Thursday, 5 December 2019

Models to help design and deliver digital learning

Invited by Liz Bennett, my former supervisor and lecturer when doing my Technology Enhanced Learning MSc at University of Huddersfield.  Today at 4.30pm I delivered a webinar on some key ideas from my book 'Learning Technology: A Handbook for FE Teachers and Assessors'.  In the style and context of my publication: simplified, accessible and practical, I introduced a small handful of models to help with the design and delivery of digital learning and broadly mentioned the main issues they address and ways they can be used.

Delivered a webinar on 'Models to help design and deliver #digitallearning', in the style and context of #LTbookFE for #HE, #FE and #school #masters students @HuddersfieldUni: Thank you for inviting me @LizBennett1.

Below are some notes I made on my slides followed by my presentation at the bottom:

  • Slide 4
    • I have been told that you are interested in “issues of designing learning using technology”.  Hopefully I will cover some issues you are experiencing as you asked about if not do please speak and guide me or ask questions at the end.
    • It depends on what you want to achieve – usually requires a needs analysis or identified need for using digital.  Where the digital learning will be placed, the cultural aspect – technology is relatively the easiest part but getting people to access and use it is another thing.  How it is embedded into the programme.  But not got the time to go into these in detail.
    • I will provide a broad overview of some models to help you on your way.  There are many more models, e.g. community of practice, learning design, which are included in #LTbookFE as resources and further reading.
    • If anything, provides you with some theoretical perspectives for your studies.
  • Slide 5
    • Based on the popular ADDIE model, just put Determine in front as you need to know in detail what you are analysing – emphasis on learning needs and why.
  • Slide 6
    • Based on effective use of TEL but it’s also a good list of learning approaches we all have.  May not be one but a mix of them.  Think about how you can integrate them into your learning approaches.
    • It depends on the learning activity you are designing  that determines the digital tool you use.
  • Slide 7
    • By no means is this exhaustive – rapid only, there are full eLearning design life cycles to work through. Recommend reading on instructional design and other eLearning models too.
    • If you are creating eLearning on the go, which is usually the case, the following is a quick framework for structuring content that includes key instruction and assessment principles. Emphasis on time and skill constraints – rapid unpolished eLearning materials – keep them short, sharp and straight to the point.
    • That’s why Learning Technologists and Learning Designers are here, to support and work with you.
  • Slide 8
    • The Display, Engage, Participation model helps you to be more interactive in your application of learning technology as well as identifying what must be taught and what ought to be independently learned, without being too passive.
    • Ask yourself, are you more display, engage or participation in your use of learning technology?  Or perhaps a balance of them all?  If so, what percentage?  This model is all about the why and how.  Why would the learning technology benefit your role and your learners learning?  Why should you use it and how do you use it?  Think about how you approach your use of VLEs, devices and online tools.
    • Rather than see new learning technology as a pressure, see it as an opportunity to evaluate your teaching practices and how you can transform and modernise them.
  • Slide 9
    • Based on online discussions but you can take the concept and apply it to a learning strategy.  Or even use to support your own online learning confidence.
  • Slide 10
    • These models and more guidance are in my book.
    • Overall message I want to get across:
    • The success of learning technology depends on underpinning appropriate pedagogical rationales and approaches, not led by technology itself.
    • Plus, a good level of digital literacies in order to exploit the potential of digital tools and systems.
    • Importance of acknowledging diverse learning preferences – one size doesn’t fit all learners
    • See my reading list at the top of my blog where I have compiled Technology Enhanced Learning, eLearning, digital skills, teacher education and websites to obtain research articles and journals.


Presentation recordings:

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Frustration, conception, solution - A narrative for change in progressing and transforming digital capabilities

Today I attended and presented (video at bottom) at the first DigiLearn Sector Connect event, themed on 'Developing the digital capability of our staff'.  EDIT: I was invited to write a guest blog post 'DigiLearn Sector Connect – Key takeaways from DLS Co-ordinator, Daniel Scott'.  I discuss what was good about the event and what I gained from attending.  Below are things I Tweeted during the event, but lots more shared at #DigiLearnSector.

Early rise. Arrived @UCLan Burnley campus for an inspirational day of sharing & productivity at the first #DigiLearnSector Connect event. Added challenge delivering my debut #PechaKucha on my role-specific #digitalcapabilites work.

#DigiLearnSector asks, what are the benefits of it to me & my organisation... Networking with like-minded individuals, sharing practices & projects, contributing to others development, sharing all of this with my team.

"You have to get your culture right first." - @hope_steven.

We may all do this, seen or unseen. Be a #magpie! Stealing can be positive. Allow people to take ideas back to their nests to contextualise and share with others. We don't have to reinvent the wheel, says @hope_steven.

Key message I am hearing from @hope_steven's work is that they are forward-thinking on #edtech success and transformation. Creating foundations and environments, not making it fit like square pegs in round holes.

What doesn't work is just as important as what does work. But we have to tell people this. May that be in safe spaces or not, it should be ok to say it. Says @k9williams.

Keeping #digitalcapabilities simple by @PhilEdTech. Lots of great simple approaches, resources and tips to support staff in their digital practices - brilliant effort.

Well done @ChrisLearnTech, @k9williams and all involved, you've done a smashing job today. Thanks for a great day! 😃


"Looking forward to sharing some experimental but purposeful thinking on #digitalcapabilities and meeting the wider #DigiLearnSector community. 😃"

Being a co-ordinator for the community, I felt it was a good opportunity to present something new I have been working on, that influenced a change of focus in our team.  So I took up the challenge with my debut PechaKucha.  The aim of my presentation was to give a preview of my thinking.  Moreover, when asked 'why' am I doing what I do etc in a recent DigiLearn webinar activity, here was my response:  To make a difference in transforming and progressing digital practices for both staff and student.

Here are my notes I made on the slides:

  • Slide 1
    • Aim of this is to give a preview of some strategic experimental and purposeful thinking.
    • This is a very quick and short narrative on a new approach I have been developing, focused on role-specific digital capabilities.
    • Starting with frustration, conceptualising an idea and arriving at a solution.
  • Slide 2
    • I’m Daniel Scott, broadly defined as a Digital Learning Specialist.
    • I am a Digital Practice Adviser at Nottingham Trent University, based in Human Resources.
    • Focusing on consulting with schools and teams to identify and support their staffs digital capabilities.
  • Slide 3
    • I find that digital capabilities is often ponderous, broad and vague.  It feels nebulous and expansive as it’s such a huge and diverse topic.
    • Digital is everywhere and has become somewhat invisible in people.  Everyone has their own meanings, interpretations and opinions about it.
    • We often provide staff development but can often be to the same people – preaching to the converted.  How do we get to those that aren’t engaged and don’t see the value of digital in their role?
    • We have lots of frameworks and underpinning criteria on topics and aspects.  But sometimes people can't understand the relation to their roles and feel they have to be everything on them.
    • However, I feel we should be focusing on the tasks and activities that the role requires.  Plus, looking at how we can progress and transform digital practices.
  • Slide 4
    • Criteria taken from Level 3 unit from a Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills qualification.
    • All of them but focus on 2.2.  How often do we review our digital practices and change the approach as needed?  Revisit the role of digital as said on slide before, it’s become invisible.  We need the time and safe spaces to conduct this review.
    • Time and availability of resources are constraints to this.
  • Slide 5
    • My thinking on role-specific in digital capabilities started throughout my engagement through the University, reimagined (a programme where the university determined it’s 2025 strategic objectives) which led me to my side project of purposeful technology.
    • During my end of year appraisal I suggested we should be focussing explicitly on developing digital capabilities.
    • We had a lot of focus and emphasis and just learning and teaching.
    • We cover learning and teaching, professional services, research and leadership and management roles – how can we be specific to these roles?
    • Personal element: I wanted add value to the development of digital capabilities and give my role further credence.
    • It's the value added piece I’m trying to get to and the transformation and progression of digital skills, not doing the same things and not seeing change in practices.
  • Slide 6
    • My aha! moment.
    • I started thinking of some approaches for developing role-specific digital capabilities.
    • There were strong links to upcoming strategic objectives known as University, reimagined.  The next few slides show excerpts of my thinking.
    • I shared a vision with my manager – they really liked the idea and encouraged me to broaden my thinking.
    • Escalated really quickly and went through a few phases of refinement, just like an iterative approach.
  • Slide 7
    • Underpinned with the Barbara Minto's Pyramid Principle that I was introduced to, I started sketch out some thinking.
    • Here I am thinking of what goes into digital capabilities and what comes out as a result.
    • Digital capabilities is an outcome – a continuum that never stops and evolves with your role.
  • Slide 8
    • Confidence will always outweigh competence.
    • Message here is to get users and suppliers to take more responsibility for technical and cultural aspects, we can’t do it all.
    • Ongoing challenge with technical and cultural conflict, but has to be a point of saying it’s what is required of your role.  Taking responsibility rather than having something to blame – but not always the case.  People are at the centre of making change.
  • Slide 9
    • Here I am devising ways of developing a strategy and ways that this can be delivered, using existing resources and material.
    • Thought about developing a philosophy (links to purposeful) that people can relate to and joining up existing resources – not creating anything new, use what we’ve got.
    • Thought about using the blueprints of DigiLearn as a mechanism to engage people as a community that was backed by University, reimagined outcomes.  Making champions and working with IT more closely to evaluate new features and functions to develop purposes.
    • And how we can demonstrate impact of it.
  • Slide 10
    • Me defining my objectives that is underpinned by University, reimagined outcomes and goes some way to supporting their ambitions.
  • Slide 11
    • Here I am summarising a direction from understanding digital practices, having opportunities to practise and evidencing change in practices.
    • Digital capabilities means different things to people, so I suggested that we stop pursuing understanding what it means as a university.
    • We need to accept there are different meanings of digital capabilities, both individual and organisational.  Digital capabilities is about context to role and tasks.
  • Slide 12
    • Individual is about self-support, MIE and building champions.
    • Organisational is mapping role-specific digital capabilities.
    • Experimental is underpinned by the SAMR model transform and progress digital practices.
  • Slide 13
    • Provided options of who we can target.  Do we just focus on individuals, team, department, university – priorities will decide.
  • Slide 14
    • Using MIE as a self-supporting community and as a way to build champions.
    • Currently, discussions taking place.
  • Slide 15
    • Essentially, learning design meets digital capabilities, identifying digital behaviours and performance of roles.
    • It was agreed that we are focusing on this as a new approach for our team.
  • Slide 16
    • This is underpinned by the SAMR model but focused on digital skills – still in development and will be part of the organisational approach.
    • Basically, encouraging people to transform their practices and not to the same thing with different digital technology.
    • Currently fleshing this out in terms of what the process would look like and how to work through it.
  • Slide 17
    • Me thinking broadly about what I need to make this a success – are these all in place and are they articulated well?
    • From Randy Garrison’s E-Learning in the 21st Century (2016).
  • Slide 18
    • Arrived at a workable solution.
    • Basically a programme, starting with a consultation, making a contextual digital capability framework.  Build programme with right people and deliver it.
    • A taster of what’s to come as a new area of focus in the team, which I am leading on.
    • Focused on role-specific digital capabilities, i.e. a senior lecturer role.
  • Slide 19
    • As part of the consultation we will extract required digital skills using job descriptions.
    • And produce a contextual digital capability framework.  Review it and approve with stakeholders.
  • Slide 20
    • Still in development but will share my progress as I go.
    • If you find any of this useful, I am happy to collaborate with you to develop it further or act as a critical friend.

Here's my PechaKucha:

N.B. You won't be able to clearly read all details on my 'thinking decks', but emphasis on this style of presentations for me to visually explain the concepts, with minimal time.  When this piece of work has been developed further and implemented, I will share my progress in more clearer and deeper detail.  However, feel free to contact me if you want a detailed explanation on this.

Russ Brookes - @_Daniel_Scott again will a good session on triggers for change and making it all seem so simple.

Alicia Owen - And now hearing from @_Daniel_Scott who is a Digital Practice Adviser - based within - HR! @testdomain @alison_pugh ( digital skills therefore for everyone - not just a learning and teaching thing!)

Colette Mazzola - Thank you for a great presentation @_Daniel_Scott I love the idea of confidence vs competence 🙂 📚


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Using stacking to build digital capabilities

This is very embryonic but I'll be sure to flesh this out in more detail as time goes...

Teachers and assessors are immensely busy and often time poor, which can lead to little time to source, experiment and evaluate digital technologies.  Time is precious in what and who we give this to.  One thing we do give time to is our priorities – which could be our own personal and professional goals/objectives, whether that is linked to appraisals or not.

After reading this article 'Choose One Professional Goal This Year' earlier this year, it inspired some thinking...  One day whilst doing my exercises (crunches and weights) I was thinking about how the way I train my mind to add on new routines onto existing ones.  A light bulb moment 💡 -  how could this approach be used to build up digital capabilities?  I.e. adding onto existing digital practices to develop competence, confidence and overall fitness for purpose in the use of digital technologies.  Imagine being your own personal trainer to keep stretching and challenging yourself.

This also relates to my 'cooking practices', by that I mean I assist.  😉  Gary and I will take a recipe, adapt it to our liking/ingredients we have available and cook.  If we like it we use that as a foundation, a template for future cooking.  Adding new things or replacing ingredients for a change in variety.  It's another way of seeing the problematic area of embedding and developing digital capabilities.  Great for those just starting out and those wanting to extend their existing digital practices.

Through constructivism we make connections and build on our existing learning.  The main benefit here is building on your previous techniques whilst adding new ones and stretching beyond your boundaries.   This even has links to growth mindset, change management, coaching and mentoring and reflective and behaviourist theories.  Like exercising, it takes a while to get it right and see results!  Over a period of time we should see people's digital capabilities scale up due to their belief in their own digital practices.  However, it's important not to 'snowball' out of control - as in how it starts of small becomes bigger as snow sticks to it.  Know your strengths and limits and increase your load as you feel comfortable to.

Stacking: a mindset for building confidence and technique

I've not fleshed this out in full, but to start in brief:

  • Identify new digital practice that you want to achieve 
  • Link this to an existing related digital practice/habit you do regularly - starting the stacking bit
  • Stack the new digital practice on top of the existing one, which should pair well together
  • Repeat and refine your new practice as much as you feel necessary to build up your confidence and technique
  • Evaluate your progress and revisit aspects that need to change or improve - add/remove
  • Continue to stack to improve your digital practices and fitness for purpose 💪

Stacking is like muscle memory, once you are comfortable with a routine/process you add something onto the end of it.  As a result of this mindset, I don't think it can be seen as an extra bolt-on because its become a habit.  The challenge is setting and realising what and why is it that you want to achieve.  Bit by bit you can stack up your digital capabilities to make the jump from efficiency to effectiveness - hopefully.

What would it look like in practice?

Ok, thinking of myself in this example to apply it and put it into context - regardless of the level of my digital capabilities, age, backgrounds etc.

Riding off the back of my recent blog post 'Using PebblePad to support and evidence productivity'.  I'm quite forgetful/lazy of not tagging my Assets in PebblePad, even when I know the benefits and uses of them - the shame!  As current storage systems now rely on this method, I need to get up to speed.  I already create Assets and upload existing files to PebblePad so I need to get in the habit of tagging.  It sounds simple in doing this every time I create or upload something, but I need to exercise this regularly and embed it as a habit.  So coming back down to the purpose of the activity - I need to organise my Assets into a themed group, so I can use Collection Asset type to do this.  Looking at the affordances of the system, I can use a feature in Collection called 'Add Assets by tags'.  This will automatically pull in any current or future Assets into a Collection with the tags I have selected.  Overtime, in doing this it is embedding this as a habit which will become a transferable skill, a digital practice that can be used in other systems when I use them, i.e. Microsoft OneDrive.