Thursday, December 20, 2007
At the moment I am some 10 questionnaires short of my desired 1500 received by Xmas. This reminder email should ensure I reach my personal target.
I am just about to go to a talk at KMI which I shall try to blog:
Coping with the complexity of pedagogical mediation in distributed learning environments: effective e-teaching and e-tutoring strategies in the web 2.0
Paula de Waal, University of Padova, Italy firstname.lastname@example.org 20/12/2007, 11:30am, KMi Podium
Monday, October 29, 2007
This facility should allow many people to blog and these blogs appear automatically in a shared space. Alse we have the OHRE blog set up by Patrick. I can blog directly into this if I wish since he has given team members access. This probably would also appear in the aggregator.
Besides this as theme chair I will be making sure that the sessions in my theme (Users) are blogged and photos are taken here and there. For this I will use Flickr. Photos taken on the digital camera can quicly be uploaded from the SD-card of my camera to my laptop and thence to flickr. I think that it is then easier to transfer the pictures to the relevant blog (perhaps becausee it nicely resizes the photos - must set slightly smaller size on upload program).
I will also be taking a video camera in tomorrow - just in case.
This is very much working it out as I go along....the digital camera is relatively new to me and the aggregation a new experience. So all of this by tomorrow morning...now I hope I've used the right tag!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
1. Re-read paper for examples of contradictions - make notes and create 1 or maybe two slides on this.
2. Need to introduce basic elements of activity theory properly
3. Put website address on slide show - prominence
4. Include some bog standard stats
5. Look through slide show to identify new areas to tackle
6. Do a talk through - probably best to have two of these...must watch time
then take it from there....How much of this I will do tonight I don't know...will probably work for about an hour before relaxing with a drink...and then maybe some on the morrow.
Andreia is also presenting in UTAH so I hope here session goes well - perhaps she can blog me....that's a good idea perhaps I can get her to guest.
Spoke to two interesting people from the Copenhagen Business School who are hosting the event...try to find out a little more about them tomorrow.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Will soon be going to the ECEL 07 conference in Copenhagen to give a presentation. I will see if I can blog this experience.
We had a good reading group last week and were looking at the interpersonal communication sides of online learning. There was debate about how these experiences can become effective in terms of learning. Gill illustrated from the Second Life research work at the Open University.
I, like Wallace in her article, recognise the importance of a teacher or 'more knowledgeable other' although I perceive a continuum or dimensional aspect where we are all more knowledgeable in some respect.
At the moment I am trying to get my slide show together for the ECEL conference, write up some older research work, conduct an ethnographic study about using OpenLearn where I am a learner (monitoring my own experience), preparing for my trip to Warsaw in a couple of weeks time (which requires gemming up on all things open in terms of International awareness), getting up-to-date with my neglected blogs, and adminstering our new questionnaire. Another thing I must do is push for the in depth interviews with OpenLearn users. Perhaps I should identify and email some tomorrow - before I go to Copenhagen.
I hope there is good wireless connectivity at the conference so I can continue to have web access. Of course I have once again left my adaptors in Bristol.
Perhaps I should experiment with this blog over the next few days or so.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
As a result of this reading group the OpenLearn researchers (me, Andreia and Patrick) have decided to conduct an ethnographic research study ourselves where we will become users of OpenLearn, picking a number of units to study and recording, perhaps by blogging our experiences.
During my work on the Mellon supported project I acted as a participant observer by taking the Open University Astronomy course S282 - a 30 point unit. This was a great course and I was looking at its interactive elements. I was hesistant to call it ethnography however because I was not fully aware of the principles of ethnography in doing the research. Rather I considered it participant observation and S282 was a case study within our overall research on the Mellon project. We used Yin's Case Study text as a guide to structuring the research. Being a participant myself however gave me a very different understanding of the course and I could see how people responded the way they did to some of the technological evidence. The research however also involved other sources of data such as interviews with other students, staff members involved in setting up the course, and statistical data from our own research and the University archives.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I think I will try to get the reading group forum on OpenLearn going before the meeting.
Here is the link to it
So...I am off to the library for the next two hours or so to finish off the reading.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
We are having a problem in that the number of people who are using the OpenLearn forums and making postings is rather limited. It is felt that the reasons for this may be:
- there are too many forums
- the forums are often too deeply embedded
- people may not be encouraged to enter the forum
Ideas discussed include making it look like there is just one forum, but with many threads, reducing the total number of forums so that there are a few key ones, centred around discipline areas for example.
Maybe forums are not the answer....learning journals can represent thought collection. What can we use the learning journals to do...encourage the idea of thought collections...personal learning journals.
They are personal, but you can get your journals so that they are viewable to everyone. It would be interesting to find out how many people are using the journal.
Discussed the need to make it easy to find the forums.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
After the brain storming session we identified a number of areas to write about. Each of us had particular priority areas, and the rest of the areas were distributed randomly between us. There was then a little shuffling around of some subjects to those who wished to write about particualr areas. However, not too much of this was done so that it gave an opportunity to explore areas that did not necessarily fit with one's current expertise.
The topic areas are diverse and interesting and a full list for myself, Andreia and Patrick can be found at
As Patrick later jockingly suggested - 57 papers!
So if we get this lot done we woul never have to write another paper...at least for a number of years.
Anyhow, wishful thinking but a helpful start. I have included my list of topics below and will talk more about this in subsequent blogs. The aim was to prioritise one or two topics and then to write 5 or more shorter paragraphs on some of the other topics (all though to tell the truth I would like to do this on all of my topics). These topical paragraphs, or abstracts could then be shared with the others in the team. I will probably publish some of mine within my blog (if they are not too long).
In the case of the higher priorities each of us would become the lead author for our priotised paper but with the other two acting as second authors. That's the general jist of things but there is a lot of flexibility in all of this.
So, here is a list of my topics and priorities:
- Learning taxonomies
- Reflections on research using Activity Theory and Action Research (Denmark) (priority)
- Feedback from pilot studies (tech report?)
- Open research methods – remote research etc.
- Ways of looking at the process of making open content and size of initiative.Story of the initiative.
- Impacts on the host organisation: marketing, benefit, changes,
- Learner experience: stories and patterns of use and wider contexts for learning
- What XML does for us
- Literature review of field of Open Education
- Action Research in practice
- Just in time learning through open content
- Subject matter in open content: folksonomies and new subjects
- Constructing short term communities for learning
- Learning theories and their roles in open content.
- Detecting paths of learning from user behaviour
- Learning designAffordances – do people do what they can do with tools.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Recommendation for new starters - visit someone else that already has one going such as MIT and TUFTS (and us of course at openlearn).
CORUS - group of students in Asia, Africa, USA. How to present open course to difficult and resistant institutes or countries. Course for 'mankind'. More discussion on usage.
Number of courses being studies - not just potential students - pick and combine materials as their own courses...this is what people often do with text based systems. Annotating and adding metadata a tags to data.
Aggregate, collate, all resources that exist.
Quoting former tutor form MIT 'Why are we here...two reasons - one it to have interesting ideas...the other is to make music'. Education allows us have to good ideas. Next year the group will have to fit into the stadium and Pedro will have to make music for us.
Talk about languages...start learning Spanish...see brochure on the table. Everyone in the world to be comfortably fluent in two languages.
Shortly we will be having a session where people will be able to present their projects. I shall be going along to this with Laura and others from the team.
Monday, February 19, 2007
If you think of this as analogous to openlearn it will give some idea of the pyrimidal nature of openlearn usage. Many will pass on by, fleeting visitors. Others will enter and have a little look at some of the courses and/or tools in the site. Some will study, or interact...these, at the end of the day, are the ones that tell us if the site is successful.
So besides asking ourselves the question of the proportion of passers by, fleeting visitors and engagers we need to ressearch each of these three groups and what factors in terms of content, site design, and the nature of the learning materials or, more appropriately, learning processes will lead to a successful site.
A marketing question:
Do you make the customer want the product or do you design the product to fit the customer?