Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The first #ocTELwebinar...

David Jennings

David gave a brief update about the course so far, including lessons learned (for example, subscribing learners to digest emails automatically, rather than individual messages)

Diana Laurillard - London Knowledge Lab - Institute of Education

(selected highlights)

The Big Questions - categories

Pedagogic benefits of blended learning

Things to consider:

  • What does TEL offer in a MOOC compared to a standard online course?
  • Tutor time required to support a MOOC (example based on Duke: 2000 hours of tutor time required for 5000 students)
  • What resources are available to help teachers design TEL resources/activities?
  • Culture for improving TEL? - sharing, adapting and adopting other teachers' resources
  • Could this community of practice be part of solving the problem of ensuring a 1:25 student ratio worldwide in Education?

Personal reflection:

What about my big question?

I didn't get much from this webinar about the personalised learning angle - I look forward to more on this later in the course. 

I was interested in Diana's suggestion about using peer feedback for refining ideas to make  tutor feedback manageable for large cohorts. In a nutshell, her suggestion was that for a particular topic/question, students work individually or in groups to devise their solutions, then vote on the best ideas (perhaps in particular group combinations), until the very best solutions are left - at this stage, there is a manageable number for the tutor to comment on/review. 

My reflections 

  • As a student, would I be happy with this use of peer feedback? There is a chance that the whole course could progress without any direct feedback on my work from the tutor, something which could be important to me.
  • Does this process itself suggest that peer feedback is less valuable than tutor feedback (and reinforce the power associated with the role of the tutor)? 
  • As a tutor - would I have a lot of complaints/problems to deal with about the group work? 
  • What risk is there of student work being overlooked by peers who have interpreted the question in a particular way and don't consider alternative perspectives?
  • Perhaps this is a pragmatic approach to working with large cohorts online. I'm reminded of the application of Peer Instruction for large lecture groups - a pragmatic solution and also one that research has shown to be effective in terms of learning. Is there any literature about the effectiveness of using peer feedback in the way  suggested above?

The webinar overall:

Good things:

  • using a facilitator and a presenter in a webinar works well - there's support for anyone with problems and the "presentation" is interrupted with lots of techie etc queries
  • It is possible to save/download the slides and the chat from within the session

Areas for improvement:

  • Audio - it would be nice to be able to individually allow people to speak, rather than limit attendees to text chat only. I would hope that this is possible without compromising audio quality.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Kayla. I'll check but I don't think the restriction on others speaking was an audio quality issue so much as a turn-taking management one. This may be more viable if we have fewer participants in later webinars.

    I'm interested in your enthusiasm for personalised learning. What benefits do you think this provides? Is it a richer learning experience, or a way of compensating for lack of personal attention in large scale courses? Does it matter, from your perspective, whether the process of personalising is done for the learner, or by him/her? Do you trust technology to make decisions about individual needs (as it does in Amazon's recommendations, for example?)

    All the best, David