Sunday, October 17, 2010

IADIS CELDA 2010 day 3

Sessions run until 1.30pm today to allow European conference attendees the chance to get home in time for work tomorrow. The morning begins with 4 presentations on the theme of technology, learning and expertise. Attendance is sparse after last night's wine tasting and dinner so the few of us present are doing our best ot support the presenters.

First up ‘future teachers’ reflections on teaching technology: what did they learn from service-learning? From Junko Yamamoto (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania). Discusses the concept of using ‘community service’ to assist full-time students learning how to become teachers to make use of the skills learnt during the course (i.e. link theory to practice). In this case, to use the learning skills acquired on ‘technology and teaching’. Full-time students were first year students, most of whom have had no teaching experience.

Second up, Andreas Christ, Markus Feisst and presented by Razia Sultana (University of Applied Science Offenburgh) on ‘collaborative language learning as a device independent application'. Use of a multimedia flashcard system (language learning game - LLG) to help students learn a variety of languages. Flash cards are created dynamically and exchanged anonymously between users. Flash cards can be displayed using mobile phones with the software configured to allow the game to run on a variety of mobile phone operating systems. Purpose of LLG is to support learning of new language by increasing interactivity, active learning, confidentially, short time, available at any time and easy to use. Future plans to improve interactivity and also built interfaces for iphone and android OS.

Then Margot McNeill, Maree Gosper and John Hedberg (Macquarie University) on ‘aligning technologies and curriculum: A snapshot of academic practice'. A survey undertaken to find out how much academics were applying 'constructive alignment' (Biggs & Tang, 2007) and whether assessments were constructed at appropriate levels of learning required (as per revised Bloom's taxonomy (Anderson et al., 2001). Findings indicate academics want students to attain 'higher order' outcomes/ capacities but their design of activities and assessments do not align with acadmic's initial direction. Propose need for more intensive professional development to be carried out to support academics to align theory to practice, support staff to utilise technology more effectively and development of diagnostic tool to assist staff to work out whether alignment is occuring.

Lastly – proposing a framework for blended and flexible course design from Timos Almpanis (presenting), Susan Patrick, Ruth Mclellan, Christina Dinsmore, Andrea Faustino and Whysnianti Basuki (Southampton Solent University). Propose a framework for designing blended and or flexible courses based on literature review to asssit with defining the terminology of blended and flexible learning.

After morning tea, concurrent sessions running. Beginning with 'Ementoring in vocational teacher education' by David Lord (University of Huddersfield) and Nele Coninx (Fontys University of Applied Science). Described three projects to e-mentor / e-coach  and support vocational teachers to develop 'technology skills'. Results from these projects and current project also presented. Projects include “Motivate” (Masters level opportunities and technological innovation in vocational teacher education) from Finland, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Portugal and the UK - peer mentoring set up on Moodle platform;  “ASSOCiate Online” (Achieving Subject Specialist Online Communities) initiative, involving the development and operation of an on-line learning resource and network of teachers in the UK - use 'find a buddy or find a professional buddy' as objectives; and "Synchronous coaching" in the Netherlands using a WIME (Whisper In My Ear) device - adapted from sports coaching - to provide just-in-time coaching when required. Findings from these three projects used to help improve the current IMPLEMENT project (IMProving Lifelong learning through E-MENToring).

Then Dirk Iftenthaler and Tobias Schmidt (University of Mannheim) on ' assessing the effectiveness of prompts for self-regulated learning'. Reports on quantitative project to support students' reflective processes using prompts. Findings indicate that supportive information is an important aid for developing cognitive structures.

The need ofr full-featured web-based formative assessmetns in a medical problem based learning curriculum: students' adn lecturers' and theorys' view by Stefan Minder, Felix Schmitz adn Sissel Gunttormsen Schar from University of Bern. Change of traditional formative assessments (student self-quizzes) to a more interactive and provide students with information to allow them to make decisions about adjusting their own learning patterns. Current system does not meet with tutor or student needs. Feedback / findings reveal need for formative feedback to not only provide aspects of learning progress but also be interesting, motivating, captivating and inspiring!

Next up 'an analysis of answer selection patterns from multiple choice items' by Jay Powell (Better Schooling Systems, Pittsburgh), James Berbauer (Robert Morris University) and Vishnuteerth Agnihotri (Test Deveopment Educational Initiatives, Bangalore). Quantative study of how students answer multiple choice items with findings used to improve student learning and teaching practices. An interesting presentation (similar to findings by Nuttall on how students approach assessments). Content knowledge not as important as the acquistion of skills related to working things out.

Last presentation from Nguyen Thinh Le and Niels Pinkwart (Clausthal University of Technology, Germany) on 'analysis of learning curves for weighted constraint-based tutoring systems (ITS)'. Another quantative study based on statistical analysis, to try to understand learning curves as applied to pre-post test comparisons in order to find out effectiveness of a tutoring system.

In all, a good conference which provided the opportunity to connect with a wide variety of research in the cognition area with a focus on technology use.  Interesting range of papers with researchers from a wide range of disciplines and countries. A good way for me to become more familiar with quantitative approaches to educational research and to collect a range of pertinent literature. Also good to range of 'technology' focused papers which have a 'deeper' focus on the pedagogy and theories which underpin practice, decisions made to implement, improve or modify and future planning. Will need to follow up on a few of the presentations and collate some of the pertinent papers to relevant CED staff when I get back to work.