Monday, 27 May 2013

Activity 12 - searching for ideas

For this activity, we were asked to search academic literature for case studies and frameworks that could help the team in making decisions about the project as well as providing ideas.

One of my favourite things about being part of the OU is having access to the library - I could quite happily spend hours inside the database looking for articles and journals, and that's pretty much what I did, unfortunately I wasted a bit of time as a result of this.

First thing I came across was an article by Wills et al (2009) on an eLearning framework for assessment (FREMA). Niall Sclater was also invloved in this article - I make no secret that I am a fan of Niall, besides the fact he is a fellow Scotsman, his work with TEL in Scotland at Strathclyde Uni and now with the OU is fascinating. I was going to propose this as a framework for the project, but decided against it as I thought the paper was quite dense and may be not be that easy to digest at this stage. Apart from bearing relation to our project, what also interested me about this paper was that I am convinced that block 3 that we are currently undertaking, is based on this paper as there is talk of personas and actors etc.

I came across another few interesting papers:
  • Shared video media and blogging online: Educational technologies for enhancing formative e-assessment. (2011)
  • Factors affecting the adoption of an e-assessment system. (2010)
  • A Framework for Evaluating the Quality of Multimedia Learning Resources. (2007)
I however decided to go with: Assessment is for Learning: supporting feedback. (2012)
For me, this paper directly relates to what we are doing on our project - it is about assessing multimedia artefacts on designed based courses, I was reading the article and thinking to myself... 'our answer lies here!' I added the paper to the case study STARR document on the website.

This paper utilises a framework developed by Goldsmiths called e-scape that was slightly adapted for the project. I had a search around but could not find anything on e-scape Scotland, so I got to wondering if the project was superseded by the Glow project - the new eLearning platform for schools in Scotland, I'll need to investigate more.

When I am looking for academic related stuff, I tend not to go anywhere near Google - maybe scholar on occasions. I had a quick Google for 'assessing multimedia artefacts' and came across a slideshare from the OU from Denise Whitelock that mentions H817 and the e-scape project as well!!

It's a small world.

Leacock, T, & Nesbit, J 2007, 'A Framework for Evaluating the Quality of Multimedia Learning Resources', Educational Technology & Society, 10, 2, pp. 44-59, ERIC, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 May 2013.

McCann, AL 2010, 'Factors Affecting the Adoption of an E-Assessment System', Assessment & Evaluation In Higher Education, 35, 7, pp. 799-818, ERIC, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 May 2013. 

McLaren, SV 2012, 'Assessment Is for Learning: Supporting Feedback', International Journal Of Technology And Design Education, 22, 2, pp. 227-245, ERIC, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 May 2013.

Olofsson, A, Lindberg, J, & Stodberg, U 2011, 'Shared Video Media and Blogging Online: Educational Technologies for Enhancing Formative E-Assessment?', Campus-Wide Information Systems, 28, 1, pp. 41-55, ERIC, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 May 2013.

Whitelock, D. (2012) Understanding Current Practice Around the Assessment of Multimedia Artefacts. [Online] (Accessed 27 May 2013). 

Wills, G, Bailey, C, Davis, H, Gilbert, L, Howard, Y, Jeyes, S, Millard, D, Price, J, Sclater, N, Sherratt, R, Tulloch, I, & Young, R 2009, 'An E-Learning Framework for Assessment (FREMA)', Assessment & Evaluation In Higher Education, 34, 3, pp. 273-292, ERIC, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 May 2013.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Activity 10

That's weeks 14 and 15 completed.

It was an interesting couple of weeks in the learning design task, I am very happy with the group that I have been placed in. I was initially a bit reluctant in my role as team leader, only because of the context under which we are working - online with not really knowing each other that well. For me everything is working out fine, I hope the other team members feel the same.

Because of this good relationship, we have all contributed equally in the contribution to articulating the context. The persona task was a good help in this as it helped us reach a common understanding of the type of learner/teacher that we will be working with. Trish and Priya did a fantastic job in completing the framing document. The biggest challenge was finding time when we could all meet up together synchronously, although we all kept in pretty close contact through twitter. Although I am comfortable with working with websites, I found the Google site we are using a bit cumbersome, as I think most people are.

We still have a few weeks of this task left, which culminates in TMA3, I have already started looking at it in some detail.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


As part of our learning design task the group have to create personas. We have been asked to create two each based on the kind of people we would expect to come onto our course.
I went down the imaginative road and based the personas loosely on my wife and I. The personas created by the other team members are a mix of people with higher education experience and school teaching experience. It is pretty easy to spot the common thread - there are some with good experience of using technology in the class and there are others with limited experience and perhaps lack of confidence that would like to utilise technology more effectively. There are factors and concerns associated with each persona which in turn will be used to determine forces on the course.

This is the first time I have been involved in a learning design task such as this, it is very detailed. I can see however how our personas can be used to 'shape' the direction for the course. The team have been doing a fantastic job, it's not very often you end up in a team where everything clicks. There are another 4/5 weeks of this group task remaining, let's hope in continues.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Week 14 group task

We have moved on to block 3 on the course, which involves working on a specific task in groups to produce a web based resource...

Assessment of multi-media artefacts in a design-based course

Think of a course where students learn by designing objects or activities, and representing these as multi-media artefacts. How do you incorporate effective assessment into the course?

I initially saw the task as a bit of a challenge for me as I am not really involved in design-based courses as such. However the more I thought about it the more I realised that I kind of do this with my classes anyway. I often ask learners to produce outputs in a wide array of electronic formats, for example, video (phone), screencast, image or proprietary from a particular piece of simulation software. These objects produced by my classes are not formally assessed, however if they were, how would I go about it?

We have been allocated into our groups and we have been working great together so far, I am really excited about the resource we are going to create. We have set up our site and logbook, this week we will decide on a context and definition for the project and start to look at personas.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Big 5

The 'big 5' of teamwork consists of:

Team Leadership
Mutual performance monitoring
Back-up behaviour
Team orientation

If I was to pick two of these in which I had a positive experience it would be back-up behaviour and adaptability.

The context under which I was working at that time (2006 - 2010) was section leader for computing in an FE college. It was a medium sized department (15 - 20) teaching staff. There was a head of department and another 2 section leaders. Each section leader was responsible for leading their own curriculum area. I was responsible for managing the computer systems and networking curriculum and led a team of 6 teaching staff. I was also responsible for managing the college Moodle VLE.

Each of the section leaders had other responsibilities for example, quality processes and timetabling. Each SL was encouraged to learn about the other roles; we worked almost holistically and not in 'silos'. This was incase a backup was needed, so for example if the timetabler was not around and a member of teaching staff was off ill, another could access the timetabling system and organise class cover. We could each easily provide backup and adapt temporarily to the environment.

In our group, there will be allocated roles. It will be important however for us to use an effective communication mechanism, synchronous and/or asynchronous to let each other know what is happening - keeping each other in the loop in case we need backup and to temporarily provide support.

The key here for MAODE students is the synch/asynch communication solution and scheduling skills because not everyone will be able to meet (conference wise) at the same time due to large geographical spread.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Activity 25 - oh dear... Not another home made video...

So, that's the Open Education MOOC come to an end. Unfortunately as I am involved in the OU H817 course, I couldn't get to enjoy finishing off the course as much as I would have liked because of having to complete TMA2. I get the feeling most others on H817 were in the same boat. I enjoyed the MOOC, it was a new experience for me in which I learned loads of new stuff that I should have learned about before, for example Creative Commons and OER. I will probably go back and finish a couple of tasks I never got round to doing.

This video, hastily put together in work, is for my 3rd and final badge, which I will wear with pride...