Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not quite Blackpool Illuminations.............

but the Elluminate conference definitely helped my understanding of "flexible" learning and ignited a few light bulbs in my head.
I jumped in a bit quick (regrettably) with useless info at the start but have gone back and listened to the recording again. A few thoughts sprang into my mind..........
I understand flexible learning is a great new aspect that can be embraced into our teaching methods but feel that a few key factors are needed to make it work:-
Students may need prior learning to be using the same contextual language as tutor or have a basic knowledge of subject.
Both students and tutors need access to and be able to use same technology/equipment, e.g. video conferencing/blogs/email/. (exactly what we're doing now, thank you Bronwyn and Leigh)
Agreed time/method for assessments and feedback's.
Workshops may be needed.
I have a few questions:-
I'm a fan of constructivism and try to incorporate it in my teaching........would it work with distance/flexible/open course ware?
Scale ability? With the content I'm teaching, scale is a factor. As is H&S.
Economic factors.........are we only targeting those who have the equipment/technology? (individuals and learning centres)
Motivation? Dave McQuillan questioned this at the Elluminate session. How to motivate and ignite passion for a subject from a distance?
I know flexible/distance learning can be a success as with our graduate student last year and I hope it will enrich nad enable my teaching.
please comment.


Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Tracey, I guess I'm the first to comment again :( dunno where all the others are.. are you getting out there and commenting on their blogs? This online networking through blogs is a kind of constructivism. In my experience though - it only really works on an international scale where you have the likelihood of enough other people who write to blogs to share ideas with. Locally it is a lot harder, because our numbers are smaller.

Apart from blogging networks being a form of socially constructed learning, there is also Wikipedia of course! Youtube as well, Second Life.. pretty much all the "social mediascape" we can identify and quite deeply analyse socially constructed learning going on.

What is hard to identify is such constructivism going on in a formalised educational context! This course is one, but how successful is it compared to the informal learning networks I mentioned above? This line of thinking has lead me to believe that true socially constructed learning doesn't actually happen inside formal education much at all. Sure, we assign "group" work and the like, but we still require it don't we. When we compare that to what we can now measure on the social media Internet.. I think we in education have cause to reconsider our methods.

I gave a presentation in Wellington along these lines of thinking - challenging the belief in education circles that we "practice" constructivism. Does it happen online? I think it most certainly does.. we just haven't worked out how to use it as an educational resource yet...

tracey nash said...

Hi Leigh
yes you're the only person commenting on my's just not interesting enough for the others maybe?
I'll listen/look at your Wellington presentation and get back to you.
I have been commenting on other peoples blogs

Leigh Blackall said...

:) You're blog is interesting. Maybe (if you like connecting with others to help your learning) is you look wider afield then the people doing this course. Leave comments on the blogs of other people out there who seem to have experience with flexible learning.

cyndy mckenzie said...

bloody hell tracey ive been looking for this comments box for ages and yes ive found it! yay! I wish that i had better prior learning for this course it would have been most beneficial. love the elluminator it was very enlightening for me too. i however felt it to be very busy untill i took time to process what was happening .

Michelle said...

Hi Tracey your blog is very interesting i have been very computer inept and now realised how easy it is to leave a comment on your page. I was trying to get through to you via my blog and I was not being successful! Anyhow I felt your comments were great on Elluminate because it gave a practical perspective. It was good to get real life examples which make good sense to someone like myself who is new to this but gaining in confidence.