Using a coaching framework with Pupps

On Friday I met with Iwi Ugiagbe-Green who ran the Pupps pilot last year and is a frequent blogger on ALT issues. The conversation was around running the pilot again with coaching support from the PC3 project.

The general idea is to provide a self-coaching form set through PebblePad for students to work through as and when they need the support. Pupps used a self-assessed competency profile last year, as a means of gathering data at the beginning and end of the project. This provides a good start to using the sort of questions you would use with tools such as the wheel of life. Taking a low score and asking: What would a nine look like, what would the outcomes of being able to do X be? This enables them to understand their understanding of what a competency or role entails. The wheel of life process takes you through to actions on making a high score possible. These actions are identified by the student enabling ownership in moving towards their chosen career or life goals.  Well that’s roughly how it works.

Pupps participants are placement students who are required to produce a reflective statement about their activities. This is ideal for working with PebblePad. Iwi has also invited graduate trainees to participate this year which gives a nice link into CPD and work based learning activities. She thinks that the use of a coaching based profile will fit in well with their PDP when they come back to level 3 after placement. There is also the possibility of hooking this into PDP @ level 1 next year which would provide a nice counter to what we are currently doing with Nick’s team. Another thing we considered was getting some form of coaching and reflective process in at the placement decision making stage, which we might be a bit late for this year but could be developed for next year. The final thought, it was a busy conversation, thanks to Iwi, was using coaching to support buddying systems, peer coaching, level 3 informally supporting level 2 etc .

Coaching fitting in with CPD and PDP seams to be a recurrent theme at the moment. The next step is to identify some good coaching questions and create a structure within PebblePad for them. This will also feed into the work we are doing with Nick’s team and can be released as a general resource.

Preview of PebblePad 3

Attended a PebblePad workshop in Preston today at which a demo of PebblePad 3 was given. Didn’t get the opportunity to play with it directly 😦 but some demo accounts may be available shortly so will keep my eyes open. Interface looks light and airy with more opportunities to use it a more like your desktop. Multiple asset types can be opened which is good. Text formatting within asset fields is also great, which will make blogs and webfolios better in appearance.

There is a social element that draws in from popular Social Networking apps, Facebook, Twitter and Blogger, as well as posts out. Institution tab acts like a portal with one stop login to other systems, pulling information in and linking out to more details, all admin customisable. The main difference is being able to completely customise the standard wizards and forms with your own designs. At the moment you can create new forms but not replace the standard set. The other useful feature is being able to replicate assets across multiple PebblePad accounts.

The workshop also went over some of the features in 2.5 and I now understand the potential of forms and gateways much better. One of the issues we have had with PebblePad and the disengaged students is being able to assess what they are having an issue with. If we had used the Gateway instead of a Blog we could have tracked student progress much better. The other thing I realised was how you can create a work booklet for students to complete as they progress through their studies. Again shared and published via a gateway, becomes an effective means of keep track of students you don’t meet face-to-face. Some good lessons learned today, Ill be definitely working on the booklet idea. Possibly as a means of implementing focus questions around the GROW model of coaching, for staff and students.

Telephone Conference with CETIS – Feb 23rd

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.

Campus Pack Fusion

Attended a webinare today showing the various elements of Campus Pack Fusion (CPF).  This suite of tools plugs into the X-Stream virtual learning environment (VLE) that is used at Leeds Met. It can also run independently as individual learning spaces. It uses the same build, tutor and student views provided by the VLE, and the various tools are selected from a drop down list. Each can then be configured regarding who has access, description, purpose etc. the tool set includes a blog, wiki, podcast feed and private journal (only student owner and selected tutors can view).

We are looking into this package as a solution to an ePortfolio. At the moment the blog and wiki tools are the same as you would find on the web. The company are in the process of developing some templates to represent portfolio but no details were given on how this will look. The two main issues that I have with this package, as compared to dedicated ePortfolio, is that view and edit permissions are set by the tutor (with X-Stream version only) and they apply to all content not specific posts (both in X-Stream and external). A work around would be to use the external learning space for all reflections and then cut and paste selected content into an assessed blog or wiki with in X-Stream. That way a student can choose what they want to share and still be able to reflect intuitively for themselves.

I captured a few screen shots here to give some idea of the interfaces we would be working with:

I did have one idea while attending this, which was really well done by the way. That was to use a wiki as a competency resource collection. We could set up a page for each competency that students need to cover. Everyone, students to tutors, can add and comment on any content, modules, courses and other resources they have come across, or simple as a way of sharing experiences and providing support. This would have to be external to X-Stream as it would be a useful resource to pass form cohort to cohort. This is somewhat similar (or may be exactly like) to the competency wiki put forward by Serge Ravet at ePort2009 workshop.

This suit could do the job we are looking for with some work-a-rounds. There’s no clear way at the moment for individual students to link evidence to competencies, an element we are keen to provide. We would also have to use a simple spreadsheet for competency evaluation, something we have already considered as a first step. The MindMap below shows how various aspects of CPF and other apps could be used to build the PC3 framework. The permissions setting is a bit of a bind, and doesn’t really achieve what we were looking for. Being able to reflect and then choose who, if anybody, to share that reflection with is an empowerment feature that encourages ownership of the work. How important this will be I’m not sure at the moment.

MindMap showing CPF apps linked to PC3 Framework

MindMap showing CPF apps linked to PC3 Framework

Flippin’ heck!

At the recent programme meeting in Oxford we were given a Flip video recorder – what a cool gadget! Everyone I show it to wants one – and it already looks like there’ll be a bulk order going in from here some time soon! I have been putting it to good use – and not just to film my dogs and my parents’ golden wedding party (for practice of course!)… So here is our first video update on the project – covering the Support and Synthesis meeting, our ePortfolio evaluation, potential partners and our user groups.

My editing (via the Flip panel) needs a little practice – and the auto upload to Youtube seems to have distorted the audio a little (I wasn’t underwater!) but this really was pretty much record, plug and play. So easy!