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Engaging Learners at Multiple Levels: Innovations to support the development of professional practice in e-learning Adrian Kirkwood, Robin Goodfellow &

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Learners at Multiple Levels: Innovations to support the development of professional practice in e-learning Adrian Kirkwood, Robin Goodfellow &"— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging Learners at Multiple Levels: Innovations to support the development of professional practice in e-learning Adrian Kirkwood, Robin Goodfellow & Gill Kirkup The Open University, UK

2 2 Developing professional practice? Increasing adoption of eLearning systems and tools in Higher Education in the UK and around the world. How do HE teachers keep abreast of institutional innovations? Is there an Internet Generation Gap between learners and teachers in HE?

3 3 Developing professional practice Does professional development for eLearning go beyond imparting technical familiarity and skills? To what extent are HE professionals aware of debates about eLearning practices and learner- centred approaches? [e.g. HEA Standards] Modelling learner behaviour – do HE teachers have enough experience of using online tools to model successful learner behaviour?

4 4 The eLearning Professional Course designed for practitioners in post-school education and training contexts 30 point course in MA Online & Distance Education programme First presentation: Sept – Jan Totally online – global student body Website (Moodle) + various online tools Materials light – activities heavy

5 5 The eLearning Professional Presents issues for discussion & debate and suggests a framework for further exploration –Sharing of students own experiences –Relate to a range of work / practice contexts Activities to demonstrate broadened knowledge and experience + co-creation of understanding Reflection for personal & professional development – Participants develop own ePortfolio with optional blogging

6 6 Individual and group learning activities (eportfolios, blogging and other tools) Activities should enable participants to –develop and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding –relate course issues to their own context and to personal / professional development Activities should –provide inputs for assessed work –encourage and reward team working as well as individual effort

7 7 Personal eportfolios in UK HE Personal Development Planning as astructured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal education and career development (NCIHE, 1997) Growing adoption of eportfolios in HE – UK policies for PDP and Progress Reports – Requirement for some professional bodies

8 8 What are personal eportfolios for? Assessment of knowledge and/or competencies? (summative) Promoting reflection and developing learning? (formative) Personal and/or professional development? Greater control and ownership of learning by learners? A record of learning?

9 9 How to use blogging for learning? Demonstrate knowledge of the work of others (URL/RSS links) Promote reflection, produce reflective writing for an audience An online learning journal Contribute to the learning/topic community Stimulate a dialogue on your ideas with others

10 10 The personal eportfolio To evaluate the advantages and limitations of eportfolios (for students, teachers and others) by examining several systems, as well as reviewing the literature Participants engage with eportfolios in education at 2 levels: To construct their own eportfolio throughout the course as a contribution to their own personal and/or professional development

11 11 Other online tools Conferences – for each tutor group and whole course forums – online activities for debate & discussion throughout whole course Wiki – supporting collaborative activities – shared generation of documents by groups Blog – for each participant to use – personal reflection upon learning and own professional development

12 12 Feedback from participants Online end-of-course survey Comments collected via conferences and wiki throughout course Separate interview study of blog use by participants

13 13

14 14 The experience of blogging Resource Network Building – actively seeking people and resources Support Network Building – academic and social support from group members Self-sufficient Blogging – mainly for themselves rather than wider audience Anxious, Self-conscious Blogging – not comfortable with writing for public audience Avoidance – issues of ownership and control

15 15 Some participant comments I felt that the use of the course technologies was very well planned, supported and integrated really well with the learning. I liked the blog and found it easy to use but found the wiki and eportfolio much harder. Blog was brilliant and course communities crystallised around it. Wiki was OK but the wiki group never really gelled. ePortfolio was great in concept, but no one liked ePortaro.

16 16 Learning from the community Discussion forums really promoted thinking and reflection as anticipated … Well structured guidance Support from other students via online conferences and through reading other students blogs The opinions and experiences of other students was a great insight … I have learned as much from this diverse group of people as I have from the course material.

17 17 Some participant reflections … the process can be very valuable because it really does make you think and reflect a lot more on the work you are doing and what you have learned from particular activities. I feel that I have grown a lot from undertaking [this course] even though at times it has been stressful. … this was very closely related to my work environment and it is now easier to understand why all is not well at work

18 18 H808 Website: MA in Online and Distance Education:


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