Monday, November 1, 2010

Four eLearning Guidelines and why they are important in my organisation

Below I have chosen four standards from the eLearning Guidelines for New Zealand and reasons why I feel they are important in my organisation.

Teaching Staff/Other Support
TO2 Are staff provided with opportunities to learn online so they experience e-learning from a student perspective?

My organisation is currently part of a 3 year ICT cluster. This provides opportunities for staff to experience online learning during professional development sessions. It allows staff to play with elearning resources and learning activities before implementing them into classroom programmes (learning from a “student” perspective). Professional development sessions can often be overwhelming for new staff and infrequent users, for these staff, additional online learning (a course like this for example) or support groups within the organisation would benefit.

Teaching Staff/Other Support
TO7 What ICT support is in place specifically for e-learning, and is this support reviewed regularly?

The schools elearning policy is available to all staff and accessible on either the school server or hard copy in the resource room. This provides staff with information on the purpose and delivery of elearning in classroom programmes. This document has the names of lead teachers including contact details, they are the first port of call for staff requests in ICT. All policies are reviewed and updated yearly or on a needs basis. Technology technicians are on sight weekly and a log book can be filled in by teachers who have technical difficulties. For the past few weeks there have been major glitches with the server due to an upgrade, resulting in very frustrated teachers. The risk of using technology to support learning can have serious impacts on teaching and learning when technology is unreliable.

Managers/Learning Design
MD6 Does the institution value the work of e-learning innovators by supporting, celebrating and disseminating their work?

It is a requirement of my organisation that, elearning is be part of our daily classroom program. Staff are aware of the benefits of e-learning. With confidence, staff will continue to be more actively involved in e-learning, learning the skills and knowledge needed to ingrain it into our school culture.

Managers/Other Support
MO16 Does the institution support creativity and innovation in e-learning?

Staff attend regular facilitated professional development sessions which tend to focus on learning new tools and resources each time. Teachers require more time to practice using one e-learning tool/resource well. I feel this develops teacher confidence, retains high interest levels and sustains creativity and innovation in e-learning, rather than feeling bombarded with an overload of information each P.D session.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last few changes to plan

We have received feedback!! Bronwyn has had a look at our plan and indicated a few minor changes to be made, these will be complete by Friday (ready for marking). After many hours of hard work we are nearing our destination woohoo, well for the first part anyway. Am I asking too much if this could be my final destination (or am i dreaming hehe).

Image from:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Creating our survey

Hi all, just a quick update on a sunday morning... After a great discussion with Katie on Wednesday evening, working through the changes on our plan, we have decided to have a look at another site to create our survey using Obsurvey. I found it very user friendly with simple clear instructions and it is FREE... We had previously decided to use Survey Monkey which is good but we chose not to do lots of screen shots and I really didnt want to have to pay to download it.

I have had a go at creating our survey to begin our data collection. Will now wait for Katie to have a look and talk again early next week. Once we are both happy with how it looks I will post the link for you all to see... In the meantime, I have included the link below for you all to check out 'Obsurvey'...

Have a great Sunday afternoon

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Changes to plan!

I have just checked my emails and seen 124 to work my way through. I'm away on holiday and have limited internet access (i should have brought my laptop!!!) Although, im not really sure its regarded as a holiday when your looking after 11 children all in one house, its funny how i become the best aunty, friend and sister in-law during the school holidays, oh well home in the morning and back to reality...

I've read Katie's emails and seen the changes we need to make, thankyou for the feedback Bronwyn. I have started on changes and fingers crossed they're ok, still more to do... I'm going to need my scrapbook to scribble ideas. I intend to talk to Katie tommorrow night and go over what we have done and discuss our survey.

Will keep you all posted on our progress.. Back to Auckland in the morning, can't wait!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Update on Questions...

Katie and I have continued to work together and add bits and pieces to our plan. It was I, this time who needed a large piece of paper... During our phone conversation I scribbled down ideas for our questions before going away to work on them further. I must say, I love large pieces of paper at the moment.

We intend to use ‘Survey Monkey’ to ask our questions. I have access to this at my school but am yet to use it, because I study at home and I am told it is quite easy to use, I will opt for free option, this means we will only be able to ask 10 questions, but in my opinion less is more...

A few words make a difference...

We have changed our BIG question... It was ‘What resources are needed for teachers to teach ICT effectively? And is now ‘What professional development is needed for teachers to teach ICT effectively?

After talking, Katie and I both agreed that evaluating professional development before resources would be a better approach for this project. This way we could look at what works well for staff and ways they learn best first. As we are coming to the end of our school ICT cluster project, it is evident that staff need to feel confident and happy when learning before trying to use tools that they have limited understanding of or how to use them effectively.

I am excited about our NEW big question!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Update on Project...

I have made contact hehe.... Katie and I both live in Auckland and have spoken by phone to discuss the planning of our project. From this discussion we went over what we had done and where to next.... We highlighted questions that needed work and planned to work on these by Tuesday (today) so Katie could shape them into one on her day off.
I feel very lucky that our work situations are similar and we have the same ideas in mind. We intend to talk again tomorrow to check that we are happy with what we have produced.... Will update you all then.

Feel free to check out our page and see how we are progressing...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Planning Evaluation Report - Needs Analysis

Thank you Katie and Alex for organising our new partners for this project, as we are both teachers, I think our choice to complete a Needs Analysis project will work well.

The school I work at is currently part of an ICT cluster. This year our focus has been on implementing elearning tools in the classroom. As a teacher, I must agree with Katie, I find that we are often shown too many applications (some with minimal relevance to my age and class level) with little time to implement these before we are shown the next. To use less application’s that are specific to each level would be wonderful! Thank you Katie for providing us with a starting point and our big question:
What resources need to be put into place for teachers to teach ICT effectively?

Katie has a great idea of using a large sheet of paper, it’s easier to see all your ideas laid out in front of you, I will endeavour to do the same and catch up to her.

After reading Katie’s blog I will email her so we can marry up ideas and have a look at the education guidelines. Fingers crossed I’m on the right track.

Evaluation and Quality

I was looking through sites on evaluation of elearning and came across this cartoon which I found interesting. The link below provides you with top tips for starting an elearning project!

Image from:

How do I define evaluation?

I relate this a lot to my work, assessment and evaluation go hand in hand. For me, you assess the learner and evaluate the unit of work. So the assessment is identifying what the student/s has learned and to what level. Evaluation for me is not only evaluating the ‘end product’ but revisiting and referring back to tasks throughout the learning process and identifying ‘what is working well’ (highlighting these), ‘what needs work’ (listing suggestions and possible solutions) and deciding ‘where to next’. This is a very simple explanation but gives you a basic idea.

What sort of evaluation am I familiar with?
As a teacher, I am familiar with summative and formative evaluation. We use it a lot throughout the year.

Why Evaluation is important
Evaluation is important in my work place to:
• maintain and sustain high expectations
• ensure learning is student centred, meets all students learning styles, needs and abilities
• ensure collaboration takes place, working together to plan, share resources and have a common consensus on what is being learned and its benefits to provide for students
• Evaluation can also be a way to identify how well students are using what they have learned and applying it to different situations.

Monday, August 30, 2010

'Evaluate this' exercise - Online Information Literacy modules

Module 3: Business Report -

The use of the module in my work situation
A module covering this content could be of great use in Alex’s organisation as effective business writing is a key competency for many employees. In saying that, many of are beyond first year polytechnic levelso the language and approach would need to be refined in order to better appeal to our employees. Lisa’s situation is very different, she has never had to write a business report, so this module was a complete learning curve, however she agrees with Alex in saying that the language and approach would need to be refined for a beginner as well, as it was very wordy and not always easy to follow.

The look and feel and is it 'fit for purpose'?
The first screen gave a great impression of polished module that would be interactive and informative. Navigation is simple with the use of back and next arrows. Alex found the size of the module onscreen slightly off-putting as she has a widescreen monitor and the actual frame of the module was quite small. Lisa found the font simple and easily read which is good because there is so much content to cover. She felt the module could benefit from including more interactive tools or activities.

Alex liked the overview map and the road sign theme used, however expected to be able to jump to parts of the module from it but wasn’t able to. She would have preferred a different approach to the instructions overview and timing as it felt like forever getting through them.
Using the green arrows along the bottom of the screen enables the user to move through the pages but also go back to a section if needed. The left hand menu allows you to navigate around the module as you wish, however, Lisa felt providing sub-headings (on the road signs) would be a better approach. Both of us believe it is important learners have options to work with and aren’t locked down by pathways through a module.

Alex didn’t like the terminology ‘Look at the topic’ – she felt it didn’t really feel like the right title and it was confusing as it went on to an example topic, so wasn’t sure if this was part of the module or not. The user had to go all the way back to the overview to remind them what they were doing. The actual performance of the module was quite slow and a couple of clicks were required to get anything to happen. Lisa felt there was an overload of information for this part of the module, often having to click back through screens several times to remember information she had already read and to clarify understanding.

Overall Alex was not entirely convinced that this is an ideal method for teaching or learning about business report writing. She believes there are definitely basics that can be covered, but there was so much reading and so little activity that learners can become overwhelmed and slightly bored. Lisa agrees there is far too much reading in the module which is discouraging. With the inclusion of activities Lisa believe learners would retain higher levels of engagement and interest from the user. With this kind of content a blended approach may be a better option with learners providing samples of their writing for maybe peer review and discussion with the module focused on covering just the bare basics. It may work well for the audience that it’s currently pitched to, but it would definitely be too long and involved for many learners.

What sort of changes would you make if customising the module?
As discussed Alex would shorten and provide some kind of fast track for advanced learners. If learners can prove they have the skills then why not just work at honing them. Lisa felt the content wass also a little basic, so would complete a needs analysis/scoping exercise prior to redevelopment, and that a first time user could also benefit from a needs analysis, seeing what they do and don’t know.

Alex would build the menu on the module itself – which is here personal preference as she didn’t really notice the menu off to the side until late in the module and was frustrated by tying to navigate between sections. Lisa found the menu first off but felt it was not highlighted and so could be easily missed, and agrees that it could be included in the module itself.
Alex fundamentally disagrees with any one should ever try and complete an hour of online learning in one sitting – it’s not realistic or valuable learning. She would break the module up into possibly three twenty minute or four fifteen minute bytes. Learners would have a much better experience and be able to retain more from short bursts of learning spread out at their discretion. From Lisa’s experience,she agrees that teaching and learning in short bursts equals success.

Other comments
Alex feels she may be a quite an intense evaluator of online modules as she has built many and is extremely passionate about their design and content structure. The Business Report module had a lot of really great content and obviously a lot of time and effort went into it but generally she feels with online modules less is more. Lisa agrees, less is more, and as a first time user and newly learning how to evaluate online modules, she found the content informative but much too much to take retain in one sitting, especially within the timeframe given (one hour). Breaking up the module into shorter bytes is much more realistic.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Taster Exercise

Cisco Networking Case Study
Alex and I have put our thoughts together in reponse to the 'taster' exercise and our findings are below.

What are the key issues?
1. There doesn’t to appear to be an equal blend of online and face to face instruction. It is very heavily computer based training with limited face to face input or feedback from a facilitator. ‘Lectures’ infer this is a large group activity – where is the opportunity for the student to connect directly with the facilitator?

2. Access to computer labs is limited to empty rooms; the assessment structure involving on-campus tests and examinations may not suit the availability of all students.

3. Feedback computer based rather than from a facilitator, providing feedback could provide an opportunity for the facilitator to work directly with their students.

How can the problem be solved? What strategies can be used?
There doesn’t seem to be any mention of a class discussion board or common workspace. Both of us feel that the best way to communicate with other students and the facilitator is through a discussion forum, allowing students to clarify understanding, discuss ideas and for the facilitator to check progress. In a course with a large group of students, discussion forums and encouraging peer-support are great tools to motivate learners.
We also feel there is potential for activities and assessment tasks be restructured into group activities where the facilitator could have more ‘face-time’ with the learners.

How can the evaluation process assist in finding a solution? What type of evaluation is appropriate in this situation?
Evaluation can assist by actually finding out what would work for the learners in this situation. What do they like about how the course is structured? What do they find difficult about it? How might they change it themselves? What tools do they find really useful?

A feedback form or online survey where learners are encouraged to share their ideas in words, rather than by rating scales or multiple choice questions, would be appropriate. Lisa suggested Survey Monkey as a great tool for teachers that enable users to create their own web-based surveys (some cost is involved for institutions). Another valuable tool maybe for the facilitator to reflect on the programme they delivered in a structured manner. A pre and post evaluation of what they felt would be successful vs. what was successful might be quite revealing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Into to course

I teach a great bunch of Intermediate students in south auckland and love it. I have been teaching for the past 8 years and in this time have taught years 2-8. I have completed one elearning paper (Educational design for elearning) and would definitely reccommend this for newbies like myself!!

Our school staff is currently learning how to use elearning tools in the classroom to ensure elearning is an integral part of everyday learning and teaching practices.

Regarding, the project, I would like to setup a blog site for students to post comments (from Mon-Wed) about their daily Technology lessons. These posts will include learning intentions, success criteria, images or sounds. I would like to see whether this is a user friendly way for students to reflect or respond to what they have learned and for teachers to maintain as a online working document. I hope to inspire teachers at my school to do the same!