Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Employability, Professional and Personal Development

From my last post Demonstrating employability, I said I just needed to capture myself teaching employability skills.  Well, I've just had an idea, literally just in the last few moments!

So...  I am going to plan and run an employability skills session with our current University placements.  It makes great sense to do it with them and round off their placement nicely.  Quite nervous of the thought as their expectations will be high!  So I'll try to motivate and encourage them as much as I can give!  This is going to be really fun and exciting actually.  Especially for me.

It will be great to teach them and share lots of skills and developmental ideas.  I suppose it's really going to be a mix of employability, professional and personal development, plus promoting themselves as individuals.  Obviously I am going to include what I ahve learned and observed during this unit for my DTLLS, but go above and beyond and integrate my personal knowledge and experience of what I have achieved in embracing motivation and personal development.

So now I know what I am going to do, let's get creative with the planning and running it!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Carpe Diem: My Experience

I've come to the end on the 6 week long Carpe Diem MOOC!

From my first Carpe Diem post, I'm going to give a brief run down of my experience in participating in my first proper MOOC.

Content
I really love the content and this method of learning design.  It's simple, straight to the point and best of all fun!  I just CLICK with it!

The e-tivities were engaging and easy to participate and contribute to.  I found them very light hearted but had meaning.  This is what you want for online learning, nothing too heavy, especially as a starter.  The layout of the course was very clear too.  You knew what you were expected to do.  Each week was opened up with a little summary of what each week was about.  Then broken down into each activity to be done that week.

Participation
There were quite a few people in our group.  The first activity was very collaborative with everyone introducing themselves and their backgrounds.  But as with most MOOCs, some people enrol but don't participate or they just disappear from the MOOC itself.  In our group, the collaborating quietened down.  But me and another chap just carried on working with each other through the course and made it a great experience for ourselves.  I learned quite a bit from our conversations.  It's a shame everyone in the group didn't partcipate, but positviely, it worked out best as you're not constantly reading each other's posts and feeling like your playing catch up.

I watched all of Gilly's mini lectures for each week.  I found them really informative and great to listen to!  But, I didn't watch any of the live sessions or the recordings of them.  I just wanted to focus on what I was doing each week and in our group.

I didn't visit the whole MOOC community much, I will look at these after the course, but again I just wanted to give focus on myself and in my group.  Because in MOOCs you can get overwhelmed really quickly of all the other happenings in the online environment.  It becomes a distration then an inner pressure.

Motivation
I found myself trying to get through everything quickly, rather than taking my time and really abosrbing what is happening.  I was skimming through contributions and replying promptly so that I could get straight into the e-tivities.  But this is the issue with online learning.  We all do and feel this' quickly passing through the activities and content when it should be abosrbed and understood.  It's something I am exploring further; human interaction with online learning.

I'm not really interested about getting badges.  I find them of a materialistic value.  It's the content that needs to be collected and understood that's most important.  But for some badges do prove to be a great motivational strategy.  I didn't collect my badges after each task.  I kind of forgot about them.  So I collected them at the end of the MOOC, plus to officially complete the course.

Final thoughts
This MOOC was a great experience for me.  I took a lot from it which I will use for my own planning and desgining activites and share with my oraganisation.  It's gave me a creative visual which has not been present in my planning activities.  I tend to plan in a linear way which is not always good!  We all need to feel colourful and visual when designing, as it reflects on the end product.

MOOCs have a long way to go yet before everyone gets immersed in them.  But as long as you have learned something, that's all that matters.  That is why everyone joins a course.

Finally, a MOOC should be about what you want to get out of it.  Put in as much as you'd like to get out of it.  And I did just that, but maybe not enough!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Online Observing

Just over a year later, I've come back to online observing after postponing it.

I'm creating a set of guidelines that teachers, managers and quality staff can use to observe learning taking place outside of the classroom. It's the same as a normal lesson observation, but looking at learning activities outside the classroom. A lot of people don't actually get the meaning of eLearning and what it looks like.

I've wanted to do this for a while to help make the quality of learning online better. When teaching staff are prompted in placing learning outside of the classroom, the majority just use static documents or a standard quiz. This is not eLearning.

I don't want this to be another pointless paperwork task to tick boxes. But to increase eLearning quality as well as supporting individuals in observing what is actually happening online. It's not going to be a separate or bolt-on document, but to be included in the physical lesson observation documentation where the teacher can link this in to be clearly seen.

Are all learners engaged, included and most of all learning in the technology used? These guidelines will just do that.

I am using my own current delivery practice as a reflective driver to know what we are actually looking for with eLearning.

It's only a matter of time before observation documentation will need to include this, so I’m making a proper start with it now.
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CC-BY Daniel Scott. Unless otherwise stated this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.