We had a very interesting discussion with Sheila MacNeil, Wilbert Kraan and Sarah Knight recently. Though it was intended to be an update on the technology used to support PC3 the topics were quite wide ranging. From our initial focus on PebblePad, Elluminate and a small range of tools to support the creation of learning objects we eventually reached issues relating to XCRI, the TENCO project and the JISC competencies in design studio work. We are also planning on offering students access to the Ning however this is on the back burner for the present – possible in danger of overwhelming the students with technology..
For PC3 the choice of PebblePad reflects the need for a tool to support reflection, a place to store objects with a variety of data formats, the need for profiles to enable competency mapping, facilities for peer support and a mechanism to help us introduce evaluation activities. It is also a recognition that Leeds Met has an e-portfolio steering group that is currently in the process of identifying an appropriate tool for use across the university. As far as possible PC3 would like to take advantage of any chosen tool – several members of PC3 are on the steering group and are well placed to ensure the needs of the project form part of the criteria for evaluating potenial e-portfolios.
The first cohort of students to enrol on the PLC (Personalised Learning through Coaching) module will begin their studies very shortly and we are making use of the University web conferencing tool Elluminate to support some distance coaching with them. We have had some experience of using this tool and are aware that there are a number of things that could go wrong here however we feel that we will be able to cope with any teething issues.
On a related note the need to create learning objects to support the PLC module has meant that several members of staff have made use of tools such as CourseLab and GloMaker. Our experience so far has been mixed with CourseLAb failing to generate SCORM packages that will run under X-Stream the Leeds Met VLE and GloMaker being somewhat limited in what it will allow the creator to do. We are currently in the process of creating independent learning objects using HTML templates such that the results can be imported into X-Stream and also added to our institutional repository. These outputs will also support the OER project UniCycle also running at Leeds Met. Sheila was very helpful here bringing to our attention the availability of a knowledge integration tool for content transcoding, the Open University Atelier-D project and also the 10competence project. We were also directed to th work under way at MMU on competency mapping.
Overall this was a highly successful conference so thanks to everyone that took part.