Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LAMs (learning activity management) with professor James Dalziel

Professor Dalziel is professor of learning technology and director of the elearning centre of excellence at the Macquarie university in Sydney. He presented on the topic "pedagogy for the 21st century".

Covered new approaches to teaching and learning, technology and learning, what is learning design? A case study round LAMs and relations between learning and curriculum design.

Argued that lectures are not evil as there are many ways to create lively lectures and have a role in summarizing a range of knowledge and provide forum for cutting edge knoweldgento be disseminated by experts.

Due to explosion of 'new' knowledge there is less reliance on memory but greater need to gain skills in finding, sifting and critiquing knowledge.

Advocates the 'start at the end' approach to learning design i.e. from graduate outcomes /profiles / attributes. Plus focus on skills like teamwork, critical thinking, effective communication, problem solving, collaboration etc. with shift to 'flipped classroom'.

Need for alignment between taught knowledge, teaching and learning methods, development of practical skills, assessment do knowledge and skills and the desirable attribute of graduates.

Used problem based learning in the training of medical doctor as an example of how change in teaching practice provides graduates with work ready skills.

Elearning has unfortunately not made much impact on pedagogy. Learning design has potential through providing students with a sequence of learning activities and a way for lecturers to describe and effectively share teaching ideas. Learning design could include a framework or language to structure learning activities, software system, community of educators and process educators go through to structure learning. It is Not an educational theory, still immature, a small field and should not be reliant on technology.

LAMs ( learning activity management) is a Tool for teacher to plan and run lessons. Each lesson can be seamlessly linked vi moodle to existing LMS. LAMs is open source and now used in 80 plus countries by thousands do educators. Uses templates like - predict, observe, explain; to lay out lessons.

Overall a good summary of some of the focuses now used at CPIT through support the Centre for Educational Development (CED) provides to teaching and academic staff. Not too sure if LAMs will assist the process of constructive alignment but for some staff, the structure provided in templates may be helpful, especially for those just starting out teaching. The important follow up to having classes laid out in LAMs is to ensure there is still a reflective dialogue with students, peers and learning designers to ensure that classes are organic/dynamic as content shifts, student profiles change and learning outcomes are updated. So classes in LAMs are 'work in progress' with clear pedagogical rational provided for selection of various learning /teaching strategies and a cycle of review based on reflective practice is also adopted.

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