Friday, 3 June 2016

Blast from the learning technology video past

Before my job role changed in having our Digital Learning Design apprentices, as a Learning Technologist I produced many training videos using Planet eStream.  Planet eStream is a recording and streaming service that we use in College to record TV and radio programmes, lectures, skills sessions and professional discussions etc.  I disseminated these videos throughout the College to increase knowledge and develop skills of academic staff.

When making the videos, I undertook a combination of research, planning, design and recording.  I would make a list of topics that I would like to get over to academic staff in a very short and informative way.  The list would contain new ideas, good practice, new/current digital technologies and reinforcing Technology Enhanced Learning concepts.  I would then research further into the topics to broaden what I was actually going to talk about and show in the video.  I brought together all information and multimedia and placed into a PowerPoint, unless it was a demonstration of a digital technology.  After this, I would rehearse my PowerPoint as if I was actually doing a training session with people.  Except that nobody was in the room and I was talking to a camera!  I used the lecture capture feature which captured me in front of the Interactive Whiteboard as well as what was happening on screen.  Then I just pressed record and delivered!

After I recorded the videos I would promote them on our intranet site, email and in meetings.  After normal face-to-face training sessions I would also send links out to some of the videos as a way to follow up ideas etc.  I became somewhat my own star in doing these videos and I believe it helped to build confidence when delivering face-to-face sessions as it was like some sort of 'play acting'.

Looking back some of the videos they are very cringe worthy, but were good at the time!  Perhaps they still are today.  From 2012 to 2014 below are videos I produced with a brief synopsis of what they were about.

Importing PowerPoints and PDFs into ActivInspire
How to import PowerPoint resources into ActivInspire and develop ideas in making collaborative learning activities.


Microsoft OneNote in SkyDrive
Introducing Microsoft OneNote in SkyDrive for collaborative activities.


ePortfolios and Wikis Using Google Sites
Introducing Google Sites to use as ePortfolios and Wikis.


Online Forums
Introducing the Moodle Forum feature.


The Flipped Classroom
An introduction to what the Flipped Classroom approach is and how it can be used within your courses and lessons.


eLearning Today
An overview of what eLearning is of today and the impact it can have on learning and teaching.


ePortfolios
An overview of what ePortfolios are and how they can be used in assessment for and of learning.


eAssessment
An introduction to what eAssessment is and how it contributes to assessment and feedback processes.


Online Discussions
Introducing an active example of online discussions taking place.


Blendspace
Introducing Blendspace to present and deliver online content effectively.


Yammer
Introducing Yammer for an online collaborative learning environment for both learners and staff.


Oodles With Moodle!
Introducing a resource that can help you make the best of your Moodle course pages.


Screencasts?
Introducing screencasts to assist and enhance learning, teaching and assessment activities.


Video Enhanced The Teacher Star
An ambitious way of using YouTube and an introduction to the YouTube Video Editor.


Words Of Value
Introducing some word cloud tools for effective learning and assessment activities.


What's Tech Got To Do With It?
Attempting to bridge the understanding of using digital technology in learning and teaching.


Working on an Interactive Whiteboard
How you could potentially use an Interactive Whiteboard with your learners.


Using ActivInspire To Link Previous Lessons
How to capture learning development and making links to previous and future learning.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

An experience of facilitating an online discussion

Further from my post on Etivities for blended, flip or distance learning, here are two Etivities that I did with my apprentices from November 2014 in the form of online discussions.  This post provides a brief insight into how I planned the online discussion and facilitated it.  I used this as part of my eTutoring module for my Technology Enhanced Learning MSc, in which I gained a distinction.  I also did another two Etivities with the topic of 'Quality in eLearning'.

My choice in digital technology was using Moodle’s Forum feature.  I chose this from other social networking tools as it offered a traditional thread-like format, word counts, attaching and embedding multimedia and ease of archiving discussions.  I found the forum offered a broader scope of usability to manage conversations and the flexibility of applying instructional writing, summarising, weaving and critiquing learner contributions.  Below demonstrates the forum I created and the topics within it.


To ensure that the Etivity had purpose and a structure for learning, I used Gilly Salmon’s Etivity invitation as demonstrated below.  I made this into a two part activity that linked to qualification learning outcomes.


  
As part of the invitation I briefly analysed and annotated some learning theories that are present in the activity.  This is a good exercise I do when I plan online activities and materials as it enables me to effectively apply learning theory.


After I had completed and refined the invitation, I created the activity which was the Moodle Forum. I then created two forum topics and copied both invitations into them.  I then promoted the Etivities to the apprentices so that they could start to participate in them.  I sent an email to them all linking to the topics.  I did this a few times to remind them after they had a slow start.



The apprentices started to contribute and replying back to one and another as required.  I was checking daily if the apprentices were making contributions.  It's quite exciting waiting for the first person to make a comment.  But you can't pounce on them straight away, you need to allow momentum to build up and then make a purposeful reply back to direct discussion or give feedback and guidance.  Below the apprentices are responding back to each other and I have gave feedback and praised a good comment.


The whole eTutoring process involves a significant amount of empathy, motivating, prompting, challenging, weaving and summarising.  Over the years I have developed a wide range of approaches through reading good practice and theories (which could lead to another post!).  These attributes are needed in order to successfully facilitate an online discussion.  Below I responded to an apprentice and developed their thinking by asking questions about their contribution.  In the second example I asked an apprentice for further detail in which they replied back with.

  

During the activity I kept a log of all contributions in Microsoft Excel.  This was an interesting analysis and helped me assess interactions and evaluate the activity.


After the activity had closed, I issued an online survey using Google Forms to evaluate the activities effectiveness.  I could have asked more specific questions but I wanted to gain a deeper sense of the apprentices experience of participating in an online discussion.


Below is the feedback from the online survey that I used to evaluate the activity and make improvements with.

 
During this activity, I reflected heavily and created a brief plan that can help outline involvement and facilitation skills within an online discussion.  The duration indicates the length of the activity from start to finish, the Etivity identifies the type of activity (and/or linking to any others) and the action outlines what the learner and eTutor is expected to do.  However, the interactions will differ depending on learner numbers and the amount of replies they contribute.  This example focusses on my recent experience of facilitating an online discussion and the amount of individual contributions that occurred.