Activity 1.1 – Dimensions that affect teaching

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  fernfaux 6 years, 4 months ago.

  • Author
  • #11762

    Paul Rettey
  • #12186

    Paul Rettey

    Re-reading my post I know there are a number of grammatical errors (please accept my apologies), I was having such a time with this post, trying to get it to upload, I was pleased simply to have done it!

  • #12549

    James Kerr

    Note to point: getting the right people together. That is true for the learners as well as the support or administration. Two runs of an otherwise identical course can have drastically different results if the group doesn’t ‘gel’ or form connections between each other. I’ve had courses with asynchronous discussion boards that were on fire, and the learners really felt (and helped build) their community. There have been other courses where the learners just didn’t click with each other, the discussions felt forced, and ‘just enough to meet the requirements’ attitude came through every posting.

    How much effort should be put forth to ‘unite’ the learners if the group just suffers from incompatibility? How much is too much, and when does one stop?

    • #12982

      Paul Rettey

      Hi James,

      Thanks for stopping by and peeking in! If I may I’m going to pick out the questions and see if I can provide a response.

      How much effort should be put forth to ‘unite’ the learners if the group just suffers from incompatibility?

      My thinking on this is that some of the most interesting debates are around why incompatibilities arise, the key to this is ensuring that communication still happens.

      I like Einsteins quote “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”. Incompatibilities exist for a good reason, it’s seeking to understand that reason and negotiate a way through.

      My own person experience of this is when I tutor was highly critical of the work that had been done when we first moved online. But one good comment from my then manager made me realise that we can create an opportunity here. As it turned out, he became our best critic and devils advocate and kept us grounded when it came to the learning. This is why it is not just a ‘nice to have’ but MUST have, tutors must be involved when it comes to discussions about the integration of learning technology into the pedagogy.

      In answer every opportunity and channel of communication should be used to keep the group engaged and conversing even when they have incompatibilities. Keep the dialog going, be professional, polite, non personal, and upfront.

      How much is too much, and when does one stop?

      This is where the tutor / forum moderators comes to the fore. They will have a sense of how much is too much, and I think much of this depends on the group size. Generally though its not the amount of contributions it the quality and insight a good question can spur a debate, but a good moderator / tutor has the knowledge and insight to spot further opportunities and delve deeper.

      When do you stop? Well I don’t think there should be a point at where the debate stops, although in a sense it may need to halt to make way for progression through the course. In this sense it’s always good to sum up whats happened so far so that if people wish to pick it up later they can.

  • #13593


    My difficulty with pedagogy is that I am one step removed from teaching!  I offer advice and support on ways in which technology might be used to enhance learning but it is then handed over to the individual tutor and I have no way of shaping the way in which delivery takes place.  So with the best will in the world, something I design to be used in one sector of the quadrant may well end up being used in another!

  • #11765

    Paul Rettey


    Link to the image here:

    Link to document:

    This is something that I’m already doing where I am at the moment and something used extensively when I was working in commercial. Initially it started as a way of engaging students using our Moodle platform. Simply because our Moodle is used, like most VLE’ s, as repository.

    I’ll give a couple of examples of how we’re currently applying it, I don’t usually adopt an educational theorist approach, simply because (not wishing to cause offense) it can be a bit of rabbit hole.

    One workflow goes something like this:

    A task is demonstrated to students,

    Students then demonstrate their understanding of the task, they then record each other tasks using phones or take pictures if they so wish. Using their own phones of course.

    Using Blogs or Wikis they then critically reflect on the task using the images / video to demonstrate understanding.

    Another workflow – variant on previous workflow

    The Tutor blogs the activity to the student

    The students, using there own journal, completes the activity to demonstrate understanding. My main diagram is based around this model.

    Does it work?

    Yes, students are creating content and reflecting on their work. They recognise the value behind doing it this way. As it’s early days, first time this is being tried where I am currently working then it remains to be seen if this has a positive effect in the results of the course.

    However where I worked before, I know that one key factor in maintaining the engagement over a long period of distance learning is the tutor. The tutor is the deciding factor in the success or failure of online engagement.

    Where the tutor was active the students engaged, where the tutor was clearly not online engagement failed. A lot of effort was put into supporting the tutor to use the technology.

    How it works


    Firstly, its about getting the right people together, think of like a cook book, for large scale interventions you need approval or it simply won’t work. The best ingredients are a tutor, learning technologist or instructional designer / e-learning adviser / e-learning exec / (you get the message)… the Quality Manager / Curriculum manager (if possible).

    Planning the intervention – Occams razor


    Simplest is really the best. Don’t go for overly complex interventions or delivering too much information at one time. This MOOC is a good example of too much text on the page. There is no visual or diagrammatic ‘Road Map’ that clearly shows how were progress or where we’re going. Maybe I missed it, but I’m a busy person and I simply don’t have time to hunt it down, and why should I?

    Where I worked before a lot of effort went into providing a visual frame work that clearly explained / showed to students the journey they were about to undertake. It had clear linkage to activities and explained why they were important.

    Build it and they will come, really they will?

    Actually they don’t. This approach fails simply because it’s not clear what value is to be had in doing it. If people don’t get it they won’t come.

    Key questions to ask: Why will this be used? How will it be used? good Socratic questions will yield answers or requests for better information. Pilots are very useful to get a feeling of the problems in how the technology and pedagogy work together.

    Usability & Accessibility, you need to ensure that all types of learners are catered for, how many people here have considered Visually Impaired or Deaf students, is there a transcript for the Webinar?.

    Providing the proper means for students to achieve their task are key. After all students generally don’t care / or understand educational theory, why would they? They are there to achieve and students are the end user / customer. In order to help them achieve and in keeping with my theme of tutor as advocate, tutors need to be involved and supported right at the outset.

    Translation of the tutor requirements into online activities is the domain of the Learning Technologist, etc, etc, Simply because when you take media and put it on screen there are a number of things that can be done to make it more engaging.

    If no clear pedagogical purpose for the intervention of Learning Technology can be established, then it’s clear none is needed. This is why both teacher and technologist need to work together.


    (And sorry for the double post, Mahara was ar$ing about with my image so I gave up in the end and provided a link)

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by  Paul Rettey.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by  Paul Rettey.

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