(Notes from UNFED meeting 05.08.09)
Mike Bogle demonstrated the distributed approach to online course implementation via George Siemens and Stephen Downes ‘Connectivism and Connective Knowledge’ course, run late in 2008 (CCK08). Described as “an attempt to destabilize the concept of a course“, and building on a basic concept of learner constructed and directed learning spaces and activities, it involved several hundred informal learners and a small cohort of formal enrollees. Participants were provided with a course schedule and access to a large range of communication tools and approaches, where they spontaneously formed learning communities that supported them to design their own learning pathway (Mike, is that a reasonable summary?). See the course blog for more information (CCK09 coming up soon), and Mike’s post with the recording of his presentation.
Niki Fardouly told us about some more traditional online professional development provided by Oxford Brookes University. These courses on Engaging learning with social software and Online tutoring are designed for busy university academics, and the difficulties some participants obviously had with some of the online technologies and activities have important implications for the support and training services we are planning at UNSW.
It was suggested in discussion that informal learning networks (such as UNFED) can be very significant in engaging academic staff in new technologies. Malcolm Ryan, who runs a UNSW Games Deconstruction Group was mentioned as an example. Here’s Malcolm’s blog. If anyone knows of others at UNSW, please post a comment.
Blackboard Day at Sydney University
Blackboard Day was held at Sydney University on July 29. Several UNFED members attended, but the general feeling was that it was more about marketing Blackboard than a real networking and information-gathering opportunity. Contact Niki Fardouly if you would like more information.
Suggested topics for our next meeting:
- Pam Mort from the Learning Centre will demonstrate WRISE, a new web resource on report writing for Science & Engineering.
- Mike Bogle will talk about the ‘Open Education’ movement and what it means for educators in HE.
Date: Wed August 26. Contact Belinda to suggest topics or to join the mailing list.