Beginning the search for learning Objects

Having now designed a module structure and roughed out the content we need to a range of learning objects. As the focus of the project is on design not delivery we intend to minimise amount of LO creation that we have to do. Fortunately our world is packed with resources. Leeds Met’s own repository is starting to fill, thanks to the OER Unicycle project. The S4L (skills for learning) department have a very compressive site, full of those basic yet essential skills we all have to refer back to from time to time.

These are the two resources I have been exploring today, creating a map between resources and module content labels. Writing ideas and notes on how these resources could be incorporated. I have found some interesting diagnostic tools which might compliment the ones the PC3 team have recently experienced during our caching course. Aimed at developing an employment plan at the end of a degree, they are open enough in context to be adapted for initial exercises on self-understanding and action planning.

This is just initial forage, something to wet the appetite. I have many more places, such as Leeds Met XStream VLE, lectures private stashes, Jorum, YouTube and many more to explore. I’m also looking forward to the October program meeting where I will get the chance to network with the rest of the Curriculum Design group and also the Curriculum Delivery group, both are bound to have something for we can utilise. I suspect I will end up with more than we can teach, but choice is always better for students.

Running alongside this resource collection process, will be the development of a detailed module structure and plan. Each of the eight module topics now need to be broken down into content, activities and reflection. Identifying clearly where they link into the development coaching support and speculating on the types of outcomes and issues students may engage with. We also need to identify which technology to use and how it will support particular tasks. Although coaching, reflection and the ePortfolio will lie at the heart of the process, the content and activities need to be designed to integrate with this process and naturally spark of reflection and self-development. Any ideas? πŸ™‚

Decisions decisions …

We have spent the last couple of months considering what applications and technologies to use for the PC3 framework. All the trips in to ePortfolio conferences (see previous posts) and such have been focused on finding the right combination. The webinar a week last Friday with Campus Pack Fusion was the last up for consideration. In the last couple of days I have been putting all this information together, mapping all these resource and their potential to the PC3 framework which resulted in this:

Mapping technology to framework

Mapping technology to framework

The Studeo, personal learning space, was originally perceived as some type of ePortfolio, hence the conferences. At Wolverhampton we were first introduced to the possibility of using a blog, such as WordPress, to support this personal reflective space. There are several issues with this such as external or internal hosting, making it public or private, and limitations on space if video blogging is used frequently. Campus Pack Fusion sort of answered some of these problems. The pack contains both a blog and a private journal module that can be embedded in X-Stream or hosted separately.

However the team discussions keep coming back to three essential elements of the Studeo that blogs (in the main) just don’t support, but portfolios do. As follows:

  1. Each post or reflection created by a learner should be able to be linked as evidence to a set of competencies (either directly or via a referencing system).
  2. The learner should be using one application for reflection, and be able to choose who they wish to share each post with. Rather than having a public and a private blog.
  3. At the assessment or any other critical stage learners should be able to select a collection of suitable reflections and present them however they choose.

The remaining parts of the framework have coursed a lot less problems or already exist. At the moment its looking like we will be using:

  • Home page – X-Stream with power or hyperlinks to external apps
  • Studeo – PebblePad,Β 
  • Health Check – PebblePad
  • Learning Bank – IntraLibrary & X-Stream
  • Commons – Ning
  • Coaching Lab resources – Face-2-face, telephone, email & Elluminate for communications.

This still may change as development goes on πŸ™‚

Serendipity

Yesterday I was invited to attend a dissemination meeting for the HEA/JISC DEL-2 programme at the HIgher Education Academy in York. I was invited by our ICS subject centre as I had had a small grant under the programme to develop some learning resources. I went along dutifully prepared to report on our modest developments but in the end (with the agreement of the subject centre rep who had invited me!) sat in on some extremely useful discussions of the ePortfolio strand of the programme. The experiences described and the resources collected will be very useful to us as we begin our own institutional evaluation of ePortfolio systems next week. An unexpected benefit to the project.

Today saw another useful meeting – this one planned – with Margaret Christian and her colleague Phil Warren, who is an expert on coaching. I am still working on persuading Margaret to be interviewed on video on coaching (watch this space) but this morning we had a very useful discussion of what kind of coaching we would be looking for and how we might develop support and induction for staff and students to support this. On the basis of the discussion Margaret and Tam will outline an initial coaching model that we will start with, with the intention of iteratively revising this (and the training) as we work with different groups. We anticipate that different groups may need different approaches to coaching – with some requiring more or less mentoring, some focusing more on support, others on goal setting and self-realisation. For me, I hadn’t realised coaching was such a complex area. So one of the first groups to experience the coaching training will be the project team – led by Phil – we all agree it is important that we practice (or at least understand!) what we preach!