This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Diane Hockridge

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  • in reply to: Saylor Foundation model #4426

    Yes I agree – the Saylor model seems very content driven and there is little opportunity for student-teacher or student-student interaction.

    Philosophically I really like the concept of OER but I do wonder why people might choose to do these courses, given they are not accredited?  Students can sit an exam and get a certificate of participation but is this what students want, and will it help them to achieve their goals I wonder?

    At the beginning of the video the presenter makes the claim that it is now cheaper to provide electronic books rather than paper books around the world.  I wonder if this is actually the case if one takes into account the cost of infrastructure required for internet access.  (I know in Australia our government is currently spending $43 billion (AUD) on a national broadband network – that’s a pretty high cost.)

    in reply to: Learning activities for different learning styles #3794

    Phil’s comment about whether social media or any online learning might lead to a more socialised group type of thinking/learning rather than an individual approach to thinking/learning is interesting.  I think Phil that you have put your finger on something that the social media technologies do allow for – that is they can provide opportunity for both rapid and sustained exchange of ideas or exploration of issues with a potentially wider audience than previously (the whole “crowd-sourcing” phenomenon).  For educators using TEL the question is how can we encourage and support a worthwhile and critically rigorous exchange of ideas and exploration of meaning in our courses?  There are plenty of online courses I have come across that really don’t do this well.

    This raises another question for me also: while I can see the benefit of interaction with others for learning, I can also see that there is value in what we might call an “older style” of distance learning, where individual students interact primarily with written texts and work primarily independently.  And perhaps this gets us back to the whole learning styles question again – some people seem to prefer working independently, choosing not to interact with others, while others love to get in and bounce ideas of each other.

    So for me the value of thinking about learning styles is to alert us as educators to the basic fact that students will have different ways in which they prefer to learn. If we keep this in mind in designing our courses we can include a variety of tasks that use a variety of ways of learning and as Andrew points out, we can also observe students actions and look at how they are interacting with learning materials so that we can guide their learning and improve the way we design our courses.

    in reply to: On Kolb and social media tools #3665

    Thanks James,

    This leads me to ask -how can we as teachers design learning activities and experiences using social media that might cater for a range of learning experiences.  For example we could ask students to watch a youtube video, or we could ask them to create a youtube video, either individually or collaboratively, or we could ask them to analyse and critique a youtube video, or to post a reflective response to a youtube video. (Or perhaps we might ask them to do all four!)

    Each of these learning activities would cater for or encourage the use of different ways of learning.

    in reply to: Small group for distance learning #3098

    Thanks Andrew could you pass on the link to the study skills tutorial that you mentioned?


    in reply to: Downes and Siemens – MOOCs #2325

    I agree with Jilly that with MOOCs it does seem as if we are running before we can walk.  There are a lot of aspects of MOOCs that haven’t been worked out yet.  It does seem to me that MOOCs may have more potential for informal learning contexts than formal ones.

    Another aspect of MOOCs that I find somewhat inconsistent and unsettling is that while one of the stated purposes of MOOCs is to provide open learning experiences, MOOCs seem to exclude many people.  As others have pointed out, you need a certain degree of self-confidence, digital and social networking literacy, plenty of internal motivation, and I think a degree of extroversion to be able to manage and benefit from participating in a MOOC.  One of the key issues for many people seems to be the sense of getting lost in the enormity and complexity of a MOOC – as ejarmstrong says – not even knowing where to lurk!

    Having said that, I do think that there is something in the basic concept behind Siemens and Downes approach which explores the potentialities of using the internet for connection and learning.  But my preference is for a little more structure.

    in reply to: Small group for distance learning #2322

    Yes I use Facebook groups for discussions which works ok.  The other forum that works well for discussions is LinkedIn groups – I tend to have more “serious” exchanges of ideas in this context.

    in reply to: Small group for distance learning #1903

    Hi all,

    I’d like to join this group.  I work as the distance and online education coordinator for a theological education institution in Sydney Australia (Sydney College of Divinity).  My role includes helping our colleges and lecturers to develop and teach effective distance and online courses for our students.  Many of our courses are offered wholly or partly by distance, usually using online technologies, but sometimes using print-based materials where online technologies are not feasible.

    I am particularly interested in exploring further how to equip teachers to develop good online courses that actually engage our students and help them to develop the kinds of skills they need for their future professions.  This can be challenging when you are preparing students for people-focussed work and don’t have face-to-face teaching/learning time with them.

    Look forward to discussing some of the ideas in this course with you all.

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