If you have read my about me page, you’ll know that I am a member of univerisity support staff. I encountered a problem with communication with other departments in my position and issues my colleagues discussed in terms of knowing procedures. Many of us would find out new rules by doing something wrong or were confused or found that the training we received on different procedures was not engaging and if you needed to find something pertinent to a duty you were doing, you have to either call someone with experience or search university websites that are poorly designed which makes it difficult for you to find your answer.
There wasn’t a central place to learn best practices and discuss day to day work issues or even unusual work issues. In my project, I propose a digital learning network with a learning activity that focuses on the complexity of the travel department. I also discuss the developing a community of practice for University support staff to improve work performance.
The network would be housed under Blackboard which is user-friendly and most universities. Assessment and Evaluation of the the learning activity and the technology used to administer the learning network will also be on Blackboard.
Assessment and Evaluation will come from surveys from the participants themselves, the staff of the departments that university staff work with frequently and from the data analytics of usage from Blackobard.
For the the framework of my learning activity, I used Kolb’s research on experiential learning. Here is Kolb’s theory in a nutshell:
I think experiential learning is really important and the use of it is becoming more prominent in higher education. As employees we all have knowledge to share.
To illustrate how beneficial Communities of Practice can be, I found this interesting video on how CoPs were used in a mining company to solve problems and share best practices which led to the betterment of the company.
If you are looking to read more about my final project, please check it out here.
It’s week 7 and Open Education is topic of the week. Here are my thoughts on the Open Education movement.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Open education movement is the part it plays in the evolution of learning. Knowledge is now quite far reaching and is altruistically shared among other learners near and far. Due to Web 2.0, OERs create a “unique blend of learning” (Bosk, 2009). Peer to peer learning that may have not been possible in the past due to proximity is now something of the past. OERs allow learning to evolve by “eliminating barriers and facilitating access” (McNally, 2012).
The biggest challenge is the perceived ambiguity of intellectual property and copyrights. OERs need licensing to in order to provide information to learners. Copyrights create an obstacle for the OER as they have the ability to block knowledge from others on the stance that they will lose ownership of the idea (McNally, 2012). On a work related note, I have heard professors discuss that are apprehensive of doing a MOOC or putting a curriculum online as they want to keep their intellectual property. If organizations and universities can find a way to let reluctant faculty know that OER can be an assets to learning instead of hindrance to intellectual property, research and content.
After perusing on the internet find out more about open education, I found this great video on the importance of open education. To see other videos, please go to whyopenedmatters,org
My learning activity is heavily related to Open Education. One of the goals of my learning activity is to create a community where education is shared in order for all staff members to perform better in their positions.
My questions for my readers this week: Do you think the Open Education Movement has the ability to negatively impact Education? If so, how?
McNally, M., & Western University,. (2014). Democratizing Access to Knowledge: Find Out What Open Educational Resources (OER) Have to Offer. YouTube. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2IPOgl0ZE8
In Unit 5 of this course different types of classroom settings were discussed. Here is my overview of Face to Face (Traditional), Hybrid and Online Classrooms, their differences in teaching and learning and what teaching technique I think works best for each setting.
Face to Face teaching and learning is the most traditional setting out of the three. It provides the most support and communication due to the allotted period of time the instructor and learner have to interact (Crawford, Smith, & Smith). As in all classroom settings, an instructor should feel the need to set the atmosphere for learning. I would argue anxiety in traditional classrooms would most likely be the highest in comparison to hybrid classroom and online classroom settings. Humor in the classroom I believe would work best in the traditional classroom settings. Stambor discusses how if humor is introduced into the classroom, albeit through jokes, skits, or relations to pop culture, students feel more at ease and their engagement in the classroom increases (Stambor). He also discussed that humor in the classroom also can aid in retention and recall of material learned.
Hybrid Classrooms can be considered the best of both worlds. The traditional classrooms have an outside technology component to it. For learners it requires a little more discipline than you would find in a traditional only classroom and for teaching it is up to the instructor on how and how much technology will be integrated into the classroom (Doering, A., & Veletsianos, G, 2008). Collaborative Learning would work best for Hybrid Classrooms as much of the collaboration and critical thinking can be completed online with other learners. This component to a course can provide an environment for peer learning and cooperation.
Online Classrooms are very student orientated. For learners, they must have a high level of discipline. The student must constantly stay abreast of the material. If they fall behind, there may not be opportunity to make up the work as it may be the case with traditional classrooms. Interaction is key and passiveness is not applicable since online participation is the only way prove your engagement in class (Crawford, Smith, & Smith). The instructor is more of a facilitator of learning than a lecturer. Social networking works well for online learning because it is so pervasive. It allows students to not only interact on a personal level but it allows sharing of ideas through discussions, and websites rapidly. Learning can extend far beyond the hub of the course (Blackboard, Moodle, MOOC, etc.)
For my learning activity, I would like to use a Learning Management system like Blackboard or Moodle to teach support staff new methods of efficiencies for their department. I would mainly focus on training presentations and actively engaging them in activities to help improve what they do in the office.
As technology grows and becomes more and more prevalent in education, I think we will begin to see less traditional settings and more hybrid and online classrooms. I found a post on Edutopia on six different types of Hybrid or Blended Learning. It puts in all in an appealing infographic. Check it out.
If you are interested in learning more about humor in the classroom. Here is an example of humor used in a math class:
Question for the readers: Do you think traditional classrooms will one day be a thing of the past? Do you think hybrid or online learning can be detrimental to the future teaching and learning?
Crawford, C. M., Smith, R. A., & Smith, M. S. (2008). Course student satisfaction results: Differentiation between face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments .CEDER Yearbook, 135-149.
Doering, A., & Veletsianos, G. (2008). Hybrid online education: Identifying integration models using adventure learning . Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(1), 23-41.
This week in EDU 520, we learned about Communities of Practice and Personal Learning Communities. Below are some thoughts I’d like to share about these communities.
Communities of Practice and Professional Learning Communities support learning by fostering a supportive, learning relationship within the group. It creates a learning structure where all members of the group have educational goals and an education vision (Adams, 2009). Gunawardena and his colleagues discuss distributed cognition (Socio-cultural, Socio-economic, experience, knowledge and expertise) in support of learning through a CoP. The distributed cognition that the learners in a CoP share helps to reach a common goal and everyone learns from each other despite knowledge or lack of knowledge they possess (Gunawardena, Hermans, Sanchez, Richmond, Bohley, & Tuttle, 2009, p. 9).
CoPs and PLCs support teaching by providing support, exchanging best teaching practices and sharing ideas. (Bouchard, 2012). CoPs and PLCs also create motivation, and desire for improvement through collaboration. Adams discusses the concept of collaborative intelligence, which creates a camaraderie among the teachers which therefore boosts morale and supports teaching (Adams, 2009).
I believe technology enhances these communities it creates a sense of closeness for learners despite the lack of physical proximity. Technology creates many avenues for collaborate learning. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and blogs provide interactions, contributions and the exchange of ideas from people with different backgrounds (Gunawardena, Hermans, Sanchez, Richmond, Bohley, & Tuttle, 2009). These site creates host many topics concerning education and users have the opportunity to be drawn to what interests them in the format learners are most comfortable.
In my opinion, EDU 520 would classify as a PLC or CoP. We all have similar education goals, the discussion posts allow us to share ideas with one another. I believe we are also developing a camaraderie amongst each other as we are all here to learn and would like to see each other succeed. Using blogs further illustrates my point as we will read each other blogs and gain knowledge, ideas and insight. Blogs also help bring a better sense of community. We discover our personalities and academia intertwine within these blogs.
I think the picture below sums up what I am saying:
Dr. Mark Wagner over at GettingSmart.com posted a interesting article about PLCs. He refers to it as PLNs ( Personal Learning Networks). Please check it out. I also discovered a hilarious but informative video that describes PLCs and how they are beneficial to educators. The video is below. Lastly, I would like to know if any of my readers have had any experiences with PLCs or CoPs and if it was beneficial or detrimental to their work and/or learning.
Adams, C. (2009). The power of collaboration. Instructor, 119 (1), pp. 28-31.
Gunawardena, C. N., Hermans, M. B., Sanchez, D., Richmond, C., Bohley, M., & Tuttle, R. (2009). A theoretical framework for building online communities of practice with social networking tools . Educational Media International, 46 (1), 3-16