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Ideas of online learning

Online learning Models

 

Following the Content Model of curriculum development, set out your course over the number of weeks that have been allocated for the course. Flexibility is in course development is provided through your use of linear, spiral or thematic curriculum design models.

Then for each week, use one of the models outlined below. Choose one model and stick to this, as this needs to be a template for the each week of the course. This will support learners to understand how the course is set up.

Good practice is to have Week one as the introduction to the course and exploration of the online material, assessment and submissions. The first task should be to get the learners to introduce themselves as visual as possible (Video/animation)

 

Key elements of online learning to consider:

  • How will information be presented (video, audio, PowerPoint)? Stick to the same type(s) as much as possible to support learner’s navigation and expectation
  • What will make the activities used to develop learners’ skills or knowledge interactive online?
  • Where will the social interaction element of the course be? Are there options for peer-assessment?
  • When will the tutorials take place and which media will these use (Google Hangout, Skype)?
  • What do you need to assess and how will the learners be able to gather digital evidence and upload it to the platform? 

Nelson’s Online Relative Model Learning Environment

 

 

Recap

(1 – 2 minute video or podcast)

 

 
 

Learn

(Interactive activity)

 

 
 

Consolidate

(Interactive Activity – different context)

 

 

 
 

Challenge

(activity outside of the system that is uploaded for peer review)

 

 

 

 

 

FutureLearn Model

 

 

The Week Ahead

(1-2 minute intro video)

 

 
 

Introduction

(10 minute video max)

 

 
 

Explore

(2 activities)

 

 
 

Summary

(1-2 minute summary video)

 

 

 
Next Week

(30 sec trailer)

 

 

 

Digital Learning News EP02

Welcome to episode TWO of Digital Learning News, a multimedia newsletter highlighting what is hot, what is not and what you can try today in Digital Learning

 

What is Hot?… Gamification
What is not?… YAHOO is cutting 15% if it’s workforce
What can you try today? …Google docs

 

My name is Richard Nelson and in this episode what is hot is Gamification, a term used to describe game mechanics applied to everyday tasks. Makeuseof.com (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-unusual-ways-gamification-changing-life-today/) describes three unusual ways gamification has been applied to life. ONE, Purchasing decisions – loyalty cards encourage you to collect points to win prizes. Hotels.com is on unusual example in that they encourage you to stay loyal by offering to level you up the more you spend. The higher your levels, the better the offers. TWO, Credit scores are also gamified. Several factors, including regularly paying your bills improves your scores. The Sesame Credit system in China does it a little differently in that it ranks individuals on social responsibility. If you buy comics and computer games the system thinks you are lazy, therefore, a lower score. A parent that pays bills on time is more responsible and gains a higher score.

 

Three, gamification of education. This concept comes from the issue of trying to keep people engaged in learning, especially if it is online. There are a number of ways to offer learners a level up on success or deduct credit for incorrect responses. Makeuseof.com reports on particle example of the language learning site, Duolingo.com. As learners work through the task they can earn lingo money and work up leaderboards. Experience leads to levelling up and demonstrating success. If a learner fails a task they loose a life and if they loose too many they have to start the task again.

What is not?…  Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo’s revenue has fallen and it is struggling to grow in a market dominated by rivals Google and Facebook. They are cutting around 1,500 people and streamlining its business portfolio.

What can you try today?… Google Docs. Google docs allow you to create and shared an online document. You can share this document with an individual or a whole class and they can all add information to it. The best features of Google docs is that the editing is real-time. As one person edits the document, all users can see the typing as it happens. This make is truly interactive. I have eaten it used in class where groups of learners add their research to one shared document.

 

Let me know how you get on with Google docs and let me know if you have found any other great digital learning resources that we can all try today.

 

You follow updates on for Digital Learning news on twitter using the #digitallearningnews

 

This newsletter is also available as text at richardnelsononline.co.uk, downloadable as audio and watchable as  a video on youtube.

 

Please contact me with your experiences of Digital Learning Technology or ideas for future episodes to richardnelsononline@gmail.com

Digital Learning News Ep01 (pilot)

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Welcome to episode ONE of Digital Learning News, a multimedia newsletter highlighting what is hot, what is not and what you can try today in Digital Learning

 

What is Hot… the free blended learning course on the FutureLearn Platform starting on Monday 1st Feb
What is not? …TV is history
What can you try today? …capture videos easy and free with screencast-o-matic

My name is Richard Nelson and in this episode what is hot is the Free Blended Learning course on FutureLearn starting on Monday 1st Feb. You can jump and discover ideas and tools for embedding blended learning in your practice and within your organisation (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-embedding-practice)
It is the second part of a two part course learning all about blended learning, but they can be studied in any order and  if you have not done part ONE, in which you can explore different case studies of using Digital Learning Resources, you can still do this course on the 1st Feb and then revisit part ONE in March

What is not..TV is history…. research from Childwise, reported by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35399658), has shown that the time youngsters are watching more material online than they are on the Television. Young people spend 3 hours online and 60% watch TV vie phone, tablet or laptop.
AND he study shows children’ ownership of Tablet computers has increased 50%. What impact and opportunities do you think this could have for education? Feel free to comment below.

What can you try today? Screen-cast-o-matic (https://screencast-o-matic.com/home) allows you to make up to 15 minutes recording of your screen with a voice over or embedded video of yourself discussing what is being seen. Where do you think we could use this?
You could consider video tutorials for assignments in which you video the word document on the screen while you talk through the best way to approach the assessment. What about a summary video of today’s session so the learners can watch again and again. Let me know how you get on with Screencast-o-matic and let me know if you have found any other great digital learning resources that we can all try today.

You follow updates on for Digital Learning news on twitter using the #digitalearningnews
This newsletter is also available as text at richardnelsononline.co.uk, downloadble as audio and watchable as  a video on youtube.
Please contact me with your experiences of Digital Learning Technology or ideas for future episodes to richardnelsononline@gmail.com
You can watch this newsletter on the Youtube Channel: https://youtu.be/zWgH7YUGuho

Research Interviewing

The Interview is one of the many useful methods in gathering qualitative data in educational research. In this post I will be looking at interview types, developing interview questions and exploring issues to consider in carrying out an interview for educational research.

Interviews can be used on their own or to support other methods of research, such as observation (Maxwell, 2013). When used with other methods of research, interviews are often quoted as offering triangulation to validate the other method(s). However, it is interesting to read the Greene (2007) argues against using triangulation, as it is overemphasised in generating any validity. Instead, Greene suggests the research views the interview and the other research method(s) as different viewpoints of the same data.

There are a number of different interview types (Turner, 2010):

  1. Informal Conversational Interview
  2. General Interviews
  3. Standardised Open-Ended Interviews

In an Informal Conversational Interview the interviewer relies on the interaction with the participant to generate spontaneous questions. This allows the interview to be flexible and explore different issues as they arise. However, it does mean the data is unreliable and inconsistent across interviews.

The General interview has prepared questions that are used to guide the interview and to cover the relevant topics, making it more structured than the Informal Conversational Interview. This has the benefit of a more consistent coverage of the topic across interviews and supports the interviewer through the process. However, spontaneity is lost and therefore some useful insights may be missed from the research.

The Standardised Open-Ended Interview has a specific set of questions that are discussed in every interview conducted. This does differ from a questionnaire, as all of the questions are designed to illicit open-ended responses to gather detailed information. Interviewing in this way does generate consistency across interviews and ensures all of the key aspects of the research are discussed. However, as the data collected is discursive it is difficult to code to look for themes and patterns.

When designing any questions for an interview it is good practice to ask a fact question before an open question, to help contextualise the data and put the participant at ease (Boyce and Neale, 2006). The interview questions should focus on specific events (Maxwell, 2013) and not make any assumptions of the participant’s values, thoughts and feelings (Turner, 2010).

Weiss (1994) suggests that interview questions should be presented by the interviewer in past tense, as this recalls specific memory of events. For example, what happened when you used that…? Rather than present tense, which can create a more generalised response. For example, what happens when you use…? The questions should also allow the interviewer to supplement with more probing questions (Boyce and Neale, 2006). For Example, would you give me an example of that? Or, could you explain that further?

There needs to be a consideration of who is going to carry out the interview. Interviewing is a skill and it is possible to hire professional interviewers. However, this does cost money and may not be practical for small-scale educational research. The researcher acting as the interviewer would avoid any costs, but their interest in the study may bias the data gathered.

Along with the moral dilemma of bias, there are also ethical considerations in conducting interviews. These range from the question ‘who has the power in the interview relationship?’, being honest about the where the data will be stored and presented, and the vulnerability of the interviewer. Ebbut (1981) highlights that it may not be the interviewer that has the power, as one would expect, but the interviewee. The interviewer needs the interviewee more than the other way around, and could avoid difficult questions. There is also the possibility that employment position of the interviewer could make them vulnerable if they are interviewing participants with a more senior role.

Hoinville and Jowell (1977) outline the following as suggested guidelines in conducting an interview:

  • Arrange a time
  • Relax the interviewee and reduce wariness
  • Discuss the research and audience
  • Only continue if you have been accepted as an interviewer
  • Avoid long catch-all questions
  • Avoid leading questions
  • Use any silence effectively, let the participant think and then talk

It is always good practice to pilot the interview with a participant who is not part of the research study. A pilot interview will enable questions to be refined and an examination of potential data to be carried out, to see if there are any gaps (Turner, 2010).

 

Boyce, C. and Neale, P. (2006). Conducting in-depth interviews: a guide for conducting in-depth interviews for education input. Watertown, MA: Pathfinder International.

Ebbut, D. (1981). Girl’s science, boy’s science revisited. In A. Kelly (ed) The Missing Half. Manchester: Manchester University Press

Greene, J. (2007). Mixed Methods in Social Inquiry. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Hoinville, G. and Jowell, R. (1977). Survey research practice. London: Heinemann.

Maxwell, J.A. (2013). Qualitative research design: an interactive approach (3rd Ed) London: SAGE

Powney, J. and Watts, M. (1987). Interviewing in Educational Research. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul

Turner III, D.W. (2010). Qualitative interviewing: A practical guide. Qualitative Report, 15(3) 754-760

Weiss, R.S. (1994). Learning from strangers: the art and method of qualitative interviewing. New York: Free Press

What is a literature review?

A literature review explores the research that surrounds a particular topic, in a critical manner. By reviewing the research that has gone before, the author can identify the current position of work within the subject field. If the review is part of a dissertation, the author should also be able to use the literature review to identify gaps in the previous research (Wellington et al, 2005).

Boote and Beile (2005) discuss literature reviews that were part of larger dissertations and argued that these needed to be thorough and comprehensive and the review should be the foundation of the study. Golde (2007) supports this by stating that a comprehensive literature review helps position the current study in the subject field, helping locate it within the current literature, build and argument and make a case for the subject of the research.

Boote and Beile argue that even though the literature in the field of education is complex and disorganised in comparison to other fields, it is the review of the literature that is at the heart of the study and not the actual data. They stated that a good literature review is proof of the researcher’s knowledge of the topic area and that their data only adds a small, albeit new, understanding.

However, Maxwell (2006) identifies the need for a distinction between a literature review for research and those literature reviews of research. He argues that literature reviews for a dissertation need to be relevant and selective and not as comprehensive as suggested by Boole and Biele. Maxwell’s literature reviews are more of drifting sand dune, with room for dynamic movement, than the solid foundations recommended by Boole and Beile.

I agree with Golde, Boote and Beile that there does need to be a rigorous exploration of the key texts in the subject to locate the research and identify new knowledge. However, it is important to acknowledge the complexities of education research and the importance critically reading relevant literature for the research and being selective about what is included. Maxwell focuses on two questions that the researcher should ask when carrying out the literature review; why is this piece of literature being included in the study and would failing to discuss this literature create a gap in the research writing?

Wellington et al (2005) describe a number of different models a researcher could use for the literature review to help them structure the writing for the reader. The Zooming model takes the reader through a wide view of the literature on a particular topic, before zooming into a medium and narrow view. The Intersection model looks at different aspects of the topic and identifies where these overlap. The Patchwork model pieces the review together like a jigsaw with topics that have many connecting sides with each other. Whichever model is chosen, Wellington et al state it should be seen as a story with a weaving plotline.

Boote, D. and Beile, P. (2005) Scholars Before Researchers: on the centrality of dissertation literature reviews in research preparation. Educational Researcher, 34(6) 3-15.

Golde, C. (2007). Signature Pedagogies in Doctoral Education: are they adaptable for the preparation of education. Educational Research, 36(6) 344-351

Maxwell, J. A. (2006). Literature Review of, and for, educational research: a commentary on Boole and Beile’s “Scholars Before Researchers”. Educational Research, 35(9) 28-31

Wellington, J., Bathmaker, A., Hunt, C., McCulloch, G. and Sikes, P. (2005). Succeeding with your doctorate. London: SAGE

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