Thursday, 22 March 2007

Pedagogic PowerPoint 1

I've been doing some work recently on using PowerPoint for teaching and learning.

I'm going to be adding more resources here but to start here's a PowerPoint presentation (Pedagogic PowerPoint) I've added to Slide Share. It's a great site that converts your presentations to a simple slide show.

It's potentially a much better way of making your PowerPoint presentations available to students than uploading it straight to the Blackboard.

Here's a nice blog post from Clive Shephard (Don't blame PowerPoint). Usefully, it summarises some of the research done into dual code theory. It doesn't mention Tufte though who does actually blame the software and its "cognitive style".

Friday, 2 March 2007

Learning about feeds

Here's an extract from a blog post by Bill French (E-mail is where knowledge goes to die, April 22, 2003):

On a daily basis almost every knowledge-worker reads news and other sources of business content and then creates comments and observations that other business associates, colleagues, customers, and vendors consume. The usual and customary method for creating annotations and observations is by e-mail. (…) However, the place where e-mail content comes to rest is problematic - e-mail is where knowledge goes to die.

He makes a good case for blogs, arguing that they allow knowledge to be more easily shared and accessed. The context is business but it could easily be Higher Education.

In the spirit of enabling more convenient access to my blog, I've been having a go at setting up a feed so that users can subscribe to my blog (via email or a feed reader).

Let's hope it works ...

Coming back to feedback

Here's that quote I was looking for on feedback:

The indispensible conditions of improvement are that the student comes to hold a concept of quality roughly similar to that held by the teacher, is able to monitor continuously the quality of what is being produced during the act of production itself, and has a repetoire of alternative moves or strategies from which to draw at any given point.
(Sadler, 1989 p.121) [his italics]

I think what I like about it is the bit about understanding what's quality whilst doing the assessment, perhaps stressing the need for formative feedback whilst a work in progress.

Is this maybe why blogs and wikis have potential in HE?


Sadler, D.R. (1989). ‘Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems’. Instructional Science, 18, pp. 119-144

Beyond e-moderating

I've just finished doing a course called Beyond e-moderating and need to get together with two other colleagues who've also done it to see if it's worth running at our university.

There's an ambiguity to the title: beyond e-moderating in the sense of 1) more advanced/developed e-moderating or 2) there's more than just discussion boards now.

The course seems to want to keep both possibilities available in tension: more of the same (albeit extended and developed) for some people, other things (inc. blogs and wikis) for others.

On the recent course I was on, some participants expressed a scepticism of blogs and wikis (why though if they're already signed up to the value of online interaction through discussion boards?). Others, however, enjoyed engaging with other tools for online publication and collaboration.

I think it would be interesting to run the course internally but I think I'd like to see more on the use of blogs and wikis (possibly even something on synchronous working - virtual classroom or IM) in the context of the bigger picture of getting students to reflect, publish, give, receive and act on feedback, work together, generate and share ideas collaboratively etc..

I don't think that there's one right tool for all of these kinds of different but overlapping activities.

Not much progress on the kitchen

... so here's a picture of the skip outside our house instead.

Perhaps there's a danger that blogs could become skips for the dumping of all kinds of things?

I think I'm definitely carrying this blog/home improvement thing too far.