Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ascilite day 2 morning

Day 2 begins with a keynote from Professor of elearning Niki Davis from the University of Canterbury. Niki presents on 'prizing' open eduction as in getting to grips with and with treasuring. We are good at doing new things and seeking new ways but we are not so good at finding out whether what we do is any good. Call to revisit the trends scenarios set up after the DEANZ conference in 2009. Shared notes are on Google doc http/tinyurl.com/ascilite2014
Four scenarios are articulation, supermarket, self determination and quality brand consortia. 
Provided example of development of a MOOC on technology diffusion and models of change in education. In conjunction with Wayne McKintosh as MOOC deployed OER. Course in 2013 as a micro MOOC alongside a normal course with OERu.
Challenge of open journals as resource for the MOOC and ease of access to journals by DEANZ and ASCILITE.

Has technology improved education for all? Digital equity gap not diminishing. New project elearning for adults with literacy and numeracy needs. Need to ensure elearning is relevant to and useful for adults with literacy needs. Re engage and motivate students in a variety of ways to suit individual needs - truck drivers with low literacy and mobile work, use mobile computing as focus. More communication and tutors feedback suited to device ownership and work context. Family communication, grand parents digital literacy. Culturally appropriate with informal and familiar environment. Numeracy in authentic situated learning. Application of games where relevant. 
Elearning needs to think about global and equity aspects. 

Ascilite awards made for innovation and excellence to University of Queensland flip classroom, Macquarie University and Auckland university for work in portfolios in health science.
Life membership to Gregor Kennedy. 

After morning tea, concurrent session begin and I chair 3 papers. First up, Jo Lander from the University of Sydney on the role of the interpersonal in online knowledge construction. Reports on investigation on asynchronous discussions potentials and challenges. Importance of building an online discussion community but student tend to not be able to reach higher level of critical thinking through learning based on asynchronous discussions. In 3 context on communicable disease, obesity and tobacco control. Used linguistic discourse (systemic function) to analyse discussions to establish interpersonal, ideation/ knowledge building and textural / mode/genre. Provided examples from the data to study how community building proceeds, instruction giving. Expectations for knowledge construction include bring in prior knowing, a synthesis  or transformation, opinion or argument etc. need for moderators to open space for other voices. Interactions between moderator and students and between students were rarely challenging, negative and / or critical. Online discussions become blends of conversation and academic, fragmented, incomplete and jointly constructed. So, academic writing not practiced and discussions do not use language of academia. Implications on social media Type relationships and disconnect to academic discourse. 

Second session with Salome Meyer from EIT with blended learning: student experiences. Blended learning of 5 Batchelor degrees through merger of 2 institutes in 2011. Evaluated student experience with BL with focus on development and delivery across skills. Study in 2012. Prior to start of BL most students who completed the survey had not experienced online learning. When BL started, majority of students expressed positive engagement with online learning. Students felt support for shift to online learning was insufficient but most other including taking responsibility for learning and flexibility. Staff capability was an issue which students picked up. Recommendation to develop comprehensive plan to support BL initiatives. 

The third session is with Penelope Rush from the University of Tasmania wide open listening: what is it really like to be a distance student? Survey undertaken to improve support services to students and raise awareness of support. Survey of 1000 plus students a 17% response rate. Themes through grounded theory included enables self determinism, flexibility, necessity, location and positive. Highest responses in flexibility with the second in necessity. Worse aspects included isolation, resources responsibility, unconsidered balance/ travel. Distance learning improvements included improvement of resources, contact, consideration, communications. Flexibility needs have to be balanced with synchronised sessions by webinars or similar. 

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