Category: Blog posts

This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Free eBook/iBook: “Advances in Technology Enhanced Learning” #edtech

This is a great free eBook / iBook, for the iPad, from The Open University: ”Advances in Technology Enhanced Learning”. The eBook aims to present a “range of research projects which aim to explore how to make engagement in learning (and teaching) more passionate” and to introduce “methodological and technological breakthroughs” to learners, instructors, and decision-makers in […]

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#ocTEL Final Week

Well this is going to be a very short post. Not because I am not interested in the final topic on evaluation, but because I am busy preparing two conference presentations I am giving in just over a week. I

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The iPad Pedagogy Wheel

One question that often arises is how can I use this nice shiny iPad that you have given me to support teaching and learning? In a previous blog post I talked about assessment and the importance of deeper and higher thinking skills. I mentioned in that post that using Bloom’s Taxonomy is one way of getting […]

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Reflection on ocTEL – thank you and so long

Reflection on the final week of Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (#octel)

Storified by Elizabeth E Charles ·
Sat, Jun 22 2013 10:56:51

OCTEL | Open Course in Technology Enhanced LearningOCTEL | Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning

This is an online course to help you understand better how to use technology to enhance your teaching practice. The course is aimed prima…

My big question:

How will TEL enhance/change current teaching practice and will it provide opportunities rather than challenges to time-strapped students? 


6 Apr 2013

Elizabeth, what kind of enhancements do you think would be most
valuable? Extending the reach of educational opportunities? Making
learning less expensive? Embedding learning in work & life?

Do you think all parties’ interests are aligned on this? Or are there some conflicts or tensions?


6 Apr 2013

Hi David,
would say extending the reach of educational opportunies would be most
valuable as it then provides for flexibility as to when and where the 
individual accesses education and how often during their lifetime. In an
ideal world bringing the cost down would be a given. I am intrigued
with the idea of embedding learning in work and life. In the past one
would go through the education systems once or twice to gain high school
and university/college qualifications then get a job and  that was
that.  Now the norm is constant change and one has to undertake CPD at
work and independent learning outside of work to keep up and adapt to
the impact of change in all area of ones’ life and not just work!

with most period of change the stakeholders/interested parties are
never all aligned. There is tension with those who want to adopt and
adapt the new and get ahead of the curve; there are those who are
caution and not too sure whether the whole thing won’t blow over (a fad
that will fade – if you will); and those who don’t want to know and hope
that they will not have to realign how they teach as they will be out
of the education system before they are ‘encouraged’ to adopt this ‘new’
teaching and learning style of approach.

I  put myself in the
‘ahead of the curve’ group along with IT Services and TEL champions
where I work but we are in a supportive role and cannot force academics
who may not feel ‘confident’ to employ TEL.   I am hoping that this
course will provide me with examples of practice and technology that I
can use to address current issues they may have and then use that as
leverage to futher encourage and support adoption of relevant
educational technology.


6 Apr 2013


That’s a great set of reflections. Will be interested to see how we measure up on your last sentence later in the course!

22 Jun 2013

How did this measure up?

This course has provided me with many resources:
– Reading materials and video materials that have taken me through the whole process of designing a course through to implementation and evaluation of the project and the importance of assessment and feedback to the participants;
– The thoughts, ideas, and perspectives of the other course participants have given me a better and deeper understanding of the different learning/teaching theories, issues involved in course design, implementation, stakeholders and how and why some projects are not successful;
– Time (thinking time) to focus on the different aspects of learners – their needs and expectations and how to engage and support them, course design, use of technologies, and the varied concepts and theories of teaching and learning.

At times I felt out of my depths but the readings followed by ideas presented in the forums and participating in webinars and the forum allowed me to articulate my understanding and contribute to the discussion threads.

So to answer David’s question – yes the course has addressed and provided some answers to my big question.

I have in discussion with my colleagues been able to provide concrete examples to address concerns that they have about adopting and using educational technology.  As I am better informed and now have a much clearer understanding of the various cycles and stages involved I can understand their concerns and perspectives and this has enabled me to provide possible options and more realistic and achievable small steps to help them achieve their teaching and learning objectives and in turn answer my big question.  The steps are small but I feel that we have started to move forward and I will endeavour to continue to support and help in this forward momentum where I can.

I will watch out for ocTEL 2 in 2014 and the different aspects of this course will remain on my radar and I hope to be in a better position to participate and learn from other participants, the course content and staff.  It has been fun and challenging and I learnt new ideas and concepts and more about TEL and
got to participate in discussions on key issues with a dynamic group of
people – what more could one possibly want?

A big thank you to #ocTEL ALT and the staff and other participants of the 2013 MOOC.

Flowerworks ·
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#ocTEL week 10: evaluating TEL

Designing in features of evaluation gives you a chance to see how your TEL resources are being used, and also provides evidence that might help people to buy into what you’re doing (or tell you if you’ve got it totally … Continue reading

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Learning from failure

In an article on the Secrets of mLearning Failures: Confronting Reality, Thomas Cochrane suggests that “Often the most significant breakthroughs in pedagogical transformation resulting from participatory action research are those borne of experiences of failure and critical reflection upon the surrounding issues” (p. 132). (Article available at:  This is an interesting point because I […]

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[Presentation] ALT Scotland SIG: ALT’s ocTEL MOOC Experience

Another day, another presentation. Today I’m at ALT Scotland’s SIG highlighting some of the experiences of developing/delivering the ocTEL open course. Slides are embedded below. This is a shorter version of a webinar I gave for ocTEL, a recording of this is here. ALT’s ocTEL MOOC experience: Designing the platform from Martin Hawksey

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#ocTEL ends with a leisurely dip.

Before #ocTEL rolls out of town, I spent a couple of pleasant hours today looking over some of the course materials and posts from the last couple of weeks. Although I’ve been deleting the daily newsletter for the last couple of weeks because I wasn’t able to engage sufficiently with the course material, or do […]

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Thoughts on completing ALT's ocTEL 2013 (v1.0)

For the last eleven weeks, I have been participating in the UK’s Association for Learning Technology’s (ALT) Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning (ocTEL) (  It was designed as a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC), utilizing …

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ocTEL – Engaging and Effective Learning Materials

So the task is to find a relevant open access resource I could use in my teaching … 1. OpenLearn- Safari As the OU are our new validating partner, they seemed a good place to srat. I have heard about … Continue reading

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