Yesterday I had my third teaching observation for the PGCAP. I was introducing a mobile solution for students inputting data directly into PebblePad. The session went really well but I feel the learning outcomes could have been better facilitated if I involved the learners more when demoing the mobile technologies. This could have been achieved by allowing them to use the technology and this would have proven the intuitive nature of the system.
There was a usability problem from the academics point of view and this took focus during the session, eventually we collaboratively found a solution which after a little more investigation might prove to be the final solution for the project.
Learning is not just about reading or memorising, the ability to revise is acting as a teacher for yourself. Using Xerte Online Toolkits for the learning and revision process can support distance learning, use in classroom and lectures. Too many words doesn’t help, long titles won’t fit and aesthetically long text can look untidy and doesn’t produce great learning experiences.
Personally I like the text narration that plays a long with a video. Rather than text overlaying the video, this can meet accessibility needs with the text-to-speech option. Narrated screencasts would be good for this.
Xerte Online Toolkits has enhanced accessibility, interactivity and collaborative features but also utilises instant feedback. Within Xerte Online Toolkits you can use text, audio, video and images. All bundled up in one package they are shareable, editable and easy to update.
Working inline with Learner with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities (LLDD), in Xerte Online Toolkits learners can change the colour, the size, screen size and use facilities such as text to speech.
TurningPoint makes the classroom interactive and engaging, improves concentration and motivation and support the student voice during face-to-face learning allowing them to become aware of their individual learning inline with their peers.
TurningPoint enables lecturers to embed question polling in their presentations and allow learners to answer them with the aid of individual electronic clickers. Asking multiple questions with this technology is simple therefore the focus is purely on the learning, assessment and feedback, not the technology. The technology is simply a mechanism to aid the delivery of teaching, learning and assessment. The technology is versatile and the user can add questions on the fly with ease and even add a timer to question polling, forcing decisive decision-making. Planning a session based on this technology allows users to repeat patterns such as: asking a question, test for a response and then backup with information. Repeating this process provides a pleasant interactive learning experience. Alternatively a lecture delivery can easily become student lead based on their responses. If many of the audience provide wrong answers, the lecturer can go back to a slide and repeat the information.
Yesterday I delivered a session demonstrating Google Forms as a means for data collection. Google Forms really worked well in this instance and my learners were able to leave the session and create surveys with this systems whilst understanding how to analyse the data at a later date. I think the learning outcome could have been better facilitated by providing hand-outs, this is something I would definitely do in the future. I have always found it quite difficult to create hand-outs on third party systems but if I kept them quite general and linked off to other material hosted by Google, I think this would work effectively.
Last week I ran a 2 hour workshop for 16 students in their final year of BSc(Hons) Cruise Management. For this particular module they have to produce a website about Cruise Management and their course.
In previous years students have been taught basic web principles using Adobe Dreamweaver. This process of creating a website is very complex for them as they are complete novices at web design so to learn about HTML and CSS very much overkill. With this in mind this year we have decided to choose a web 2.0 route and focus more on publishing a website using a popular online platform. The platform we chose is WordPress for the main reason that it is flexible, intuitive, modern and it is also the most used Content Management System platform currently being used on the Internet.
The last day of the PGCAP teaching began with a discussion about supervisory roles and the good and bad characteristics of a supervisor, narrowing this down we focused on the best positive points, which were: Inspiring, Knowledge, Motivating, Available and a Critical friend.
One characteristic we were also talking about was ‘helpful’, but I felt that all of the five points listed above added up to the meaning helpful, and that helpful is a hard term to define in this instance. What on person finds helpful, the next may find disrupting.