Wednesday 10 April 2013

Big ?'s about Technology Enhanced Learning #ocTEL

One of the activities for week 0 of ocTEL, in addition to writing an introduction about yourself,  is what is the most important question about TEL for you?  I'm not sure what my big question is.  Does technology enhance learning? Yes. Does technology enhance life? Yes. With the condition for both that it is used effectively and with consideration and 'for the greater good'. But that's true about everything.  So maybe the question is 'how can I/we use technology to the best effect to enable students/people to learn?'
I decided to have a look at what other people are saying about their big questions.
I looked on the ocTEL website first intending to go to the forums but got distracted by the Twitter Conversations Visualised which is 'a graph of the Twitter interactions using the #ocTEL hashtag' created by Martin Hawksey @mhawksey.  It's brilliant.
I looked through the various forum posts and picked out words and phrases that summarised the subjects that people were asking their questions about.

I then went to the jiscmail list and discovered that Tom Franklin had posted a table which summarised the recent posts of big questions and put them into categories.  Very helpful and another quick win for me.  
So here are a list of words that are the most popular big questions in alphabetical order.
It's interesting and reassuring to see that the most popular, apart from the directly relating to Moocs ones, are about engaging people either students or staff and ensuring that the engagement is effective and has impact.  
My big question is still how can we use technology enhanced learning to engage learners and enhance the student experience and this is a question shared by many other participants of this course and those involved in TEL.


  1. Thanks, Clare. This analysis of the questions others have posed is interesting. One thing it seems to highlight (to me in any case) is how relatively abstract and general many of the questions are. If you were to think of a question that was more concrete and specific to your own work, do you think that might focus and drive your experience of the rest of the course? Just wondering. All the best, David

    1. But isnt that because we were asked for BIG questions (my emphasis)?

    2. I'm not sure that we were asked for big questions or whether we were asked for important questions and so not sure if it's the same :)
      If it was a more specific question, more relevant to my everyday working life, it would be 'which are the best technologies to use for communicating to students the information they need'. Or even 'is this technology / tool useful to get information to a student and enhance their experience?'