Cool webinars for Open Education Week 2014

This year Open Education Week falls 10 March through 14 March 2014.  What is Open Education Week, I hear someone ask? Open Education Week raises awareness of the open education movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. Open education encompasses notions of open educational resources or OER, open courses such as MOOCs, and other open practices.

Because the Institute of Learning Innovation is working on the EU-facilitated eMundus project, we are doing a special themed webinar on Friday, 14 March, at 11am until 12noon GMT. Our webinar is one of a series showcasing aspects of the eMundus project, which is (among other things) mapping out institutional partnerships in open education, such as universities which accept MOOC credits for transferring in, and the OER University. Our Friday webinar will look at the pedagogies of MOOCs. Check out  the poster below for more cool webinars you can join in during Open Education Week. With special thanks to Athabasca University for facilitating our whole series of webinars!

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A Pedagogical Look at MOOCs

As a part of Open Education Week 2014, Professor Gráinne Conole and I plan to hold a webinar (details to be announced shortly; watch this space) on the topic of A Pedagogical Look at MOOCs. This webinar is not simply a University of Leicester production; it will be part of the EU-funded eMundus project, one task of which is to map out patterns of open educational partnerships between institutions around the world. An example of such a partnership would be the OER University, or a university accepting some form of credit for successful completion of a MOOC.

Our webinar will take a pedagogical look at MOOCs in the following way: first we choose 5 MOOCs, each corresponding to a primary learning approach taken in the MOOC. Then we map each MOOC against 12 dimensions identified originally by Grainne in her blog post “A New Classification for MOOCs” (and with thanks to Stephen Downes for identifying the last two dimensions (Downes, 2010)). Below is my initial attempt, having chosen only 2 MOOCs so far: the Open University Learning Design MOOC (OLDS), which I identify as constructivitst, and the original George Siemens Connectivist MOOC. Many thanks to Paul Rudman for his input on this mapping exercise as well.

One obvious question is: how does one pedagogically categorise a MOOC? Another big question: how are we defining these dimensions and what would constitute Low, Medium, or High for each one. I am interested in your views on these and other questions — please comment! I include the webinar abstract at the end of this post.

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Webinar Abstract: As the number and variety of free online courses and MOOCs increases, it becomes more important to be aware of their differing pedagogical approaches. After initial attempts to categorise MOOCs as cMOOCs and xMOOCs (roughly, C for connectivist and X for EdX –style), it began to be clear that more nuanced categorisation was needed, and especially when considering the course’s primary learning approaches. Taking Conole’s 12-dimensional MOOC classification (Conole, 2013) and choosing 5 learning approaches often used in elearning (Mayes & De Freitas, 2004) (Bird & Conole, 2013), we categorise 5 MOOCs as an exploratory exercise for this webinar. Does this exercise display clues to the direction of MOOCs and free online courses in general? Are there any warning signals which we as educators should note? In the context of the eMundus project, does this classification help quality officers make decisions in open educational practice, for example about accepting credit for a completed MOOC?

Bird, T., & Conole, G. (2013). From E-Learning to M-Learning. In From E-Learning to M-Learning. Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/tbirdcymru/from-elearning-to-mlearning

Conole, G. (2013). A new classification for MOOCs. e4innovation Blog. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from http://www.e4innovation.com/?p=727

Downes, S. (2010). Fairness and equity in education. Huff Post Education.

Mayes, T., & DeFreitas, S. (2004). JISC e-Learning Models Desk Study Stage 2 : Review of e-learning theories , frameworks and models.

 Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

Mobile learning conference in the Asian Pacific: things I learnt in Singapore

View from the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore

View from the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore

A group of us from the Institute of Learning Innovation (Gráinne, visiting fellow Mark Childs, and I) have just attended MobiLearnAsia 2013 conference in Singapore. The conference was organised by Crimson Knowledge, a Singapore-based education company. This was the second year the conference has run; it was bigger this year, and covered new ground such as supplying iPads for every attendant at the pre- and post-conference workshops. Gráinne was a keynote speaker; Mark and I presented sessions, and together we delivered two days of pre-conference workshops.

The conference was attended by a mixture of corporations and educators from every level and sector, including military trainers and independent consultants, mostly from Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia, and Thailand, but also including China, the US, and the UK. At the academic conferences I have been been attending in recent years, corporations have been present but their sessions aren’t necessarily very well attended, possibly being seen as less learning, more commercial. While at this conference, I realised that it is really necessary for academics and corporations to communicate more, to be aware of the way the other views trends in learning and technology, and to help shape priorities of each sector. One really valuable corporate connection I made was with Kevin Chan, founder of Coursepad. Kevin let us use his app called Micepad to support our pre-conference workshops on the 7Cs of Learning Design, M-Pedagogy, and Augmented Reality/Virtual Worlds.  The app was well designed to form a support around the workshop, giving a central place for photos and notes to be gathered, a simple way for discussions to happen on the iPad (Mark acted as eModerator to keep an eye on questions/comments coming in on the app), and even just to have a quick profile of each attendant. The app also had a feature whereby you can email to yourself all the gathered discussions, for your own further review.

There were many ways in which I felt we in the UK are far behind countries such as Singapore and South Korea, who are really putting money into education and who are not afraid to bank on the side of technological innovation. Yet I felt we from the UK and USA brought good things to the table, especially in the form of research into learning innovation and a consideration of digital literacy, among other good things.

There were some impressive and successful case studies of mobile learning being implemented large-scale. One Australian university in attendance (University of Western Sydney) has distributed 11,000 iPads to its incoming students. They spoke of deploying learning designers to help instructors adapt their material and pedagogical approaches to the iPad. Designing learning for mobile is often thought of after the iPads are bought and paid for. I guess that’s ok, as long as the learning design happens at some point!

One  case study was presented in the graveyard shift of the first day and hence attended by only a handful of us, but it made a big impression on me.  A UNESCO programme to teach literacy to women in Pakistan did not seem to have much impact with traditional teaching methods, i.e. gathering the women every day at the literacy centre for 2 hours of lectures and teaching. At least half of the women dropped out after 3 months, and of the remainder, not many passed the final exams. But when they decided to hand out simple inexpensive mobile phones to each student, things changed. The women had never had mobile phones before. They received SMS messages which they dutifully copied into notebooks and studied for spelling and grammar. The message content was about hygiene and food preparation, so there was that to learn as well. Then once a week, the women gathered at the literacy centre to discuss what they learnt over the week and take the lessons further. Now there is much lower dropout rate and much higher exam pass rate. It is a simple use of simple mobile technology, which hit the right nerve to engage and empower these women.

One thing I considered during the conference was: for how many more years can we have a mobile learning conference? Five years? Fewer? I have no doubt that mobile learning is not only here to stay but will become the predominant technology mode in learning. The reason for this is the ubiquitous quality of mobile devices. They are always in our hands, pockets, or pocketbooks. And this is the reason why I’m not sure for how much longer we will refer to ‘mobile learning.’  It will just be learning. But for now, it is still necessary to think about the affordances of mobile devices and how they can fill gaps in tech needs for learning. It is still necessary to consider how to help students strategically use mobile devices for the flexible learning best suited to our 24/7 society. It is still necessary to consider what pedagogical approaches are well served by mobile devices. Until it all just becomes ‘learning.’

And what we cover in our Technology-Enhanced Learning module in our MSc in Learning Innovation will now need to be altered & widened to include the view from Singapore.

Many heartfelt thanks to Crimson Knowledge — Patrick and Vivian particularly — for inviting us and looking after us, and for allowing us to join in the picture of mobile learning in the Asian Pacific.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist & SCORE Research Fellow, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

Mobile learning in the Asian-Pacific

Gráinne and I are preparing, along with Mark Childs, to jointly conduct a 2-day workshop and to deliver individual presentations at MobiLearn Asia 2013 Conference, 2-3 October in Singapore.

Airport information workers with iPads at Singapore airport

Airport information workers with iPads at Singapore airport

This will be my second time at this conference; MobiLearn Asia 2012 was the maiden voyage of this conference series, and I was privileged to present two days of workshops and 3 presentations last year. I took the photos in this post during that trip. The airport photos show where Singapore is at in terms of understanding the benefits of mobile and smart devices in cases where ‘situated’ is everything. It makes perfect sense to give iPads to information assistants in the airport, so they can have up-to-the-second correct information to share. It makes perfect sense, if you want to collect feedback on the state of the airport loos, to put up a screen by which you can register your opinion with a single touch.

Loo feedback screen in Singapore airport

Loo feedback screen in Singapore airport

What about mobile devices in learning? When I was there last year, I heard the Singapore government was planning a major rollout of mobile devices in schools. I attended an engaging session in which school teachers demonstrated augmented-reality-enhanced field trips to Thailand’s historical sites. I compared this to our high school scene in the UK and in the USA, where mobile devices are often banned or only very carefully being allowed into the classroom, although we do have a growing number of one-iPad-per-child schemes at the primary school level. This conference is therefore a good forum to exchange ideas, stories, and plans across cultural divides.

Serampore Skyscrapers

Serampore Skyscrapers

Our pre-conference workshop applies the 7Cs of Learning Design and e-pedagogies to mobile learning, resulting in the notion of m-pedagogies, and adding a focus on augmented reality in learning.  Have a look at the workshop and materials here.

I will deliver two presentations: ‘BYOD in UK Schools – Premise, Promise & Precaution’ and ‘Mobile and Social Media: The Power of the Learning Network and Digital Literacy’ . Gráinne will be delivering a keynote: Disruptive Learning: Fostering Creativity and Innovation through Disruptive Technologies. Mark will deliver a presentation on Perceptual and Psychological Immersion: Making Sense of Virtual Worlds and Augmented Reality.

It’s a challenge to present in a conference with so many industry leaders and speakers at the cutting edge of technology-enhanced learning. Other keynotes include John Traxler and Daphne Koller who co-founded Coursera. it will be worth rising to the challenge if I can gain insights helpful to the educational requirements I tend to right here in Leicester.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

Free Open Access Medical Education

For some years now, I have noticed that medical educators are looking at learning innovations in their own unique way. I first became aware of medical education happening in virtual worlds and simulations, such as Coventry’s virtual maternity ward in Second Life, and St George’s paramedic training in Second Life. 

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 22.05.51

Damian Roland argues for the use of social media in a 26 June debate held at University of Leicester

Our own University of Leicester brought medical students into a virtual Genetics lab as a way of offering additional training in Genetics testing. Dr Rakesh Patel and his team developed a Virtual Ward (still going on today), in which students may visit virtual patients and practice coming up with a diagnosis. When I tweeted about these kinds of initiatives, I would receive replies using the hashtag #meded or #vitualpatient.

But last year I began to see a new one on Twitter: #FOAMed — Free Open Access Medical Education — or just #FOAM — Free Open Access Meducation. I began to follow people like Anne Marie Cunningham (@amcunningham) , Natalie Lafferty (@nlafferty), and Damian Roland (@Damian_Roland), among others who, as medics and medical educators, see the value of using social media in medical education, or the value of blogs, or the value of a crowd-sourced site of medical questions and answers such as gmep.org. Meanwhile, Rakesh was coming up with ideas thick and fast: why not tweet and record the Nephrology conference SpR Club this past April, and the TASME Meeting at DeMontfort University this past May? And so I did!

Then Rakesh and Damian got the bright idea to debate the motion: “This house believes that medical educators must use social media to deliver education.” The debate took place on 26 June at University of Leicester, and I was able to live-stream and record it, as well as join in the Twitter discussion. There were several remote participants including one from Canada, in addition to the approximately 20 attendees face-to-face at the Medical School. Not only did the debate spark real interest and a sense of challenge among those present (many of whom seemed to be new to the ideas of FOAMed and social media), the discussion continued on Twitter for a good couple of days, as the images below show. You can listen to and watch the video of the debate here.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 21.00.43 Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 20.59.32Now the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting is happening in Edinburgh, and Rakesh, Natalie, and others are presenting a workshop on FOAM. My name is on the presenter’s list as well, and although I could not attend, I shall be eagerly watching for tweets from the conference. I have come to see, especially through the eyes of my medic colleagues, that Free Open Access Meducation is a better education than closed— better because more information is accessed the wider one’s network is, better because more learners are reached via open platforms than closed, better because open encourages interdisciplinary sharing and learning… the list of benefits goes on.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow

PhD students share research and encouragement

Ming speaks at PhD Day June 2013

Ming speaks at PhD Day June 2013

Today and tomorrow (24 and 25 June 2013), our PhD students are gathering in Leicester from far and wide to share their research thus far and to encourage each other on the journey. Tony Ratcliffe presented his work remotely via Adobe Connect from Canada. Nada presented her work before she returns to Saudi Arabia to continue field research there. Marion Waite presented her PhD topic on MOOCs and online learning, in her first time joining us in person. Grace, Yan, Brenda, Bernard, and Natalia also presented, some of these in preparation for the annual School of Education PhD presentation day which will happen this Saturday. The recordings from this session are posted here in order of occurrence:

https://connect.le.ac.uk/p3x2urnca91/

https://connect.le.ac.uk/p1eotdv97qg/

https://connect.le.ac.uk/p3g2bveovi7/

https://connect.le.ac.uk/p2qjjj1osk7/

OU China visit to University of Leicester

A delegation of 28 scholars from the Open University of China are currently visiting the University of Leicester. They are spending one week with us at the Institute of Learning Innovation before moving on to the Open University UK in Milton Keynes. Below are some recordings from the sessions.

A group from OU China explains their course storyboard for their English language course entitled "This is English"

A group from OU China explains their course storyboard for their English language course entitled “This is English”


Day 1

Bernard Nkuyubwatsi – OER History from Media Zoo on Vimeo.

A brief history of distance learning from Media Zoo on Vimeo.

Day 2

1) Introduction to 7Cs of Learning Design:
https://connect.le.ac.uk/p89r6rhejrs/

2) Course Features:
https://connect.le.ac.uk/p4l6lj9szkd/

3) Tools to Capture, Collaborate, & Communicate:
https://connect.le.ac.uk/p7c2wd68q7m/

4) Course Map Introduction and Explanation
https://connect.le.ac.uk/p3sgynd6ebm/

5) Introduction to the Storyboard
https://connect.le.ac.uk/p6y980h7tu1/

Day 3:
1) John Bond Forensic Science
https://connect.le.ac.uk/p4szc71ziie/

2) Jeremy Turner – Making ePubs for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
https://connect.le.ac.uk/p75p7a37fa0/

New Institute of Learning Innovation papers at ALT-C 2013

The Institute of Learning Innovation will be well-represented at ALT-C 2013 conference: Building new cultures for learning.

Brenda Padilla’s full paper was accepted, with the title ‘Student engagement with a content-based learning design.’ Brenda summarises her paper: ‘While learning is commonly conceptualised as a social, collaborative process, in corporate organisations, online courses often provide limited opportunities for communication between people. How do students engage with content-based courses? How do they find answers to their questions? How do they achieve the learning outcomes? This paper aims to answer these questions by focusing on students’ experiences in an online content-based course delivered in a large Mexican organisation.’

A short paper by Terese Bird was accepted with the title ‘China is harvesting your
iTunes U – and other findings from researching how overseas students engage
with open learning materials.’ This paper will share findings from the HEA-funded iTunesUReach project in which the use of open educational resources (OER) by overseas students was researched. This project was represented at OER13 with the poster below.

A short paper by Ming Nie was accepted with the title ‘iPads in distance learning:
learning design, digital literacy, transformation.’ This paper will share findings from the JISC-funded Places project which is evaluating the use of iPads in two University of Leicester distance learning Masters courses.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

Recorded Lectures from the UK’s Top Nephrology Physicians

On 13 and 14 April 2013, Brenda Padilla and I were privileged to join in the SpR Club Spring Meeting 2013, a lively conference in which doctors working in various aspects of nephrology joined together to present their work. Many of these spoke of their work in other countries: Uganda, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Nepal. These talks were quite moving in their discussion of practice eagerly shared across borders and cultural divides. Other talks were of work more local but no less insightful and forward-looking in research and practice. We recorded the talks and present these here, and hope their online availability may open new doors for learning, research, collaboration, and discussion. -Terese Bird, Learning Technologist, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

Introduction by Mark Brady

Nephrology around the world – Professor John Feehally

HIV and Nephrology – Dr John Connolly

The Leicester-Abuja Sister Centre Partnership – Professor Nigel Brunskill

Sickle Cell Nephropathy – Dr Claire Sharpe

Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in a tertiary care centre in Sri Lanka – Nadeeka Rathnamalala

Renal transplant in Nepal – Dr Frankie Dowen

Determinants of central arterial stiffness by cardiovascular magnetic resonance in patients new to haemodialysis

Overview of SpR Club – Professor Caroline Savage

The Challenges of Nephrology in Uganda – Professor Peter Mathieson

Blood-borne virus acquisition through haemodialysis: a returning problem? – Dr Graham Warwick

Transplantation and practical global outreach – Dr Paul Harden

Renal Association SpR Club Meeting: Webinar and social media for medical conferencing

On 13 & 14 April, 2013, the Renal Association SpR Club held their Spring Meeting in Leicester at the Belmont Hotel, which is about a stone’s throw away from my office at the Institute of Learning Technology, University of Leicester. Dr Rakesh Patel asked me and Brenda Padilla to join in and record the sessions, as well as cover them by social media. We even set up the sessions as a webinar. This turned out so well that we were encouraged that we can run future events as hybrids — with face-to-face participants as well as remote participants from anywhere in the world. The theme of this meeting was very international, with many presentations touching on the health situations of such places as Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda, and Afghanistan. Hybrid sessions extending to such areas could really benefit health care workers and patients and hopefully we will see this come to pass in the near future.

Mark Brady welcomes the club to Leicester

Mark Brady welcomes the club to Leicester

We used Adobe Connect over the hotel’s wifi in order to livestream the events. The recordings of the events are below.

Day 1: Welcome by Mark Brady, presentations by John Feehally, John Connolly, and Nigel Brunskill (part 1)

https://connect.le.ac.uk/p27eg9li930/

Day 1: Nigel Brunskill (part 2), Claire Sharpe, Nadeeka, Rathnamala, Frankie Dowen, Aghogho Odudu, Caroline Savage

https://connect.le.ac.uk/p2l84mal2z3/

Day 2: Mike Almond, Peter Mathieson, Graham Warwick, Paul Harden

https://connect.le.ac.uk/p10idmtprem/

These are being converted in mp4 videos as more polished finished products; I will be posting these up as I complete them.

A separate screen projected the Twitter feed throughout the meeting

A separate screen projected the Twitter feed throughout the meeting

We also set up a separate screen, displaying the Twitter feed (#resprcs13) throughout the meeting. We could see the power of Twitter, when Damian Fogarty tweeted a question for John Feehally; Damian was in Dublin, the question was relayed by Rakesh to John, and the answer was tweeted back to Damian who was very appreciative.

View from the techie table

View from the techie table

I collected all tweets and tweeted photos by means of Storify; we we now have an archive of discussions as well as photos in one convenient location:

May this be just the first of many such well-connected and well-documented medical conferences!

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

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