraft which provides many of the features you are describing in your post. I have used SecondLife too, and I can see the value in that world as a learning platform in this case as it is opensource.

      OpenSIm looks interesting and I haven’t come across it, but again, I can see the similarities in that and Minecraft as it seems to be that kind of sandbox environment. I tried to log in using the URL but got a 404 error and some weird login instructions…

      So I guess my improvement to these tutorials would be to provide some instructions about logging in as well? You have my attention: I am interested in your tutorials: I want to build: I cannot login = I lose interest.

      You could have a previous expectation that the learners have already logged in or got accounts or whatever they need, and maybe I am missing that? But assuming that I am new to OpenSim and I want to have a play, I would expect that there is a basic How-To paper on getting started.

      I like the ideas of an exemplar track, but that does assume there is a ‘right’ answer which, in a sandbox game, precludes the possibility that there are many ‘right’ answers. Perhaps you could have a showcase of the best answers of the students’ builds? That way they are comparing themselves and achieving recognition for their work.

      I hope this is constructive and do ask me about Minecraft if you fancy that as an alternative gaming tool for education.

      • #24598

        ed3d (Peter)

        Thanks for the feedback. Bear in mind that we are talking about learner support here rather than lesson design.

        Possibly “exemplar track” was a bad choice of term, “demonstration” maybe? There would indeed be a plenary session at the end with student presentations of some kind and, of course, the work created previously remains available to all students. The notion of working in parallel yet learning from one another is an important aspect of what I’m trying to capture here.

        I’m going to use the OcTEL City group to give further info on how to get to Primland.

        I have used Minecraft a little albeit not with students. While some of the students might well love it, I suspect my colleagues would be less impressed, not to mention IT services.


  • #24892

    guy saward

    A not very interesting, quite old school exploration of how to move from learner-tutor interaction to a more peer-supported approach. I blame trying to read, think and write on a bus with a phone!


  • #24893

    guy saward

    Peter, Joel, as for the work you folks are describing – I am just so behind the curve on this one.  Where do you get the time to build this stuff?!

    I dabbled with secondLife and thought that the immersive online experience added greatly to the idea of a situated event, but I didn’t have time to get very far.

    While I don’t have a suggestion for improvement, I do have a question about the minimum threshold for people to benefit from working in such potentially creative online environments.   I know we had a group building a secondlife virtual campus complete with wind tunnel simulator, but I don’t think the students came.  And why have a secondLife open day when the quality of “regular” virtual interaction (with interactive maps and hang-outs) is so much more accessible?

  • #24909

    ed3d (Peter)

    Guy, thanks for your comment. I don’t think it’s a question of being “behind”, just appreciating that we have a more diverse palette of tools should we choose to use them. I should stress incidentally that I don’t use Second Life, I use OpenSim. For the most part it’s just as good, far more flexible and much cheaper (or free) as it’s open source.

    To answer your specific questions, I don’t build stuff that’s optional for students, I build stuff that’s an integral part of the course. I think Hangouts and Collaborate are fine but they have different affordances as you imply (I’m actually a G+ refusenik on principle but that’s a separate issue). Minecraft is more closely related and, of course, far more popular. I would guess that it has complementary strengths that are of less interest to me and it would unfortunately be a tricky “sell” in my institution in any case.

  • #26330


    Just going through my activity stream on OCTEL and realised that I had not completed this task, so sorry for it being late in reply terms but here are my observations:

    @ed3d (Peter)

    • Video resources are a great help as we have seen on OCTEL they can be used to good effect especially when grading complex tasks
    • Synchronous feedback is a great tool for feedback
    • Overall, I think you have covered all bases here with regards to feedback and it is a well-balanced tool set you are going to adapt.
    • Not sure if you have also considered a video support session set up to take place once a week or as required, using Skype / Adobe connect or similar

    • A good method of peer assessment similar to the OCTEL approach is the commenting on two other participant posts.
    • I would suggest a trial and error approach with feedback initially so that you can improve as you go along.
    • As before maybe use a video support session set up to take place once a week or as required, using Skype / Adobe connect or similar

    Is an old but useful article on the transfer of resources into the digital learning world, albeit aimed at learning designers.

    And one to recall for future projects is the technology trumps cards that I will take with me from OCTEL.

    Please feel free to comment and good luck with your projects here or on my blog!

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