Monday, November 24, 2014

Ascilite day 1 afternoon

The keynote after lunch is with Associate Professor Shane Dawson from university of South  Australia on what are we learning from learning analytics? Student data can be used to track academic, social and personal. LA actually around for many years but called different things like intelligent tutoring etc. but now ease of data mining creates too much information. lA still focused on what rather than why. Personalisation of learning possible but mainly concentrated in key skills and foundational content with drill and revise approaches. Examples of cognitive tutor include knewton and knowillage. Education management like analytics assisting with retention and identification of at risk students e.g. Course signals feedback (Tannes, 2011). Focus on learning process is still missing. Most projects still based on small scale and tends to be very context specific with guidance lacking to help further adoption.

National project now in progress to benchmark LA across 39 Australian universities and with 30 experts. Find out how to focus on learning process, broad range of data and recommend how to implement LA. Gap between how education administrators and researchers understand purpose of LA. plus most institutions still stuck at level 1 (Goldstein and Katz) of LA implementation. Two models, solutions focused or process focused. Solutions focus are it or industry or learning and teaching. Process on individual faculty or networked/ integrated. Discussed pluses and minuses of each and how moving solutions or process towards higher relevance. Currently a solutions model is usually it driven presenting data in dashboards etc with success being whether staff access the data. 
Cross organisational groups need to be used to develop LA. Needs to be problem focused. For LA to work staff capacity a key along with organisational buy in and support. Remember education, learning and organisation are complex. Complex leadership theory (Ulh-bein et al.) recommended as a method to manage complex tasks with complex teams. lA is not a technology, dashboard or one individual. @LA is team based and dynamic and requires planning and thought. 

 In the after lunch sessions, I chair 2 sharing practice sessions. The first one is with Stanley Frielick, reporting on progress on the Ako Aotearoa national project on mobile learning. The project involves 6 institutions with a diverse range of discipline areas. Each team presented briefly on their work to date.  Twitter #np14lmd. Stanley introduced the overall project objectives and encouraged catch up at poster session as each team has a poster on their project. Kathryn from EIT presented members of their communities of practice and approaches exampled by student ebook creation. Objective to build skills outwards from original team to increase institutional capability. Vickel from AUT presented examples of what has been worked with audio of tutor reflections and how student learning was changing to become more reflective and meta cognitive. Sam from Otago Polytechnic presented on designing for student success institutional project with example of carpentry collecting evidence of house build and use of Squawk which is LMS with ability to capture informal learning and offers feedback. Adrienne presented Auckland University use of Google + community to record thinking and learning while teacher trainees were out on school experience. rena presented on use of Pinterest to form eportfolios. James from Unitec showed examples of early childhood students and augmented reality with students embedded augmented reality content to digital resources. 

Then Michael Sankey and Helen Carter from USq report in 'benchmarking your capacity for technology enhanced learning. Presented on the ACODE initiative involving Australian and Nz universities and polytechnics. Formalised benchmaking provides opportunities for institutions to share practice. Overviews the revamped technology enhanced learning ACODE. Places institutions within broader sector wide context. ACODE meets 3 times a year. ACODE investigates, developing and evaluating new initiatives and developments to assist best practice. First developed 2004, revised 2007 and reviewed latest version 2014. 8 benchmarks. Latest revision better aligned with learning and teaching, planning around innovation and emergent technologies, sustainability and quality fro externally sourced systems. In June, 24 institutions from 5 countries participated in latest benchmarking exercise. Overview of process, self assessment within each institution involving internal stakeholders to decide on where institution stands with each indicators and collection of evidence and writing rationale; then all indicators compared to find if self assessment accurate; providing sharing of practice. 

After afternoon tea, attend 2 sharing practice session. First one on 'bringing digital literacies to students without Internet access' with Helen Farley from the Australian Digital Futures Institute at USQ. 61% of worlds population do not have access to the internet! Check Internet to share experiences of teaching without the internet. 44% of students on foundation students in 2012 did not have Internet access but USQ moving towards all resources being digital and accessible online. Some students do not have access to electricity. Presented learnings from projects set up in correctional centres to think through how to better cater for learners without access to Internet. Still important plan. Determine context of your learner. If there is some Internet identify core resources so students download when they are able to and get resources up early. Investigate mobile interconnectivity and keep things simple. Use ePub, self marking quizzes and keep download files which are small. Recognise that collaboration is difficult, have alternatives to digital assessments. Sometimes not able to offer in offline environment. 

Second session on digital learning thresholds for whole institution with Romy Lawson fro University of Woollongong. Shared experience of move from blackboard to Moodle with tools like mahara, echo360, Equella, edublogs, turnitin, parature and other tools. Task and finish groups were formed to complete projects, consultations with stake holders and endorsements by relevant committees. Started from work of others to inform project and match to local context. Discussion and and sharing of what others have done. 

Then poster sessions where I present poster on CPIT project surface tablet, work to date and in progress.

A visit to the settlers museum and dinner out with CPIT staff closes a longish day.

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