Thursday 9 May 2013

#ocTEL Effective Learning Resources - Global Citizenship

 ocTEL week 4     Effective learning resources
How can we take advantage of technological developments in order to create and source relevant learning resources for our students?
I wasn't sure what I wanted to search for but I’d just come out of a meeting about Visiting Students and Studying Abroad and how we can improve the student experience for these students.  Two of the many areas we discussed were ‘Global Citizenship’ and ‘Employability’ and how the information and support can be delivered to enhance these aspects.
So I decided to search for useful resources in one of these areas to ‘identify appropriate digital resources, including text-based, multimedia and interactive, for particular learning contexts’ although I’m looking at it from a general  HE perspective rather than a particular learning context.
Search term ‘Global Citizenship’
The top result was a resource from the University of Southampton which was relevant and part of a course Teaching Citizenship in HE.  There was lots of good resources although mainly text and images.
The second resource was a recording of a lecture from the Royal Veterinary College.  The content looked very interesting and the lecture itself would have been interactive using a voting system but the playback using Echo360 was very slow.
Open University – Open Learn
Search term ‘Global Citizenship’               
The top result was a link to a module entitled Enacting European Citizenship (ENACT).
It is part of a Money & Management course and wasn’t a learning resource.
All of the other results on the first page were part of the same module. 
So I searched on the sidebar under education and the results showed a module Teaching citizenship: Work and the economy.  Presumably to access the learning resources you have to enrol onto the module.
Search term ‘Global Citizenship’               
This search produced lots of results although not millions.  I filtered the search to include only those in the last year.  I watched two or three and they were very interesting.  There were quite a few TEDx ones.  
So the questions:
How easy was it to find a relevant resource?  It was easy to find the resources and I think that they were relevant because I managed to find course specific, sector specific resources as well as general ones. 
How could you incorporate this resource into your professional practice? For the purposes of finding a resource that could be used for Student information Points and Enhancing the Student Experience then they were suitable as a starting point and to create a general learning resource.
Which source did you find more useful (and why) – the ‘official’ resource bank or the open search?  Both the official and the open search were useful.  The official ones were very text / image based and straightforward but the Jorum ones were easy to find and relevant. The YouTube videos were more engaging but if may not match specific learning outcomes. 
Are there any limitations to the use of your preferred resource for your learners (e.g. copyright licence; login requirements)?  The Open Learn resource required a login which you would do if you knew that you definitely needed that resource and had been directed to it but when browsing it’s probably a barrier.
Would your own students agree that the resource you prefer is accessible? I think that most students would agree that the videos were accessible and the websites easy to navigate.

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Catching Up #ocTEL

Catching up with ocTEL by doing the following

1. Filling in expectations questionnaire
2. Looking at the results so far from the expectations questionnaire - it's very interesting to know what other participants are hoping to achieve from the course.
It's interesting but not surprising that many of the participants are those who already have experience using TEL and in fact probably work in education with technology.
I'm not sure how this will change in the future because unless it spreads to a wider audience then is it always going to be people who are 'known knowns' who are taking part and do they want to take part in order to learn for themselves or to learn in order to then encourage others to take part
Chart showing how participants describe themselves prior to starting ocTEL
The themes of the 'big questions' is also interesting - I'm interested in quick wins, engagement and good practice examples which are common themes but also how to share information which is probably all of it.

3. Filled in some of the questionnaires from last week.
Penn State University: Online Readiness Assessment
I immediately was put off this questionnaire by the following questions - what does that mean? Pretty easily?? Learn best??
I learn pretty easily.

I have to read something to learn it best
But I did think that these were OK and the other lot would be OK if i knew how to measure pretty or comfortable :)
My computer runs reliably on Windows NT/ Vista or on Mac OS 10.4 or higher.
I have a printer.
I am connected to the Internet with a fairly fast, reliable connection such as DSL or cable modem.
I have virus protection software running on my computer.
I have headphones or speakers and a microphone to use if a class has a videoconference.
My browser will play several common multimedia (video and audio) formats.

I am pretty good at using the computer.
I am comfortable surfing the Internet.
I am comfortable with things like doing searches, setting bookmarks, and downloading files.
I am comfortable with things like installing software and changing configuration settings on my computer.
I know someone who can help me if I have computer problems.

I liked this one it was great especially the clip art picture.  The questions were fine and although I just filled in yes to them all, they were much easier to understand and answer - yes /no is fine.  It made it clear that you would need a computer, that you would have to dedicate time and effort and would have to be engaged with the course - what else do you need to know?