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Dr Bex Lewis
Assignment submitted for “PE4078: Using the LN to Support Innovation in Learning”
Abstract [Write abstract here, 200 words?] Appendices Appendix 1: “The Potential Impact of Blended Learning on the Learning and Teaching Experience of Staff and Students at the University of Winchester” October 2009 Appendix 2: “The 21st Century Learner: Blended Learning Tools & The Use of Social Networks” March 2010 Appendix 3: “Floods? Snow? Swine Flu? Terrorist Threats? “Keep Calm and Carry On”: Internal Collaboration” April 2010 Appendix 4: Twitter for Students? Survey May-June 2010 Appendix 5: Blended Learning Survey May-June 2010 Appendix 6: “Good CoP? Bad CoP? Twitter for Communities of Practice” June 2010 Appendix 7: Workshop Timetable 2010/11, devised June 2010 Appendix 8: E-Toolkit (in development since November 2009) Appendix 9: Wimba Strategy
My Students: University staff, particularly academics, but also administrative staff. The Remit: Talks, etc… get people working together in a community of practice around Blended Learning – then see smaller CoPs around particular tools, but at all times the pedagogy and the purpose needs to be central. Link to the needs of the LTDU, Senior Management – not forgetting the need to work bottom up also… The Term ‘Blended Learning’ “The term is commonly associated with the introduction of online media into a course or programme, whilst at the same time recognising that there is merit in retaining face-to-face contact and other traditional approaches to supporting students. It is also used where asynchronous media such as email, forums, blogs or wikis are deployed in conjunction with synchronous technologies, commonly text chat or audio.”1 The term “blended learning” is pointless, “blending is new only to people who were foolish enough to think that delegating the entire training role to the computer was going to work.” .. the “default behaviour is using the right tools for the job.”
“People do not know what they like; they like what they know.” Most assume online learning is ‘inherently inferior’ and look to use it only to support the faceto-face experience. Instead, the “blend” to be considered can include any mix and may not include any face-to-face at all.3
Janet Macdonald (2008) Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: Planning Learning Support and Activity Design, p2 2 Cross, J. (2007) Informal Learning p170 3 Cross, J. (2007) Informal Learning p171
Blended learning may not be the most helpful term, but it is widely in use in the sector. “It can encourage us to stop and think about the whole context of teaching and learning, so that we remember the human element in tutorials, or perhaps incidents such as chance meetings in the corridor, as critical parts of the package alongside any technology-mediated intervention with a group.4 The Changing Nature of Higher Education BBC News: The current financial squeeze, which is set to continue for the next decade, will accelerate a transformation that has begun in many universities. Already more than one in three students studies part-time and one in six is from overseas. There will be more mature students, more studying part-time, more living in their own or their parents' homes, and many more studying online. There will be more tailor-made vocational courses, operated in There will be more
partnership with individual companies and employers.
"pick-and-mix" degrees, with students accumulating course credits at different universities, even across different countries, and with gaps for employment in between. Students will increasingly become "consumers" as we reach the tipping-point where their contribution to the cost of the degree is greater than that made by the government. Private providers will take over an increasing share of the university market. The all-round university will increasingly lose out to more specialised institutions. become more global.5 In ‘learning to learn’, the ‘Holy Grail’ of teaching - ‘It is more urgent in that the need to learn facts and information has vastly reduced and the ability to find, manipulate, analyses, synthesise and re-purpose information has increased
Finally, universities will
Macdonald, J. (2008) Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: Planning Learning Support and Activity Design p1 BBC News (20/03/10), ‘Universities Look Into the Future’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8577272.stm, accessed 20/03/10
concomitantly.’ Machines may be able to store and process information, but it is people that transform and add value to it. ‘Tutors, mentors and online facilitators are now seen as the asset that makes all the difference to student retention, motivation and acceptance of elearning.’ 6 Siemens – new learning theory of ‘connectivism’ (rather than traditional learning theories of behaviourism, cognitivism & constructivism) – learning is no longer a personal, individualistic activity. The way people learn & function is altered when new tools are used, and therefore environmental and social changes need to be recognised and implemented.7 With so much information available on the net, what is valued is knowing how to manage such information, and belong to a network where tips and advice can be exchanged – whether online or f2f is an obvious strategy to help manage some of that information.8 [Need to refer to the idea of the digital native, etc. from the CET lunch – encourage staff to engage with the idea that we need to learn from the students… is the keen & engaged teachers who tend to attend these things…] Gibbons et al (1994, influential) – distinguished between Mode 1 and Mode 2 forms of knowledge production. Mode 1: codified knowledge poured into an “empty head”, whereas Mode 2, more aligned with social/connected learning, has been linked to constructivist learning, where the teacher is a facilitator and even fellow learner. Knowledge is socially constructed and gives value to personal knowledge derived from application and problem-solving. 9 As learning environments continue to be distributed over wider distances, online collaborative learning spaces ‘provide a contained for interactions and
Mason, R. & Rennie, Mason, R. & Rennie, Education p19 8 Mason, R. & Rennie, 9 Mason, R. & Rennie,
F. (2004) The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation p6 F. (2008) E-Learning and Social Networking Handbook: Resources for Higher F. (2004) The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation p6 F. (2004) The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation p7
relationships to develop, as those are the basis of informal learning.’ The internet provides space for relationship creation, rather than information exchange. The online nature frees people from physical restrictions of the space, allows introverts to be ‘heard’ in the conversation, and can provide a level playing field for interaction between managers and workers. [Interesting debate re: plagiarism – penalising the very skills we’re looking for – should encourage reuse, but offer students marks/change assessments based on quality of reuse, and the way it is framed…]10 Need to develop technological literacy. ‘openness to new technologies and the willingness to try out new software and new communications opportunities are more important than expertise with a wide range of software.’ Not passive consumers, but active users & shapers! 11 Epistemologically – what counts as useful knowledge is increasingly that which can be digitised – many research enterprises rely on the fast exchange of data. Good teachers will consider what is lost in the process of digitisation (e.g. practical, hands-on skills) and will bring into the teaching mix.12 Flexible learning options “could help to widen participation in higher education at home, and overseas, while stimulating demand from learners who want something other than the traditional campus-only experience.”13 Technology as a Tool//Use appropriately to meet pedagogical needs… the skills students need to learn in the modern world. The job market is demanding information literacy – literacy, numeracy, adaptability, problem solving and communication, rather than acquiring a stable
Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2004) The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation p7 Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2004) The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation p8 12 Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p4 13 DfES, (March 2005) ‘Harnessing Technology: Transforming Learning and Children’s Services’, http://publications.education.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/1296-2005PDF-EN-01.pdf, accessed 14/08/10
body of knowledge. As workplaces demand CPD, and as learners demand more flexibility, educational institutions are being networked into a grid of learning, and universities are engaging with e-portfolios, etc. as they transfer between institutions. Virtual learning was until recently the province of e.g. the Open University, but increasingly, [as campuses run out of space, and the government imposes limits on recruitment], universities are looking for other ways to gain… use of virtual tech. Learners are changing, and they are incredibly familiar with most technological methods of communicating – whether they will buy into the institutions own e-learning facilities, they will use these tools in their own space. Some habits associated = lack of critique of internet-based information, access to technologies, short-based chat forms are having an impact on spelling & grammar. Teachers must respond to this – whether critically or creatively, but they can’t be ignored.14 Fry, et al: Three factors in all those empty wikis: “There is insufficient purpose to the e-intervention; it is solving a problem that does not exist; It is not built into the regular face-to-face teaching of the course or its assessment structures; Insufficient time is available to set up and then diligently maintain the activities.”15 ‘Learning’ has been re-centred in pedagogical thought, amounting to a ‘new emphasis on the individual capacities and needs of learners. Learners are no longer seen as passive recipients of knowledge and skills but as active participants in the learning process.’ Pedagogy used in this text in its original meaning “guidance to learn”… and for tutors to engage more with ‘reflective practice’.16 Why does pedagogy need to be rethought now? With so many accused of using technology whether ‘pedagogically appropriate’ or not, others
Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p5 REMOVED REF FOR FRY 0 see if need to re-add… 16 Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p2
are saying “Pedagogy before Technology”, suggesting that, rather than identifying to create a new pedagogy, that new technologies must fit within proven practices and models of teaching. 17 When we argue that technology is simply another tool like chalk & print, etc… we insist that they ‘can be assimilated to pedagogical practice without altering the fundamental truths about how people learn.’ However, new technologies are implicated in a paradigm shift affecting the nature of knowledge in society, and we must address that. Bickering. Between those who want to stick with what they have, versus new tech – we argue too much – we need both & need to talk to each other constructively… it’s like talking about the internal combustion engine, rather than stepping back about where we’re trying to head… e.g. the phone – posttechnical, culturally normalised (as has email) – the phone is the conversations we have on it, rather than the phone…18 Democratisation of information via blogs, etc. (no longer gatekeepers of knowledge), social software allows collaboration and creation of knowledge, and individuals have access via their computers, and often their mobiles, to quantities of information that even (5) years ago would have been confined to specialist institutions.19 Share the knowledge!20 Technology is A tool, not THE tool. If learning is ever seen to reside in the platform rather than the people, then its time for a rethink. E.g. with Wimba, the general principles = great, but software can easily change, and need to be
Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p3 Lewis, B., quoting White, D., http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/04/dave-white-keynote-pelc10/, accessed 08/04/10 19 Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p4 20 LTDU, ‘Winchester’s Blended Learning Blog’ http://wblb.wordpress.com, accessed 16/08/10
prepared for that. [Know what fears people have and respond to those where possible.] 21 “… because of e-learning’s unique capabilities to support asynchronous, collaborative communication in a dynamic and adaptable context, we will see a resurgence of traditional educational ideals, and we will see learners adopting the values of personal responsibility and shared control as their own. However, the educational community has barely begun to appreciate the collaborative capabilities of e-learning and, as a result, these capabilities are greatly underutilised.” The idea of a community of learners is essential when higher-order learning is the desired learning outcome… thinking that is “conceptually rich, coherently organised, and persistently exploratory” (Lipman, 1991, 19) – society requires individuals that are independent thinkers, whilst also interdependent, collaborative learners.22 My Journey to Developing Understanding of the need of which tools… Conference papers – PELC/Herts (+ attendance at other conferences ,listening to other experts): Presenting ideas at CET lunch/Faculty events & gaining feedback about what people want…; Learning Network/Wimba – Working Groups (+ L&T Committee); Wimba – specific strategies & JISC project; Demonstrate a clear understanding of the progress of the work. You should identify your initial knowledge of IT and the personal development you have undertaken in the area to create the artefact. The development of personal professional understanding and skills in the use of new technologies, evidenced by progression of knowledge and skills between the start and the end of the assignment [LINK TO APPENDICES of events]
Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2004) The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation p9 Garrison, D. R., Randy, D. (2003) E-learning in the 21st century : a framework for research and practice, p22
The Staff Audience: Identified audience – largely academic staff, who are seeking to learn how to best use electronic materials, and share their experiences with each other. Critical awareness of contextual and theoretical backgrounds in the context of student learning associated with the approach take; Evidence of active and perceptive use of literature to inform the rationale The Student Audience/Digital Native23 Debates To understand why we need to help the staff, we need to understand our current students, and why they should bother spending time. “Jake told the executive that he never goes directly to a brand like this man’s newspaper or even to blogs he likes. ... he reads a lot of news – far more than I did at his age. But he goes to that news only via the links from Digg, friends’ blogs, and Twitter. He travels all around the internet that is edited by his peers because he trusts them and knows they share his interests. The web of trust is built at eye-level, peer-to-peer.”24 “The Web, HTML traffic visible though a browser, is only about a quarter (23%) of the overall traffic, down from about half a decade ago. It’s been pushed down by peer-to-peer (23%), video (51%), and other types of apps which use the Internet for transport but are not browser-based.” Chris Anderson: And it’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to go to the screen).25It seemed to depend on if they saw the web as a ‘place to live’ or as a collection of useful
Prensky, M. (2001) ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’, On the Horizon, Vol, 9, No 5, (http://bit.ly/prenskydignat, accessed 17/08/10) 24 Jarvis, J. (2009) What Would Google Do? P86 (my emphasis) 25 TechCrunch ‘Wired Declares The Web Is Dead—Don’t Pull Out The Coffin Just Yet’ http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/17/wired-web-dead/, accessed 17/08/10
tools. This underlying motivation led us to outline two main categories of distance learning student.26
JISC E-Learning Fair: Global (Used creating their own YouTube videos, and expecting a quick response – from anywhere in the world!), Responsive (Used to rapid response/feedback, 3 week guarantee “too long”), Flexible (Used to having more than one starting point), Interactive (Looking for a relationship of trust, staff/student partnership: The teacher has a role of leader, but needs ‘distributed leadership’), Often facile or trivial. CNN: Sir Ken Robinson: Not all kids are good at the same things, and the education system shouldn't pretend they should all turn out the same, he said.27 CLEX:28 Use of Web 2.0 is ubiquitous from the age of 12; New technology is different, but is it better?; There’s been a patchy take-up from staff even when there is a strong drive from management (tools can take a long time to use properly, and VLEs don’t always help); Students are not yet demanding change, but note not yet.; Critical/evaluative skills are a deficit area and likely to get worse (e.g. “The 10 Second Researcher”: Google/Wikipedia facilitate “shallow research”. ) It’s hugely important that we find ways to impact deep research; New skills that technology can foster for future workplace demands; Staff time and support issues are critical; It’s not just familiarity with the technology, but where they fit strategically. [Digital Learners used to Web 2.0] Web 2.0 is where anyone can only take information down from it but also create content and upload to it. In this respect
White, D., (July 2008) ‘Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’, http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-natives-immigrants-butvisitors-residents/, accessed 17/08/10 27 Sutter, J.D. (17/03/10) ‘Why teaching is “not like making motor cars”’ http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/17/ted.ken.robinson/index.html, accessed 20/03/10 28 Melville, D., (March 2009), ‘Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World’ http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/heweb20rptv1.pdf (formerly at http://www.clex.org.uk/), accessed 29/11/09
the Web is not simply a one-way means of obtaining knowledge, but also a place where you interact with the materials and annotate and contribute to the content.” 29 Digital literacy – key – digital tool knowledge, critical thinking, collaborative skills, social awareness, identity management…30 CET Lunch: Differences: Worse cyber-bullying/just made it public? Direct abuse; Longevity; Scale/ massive; Accessibility; Think it’s “our world”; We know too much about students outside?; Community vs indiv ; Laziness, not past LEN; Upcoming career paths Similarities: People will still be people, same fears, etc.; Development like printing, new comms; Naivety + suspicious; Guidance required to enable good use; Distinctions – space to meet; Implicit credibility Staff: Need to Engage (Fears and Benefits) Dealing with FEAR a lot – so selling the BENEFITS, presenting CASE STUDIES, understanding how those FEARS are MEDIATED… Wimba Strategy and ODGIT.31 Within business, the emphasis has continued to be placed on adding value (although in recent years that idea of what is value no longer means -solely monetary), through quality service, choice and an improved experience. This needs to be offered to students, but staff are unconfident in using. There is also the question of REF ‘impact’ and social media is a great tool for engaging with the outside world, gaining contacts & disseminating ideas.32
Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2008) E-Learning and Social Networking Handbook: Resources for Higher Education p18 30 Lewis, B., quoting Fraser, J. ‘Keynote, #Pelc10’, http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/04/josiefraser-keynote-pelc10/, accessed 07/04/10 31 Wilson, A., ‘Bringing Organisational Development Guidance into IT’ http://www.work-withit.org.uk/EmbeddingWorkwithIT/WinchesterODG.aspx, accessed 13/07/10 32 Sloman, M. (2003) Training in the Age of the Learner, p.6
We need a paradigm shift from the caricature of e-learning as a narrow set of isolated learning activities, unsuitable for many learners and many learning situations, to a new vision of e-learning as a broad approach to learning in the digital age… [which we will not achieve by] simply insisting that we are right and everybody else is wrong, but rather by involving people in discovering the potential of e-learning for themselves.33 With things changing so fast, training is no longer ‘ideal’, rather we should be working towards an aspirational ‘learning’ model. The emphasis is shifting towards the individual learner or team, who is encouraged to take more responsibility for his/her learning, within a climate supporting effective & appropriate learning. 34 [Think of Canterbury’s DEBUT model35 – building up confidence in e-learning at all, rather than specific tools, particularly focused on the less-confident learners, and this all counted towards CPD: Awareness, Confidence, Evaluation, Reflection, Adaptability] “Tackling issues of learning style and preference head-on, he [Fee] shows little sympathy for the ‘technophobes’ who seem to be able to package e-learning in a box labelled ‘not for me’, making a clear case that the ‘digital natives’ will shape the future of e-learning. For those of us who are resistant, the advice is, rather pointedly, become a ‘digital immigrant’ or retire! (Bill McGrath, Scottish Enterprise). Important that e-learning is well-designed, wouldn’t accept a badly designed face-to-face course without objectives, so why would we within the digital realm.36 Expertise is in learning, rather than in technology, but in applying technology to learning. Need to acknowledge that not everyone sees the
Fee, K. Delivering E-Learning (2009) Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment, p.42 34 Sloman, M. (2003) Training in the Age of the Learner, p.xiii 35 Lewis, B., quoting Westerman, S. ‘DEBUT #iblc10’ http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/06/debutiblc10/ accessed 16/06/10 36 Fee, K. Delivering E-Learning (2009) Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment, p.ix
relevance, and are intimidated by new hardware, software and other jargon. [so a softly, softly approach]37 In talking about the need to avoid technological determinism, the authors identify four types of teacher response to new technologies. “First are the enthusiasts. They see the enormous potential in digital technology and try to master its complexities. They also see its use as a professional and pedagogic challenge and an opportunity. Second are the pragmatists. They support the appropriate and alternative uses of information and communication technology (ICT), are mildly critical of some of its excesses but see its potential to improve aspects of learning. Third are traditionalists who prefer to resist the advance of new technologies in schools to preserve a more esoteric order of learning based on human interaction and long-established pedagogy. Finally, there are the ‘New Luddites’ who are so critical of new technology that they seek to undermine its potential and use at every turn by seeking to undermine the profession’s dependence on it.”38 Most however, have now moved away from a fear of determinism, to a desire to use the new technology to its best advantage. 39 An entire chapter devoted to the difficult relationship between teachers and ICT. They may be talking about schools, but the attitudes are similar in many HE institutions (and definitely in Winchester). Many teachers exhibit scepticism and technophobia, but it is recognised that “teachers hold the key to future developments and that without their commitment to ICT use, many of the opportunities to innovate and even transform education and learning will be lost.” Many see computers purely as a method of information delivery, and find this problematic. They also see computers as speeding up the access to
Fee, K. Delivering E-Learning (2009) Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment, p.4 38 John, P.D. and Wheeler, S. (2008) The Digital Classroom: Harnessing Technology for the Future p2 39 John, P.D. and Wheeler, S. (2008) The Digital Classroom: Harnessing Technology for the Future p3
information, forcing students to look for quick-fix answers online to answer set outcomes. The Internet, however, has introduced to all educational settings a ‘wealth of new materials and ideas previously unobtainable.’ Some teachers viewed technology as a Trojan Horse, designed to deprofessaionalise their roles, whilst others simply view ICT as another ‘costly, time-consuming and problematic addition to a profession already replete with challenges’.40 Refers to a Becta report from 2004, which indicated that the key internal barriers for teachers were: ‘lack of confidence, resistance to change and negative attitudes, and no perception of the benefits’. Added to that were the external barriers: ‘lack of access to resources; lack of time; lack of effective training; technical problems’. 41 [With the emphasis on ‘impact’ there’s a need for scholars to have their work known in a wider field, and part of the strategy is designed to appeal to ‘selfpromotion’ for academics, and to help them to understand how social media could get their work wider coverage (as I did with the New York Times, the Independent, the BBC, etc) . Books such as this, alongside practical training courses, can give academics practical help… once they’ve realised they need it.] “Some scholars believe that it is inappropriate for them to take an active role in advancing their work outside academic circles… seeing this as ‘spin’… Simply put, true marketing and PR means honest, honest communications that reach key audiences. It is giving greater voice to your messages, creating awareness and deeper understanding of issues, building trust, and promoting action.” (p3) If shy of ‘self-promotion’ – it’s not about you, but about the knowledge that you share.
John, P.D. and Wheeler, S. (2008) The Digital Classroom: Harnessing Technology for the Future pp15-24 41 John, P.D. and Wheeler, S. (2008) The Digital Classroom: Harnessing Technology for the Future p2 1 42 Tyson, W. (2010) Pitch Perfect: Communicating with Traditional and Social Media for Scholars, Researcher, and Academic Leaders, pp2-3
Web 2.0 ‘is fast, fluid and personal, and the number of people it can reach is breathtaking. Blogs, podcasts, and social networking sites such as YouTube and Twitter are the new marketplace or the dissemination of news and ideas. What drives all media is the story, reporting information that is new and has relevance to their audiences.’ 43 The book deals with e-learning within the business context, but in developing a CoP, we are talking about the university as a business context. Often the term ‘elearning’ is identified with stereotypes of the lonely distance learning, someone who has to self-study, with little human/social interaction, and this often acts as a barrier to staff in engaging. Some refuse to engage, and say that ‘e-learning is not for them’, but this is akin to saying that “they wanted to learn but they didn’t like reading books”… something no employer would expect.44 Resource Package Short introduction to the artefact, rationale for its use and demonstrates that you are familiar with the ways new technologies can meet the needs of specific learners. Design/Theoretical understanding of the resource (number of texts – online/offline). A convincing rationale and justification for the design and content of the resource. Resource package: Learning Network Blended Learning Pages – lots of resources, 155 people signed up; Twitter accounts (personal/university); Facebook Pages; Blog; NOT JUST ONLINE; Faculty Meetings; Workshops Not always possible to know about all the projects that are going, and as Fleur Corfield proclaimed at #pelc10, this is a good sign, as it means that innovation is going on and that the pressure is not all coming from the top-down. She recommended that the job of the technical advocate is to find out what people
Tyson, W. (2010) Pitch Perfect: Communicating with Traditional and Social Media for Scholars, Researcher, and Academic Leaders, p16 44 Fee, K. Delivering E-Learning (2009) Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment, pp.11-12
want and make it possible, get rid of barriers, get rid of the mundane, and tutors can then focus on curriculum design.45 Communities of Practice “Newcomers learn the ropes from working alongside veterans. Respected elders add to the common ground, or store of knowledge, that fuels the evolution of the … community.” “An effective community of practice is like a beehive. It organises itself, buzzes with activity, and produces honey for the markets.”46 Can’t force people to join them. 47 At #iblc10, Solent discussed their efforts to create a Blended Learning CoP. Lots of relationships with many individuals – not very efficient, but people like it, but now need to build a repository of resources. Short videos of people talking ad-hoc about their practice. (Takes about 15 mins to get a 3 min video) – not v. academic, but gets engagement (they may talk with couple of PPT slides). E-Library of people doing anything interesting.48 Most already belong to communities of practice, and learn how to play by the rules of the game. Etienne Wenger coined the term, and used the term practice to indicate professional practice and the term community as “a group of shared interests and standards.” [This is how Twitter works best, in a sharing of interests.]
“Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a
process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor”.50 Two primary aspects of a community are participation and reification (reification indicates legitimisation, an agreement of meaning]. The term “community” is
Lewis, B., quoting Corfield, F. ‘University of Staffordshire, Change & Innovation’, http://digitalfingerprint.co.uk/2010/04/uni-staffordshire-change-innovation-pelc10/, accessed 08/04/10 46 Cross, J. (2007) Informal Learning p151 47 Lewis, B., quoting Fraser, J. ‘Keynote, #Pelc10’, http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/04/josiefraser-keynote-pelc10/, accessed 07/04/10 48 Lewis, B., quoting Lee, B. & Moxon, D., http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/06/creating-acommunity-in-blended-learning-using-the-talents-of-all-iblc10/, accessed 17/06/10 49 Cross, J. (2007) Informal Learning p152 50 Wenger. E. (2006) Communities of Practice: a brief introduction, http://www.ewenger.com/theory/index.htm, accessed 30/07/10
value neutral, as communities can also impede progress, engage in group think, or neglect their responsibilities. [So need to turn to the positive.] “In a community of practice, peers learn from one another” rather than thinking that knowledge has to be trickled from the top down.51 The importance of using technology for the socialisation aspects [need for management to allow time for such things]. “If there is hope that a community of practice will develop, then the e-moderator needs to give very explicit attention to enabling and promoting all aspects of online socialisation… In a sense, emoderators create a special little cultural experience belonging to this group at this time and through discussion and negotiation.” 52 “Communities of Purpose” – difference = intentional. There is a purpose to be completed. Cross for years believed that communities of practice were organic, just needing time and space to meet, but now believes that such communities need cultivation – with seeds consciously planted in strategically important areas. Within organisations there are likely to be a number teams of communities of practice, and team members become the local experts [Think how looking at seeding Wimba developments within Faculties] – if something doesn’t work, rip it out and start again.53 The concept of ‘Communities of Practice’, first developed by Lave and Wenger in 1991, is ‘one of the most articulated and developed concepts within broad theories of social learning.’54 CoPs are defined as activity-based groupings, characterised by three aspects. Mutual Engagement – interact in many different ways. Joint Enterprise – common endeavour. Shared Repertoire of common resources of language, styles and routines which enable them to express their
Cross, J. (2007) Informal Learning p153 Salmon, G. (2004) EModerating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online, p34 53 Cross, J. (2007) Informal Learning p154 54 Barton, D. & Tusting, K. (eds) (2005) Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power and Social Context p1
identities as members of the group. Participation in CoPs is a fundamental part of learning, defined as situated learning – engaging in that CoP.55 Part of the reason for the uptake of the concept is that ‘It presents a theory of learning which acknowledges networks and groups which are informal and not the same as formal structures. It allows for groups which are distributed in some way and not in face-to-face contact.” In learning, it includes learning which takes place outside the classroom, and in new technologies ‘it provides ways of talking about learning in groups formed at a distance and the many varieties of virtual groups’. 56 Whilst respectful of Wenger’s continued work, are worried that the idea has been subsumed by the language of management… and as linguists, feel this is important in the power dynamics of CoPs.57 ‘Pedagogical theories and approaches have trends and fashions just as does the clothing industry… To a large extent these approaches mirror social trends and try to exploit emerging technologies. In one sense, this is the role of education – to prepare students for participation in the prevailing social world, its economy and its technologies.’ Therefore we now need to prepare students to live in a connected world, rather than in an information age.58 Interesting debate about the nature of communities, and whether online communities are real or ‘illusory’ communities – especially in the eyes of many – who seem not to regard that the same argument could apply to e.g. telephone contacts! 59
Barton, D. & Tusting, K. (eds) Social Context p2 56 Barton, D. & Tusting, K. (eds) Social Context p3 57 Barton, D. & Tusting, K. (eds) Social Context p6 58 Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2004) 59 Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2006)
(2005) Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power and (2005) Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power and (2005) Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power and The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation p6 Elearning: The Key Concepts pp24-28
‘At the very least a community seems to be distinguished by a shared understanding of its boundaries, whether these are geographical, or defined by particular areas of common interest. Common activities help to create a sense of community by providing a common sense of identity with which members of the community can associate themselves.’
“Communities of practice, formed by
groups of people sharing a similar profession or vocation who seek to share experiences and facilitate professional exchange (which may also add value to offline networks). 61 Situated learning – affected by social and cultural setting in which it occurs. With a CoP, the emphasis is on the individual’s relationship with a group of people rather than the relationship of an activity itself to the wider practice, even though it is the practice itself that identifies the community.62 Lave & Wenger: “learning of practices as processes of participation in which beginners are initially relatively peripheral in the activities of a community and as they learn the practices their participation becomes more central” [Lurkers on Twitter?] 63 How will communities influence learning? Wenger “someone aspires to become a legitimate participant of a community defined by expertise or competence in some field of application.” “The second sense is that of a community of learners, for whom the practice is learning per se. That is, a very broad community identified by a shared high value placed on the process of continuous intellectual development.
60 61 62 63 64
Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2006) Elearning: The Key Concepts pp24-28 Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2006) Elearning: The Key Concepts p26 Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p18 Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p19 Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p19
"A community of practice is not defined merely by who knows whom or who talks with whom in a network of interpersonal relations through which information flows."65 But it seems to me that Wenger misses a relevant point here. The existence of of a network of interpersonal relations is a necessary precondition for the existence of a COP. Tools such as Twitter provide the network on which the CoP can be built. When does the definition change from network to community?
Role of the Technical Advocate “The successful advocates of e-learning will have to see their role as leading change, and enact a change management plan. This should involve identifying all the forces for change, and all the barriers or forces of resistance, then formulating a place for the forces of change to overcome the forces of resistance. It should involve identifying allies and finding ways for them to influence others; and it should involve identifying key individuals who may hold hostile views that need to be challenged and changed. It will not be a single great act, but an accumulation of lots of events, activities and discussions over a period of time. Implementing this change management plan will not be quick or easy, but in most organisations, winning support from senior management, and making the plan explicit, should help accelerate the process. “66 Know your stakeholders. Develop communications & engagement strategy & plan. Understand the stakeholders and their needs & the key messages want to communicate to them, and then how you’re going to do it… show them case studies.67 [Hence the importance of the website, and using the techniques
Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D., (2009) Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities, p.? 66 Fee, K. Delivering E-Learning (2009) Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment, p.40 67 Lewis, B. ‘Plenary, #iblc10’, http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/06/plenary-iblc10/, accessed 17/06/10
myself.]68 Developing upon the Learning Network initially, and this will remain an important part, and as Moodle moves into its new phases, and the University becomes more creative in its use – e.g. the recent addition of photos to the group. [Importance of being part of this committee also.] Needs to express ideas clearly, offer a vision, avoid being confrontational, recognise/respect others point of view, accommodate where possible, what motivates others, and seek matches with your goals, convey infectious enthusiasm. Albert Einstein “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.” E-learning, based on sound technology, content, and meeting a clearly identified need offer the best examples [also remember need space for experimentation]. Too often vendors, selfishly, sell products rather than solutions.69 ‘Attempts to create communities of e-learning practitioners and/or to share their knowledge have been notoriously difficult. Rather than creating a new community, it is likely that for the time being, there will be a substantial role for developers in working across already established communities. Since developers typically work across departments, disciplinary groupings and teams of managers, they are in a unique and important position to develop practice. By acting as boundary-crossing agents they can represent other people’s practices to each community in a way tailored to prompt reflection and development. Consequently, part of the value of this role is that the professional developer is an outside, to ‘go native. Would be to lose part of the pedagogic power of such roles.’ [but also continuing teaching is an important link with other lecturers!] 70 Benefits of working with existing communities and networks with which
Lewis, B. ‘Clickers – Taught Session for Media Studies’ http://wblb.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/clickers-taught-session-for-media-studies/, accessed 07/04/10 69 Fee, K. Delivering E-Learning (2009) Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment, p.41 70 Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p122
practitioners are already affiliated. Practitioners experience a feeling that there’s a genuine sharing of their concerns, and are then within a group of people with whom they can identify.
As the roles of users, tech stewards, and tool builders are blurring, and engagement among them is increasing, feedback loops are becoming shorter: the momentum of inventiveness is accelerating. We see this in the exploding number of offerings in the marketplace and the mix of excitement and confusion it causes. We also see it in the increasing attention that community leaders and members pay to technology and in the sense of overwhelm that some of them experience when faced with so many tools and options.72 Need to act more as a consultant… and encourage general confidence in using tools. ‘Motivation to take part, and continue to take part, occurs as a balance between regular and frequent opportunities to contribute, and the capacity of learners to respond to the invitations. The best participant experiences occur when both the challenges, and their skills to respond, are high.” What is a challenge to one, may be a block to another, so look for options to provide individual support – as a personal online identity is stabled, and group dynamics kick in, it becomes easier for participants. 73
Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age p123 Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D., (2009) Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities, p.171 73 Salmon, G. (2004) EModerating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online, p32
For some the online environment can feel alien, with a loss of non-verbal and visual clues, which result in a sense of depersonalisation and therefore negative feelings. Others find it easier to interact without the ‘social games’ which appear when f2f, and disagreements can be less emotionally charged. The importance of trust cannot be overemphasised. [Can take time to develop, hence why since October have spent a lot of time getting “known”. The behaviour of a ‘newbie’ attempting to learn and gain confidence in what is essentially a new cultural space.] 74 Building trust and networking are key to creating a strong community of practice, allowing flexible forms of collective action. Idea of ‘spheres of influence’ – we are influenced by many things, not all of them obviously f2f.75 A tutor experimenting with using an eforum for the first time. No one wanted to be the first to post, so had to FORCE them to post, and once students started they really enjoyed it and interacted well. It’s like standing on the side of a pool waiting to be the first to jump in – do you ‘be in the water and do the coaxing’ or ‘get behind them and do the shoving’. [I tend to be in the water…]76 “Technology stewards are people with enough experience of the workings of a community to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with or interest in technology to take leadership in addressing those needs. Stewarding typically includes selecting and configuring technology, as well as supporting its use in the practice of the community.”77 “The first and foremost activity of tech stewards is to understand their community and its evolution well enough to be able to respond to its expressed and unexpressed needs with respect to technology. This understanding of how
Salmon, G. (2004) EModerating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online, pp34-35 Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2006) Elearning: The Key Concepts pp24-28 76 Salmon, G. (2004) EModerating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online, p31 77 Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D., (2009) Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities, p.25
the community functions includes its key activities, member characteristics, subgroups, boundaries, aspirations, potential, limitations, as well as its context. Achieving such understanding will require a combination of direct involvement, observations, and conversations with community members.” 78 How do you recreate those conversations that you can best have down the pub? Best places – have someone centrally focused, dragging them out of their faculties, talking to each other – but innovations generally come from grass roots – if you can’t draw that out, the individual leaves, and the institution loses, we keep re innovating the same thing… really skilled thing to make that work as people are talking different languages – don’t sit in own silos assuming that we know what the others think… Is it beginning to appear in strategies – started to realise that e-learning strategy shouldn’t be around the technology but about the communications strategies… may be difficult/delicate job, but will find there tends to be a technical solution for things… We need the cakes! Any large institution has problem of separate kingdoms.79 Workshops: Allowing Space The importance of being ‘optimally unprepared’ for workshops – Have a strong basic schedule, but allow time for flexibility – anything that is planned down to the minute is problematic, otherwise there will be no space for “exploring, experiencing and learning”.80 Book is written in an attempt to move from ‘teaching’ to participatory learning. Activities that seek to make learning quicker, deeper, more enduring and fun.81 Specific Social Media Tools
Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D., (2009) Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities, pp.26-7 79 Lewis, B., quoting White, D., http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/04/dave-white-keynote-pelc10/, accessed 08/04/10 80 Chambers, R. (2002) Participatory Workshops, p.xvi 81 Chambers, R. (2002) Participatory Workshops, p.xi
Indicates the changes to 2010 which have led to the huge growth in the use of social media, and being prepared for the changes that come: the need to share information, immediacy is here to stay, everyone is a source of information/everyone is biased, Noise level, harder for users to keep different parts of their lives distinct – social media leads to transparency.82 ‘Social media marketing…. Takes time. It isn’t something you just turn on overnight… Facebook is a set of tools that, if used properly, can give you a way to reach people in a new and exciting way. If it’s used improperly, you are sure to spend a lot of money, get frustrated, and ultimately lose faith in a channel that could be very very good for you.” Be clear on the metrics you are trying to derive – i.e. what are you trying to achieve?83 Differentiating between social media (the technology) and social networks (groups/communities with a common interest who may exist on and offline).84 Really negative approach to Twitter which sees as a ‘one-trick-pony’, only offering Facebook statuses without the extra functionality – an idea that many others also subscribe to, partly because of ‘expert’ opinion such as this. But do agree that need to be aware that what is hot now may not be for ever (example: MySpace) and that need to have a portfolio of sites.85 Give people simple introductions – how to set up, etc. , recommendations of sites to visit. Tend also to recommend that people see a YouTube video (different learning styles), and send them towards Mashable (although can be a little overwhelming for some!)
Treadaway, C. & Smith, M. (2010) Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, pp.16-17 Treadaway, C. & Smith, M. (2010) Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, p.18 84 Treadaway, C. & Smith, M. (2010) Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, p.24 85 Treadaway, C. & Smith, M. (2010) Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, p.28 86 Collins, T. (2009) The Little Book of Twitter
Found it gave me insights into what was hot NOW in the online world (access to experts/papers, etc.), which I could use in presentations for job interviews. Decided to stop thinking too much about what I tweeted/who I followed – anything that interested me – and found my follower count rocketed – people value the genuineness. Found it a great tool for talking to people before a conference (conversational starting point), and also after which has led to further offers of work (Durham) as openness and consistency are demonstrated, and interaction continued on a regular basis Using Twitter itself to make connections with those outside the institution, thus having a lot of relevant information to pass on to UoW. Key connections include Steve Wheeler,87 James Clay,88 Josie Fraser,89 Christian Payne,90 Sarah Knight (JISC),91 David Hopkins92 and many others who will no doubt come to mind later! Also the ability to follow other users, including ProfHacker,93 and Jane Hart.94 Twitter may help us build up a network of relationships & reputation. In itself it is rather limited. To build a CoP it might act as a starting point. Then would need to find shared electronic spaces “Going on Facebook is like attending a school reunion where all the people you used to sit next to in maths poke you and wave embarrassing photos in your face. Going on MySpace is like visiting a hall of residence where every single
Wheeler, S. ‘Learning with ‘e’s’ http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/ accessed 16/08/10 Clay, J., ‘Elearning Stuff’ http://elearningstuff.wordpress.com/ accessed 16/08/10 89 Fraser, J. ‘SocialTech’ http://fraser.typepad.com/socialtech/ accessed 16/08/10 90 Payne, C. ‘Our Man Inside’ http://ourmaninside.com/ accessed 16/08/10 91 Knight, S., ‘Twitter Feed’ http://twitter.com/sarahknight accessed 16/08/10 92 Hopkins, D., ‘Don’t Waste Your Time’ http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/ accessed 16/08/10 93 Chronicle of Higher Education ‘Profhacker’ http://chronicle.com/blog/ProfHacker/27 accessed 16/08/10 94 Hart, J., ‘Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies’, http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/ accessed 17/08/10
room is inhabited by douchebags who think that writing tortured acoustic songs will impress the girls. But Twitter is more like a dinner party that you can invite everyone to, from your best friend to the editor of your favourite magazine to Snoop dogg.”95 “Twitter is a social networking site that lets you record your thoughts in ‘tweets’, small updates of 140 characters or fewer.” It forces brevity; You don’t feel obliged to respond to everyone all the time; No vampires or zombies… or Farmville; No ‘Groups’ to join96 After an interesting introduction, in which Rosenberg demonstrates how powerful blogging was in reporting live from 9/11, towards the end of the book, he starts to discuss Twitter, which is of course a microblog. Unlike Facebook, all status updates were public by default & each had a unique URL. “In a lot of ways, Twitter was like blogging, only shorter. The 140-character limit was unforgiving… but it provided some guarantee that keeping up with your friends would not take over your life…. Blogging, which had once been the quick-and-dirty method for publishing a thought to the web, now began to look like a lumbering old beast next to its lithe offspring.”97 “Becoming successful with social media is a lot like high school, really. Being ‘nice’ is great, but being popular and having lots of friends is far more important.’98 “When you are looking to use social media, hang out and observe. Look at what gets popular, what hangs around long-term, and what gets to the front page then disappears just as fast.”99
Collins, T. (2009) The Little Book of Twitter, p11 Collins, T. (2009) The Little Book of Twitter, p14 97 Rosenberg, S., (2009) Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What’s it’s Becoming, and why it Matters, p333 98 Rowse, D. & Garrett, C. (2008) Problogger, p177 99 Rowse, D. & Garrett, C. (2008) Problogger, p179
Twitter being used in crisis-situations to keep people updated as to what is going on. “Twitter is become the canary in the news coal mine. Developers at the BBC and Reuters picked up on Twitter’s potential and created applications to monitor it for news catchwords such as “earthquake” and “evacuate”. Journalists searched Twitter to find witnesses to interview and quote.” Also use Flickr, YouTube & Facebook before professional photographers arrive. Difficult for Google to keep up with all this live blogging… The importance of going mobile – the difference that has made.100 Policy Level Changes “New technology changes both the curriculum and the way content is learned. If assessment is to match what students have learned, it is likely that assessment processes and requirements will change…. Policy will tend to change in response to bottom-up demand, which can be a slow process.” [Changes need to be implemented at policy level to ensure that appropriate assessments tie in as most students are driven by assessment requirements…]101 Tech adopted ‘as a strategy to accommodate the varying geographical or temporal challenges faced by our students.’ (OU). As the general population, including our students, is already adopting the use of online technology, there’s a need to reassess the best ways of supporting students and reassessing what we do currently. 102 Resource of Benefit?
Jarvis, J. (2009) What Would Google Do? P105 Laurillard, D. (2002) Rethinking University Teaching: A Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies, p230 102 Macdonald, J. (2008) Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: Planning Learning Support and Activity Design p4
Number of people engaging/talking about it/experimenting/signing up for CET lunch, etc…: The utility of the artefact produced or planned in relation to purpose and audience. [Wimba, specific strategy] Signs of success: (1) Sustained mutual relationships – harmonious or conflictual
(2) Shared ways of engaging in doing things together (3) The rapid flow of information and propogation of innovation (4) Absence of introductory preambles, as if conversations and interactions were merely the continuation of an ongoing process (5) Very quick setup of a problem to be discussed (6) Substantial overlap in participants’ descriptions of who belongs (7) Knowing what others know, what they can do, and how they can contribute to an enterprise (8) Mutually defining identities (9) The ability to assess the appropriateness of actions and products (10) Specific tools, representations, and other artefacts (11) Local lore, shared stories, inside jokes, knowing laughter (12) Jargon and shortcuts to communication as well as the ease of producing new ones (13) Certain styles recognized as displaying membership (14) A shared discourse reflecting a certain perspective on the world.103
Emerging Technology User Group meet once a ¼, meet to share practice in what people have been doing – but tend to be preaching to the converted. Still supporting those who are trying to push things forward. 104 Now, how to reach those who aren’t interested – leaflet in preparation. Anderson (2007) makes 3 big predictions affecting academics and academies – the growing use of crowd-sourcing, a threat to unis as traditional repositories of
Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D., (2009) Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities, [Part 1, Chapter 5] 104 Lewis, B., quoting Lee, B. & Moxon, D., http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/2010/06/creating-acommunity-in-blended-learning-using-the-talents-of-all-iblc10/, accessed 17/06/10
wisdom/knowledge creation… the wisdom of the crowd, rather than the wisdom of the expert. The growth of DIY/amateur culture, challenging the academy as the elite repository of knowledge. IP debates over the huge amount of data on the internet, and the use of tools for aggregating & processing it. 105 Johnson & Johnson, 2004 – indicated that educators need to use the tools that are common in the social context of their day, because they are determining the way that people learn.
Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2008) E-Learning and Social Networking Handbook: Resources for Higher Education p177 106 Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2008) E-Learning and Social Networking Handbook: Resources for Higher Education p13
Bibliography Printed Texts Barton, D. & Tusting, K. (eds) (2005) Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power and Social Context Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Beetham H., & Sharpe, R. (eds) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age Oxon: Routledge Chambers, R. (2002) Participatory Workshops London: Earthscan Collins, T. (2009) The Little Book of Twitter London: Michael O’ Mara Cross, J. (2007) Informal Learning San Francisco: Pfeiffer Fee, K. Delivering E-Learning (2009) Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment London: Kogan Page Garrison, D. R., Randy, D. (2003) E-learning in the 21st century : a framework for research and practice London : RoutledgeFalmer Jarvis, J. (2009) What Would Google Do? New York: Harper Collins John, P.D. and Wheeler, S. (2008) The Digital Classroom: Harnessing Technology for the Future Abingdon: Routledge Laurillard, D. (2002) Rethinking University Teaching: A Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies London: RoutledgeFalmer Macdonald, J. (2008) Blended Learning and Online Tutoring: Planning Learning Support and Activity Design Aldershot: Gower
Mason, R. & Rennie, F. (2008) E-Learning and Social Networking Handbook: Resources for Higher Education London:Routledge ------ (2006) Elearning: The Key Concepts Oxon: Routledge ------ (2004) The Connecticon: Learning for the Connected Generation Connecticut: Information Age Publishing Prensky, M. (2001) ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’, On the Horizon, Vol, 9, No 5, MCB University Press (http://bit.ly/prenskydignat, accessed 17/08/10) Rice, W.H. (2006) Moodle: E-Learning Course Development Birmingham: Packt Rowse, D. & Garrett, C. (2008) Problogger Indianapolis: Wiley Salmon, G. (2004) EModerating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online Oxon: RoutledgeFalmer Sloman, M. (2003) Training in the Age of the Learner London: CIPD Rosenberg, S., (2009) Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What’s it’s Becoming, and why it Matters New York: Crown Treadaway, C. & Smith, M. (2010) Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day Indianapolis: Wiley Tyson, W. (2010) Pitch Perfect: Communicating with Traditional and Social Media for Scholars, Researcher, and Academic Leaders, Virginia: Stylus Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D. (2009) Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities Portland, OR: CPsquare Web
BBC News (20/03/10), ‘Universities Look Into the Future’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8577272.stm, accessed 20/03/10 Chronicle of Higher Education ‘Profhacker’ http://chronicle.com/blog/ProfHacker/27 accessed 16/08/10 Clay, J., ‘Elearning Stuff’ http://elearningstuff.wordpress.com/ accessed 16/08/10 DfES, (March 2005) ‘Harnessing Technology: Transforming Learning and Children’s Services’, http://publications.education.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/1296-2005PDF-EN01.pdf, accessed 14/08/10 Fraser, J. ‘SocialTech’ http://fraser.typepad.com/socialtech/ accessed 16/08/10 Hart, J., ‘Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies’, http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/ accessed 17/08/10 Hopkins, D., ‘Don’t Waste Your Time’ http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/ accessed 16/08/10 Knight, S., ‘Twitter Feed’ http://twitter.com/sarahknight accessed 16/08/10 Lewis, B., http://digital-fingerprint.co.uk/ accessed 18/08/10 LTDU, ‘Winchester’s Blended Learning Blog’ http://wblb.wordpress.com, accessed 16/08/10 Melville, D., (March 2009), ‘Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World’ http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/heweb20rptv1.pdf (formerly at http://www.clex.org.uk/), accessed 29/11/09 Payne, C. ‘Our Man Inside’ http://ourmaninside.com/ accessed 16/08/10
Sutter, J.D. (17/03/10) ‘Why teaching is “not like making motor cars”’ http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/17/ted.ken.robinson/index.html, accessed 20/03/10 TechCrunch ‘Wired Declares The Web Is Dead—Don’t Pull Out The Coffin Just Yet’ http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/17/wired-web-dead/, accessed 17/08/10 Wenger. E. (2006) Communities of Practice: a brief introduction, http://www.ewenger.com/theory/index.htm, accessed 30/07/10 Wheeler, S. ‘Learning with ‘e’s’ http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/ accessed 16/08/10 White, D., (July 2008) ‘Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’, http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/2008/07/23/not-nativesimmigrants-but-visitors-residents/, accessed 17/08/10 Wilson, A., ‘Bringing Organisational Development Guidance into IT’ http://www.work-with-it.org.uk/EmbeddingWorkwithIT/WinchesterODG.aspx, accessed 13/07/10 Courses & Conferences JISC, ‘E-Learning Fair’, November 2009 Rush, D. ‘Using the LN to Support Innovation in Learning’, PGCLTHE, University of Winchester, 2009
The Potential Impact of Blended Learning on the Learning and Teaching Experience of Staff and Students at the University of Winchester
Interview for Blended Learning Fellow, 2 September 2009
The 21st Century Learner: Blended Learning Tools & The Use of Social Networks
Collaborative Enhancement in Teaching Lunch, 26th March 2010
Floods? Snow? Swine Flu? Terrorist Threats? “Keep Calm and Carry On”: Internal Collaboration
Plymouth E-Learning Conference, 9th April 2010 Panel with James Clay & Dr Carolin Esser
Twitter for Students? Survey
May-June 2010, University of Winchester
Blended Learning Survey
May-June 2010, University of Winchester
Good CoP? Bad CoP? Twitter for Communities of Practice
Hertfordshire International Blended Learning Conference, 17th June 2010 Paper presented with Dr David Rush
Workshop Timetable 2010/11
Learning Network Twitter Feed Facebook Group Blog
Wimba Implementation Strategy - 2009-2012 Background Twenty-first century learners are commonly referred to as ‘digital natives’, well versed in text messaging, Facebook and other types of social media, and less so in textbooks and face-to-face communication. While the term has been contested, there is no doubt that student populations are becoming increasingly diverse with correspondingly diverse learning needs. An increasing number of students attend part-time, study while working or take distance learning programmes and all students are used to receiving information and communication in various ways. The University of Winchester must be responsive to the changing student profile and provide means of delivering programmes which meet the demands of flexibility. In addition, the University has a strong internationalisation agenda and is interested in exploring various means by which our students can engage with students and their learning in other countries. Furthermore, the demands of sustainability and carbon consciousness require the University to explore ecofriendly means by which to engage with colleagues in other institutions involved in joint projects of various kinds. Systems such as Wimba provide mechanisms which will allow the University to diversify its learning and teaching methods/opportunities (underpinned by pedagogy) in such a way as to respond to these diverse needs. The University of Winchester has a three year license and support agreement with Wimba (from September 2009), an online conferencing and collaboration system, capable of working within the Moodle based Learning Network. Software which offers similar capabilities includes Elluminate, Webex, Wiziq and Instant Presenter. Such systems ‘foster and encourage dynamic interaction between students and instructors as well as peer-to-peer communication between students and instructors’.107 In 2012, there is the option to renew the Wimba licence or consider other options depending upon the outcomes of how successfully Wimba has been used and implemented during 2009-2012. The University therefore needs to have a clear sense of how it is going to use these three years to test the pedagogical potential and effectiveness of Wimba. This strategy seeks to outline how this will be done in the context of the Strategic Priorities of the University’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy. Strategic Priority 1 Learning Support: To ensure that we offer an appropriate range of services designed to nurture and support students throughout their learning experience while taking into account a diverse range of student needs. Key Objectives • Internationalisation To utilise the features and functions of Wimba to allow an improved learning experience for students through opportunities for engagement with learning taking place in partner institutions abroad, and through archived material. • Employability To provide students with the opportunity to engage and familiarise themselves with the kind of software which is in use within industry. By 2012 we will have: • •
Carried out at least 24 Wimba based projects of which at least five will have an international focus Embedded engagement with Wimba in at least 15 modules across the institution.
Strategic Priority 2 Learning Resources: To offer a high quality infrastructure that is both fit-for-purpose and enables students to meet their specific learning outcomes Key Objectives • Support Infrastructure To utilise the Wimba consultation period to establish a network of ‘experts’ responsible for day-to-day support within each Faculty, with central responsibility lying with the Blended Learning Fellow. • Evaluation To assess and evaluate the (proposed) use of Wimba to ensure that it is fit-for-purpose, ensuring that both staff and student perceptions are taken into account. By 2012 we will have: • Identified Wimba specialists in each Faculty • Made Wimba training available to all academic staff Strategic Priority 3 e-Learning: To promote the growing application of learning technologies to facilitate an array of e-learning needs and opportunities while encouraging all programmes to make effective use of the Learning Network Key Objectives • Learning Network To promote the use of Wimba alongside promotion of ‘clever’ use of the Learning Network, in which is it fully embeddable. • Innovation To provide a context in which experimental use of Wimba, and the dissemination of such knowledge, is encouraged within a pedagogical framework, to fit with the desire of the University to look to the future, being inspiring, innovative and passionate in all that we do. By 2012 we will have: • Evaluated the pedagological impact of WIMBA, with a particular focus upon student and staff perceptions • Disseminated the results of WIMBA-based projects and the evaluation of its use Action Plan Aims To increase awareness of WIMBA among academic staff across all four Faculties through training events placing particular emphasis on it potential enhancement of our internationalisation agenda. To establish expertise within each Faculty (Training Assistants) To carry out WIMBA based projects, integrating WIMBA capabilities within L&T by encouraging and prioritising bids which utilise WIMBA To evaluate the pedagological impact of WIMBA, with a particular focus upon student and staff perceptions To disseminate the results of WIMBAbased projects and the evaluation of its use. Measure 80% 90% 100% 2 4 8 8 16 32 8 16 32 Internal, e.g. Capture, CET, Working Party Year 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1
To embed in Learning and Teaching practice
Internal & External, e.g. JISC Embedded into good practice (see below) Experimentation: 5 modules Normalisation: 15 modules Embedded as routine in appropriate courses
2 3 1 2 3
User Support: • Provided 24/7 by Wimba on http://www.wimba.com/services/support/, not by ITS. • ITS request that users undertake appropriate training and internal experimentation before attempting external collaborative work. YEAR 1: Enhancing Awareness/Training/Illustrating Potential: The initial hurdle is to ensure that staff within the University are aware of Wimba and what it is capable of doing. So far Actions with Implementation: 2008/9 Academic Year – Trial Period/Purchase of licences/Comparative studies 8 Wimba-based projects identified for 2009/10, with details sent to ITS. 26th October – IT WIMBA Training with Lloyd Stock 20th November – WIMBA Awareness and Training with Kevin Papworth and Lloyd Stock as a CET Lunch There are 8 days of consultancy remaining, with one required in the near future with Lloyd Stock/WIMBA stakeholders, for WIMBA to provide recommendations based on their experiences of implementing the product elsewhere. With regards to training, there are four products to train in, and sessions limited to a maximum of 20 people, to include at least one session at Chute House. Those who are prepared to be “experts” within their Faculty should be prioritised for Training Sessions. For the first year, those desiring to use Wimba would need to ensure that requests for use come through LTDU, who will then liaise with ITS on requirements. We would need to carefully consider the support of those who don’t undertake any form of training but wish to use it. We are looking to identify the potential uses of Wimba with regards to the following categories: • L&T • Research, including PGR interaction. • Collaborations • Knowledge Exchange • RKE and Professional Services: Meetings The Blended Learning Fellow is looking to re-establish a best practice blog/forum with a focus on e-learning technologies, and Wimba would be expected to feature within this. Wimba can also be used to enhance operational aspects of the University, including committee meetings. It was expected to be rare that any committee would meet entirely via Wimba, but that it would allow for more frequent meetings whilst lessening the time, cost and environmental implications. Put Into Practice: 8 projects have been confirmed, whilst others are to be encouraged. It is expected that in the early stages of the project, issues are like to be raised, e.g.
Issue: access (guest log-ins), integration, estates Issue: equipment (simple as headsets and cameras), logistics, downloadability: o Will it be on specific computers (Pronto requires a software download)? o How will the students be trained on the module? By their tutors? o Full profiles: ITS are investigating this issue
YEAR 2: Evaluate Student Experience: As a result of feedback from Year 1, an article on the experiences of experimenting with this new software will be disseminated. (Year 1, lesser extent, more meaningful 2nd year) Report/Disseminate: The Blended Learning Fellow is looking to establish a best-practice blog, and staff (and students) would be encouraged to disseminate their experiences (both positive/negative) here, to inform future purchasing decisions. Other appropriate internal methods (e.g. portal) will be identified, along with an expectation that external publications will be in process, specifically through JISC. Wimba therefore offers opportunities for dissemination and publication for those involved. YEAR 3: Enhanced Practice: As a result of dissemination of best practice, others will be engaging with the software, there will be more advocates capable of providing support within Faculties. Best Practice: By this stage, a number of courses will have hopefully embedded the use of Wimba, and there will be a large cohort of best practice information available. Further Dissemination: Continuation of blog. E-Learning Conference, Journal Article END OF YEAR 3: Progression and Evaluation: A full evaluation of the practice will be undertaken, to determine what the following actions and goals could be following this time frame. Bex Lewis, Yaz El-Hakim and Liz Stuart – 18th December 2009
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