Sunday, November 10, 2013

Module 6: Assessment

Brainstorm about assessment 2013 by bronwynannh
In this session, we looked at the many aspects of assessment - in our brainstorm the consensus was that assessment needs to encourage learning. Formative assessment is useful as it can provide lots of opportunities for formal and informal feedback.

Wordle about types of assessment

For effective assessment the values and principles of assessment need to be considered. More can be read about this topic on the wiki: Effective assessment. When choosing the methods and tools to be used, it is helpful to consider eight broad categories of learning outcomes as compiled by Lee Dunn (2011)- these are described in Methods and tools on the wiki.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Overview of 16 September session: Module 4

PDSA cycle
Lesson planning was the topic of the session today. I had prepared a lesson plan for the session as an example. I gave a quick overview of Module 4, and then we worked on an experiential learning activity.  The activity was to design and prepare a lesson plan to teach a group of students how to milk a goat. This was a good subject for getting the class to think about how to design active, deep and experiential learning activities.We did the activity in pairs, and each group came up with a different lesson plan. For example, Namarta and I decided to teach polytechnic staff, and bring in a real goat and a goat farmer to explain how to handle the goat and how to do the milking. I thought it was important to teach the students some terms for understanding the external anatomy of the goat. I also wanted them to understand the physiology of milk production though this would probably be something that could be done in another lesson. Others talked about showing a video, and learning the milking technique using a simulator and then doing a field trip later on. 

We had some good discussion about the different approaches and gave each group feedback. I showed the class a video resource that I had found on milking a goat - How to Hand- milk a Goat - so we could have some discussion about its effectiveness and how a resource like this can be used in a lesson like the one we planned.  This particular video was good because it showed the milking technique close up and the process and rationale was explained well. I also showed an example of other resources that could be used in a lesson plan.  Milk a goat by hand - pictures and instructions. People thought these would be useful for students as they can be studied more slowly than a video. I also suggested using web resources.

Effectiveness of using video resources
We discussed that it is best to pause video if it is used and have discussion part way through. It is also good to provide questions for students to think about prior to watching the video, and probably questions to reflect on afterwards. I  talked about the video resource as useful for providing a concrete experience if using Kolb's experiential learning cycle - it is not always possible or necessary to see a 'live demo' or have an actual experience until the skill has been demonstrated using some form of media. So concrete experience can be about feeling, viewing or doing.
One point made was that video resources are good for learning. We assume that they are but are they? So I went looking for some evidence that using video resources does actually help learning. Effectiveness seems to depend on the design of the video and the way it is used in class. So looking back at the milking video that we viewed. Was this really an effective resource for learning, and if so why? What could be done to improve it?

See what you think of these resources and what else you can find.
  • Using Video in Teaching and Learning - this article gives some good pointers about using video resources. Although considered effective, video can cause challenges as it depends on how it is used. It can become a passive medium unless activities are included. What do they suggest?
  • Instructional video in e-learning: Assessing the impact of interactive video on learning effectiveness - article on Moodle. The authors found that video is only effective for learning when it is interactive.  Why? It to do with how video encourages constructivist learning or cognitive processing of information. So how can a video resource be made interactive?
  • It is not television anymore: Designing digital video for learning and assessment by Daniel Schwartz and Kevin Hartman from Stanford University. They discuss the concept of 'designed video' and "provide a simple framework for mapping uses of video into desired and observable
    learning outcomes". From their perspective the use of and design of video needs to be planned if it is to be effective for learning. See what you think.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Overview of Monday 2 September session - Critical thinking and overview of Module 3.

Aria is one of the design models we discussed today in class. Two participants have been asked to use the Aria model to design a one day lesson on how to milk a goat. This may sound frivolous but it is not as easy as you might first think. One participant has practical experience in this area, like myself so I know how tricky it can be.

So what else did we cover today in class?
1. Critical thinking - In the first part of the session, we looked at critical thinking, and brainstormed what it means. Why - is a word that featured strongly. We went over the Emilia case study exercise in the module on Critical thinking - Practical models and frameworks.

2. Module 3 - an overview of two of the topics in Module 3: Educational design, and Quality assurance by Paul Left via Adobe Connect web conferencing. Please listen to the recording of the session (approx 30 mins) - Learning and Teaching in Practice_2sept2013_Ed design - even if you were in class it is a good idea so you can review what was said.

3. Discussion - after the session with Paul, we discussed the Aria model. More detail and other models can be found on the course website - Methods and Approaches.  We also talked about how quality assurance broadly works at Otago Polytechnic.  This is shown in the image below and includes: 
  • Course or programme approval, 
  • course evaluations, and
  • annual programme review where information about enrolment and completions and other aspects of the programme, e.g., student evaluations, innovations and issues, are shared with Leadership Team.
More detail about the steps for developing a new course or programme at this institution are listed below the image.
Steps in quality assurance at Otago Polytechnic

Steps for quality assurance at Otago Polytechnic - new course or programme

Step 1: This might be a request from industry for a new course or programme, or teachers may perceive the need for this based on their experience and feedback from colleagues in the field.  
Step 2: discuss the idea with immediate managers - decide if this idea is viable, and undertake a functional analysis - talk to industry, potential students, colleagues etc., and prepare a short report.

Step 3: prepare and put forward a proposal to Academic Board. Approval needs to be granted to take the idea further and develop a curriculum document. 
Step 4: work with an educational designer to plan the programme, and someone from the Quality Enhancement Centre to prepare a formal curriculum document. 
Step 5: programme manager takes the curriculum document to Quality and Approval committee and amend as necessary.
Step 6: the curriculum document  is submitted to Academic Board for approval. 
Step 7: once the new programme is moderated and approved internally, it is submitted to NZQA (New Zealand Quality Assurance) for external approval.

Some of the steps we discussed are shown in the image below which was taken from the whiteboard. 

Portfolio activity for the Critical Thinking topic 
  • Record your views about the concepts of critical thinking, on your blog.
  • Why do you believe critical thinking is important for student learning?
  • Share your views on the Moodle discussion forum for Module 2.

For Module 3: work through the material on Educational Design and  Quality Assurance, to make sure you have a good understanding. Then complete the portfolio activities. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Module 3: Teaching context and learning design

Welcome to Module 3: if you have completed working through Module 2 and are well under way with the portfolio activities, congratulations!

This module deals with three main topics:

1. Educational design

Educational design can refer to the planning and development of courses as well as of smaller chunks of learning such as a classroom session or an online learning activity.

In this topic we introduce two tertiary teachers, Emilia and Brett, and use them to illustrate some of the key principles of educational design:

2. Quality assurance

Quality assurance is crucial to the success of any educational organisation. But what does this term mean and how should we go about it?

In this topic we'll look at some of the main approaches to quality assurance and what they mean for us as tertiary teachers.

3. Reflective practice

Reflective practice can be a complex topic, but it has the potential to transform our teaching practice for the better.

In this topic we'll consider what we mean by reflection and reflective practice, and consider some key tools and approaches to making it happen.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Module 1: Learner Characteristics

Desktop Summit group photo by KittyKat3756

Firstly an update on how many people are in the course. To date we have met seven people either online or in class and expect to meet another four people this week in class. So expect to interact with 11 participants - Andy, Avtar, Ben, Deborah, Felicity, Kamya, Lucy, Manik, Michelle, Pete, and Yvonne. I will let you know if others join us. A few people are starting more slowly than others due to other commitments.

Are you ready everyone to begin on the first module?
We begin with the topic Knowing the Learner. Developing a profile for your learners is an important first step, and you will see that we have given you a long list of questions to help you to think about this. So we suggest that you follow the information and the activities in wikiEducator in order. The Portfolio activities for each topic will guide you with the evidence you will need to develop for your assessment portfolio.
In module 1, we will be exploring a range of topics:
  • learner preferences - should we really concern ourselves with learning styles? 
  • literacy and numeracy - how many of your students can write really well and do the maths they will need in their course? 
  • prior learning - what do your students already know? and 
  • expert learners - what does this mean exactly?
The next topic in this module is Culture and you will need to return here to the blog hear more about this topic later on.

  1. Keep posting regularly - to your blog and update the class on the Sharing your Work discussion forum - that way you will get feedback on your ideas. 
  2. Leave comments for others - as you will see to the right, several people have made a start with their blogs. Great work everyone. So please take the time to reward them (following good behaviorism principles). 
  3. Portfolio work for module 1 -  plan to get this as ready as possible for assessment before moving on to the next module. That way the coordinators can give you early formative feedback and you will know if you are on the right track for the rest of your study in this course. 
What is coming up?
We look forward to meeting more of you this Friday on-campus - D317 - 13:30 - 15:00.
An online class will be scheduled later on before the mid-term break - please complete the Doodle poll so we know what suits you.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Welcome to Learning and Teaching in Practice

by Sebastiaan ter Burg
Welcome everyone to Learning and Teaching in Practice. This is a big course. Big credits (45), big learning hours (450), big expectations for all of us no doubt, and hopefully a pretty big and memorable experience. How big can it get? Manageable we hope. To keep you in touch with what is going on in the course we will use this blog to tell you interesting stuff and to showcase what people are doing. Make sure you subscribe by email to the blog.

During the course, we will walk you through what it means to be a teacher in a learner-centred and experiential pedagogy and introduce you to some technologies to support this. We will assist you to develop or maybe change your teaching philosophy, and you will discover, we hope, some exciting ways to design learner-centric environments. Personalised learning and collaborative learning are biggies for us so.....we are asking that you keep a blog to document your thinking and learning as you go. If you want your learners to do things like keep an e-portfolio or a blog, then you need to experience it for yourself first. 

Why a blog?
A blog is great for sharing ideas and information and giving each other encouragement. It becomes your space to do with as you will.  If you choose the right place to set it up, you can take it wherever you go, so think of it as an expandable suitcase full of goodies which never wears out. The possibilities are endless. The course blog is on and it has everything you need and is simple to use. Some of you may prefer to use an existing blog (great stuff) or to experiment with other platforms.

We won't be playing 'big brother' exactly but being able to give you some pointers and feedback on your blog as you go helps us to feel useful. You see we have this silly idea that if you are active on your blog, then you are participating in the course activities and learning. We love action!

Some of my previous students have gone on to use their blogs for professional purposes. Sarah Stewart is a great example of someone who has gone on to be a very active blogger about her practice as a midwifery educator. If you follow her, you will also find out who she is as a person. She knows how to write without compromising privacy so check it out if you are worried about this side of things.

Keeping a blog will also help you to develop your thinking for your assessment portfolio, and for some of you the blog and assessment portfolio may be one and the same.

When does a blog become an assessment portfolio?
Some of you will find that your blog will also serve as an assessment portfolio. It depends how you want to organise it and what you want to put in the portfolio. If you have lots of files, then you will need another spot for them.  Google sites is great for doing this. You can also set up a 'navigation tree' so things can be found easily. I have set up an assessment portfolio as an exemplar, and intend to keep adding to it as the course progresses. What you put in yours will look very different to mine but hopefully it will give you some ideas.

Morepork Owl by Russell Chilton

For each module you will need to document these aspects for assessment in this course:
  • evidence of your learning, 
  • a narrative about that evidence, and 
  • reflective discussion about your learning and practice. 
You are also asked to support your ideas and writing with references from the literature - research articles from journals, and good quality articles, information and reports from websites.

We are hot on APA referencing in this course. The Purdue Owl APA Formatting and Style Guide can help with this as she is very wise. Original ideas and discussion of lots of different perspectives are well sought after - there is no right answer in this course. All the detail about assessment is on the Course Outline on the course website.