Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 review

Time to have a look back on 2009 to assess what I have achieved and what I need to work towards. I have had a busy but interesting, intellectually rich and rewarding and productive (I hope) year. 2009 has been my first full year to concentrate on formulating and working on a new career direction into the areas of vocational education research and the teaching of adult educators.

In teaching with the staff education section, I am really enjoying working with tutors at CPIT and other institutions to improve teaching practice and to enhance student engagement and learning. The section has had to work hard at reviewing, re-documenting and re-developing the current Certificate in Adult Teaching and Diploma in Adult Education qualifications in to a new Diploma in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (level 6). Lyn Williams, programme leader for the staff education team has worked hard all year towards ensuring that we are all conversant with the overarching philosophies of the DTLT, to prepare people for teaching who are reflective inquirers, ready to continually learn the complex craft of teaching and who hold students as the centre of the learning process.

In research, I am starting to make progress in obtaining some funding to complete projects. The Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub fundedperspectives of new tutors’ project provided me with the opportunity to do some in depth reading into vocational identity formation and to learn how to use the nVivo qualitative analysis software.

Partial support with hardware from Renaissance computing in the form of two ipod touches and from the academic research committee with a PSP II has provided the opportunity to build capability with our new elearning team, Sam Hegarty and Alison Soo towards optimising Moodle for mobile access. Good progress in this area so watch this space.

A grant from the CPIT Foundation for a start to be made with a multimodal discourse analysis research programme on how trades students learn at CPIT. This first project is to work on the logistical issues related to using videos, voice recorders and mobile phones to collect evidence of student learning in workshops and classrooms. The Ako Aotearoa National Fund project is a project I am also really excited about starting early next year. I will be working with seven industry training organisationa (ITOs) to investigate the perspectives of first year apprentices on their apprenticeship experiences.

The only thing that has stalled is my PhD which I will have to work on over the coming summer to get to a final draft!! However, the various projects and the opportunity to teach research methods to others has meant that I now have a firmer understanding of how to re-structure and make appropriate links to previous research to my dissertation. My academic writing skills have also been developing well, partly through keeping this blog up but also in constructing various papers for conferences (7 this year!!) and seminars / presentations (9!). All good practice at organising my thought processes into a text / aural based literacy format.

So having just come off a very satisfying pre-Xmas tramp to the Tongariro National Park, I am looking forward to Xmas with the family and a camping / walking trip in Southland over the New Year. Then several weeks of intensive work on the dissertation before the 2010 teaching year begins :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Multimodal data analysis - hints

Free WiFi and internet at Auckland public library, so updating with my notes on meeting with Dr. Sigrid Norris at AUT on multimodal analysis.

A good chat to share research interests and to learn from Sigrid’s experiences. Also affirmation of the things I had planned to put in place would work.

Firstly, point of view & perspective important, use of overhead cameras ineffectual for capturing the nuances of interpersonal & individual gestural clues. If using multiple cameras, each camera should focus on one unit of analysis (an individual, or a group or the total group). Best for researcher to do the filming or to be taking field notes – with timer- which can then be used to track back on data stream later during analysis.

Data analysis best done as individual annotated still shots rather than a stream of images. Transcribe only the portions which may illuminate research question!! Use of atlasti recommended.

Sigrid also provided invitation to share pertinent data once we have collected some so that a joint data analysis session may be convened to work through the data. Also recommended touching base and reading the work of other researchers including Kay O-Halloran in Singapore and Gunther Kress's team in London.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

blogging with the ipod touch

Just did a quick tidy up of the blogs posted using my ipod touch during the ascilite conference.  Good access to WiFi in all the various rooms plus a good way to learn my way around the use of the ipod touch for text input.

In all, a quick way to take notes etc. as I was less distracted by web surfing the various presenters & sites as the presentation ran. Which is what happens when I attend conference sessions and blog sessions on my laptop as they happen.  The lack of capability to put in links easily is a hassle as it means I need to go back to the blogs when I am free to do a general tidy & update.  However, it does mean I do the requisite followup on the various papers.

The ipod touch text entry is easy to use, the 'p' does occasionally get lost as it required firm tapping to bring it up.  Moving between the text and the numeric keyboard came with a bit of practice.  So as long as there is good WiFi, I will consider just bringing the ipod touch to the next conference and leave the laptop at home.

Ascilite 2009 - day 3 - last session

Last session with keynote from James Clay (Gloucester university). he presented an entertaining presentation on the future of learning. Tweeter feeds provide an ongoing impression of his presentation. The future of learning IS mobile learning!! Presented a good overview along with advantages and disadvantages.

Then moved on to how we can work together to assist change and to work around the organisational barriers to change. Learners should be the ones to lead us into the future.

Prizes for best papers plus thanks to sponsors, organisation committe, reviewers and especially local conference committee.

Ascilite 2010 from 5th to 8th December in Sydney at University of Technology Sydney.

Ascilie 2009 -day 3- late morning sessions

Still following the eporfolio mobile stream with the presentations after morning tea.
Beginning with Norhayati Baharun and Anne Porter from University of Woolongong on using blended approach to teaching stAtistics. Statistcs often seen by students to be difficult. So the use of support resources on Blackboard was used. Most students found the online resources to be useful.
Next up Jenny Waycott and Gregor Kennedy from University of Melbourne on mobile technologies and web 2.0 in science and how this assist to situate learning in everday experience.used mobile tools to collect everday examples of chemistry and photo archive on collected based on 2 chemistry topics and were captioned and tagged. Most students did not find the activity useful but there was some enhancement of learning amongst students.
Then Karen Day and Stewart Wells from the University of Auckland on adapting social media to be used as a scaffolding tool for teaching health informatics. Based on digitalmindedness survey LMS was adapted to cater to students' capabilities.
Moved across to catch Martin Jenkins and Phil Gravestock from University of Gloucester on supporting the co-generation of work-based learning designs.involves improvement of engagement of employers with co-generation oh curriculum and leading to better support of student work-placements. The project Co-gent is to develop demand led curricula and have student eportfolios reflect these profiles or attributes.

Ascilite 2009 - day 3 - morning sessions

A sparse crowd this morning after last night's dinner and dance!

Morning began with a brief presentation from Matthew Riddle a Blackboard research grant winner on ICTs in the daily lives of Australian students. Uses Sms and the 'day experience method' to prompt them to record what they are doing and what technology they are using.
I then attended the eportfolios stream which had 4 presentations.John Roder and Mark Brown from University of Auckland on educators' perspectives on PLEs, Web 2.0 and eportfolios. We are moving from web 1.0 / eportfolios to web 2.0 /PLEs. Influenced by thinking from Feng, Siemens, Attwell and Fiedler. Generally many educators know about web 2.0 but do not necessarily use them to the PLE capabilities.
Then Jane Goodyear and John Milne from Massey University spoke on developing competency portfolios with engineering undergrads.used Mahara and began by asking students to find examples or exemplars based on graduate profile. Uptake was low so more work required! Critical factors include to have clear purpose, think transformative, support for reflection, hold into programme and assess.
Up next Beverley Oliver and Peter Nikoletatos from Curtin University present on building physical and virtual learning spaces.Engagement, students and mobile technology, iportfolio And mobile Curtin form the four parts of the learning spaces.
Last in this session, Jennifer Rowley and Peter Dunbar from University of Sydney on integrating eportfolios.Need to collect expression of many music identities, as performers, composers, music teachers etc. Therefore asked students on what they thought should be in their eporfolio. They wanted their eporfolio to reflect their individual personalities and skills / learning.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ascilite 2009 - day 2 - late afternoon sessions

Attended a mixed bag of sessions this afternoon.

Caught the tail end of presentation on a definition of digital literacy by Bronwyn Hegarty (otago Poly), Oriel Kelly (manukau institute of technology). An intriguing mix of skills proposed and discussed.

Thomas Duggan from Central Queensland University then presented on the Moodle support provided to indigenous Australian pre-undergraduate students. Focus on recognising the foundations of indigenous students and structuring on-line support material. Reveals a few constriants of Moodle including predominance of text based tools, no easy oral interface and intermediate tools required to bring support up to requirements.

Next presentation by Katherine Gilliver-brown and Marcia Johnson from University of Waikato on academic literacy development with multiple perspectives approach to blended learning. Reports on various interative computer assisted learning tools. Approach works with students, students are able to work automously so learning support able to progress with structural development.

Helen Cartner and Julia Hallas from Auckland University of Technology present the R2d2 model for online activities to teach academic language skills. this uses the read, reflect, display and do. This shows learners value the use of real-life activities assist the learning of academic skills. R2D2 model from Bonk and Zhang 2008.

Last paper for the day from Peter Strauss, AUT and Robin Goodfellow and Marianne Puxley from the Open University in the UK. This reports on work on providing contextualised and individualised on line writing support for postgraduate students. Contextualised online writing support (COWS)is a project which brings together a range of on-line tools and have acdemics provide a link to the specific discipline area.

A busy and varied day. Good to catch up with North Island staff developers. the conference dinner on tonight to continue with more convivial networking.

Ascilite 2009 - day 2 - morning parallel sessions - mobile learning stream

Staying with the mobile learning stream this morning.

First up Norshuhada Shiratuddin and Syamsul Bahrin Zaibon from Universiti Utara in Malaysia. They report on two projects which used local game characters and contxts in a mobile game. This has led to improved student engagement and built capability in the development of mobile learning games which are locally contextualised. Good example of how to complement learning with play and entertainment.

Thom Cochran and Roger Bateman then present their learning from their work at Unitec with product design, performance arts and music students. Good to catch up with the evaluations of their project with a report on student views of their experiences in working with eportfolios using mobile phones.

Followed by Joan Richardson and John Lenarcic from RMIT University present their pilot implementation of a SMS system for student-academic staff admin info exchange. Allows for both "push" and "pull".

Last up Krassue Petrovs and Chun Li from Auckland University of Technology present on a framework for evaluating mlearning artefacts.

Ascilite 2009 - day 2 - morning keynotes

Morning begins with a short presentation from Blackboard.

Keynote this morning is by Professor Graine Conole Professor of elearning from the Open University UK. She spoke on Cloudworks,a place for sharing learning and teaching ideas.
She then introduced a case study intervention on cloudworks founded on Jenkin's 12 skills for partcipatory culture. Ended with a discussion on the five challenges presented to elearning by the move toward the partcipative digital landscape. These include dealing with the digital divide, digital literacies, new methods, theorectical insights and new pedadogies.

Peter Mellow is the morning speaker. Having missed several of Peter's presentations at other conferences it was good to be able to attend his energetic and enthusiastic presence. He used a double screen display which made the presentation much more visually engaging. His presention encompassed the need to engage young people in tertiary learning in order to improve learning outcomes for a diverse range of students.

Ascilite 2009 - Tasden @ascilite sessions

After morning sessions shifted off with lunch in hand across to sessions with the Tertiary Academic Staff Developers Education Network (Tasden).

A couple of keynotes from Ako Aotearoa begin the session. Ruth Peterson with an overview of AA's stategic direction and Justin Sampson on AA's websites and CoPs. Ruth provided emerging strtegic themes including a second front, evidence based practce enhancement, support for Maori and Pacifica educators, suportind the learner voice and supporting networks. Also a thought provoking 'definition' of the term Maori cultural content.

Then workshops on getting connected with Judith Honeyfield and collaborative research facilitated by Jane Stewart and Jacqui James. I attended the research workshop where we all shared information with each other in order to assist with cnnecting with each other.

A plenary session on cultural awareness with Ngahiwi Apanui from Ako Aotearoa followed. Ngahiwi spoke on developing a strategy to support Maori educators and learners.

Good to be able to touch base with North Island tertiary staff developers and to establish links with researchers involved in investigating the development of tertiary teachers and in vocational education.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Ascilite 2009 - day 1 - afternoon after lunch presentations

Attended four sessions after lunch around the web 2.0 in education.

First up, Iain Doherty and Pauline Cooper from University of Auckland on "educating educators in the purposeful use of web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning". A research study of worksops offered to university staff to see how effective these workshops are ib contributing to a change in teaching practice.

Next up Lynette Zeeng, Diane Robbie, Keith Markham Adams & Clive Hutchinson from Swinburne University of Technology presented on the implementation of web 2.0 for use by first year photography students across three universities. International students formed a part of the student cohort and the project had to create a global classroom which reqiured guidelines and planning.

Then Matt Bower, John Hedberg and andreas Kuswara used TPACK model to provide foundation learning design to think about use of web 2.0 in education. matt presented an overview via video conferencing and Andreas provided the connection and wrapup using prezi. A good summAry of the various approaches to teaching and learning from a elearning perspective.

Last session before afternoon tea from Ruth Weeks & Richard Seymour who have been using web 2.0 in a postgraduate programme. This involved the use of a wiki as not only a knowledge repository but also as an assessment tool which complemented learning outcomes of developing skills and perspectves to seek opportunity, take initiative, have ownership and curiosity.

Ascilite 2009 - day 1 - after afternoon tea

Last sessions in a long but productve day. My poster was also up and several I interested people dropped by for some good conversations. One adnantage of posters is the opportunity for greater one on one interaction.

Leanness Cameron from Macquarie University spoke on using generic learning designs to promote good teaching and learning practice. She provided a series of guidelines on how to setup a planning tool for use in learning design based on a scaffolded system.

Second up was Ian Robertson on teachers as active agents in contextualising pedagogical spaces in vocational education and training. Ian from RMIT University had completed previous work on TAFE tutors knowledge requirements. After a brief introduction to set the scene Ian runs a slideshow with audio to explain the concept of pedagogical space with a comparison between classrooms and flexible delivery. And then between flexible delivery and flexible learning. Followed by on-line and then elearning!

Caught the end of a presentation on interactive classrooms using mlearning by Andrew Litchfield from University of Technology Sydney. Proposed that interactive mobile learning may be interpreted using experiential learning theory.

Last one today from Kathryn MacCullum and Lynn Jeffrey from Eastern Institute of Technology and Massey University who presented on identifying factors which determine mobile learning
adoption by educators. Generally those enthusiastic about use of tecnology in learning most likely to try out mobile learning. Most acknowledged usefulness of mobile learning but many did not have time or access to funds or technical support to get them started.Survey for tutors to fill in on

A busy and varied day. I now have a poster to support future presentations on the CPIT mobile ortfolios project and another list of new learning to catch up on.

Ascilite 2009 day one morning symposium

Decided to attend the one hour symposium on "Cascading change: the role of social software and social media in educational intervention and transformation."

Originally with 9 but due to various professional and personal lifes we have 4. They are Sebastian Fiedler, main presenter, from tech.knowledge unit in Vienna. He provided a good overview of the social networking landscape and the focus of the symposium.

Terje valjataga from the Tampere University in Finland summarised a research project there to study the resources, tools and landscape of social networking.

Robert Fitzgerald from University of Canberra followed with a review of the broader socialand political trends in building a better understanding of users and their use of technology. Students who are high users of technology score more poorly in th Pisa maths and Reading tests. Most university students tend to browse rather than generate content for blogs, wikis and social networking sites.

Next up was George Siemens now at Atabasca University, spoke on need now for organisational change to transform society and how it works.

Getting the hang of blogging on the iPod touch although still to work out how to copy and paste hyperlinks in!! Instead of having to type them in.

Ascilite 2009 - day 1 morning plenary session

This session from Mark Nichols began with an invitation to engage with his presentation. Not with our laptops and other mobile devices.

Using rise and demise of Prensky's digital natives, he arques for the power of group think and how many of us accepted Prensky's premise which are now being seen to not hold up to detailed scrutiny.

Access to large amounts of information brings with it the challenge of making sense of all of it and making decisions of what to do with it. Group think may not be the best approach as the group itself may not reflect the correct direction.

A thought provoking presentation.

Ascilite 2009 conference - day one - opening

Blogging using iPod touch. Conference opened with a Mihi.
Opening address by HoN. Mary Street followed by official welcome from Vice Chancellor of University of Auckland, Stuart McCutheon.

Opening keynote from Dr. Scott Diener who focused on SecondLife.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ascilite2009 - workshop on Moodle 2.0

Workshops day for Ascilite 2009 at University of Auckland run by Human Development Resources NZ with Stuart & Tabitha. HRDNZ is a Moodle partner.

Moodle 2.0 probably still a year away for Southern hemisphere with updates coming up on Moodle tracker. Draft release notes on a roadmap and a tracking document.

Moodle 2.0 is a major release & needs PHP 5.2.8 to install plus upgrades to the files API, Repository API & Portfoliio API. Improvements also provided for blocks, pages, themes, tabbed interfaces & menus. Provides for better navigation, consistency, usability, performance, backward capability , allows ‘dependencies & forced/structured pathways through activities, progress tracking.

Changes to ‘activities’ including update to wiki (yeh), feedback module for course evaluations, many improvements to quiz (report enhancement, navigation, flag questions, edit, tagging etc.),and gradebook, blogs now allow commenting and support external blogs, messaging, secure RSS feeds, workshop (sets up assignment with an example, complete activity either individually or in groups including peer assessment – to allow students access to all other students’ input, use database).

Also a major change in the HTML editor which works better with more browsers. Backup also updated to increase speed. IMS CC import & export also improved. Site-wide groups now possible. Administrator improvements, internal clean ups etc. plus hopefully also a student information API, Moodle voice(?) & learning design export (?), Turnitin integration.

Demonstrations of the various Moodle 2.0 followed. Many reveal some thought into making Moodle interface much more user friendly to both students and teachers.

After lunch, an opportunity to do some hands-on exploration. All in, a good day to do a catch up on the ways to maximise uses of Moodle.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

multimodal research equipment and Centres doing research into teaching & learning in the US of A

Having a look around at hardware appropriate to the multimodal research project exploring the learning of trades students. Found this article via Google scholar which is a project by Bell, Toomey, Zimmerman and Clark at the Everyday Science & Technology Group base at the University of Washington and part of the Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Center.

The article also detailed their use of Inqscribe for video transcription and Atlasti for video analysis.

Further exploration of the LIFE centre reveals many areas for followup! Including the US of A National Science Foundation Science of learning centres. Which include the LIFE centre, the Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science, and Technology (CELEST) , the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center for Robust Learning (PSLC) the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC), The Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (TDLC) and the Visual Language and Visual Learning Center (VL2).

All worth a look through for their work in furthering our understanding of teaching and learning both at a micro and a macro level. Resources also available via LESTER, which archives research on innovations in learning science and technology.

Also turned up the International Society of Learning Sciences which produces the Journal of Learning Sciences .