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Pedagogical Aspects thoughts on a theme Prof Angela McFarlane University of Bristol. Thoughts on conferences - . What are they for?. Networking Inducting new members Information sharing New ways of coping with volume Consensus building? Tension between need to present and time to debate.

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pedagogical aspects thoughts on a theme prof angela mcfarlane university of bristol

Pedagogical Aspectsthoughts on a theme Prof Angela McFarlaneUniversity of Bristol

ALT – C 2004

what are they for
What are they for?
  • Networking
    • Inducting new members
  • Information sharing
    • New ways of coping with volume
  • Consensus building?
    • Tension between need to present and time to debate

ALT – C 2004

where is the emphasis
Where is the emphasis?
  • Administration – providing timetables, lecture notes, reading lists
  • CMC – discussion, IM, SMS
  • Content presentation – learning object

ALT – C 2004

are we neglecting what we know about learning when we research learning with digital technologies

Are we neglecting what we know about learning when we research learning with digital technologies?

ALT – C 2004

slide6

Some excellent research at ALT-C suggests that the learner has not in fact changed that much –

    • their preferred methods of learning have a lot in common with resource based models of old.
    • they own their knowledge individually even where that knowledge is also shared.
    • collaboration is not spontaneous.
    • students subvert the purpose of systems.
  • Moreover - They will reject cumbersome expensive discussion tools in favour of slicker, cheaper, familiar technologies such as email, IM and SMS.

ALT – C 2004

context matters

'Context matters'

ALT – C 2004

slide8

Where are the papers looking at the role of knowledge domains?

Physics is not like Spanish is not like philosophy

Good research in one domain

should be wary of its claims for generalisability

ALT – C 2004

some great papers
Some great papers -
  • Well theorised, knew what they were looking for and why and offered critical analysis of what they found.
  • Theory is a only a tool – often used as a blunt instrument
    • ‘Consensus reaching requires synchronous communications’
    • ‘Learning is social’ ‘ This theory proves that…’
  • Description, analysis, evaluation
  • Do we know what we know?

ALT – C 2004

slide11

Is it time to abandon the gurus?

The future has been a disappointment.

Lots of assertions that technology

means everything is different

but people do not change so fast.

Maybe we should be seeking

evolution not revolution – some good models here

Guidance, quality, consistency, management

of expectations are still pertinent issues.

ALT – C 2004

lots of short hand assumptions of shared meaning can be dangerous

Lots of short hand - assumptions of shared meaning can be dangerous.

Pedagogy?

Community?

Learning?

ALT – C 2004

are our assumptions about the attractiveness of online anytime anywhere learning backed by evidence

Are our assumptions about the attractiveness of online, anytime anywhere learning backed by evidence?

ALT – C 2004

participation disappoints
Participation disappoints
  • Up to 30% of students not registered or active online in first weeks of the course – and they go on to become at risk students
  • Significant percentage of academics do not engage with learning technology
  • Small percentage of students contribute to blogs
  • Even in compulsory courses some students contribute the minimum.
  • Quality of submissions are uneven
  • How many of these are purely digital issues?

ALT – C 2004

privacy is an issue
Privacy is an issue
  • We can in theory know more about student action than ever before – their digital footprint is large and deep
  • How much should we trap?
  • How much should we scrutinise?
  • What on earth should we interpret it all to mean?

ALT – C 2004

summary
Summary
  • Some great work – but its patchy and we need to ensure we are not constantly re-discovering the known
  • Mind the gap – finding appropriate theory to help us understand what we are doing is hard, applying it to research design or implementation is harder
  • Small can be beautiful – thoroughly understanding a part of a system and its dependencies may take us further forward than whole system level work
  • The best work seems to come from inter-disciplinary teams who understand technology, pedagogy and context

ALT – C 2004