Perspective of a learner

This topic contains 19 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Fokt 6 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #18825

    Martin Hawksey

    Take the perspective of a learner and spend some time using:

    please respond to at least one of the following questions:

    • What elements of these do you think are appealing to different learners?
    • What learners, if any, would they be inappropriate for and why?
    • How do each of these resources differ from that of the resources we’re using in ocTEL? Do they promote social learning, re-use of their materials, or open access?
    • What ways can you see to improve the effectiveness or potential reach of these resources? Effectiveness can be considered as allowing students to work at their own pace and review areas they need to, providing a richer learning experience by expanding the range of expertise which students will confront, or providing a range of materials in different media formats to suit students’ different learning preferences.
  • #19331

    Gary Vear

    My review of some of the e-Learning activities and their effectiveness as learnign tools.

    • #19343

      ed3d (Peter)

      My attempt: — interestingly, I had the same CYOA thought as Gary but a different tool in mind.

      • #19346

        Gary Vear

        I wasn’t aware of Twinery…will give that a look, thanks

    • #19587

      James Kerr

      Ah, Zork! A game from a simpler time…when the medium was limiting, it fell to the developers to find ways to be engaging and entertaining with the limited resources available. Have we lost some of that artistry by depending too much on flashy graphics and rich media while letting the methods of storytelling and engagement atrophy? I like the idea of using a text-based adventure to build an authentic assessment.

  • #19363

    ed3d (Peter)

    It’s been a while since I used Twine and it took off in the interactive fiction world over the last couple of years although the original Twine goes back much further. It was originally based on a tool I really like called TiddlyWiki but TiddlyWiki has evolved a lot since then and for a while Twine didn’t which made its use a slightly dubious proposition. There now seems to be something of a reboot underway and maybe a separation from TiddlyWiki. This is a pity since the latest iteration of TiddlyWiki (v.5) is a thing of wonder.

    Cathy Moore has a short blog on the branching scenario genre here:

  • #19434

    ed3d (Peter)

    As I totally failed to mention OpenSim in that response, I should add that I have used OpenSim to generate clipart to illustrate narratives generated using Twine. 😉 The (possibly suspect) logic here is that while it is easy to get clipart for a particular scene it isn’t that easy to get clipart that includes the same character(s) in multiple scenes.

  • #19582

    James Kerr

    Have you had a chance to look at or work with either Touchcast (iPad and Windows desktop) or Adobe Voice (iPad)? Two other approaches to digital storytelling.

    • #20336

      ed3d (Peter)

      @james I’m Android-based so Voice isn’t an option. I’ll have a look at Touchcast.

  • #20078


    I watched Khan Academy’s Microeconomics lesson on the Nash Principle (or was it equation), and I played the e-learning game Record Tripping.


    Khan Academy:

    This was aimed at a reasonably educated student; it was neither very basic nor advanced. I’ve done some research lately on whether Australian students prefer hearing an Australian to an American voice in online learning materials (comparing whether they preferred online video content featuring lecturers from their own universities to online video content from, which is American): in the small study I’ve conducted so far, Australian students prefer Australian voices and idiom to American. This is a cultural thing: Australians fear being swamped by American cultural content. For an Australian audience, therefore, the Khan academy has one drawback in that it is delivered in an American accent.

    As a learner, I prefer text; I find it harder to learn from AV. I would have appreciated a text that I could have looked at while I watched the video. AV-preferring learners might find the Khan material appealing, although its visual content was limited to writing appearing on a blackboard.  I found it intriguing that Khan Academy material, which is widely touted as changing the face of education, replacing boring lectures and so on audio visually replicated the standard ‘talking while writing on a blackboard’ format. I suppose this makes the videos’ production cheaper and simpler. The lecturer (Khan) was never shown; for me, this gave the experience a disembodied quality. According to Wikipedia and Khan, however,

    <span style=”color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;”>Khan chose to avoid the standard format of a person standing by a whiteboard, deciding instead to present the learning concepts as if “popping out of a darkened universe and into one’s mind with a voice out of nowhere” in a way akin to sitting next to someone and working out a problem on a sheet of paper: “If you’re watching a guy do a problem [while] thinking out loud, I think people find that more valuable and not as daunting.”</span>

    Given its numbers of users, Kahn’s disembodied approach is clearly appealing to audiences. I’ll consider this when I record lecture videos (adieu being ready for my close-up). I had thought that showing the lecturer’s face would enhance the social, welcoming feeling of the environment. It’s very useful to know that a very large cohort of diverse learners appears to feel otherwise.

    The length of the session–about 9 minutes–was adequate. I could see that the video articulated to two or three following videos, in which the Nash principle was applied. Because I only watched the first video, the material felt disconnected and abstract, without clear application or rationale. As the first video in a series, it would have benefitted from a framing opening segment which outlined why the concept was useful, and how it connects to the broader Microeconomics material. I’d be interested to see how it felt if I viewed the entire sequence of videos, and then completed the activities that are connected to them (which weren’t readily visible on the video site: Ir dad about them on Wikipedia later).

    I could see this Khan video being useful as a resource on a VLE: it could be attached to a leasing/activity/reading in which cartels were being discussed, so as to give students further background on one of the key concepts in cartel microeconomics. I would use it in conjunction with a text-based document which contained similar explanatory material. This combination would allow both text- and AV-preferring students to select their delivery medium.

    For Australian students, perhaps at a first year level, I could imagine having them work in teams to develop Khan-style key concepts videos related to their course. A benefit of these is that they would be directly relevant to the course, they would be in the Australian-accented voices and idiom of their peers, and the students would be active producers rather than passive consumers of the material. The Khan material does not promote social learning; student-generated Khan-style videos would, particularly if subsequent cohorts of students edited them.

    I also played Record Tripping, whose educational value I couldn’t detect. It had high production value graphics and sound, but the aim of the game wasn’t clear, and I lost interest quickly.


    • #20581

      Moira Sarsfield

      Hi C!
      In my post below I mention the transcripts which come with Khan videos, but I think that they also all have captions. These are a good option for those who prefer text to audio.

      Before you decide to ditch the close-ups and go for the Khan approach, here’s some research about preferred video formats – – which might change your plans.

      I like the idea of students producing their own Khan-style videos. What technology would you use for that?

      • #20658

        ed3d (Peter)

        @moira Thanks for the link about videos in MOOCs — very interesting. I wonder whether the hand-written aspect relates to the findings of the paper “Fortune favors the Bold (and the italicized): Effects of disfluency on educational outcomes” which is referenced in this Wired article:

        • #20708

          Moira Sarsfield

          I love the science in this paper and the concept of asking academics to use Comic Sans Italic!

          I remember peer reviewing a lecture given by an Italian colleague. Her accent was delightful and just difficult enough to understand to require increased concentration. I found it very helpful in engaging with the content. Interestingly, this was  a chemistry lecture; lectures in this subject did not show benefit with the ‘ugly’ fonts.

  • #20403

    James Kerr

    Re: your experience with Record Tripping-That is a problem with gamification. If the setting or premise of the game doesn’t appeal to the learner-player, interest will drop quickly and the educational value of the game is lost. Gamification works if everyone ‘buys in’, in other words, if the interest in the game is high, the learning value is valid.

    This doesn’t mean I’m not for gamification in learning, just that it still needs to acknowledge and address different preferences and styles, or use it as a secondary, supportive platform.

  • #20897

    Moira Sarsfield

    Here is another review of an educational resource, largely from a technical viewpoint.

    eLearning Examples
    I explored this website on my iPhone, and found that most of the examples were in Flash format and so were inaccessible to me. In the end I decided to test out Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads – which was billed as “an educational game based on the traveling exhibition Lincoln: The Constitution & the Civil War, which debuted at the National Constitution Center in June 2005″.

    This resource was available in two formats – “High Bandwidth” (Flash) and “Low Bandwidth” versions – and I looked at the latter on my phone. This presented the material in text format, with an attractive design.

    There is a very clear structure to the project: key decision points for Lincoln are described, advice is given from two viewpoints, the user makes a decision and then finds out what decision Lincoln made and his reasoning. This provokes thought – and could provoke debate if the resource was studied with others – and introduces an element of interaction. I’m not sure that it is really a game, but it is more interesting and engaging than just reading about the decisions as straight text.

    The text gives good background information on the decision that is to be made and on the advisors who champion alternative options for Lincoln. This gives students a good understanding of the complexities of the situation. A summary at the end of the activity indicates how often you agreed with Lincoln’s decision. Even if you selected different options, it is acknowledged that “there is often no clearly correct answer”.

    Later I viewed the Flash version of this activity on a PC. I found this a less engaging experience than the flat text version, because the structure was less clear and the animation was clunky and slow; it didn’t add to my enjoyment or interest and slowed progress through the work, because you had to go at the pace of the animation rather than your own speed. This was the case even if you opened and read the text transcript – you couldn’t click on the “Decision” button until the animation had completed. Some users may prefer to have the words spoken, but I think everyone likes to have control over the speed at which they progress. There was one aspect of the Flash version which I thought was better than the flat text version: the resources for each chapter were linked directly from that chapter, rather than having all the resources in a single long list.

    In both versions it is possible to navigate directly to each section. This allows the resource to be used very flexibly, for example, different students or groups of students could be assigned different sections to study and then present to the rest of the class.

    Overall I thought that this was a very good resource, with well-developed content and flexible presentation.

    • #24372

      Simon Fokt

      I also tried the E-learning Examples, though I went for a different game: ‘Expedition: The Game’. I have to say I don’t see the point in it.

      It started from a small technical issue – the game doesn’t work in Opera. I had to use IE to run it. The game requires you to run an expedition in Africa, rolling dice to gain supplies, porters and miles, but running the danger of rolling a lion attack or other adverse effects (a minor issue, annoying for a gamer – the dice are represented as the typical 6-sided kind, but there are more than 6 options that can be rolled. Odd.)

      I wasn’t sure what the game aimed to achieve from the educational perspective. Teach geography? Teach reasonable resource use? The creators don’t really tell you.

      If the game aims to teach geography, it is poorly designed. No element of the game actually requires you to read any of the geographical information provided, so it is perfectly possible to finish the game without learning anything about Africa.

      If the game aims to teach resource use, it’s no more educational than Farmville. Moreover, since the game largely depends on luck (dice rolls), it doesn’t really teach strategic thinking in the resource use either. An element of luck would be educational, but too much luck makes it just a game that doesn’t really teach much.

      As many educational games, this one is rather boring to play, and it just can’t compete with the commercial alternatives. Sorry to be so negative, but I honestly don’t see how this game is more educational than Monopoly or the Civilization series.

      Does anyone know about any successful educational games? I’d be really interested in trying them out.


    • #24373

      Simon Fokt

      [accidental double post, sorry]

      • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by  Simon Fokt.
  • #21891



    Some very interesting points raised as usual and some good posts. Here is my post if anyone is interested

  • #22476

    Mark Schier

    I looked at Khan’s velocity, displacement, time example and also the very different creative mystic.

    <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: Consolas; font-size: medium;”><span style=”line-height: normal;”>Khan:</span></span>

    – appealing to visual experiential learners as they are walked through a maths problem
    – different to ocTEL, not sure that it is. ocTel is certainly a broad church embracing many technologies, these are open access via YouTube.
    – This would be a great adjunct to traditional instruction. In fact my year 12 son last night was watching some Khan academy maths solution.

    <span style=”color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Consolas; font-size: medium; line-height: normal; “>Creative Mystic:</span>

    – this could appeal to those wanting to reflect and explore their inner style
    – this was very, very different to ocTEL and might make a useful change of pace for learner teachers
    – not sure how we could make use of this in ocTEL, but the exploration of what makes one an idealist or sleuth and re-choosing the cards may give some more insight into their interpretation of the underlying styles?



  • #20578

    Moira Sarsfield

    I’ve written here about some technical aspects of watching a Khan Academy video.

    This partly address the question about increasing the effectiveness of these resources, and raises some other questions too:

    • Is it better to embed or link?
    • Do we have to quality control everything we link to?

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