Tuesday, February 27, 2007

ist hier in der nahe ein fussgangerzone?

no, i haven't lost my grip on what country i'm in (though my grip on reality is as tenous as ever), but the next presentation today was by 2 people from bavaria and, in the spirit of european conferences, it seems rude to use exclusively french and english. and anyone out there who did german at school (oh, that'll be about 2 of you then...) will remember fussgangerzones and their importance to asking for directions.

anyway, this one was called Learning Scenario Design and Implementation in Blackboard. The presenters were from a tiny institution with 2000 students, but some of the things they were discussing were quite interesting. Because of the nature of the courses they offer, their teaching staff are really subject experts, with little prior engagement with pedagogy (or didactics) so it's difficult for them to engage with this, and with technological innovations. So a couple of things they've done to try and help with this process:

  • Firstly, they offer 4 scenarios of what using Blackboard could look like in learning and teaching (quite similar to the engagement models we were discussing in AI a few weeks ago) - these go from Basic (which is sort of administration plus - content focussed, with little online interaction - to help ease those staff who are very uncertain about technology into using Bb) through Standard Communications, Enhanced Communications, then onto Online (which is either fully online, or heavy online use/presence). From what I could gather they have had these scenarios in place for less than a year, but are gradually hoping to see more people moving through the scenarios once they become comfortable - at the moment, 80/90% of staff are within the Basic/Standard Comms scenarios. But these help demonstrate quick wins for staff, thereby adding value to their experience, and encouraging them through.

  • Secondly, they showed a course/module development template, which was populated with examples of how a learning approach (eg, group focussed) might be presented at different stages of the learning process (eg, Application & Analysis) to make use of Blackboard. It would probably be worth revisiting the taxonomy stuff that we started last year with Melissa and Demetra to see if we could expand the use of that with some case studies of use? (thinking out loud here...sorry...)

Anyway, I'm very concerned, as I've obviously forgotten to take my cynical pills today. 2 sessions that were worthwhile, 1 straight after the other? Nah, can't be happening. Maybe my head is just so full of nutella and pain au chocolat, and it's dulling my senses. Luckily, normality started to return during the next session...I was presenting part of it, so naturally it wasn't anywhere near as good. Ask Alison, she's the brainy one as she so kindly pointed out last night :)

Damn, no photo for this session. Here, have a random picture of Washington instead (well it is a Blackboard Conference, so it's not totally random):


Brian said...

To help those who do not speak German, such as myself, I have translated this phrase using google:
ici, étroitement le fussgangerzone est-il ?

Brian said...

However, I realize that may not go far enough for people who do not speak French (like myself). So I have translated the French into English. Now it is starting to make sense:

Here, narrowly, is the fussgangerzone?

Andrew Middleton said...

I've translated this into Spanish using Babel Fish:

En español:
Aquí, está estrecho el fussgangerzone

Andrew Middleton said...

So, what's your view on templates and scenarios now then? For people who know nothing about pedagogy is this what they're looking for?

Brian said...

The lack of a funny ä in the word was preventing proper translation. It is actually:

Fussgängerzone - pedestrian precinct

Brian said...

I think practical examples are always helpful. What you have to be careful is that they are not limiting. You don't want people to think that e-learning is only X, Y or Z, thus limiting what they think. But given what some people think already, it might not be a bad idea to encourage them to think more of e-learning.

gs said...

i don't think scenarios are limiting at all - but they can be a very useful way of getting people who don't get the whole e-learning thing to engage, build their confidence, and then move on?