Saturday, October 31, 2009

Elearn Friday

Oh dear, feeling crap today. Still haven't got over the jetlag. I wake at four every morning. I have survived well so far, but last night was awful. Now I am supposed to be presiding; which means paying attention. As it turns out I presided two really good performers.

James Helfrich - Leveraging Interactivity to Increase E-Learning Effectiveness.
It's about effectiveness - many definitions of interaction, two basic approaches computer centric, and user centric. User centric categorised as observe, choose, perform - each broken into sub categories. Technology centric - toggle select, many select, text, voice, immersion - also subcategorised. Under Observe, pace is much more effective than watch - students take much better notes, and notes result in better learning. Mayer 2003 observed that just having a continue button to press resulted in better performance, because it gave the student control.

Gagne taxonomy of learning objectives. Puzzling result "watch" is better for higher level problem solving than "do". Suggestion is that "do" allows people to skip important things. Students believe voice feedback more than written feedback. (I wonder if I could do assessment summaries that way.) Taxonomy is amalgamated from Schwier Sims Burgon.

M.R. (Ruth) de Villiers, University of South Africa, South Africa - Applying controlled usability-testing technology to investigate learning behaviours of users interacting with e-learning tutorials' UNISA sixth biggest university in the world. Question was what is added value of usability testing. Real enthusiasm about the process of finding out what students actually do. Some pie charts showing difference of time spent on different tasks; same marks. One was really haphazard, but it worked. The point is that, whatever the pattern, it works for them.

Part of testing was to get people to think aloud - this didn't work well, participants were inhibited. So got them to work in pairs or groups, and they talked to each other. Could still assess time on task for individuals. Student P5 was the real test - he just wasn't an elearner. No general conclusions yet about learning, but a promising method.

Ben Daniel, Virtual Learning Community Research Group, Canada; Richard Schwier, University of Saskatchewan, Canada - A Consideration of Learning Processes in Virtual Learning Communities. Two broadly defined learning variables, intentional and incidental. Really good presentation that I'm still digesting. I went to the conference site to download the paper, and the link pointed me to another of Ben Daniel's papers. A very interesting one but not the one I wanted. But it's available at vlcresearch which is a website worth bookmarking.

Valerie Greenberg, Darlene Carbajal, University of the Incarnate Word, USA - Using Convergent Media to Engage Graduate Students in a Digital and Electronic Writing class: Some Surprising Results - blogs twitter SecondLife - reshape how we exchange experience. Forces tutors to revisit instructive interaction. Study on 13 students, 8 male 5 female. Blogs anchored collaborative learning - shared perspectives, common goals and knowledge, and opinion and interpretations. Provocative assignment was around SecondLife - had very strong emotions about SL. Woznitsa on emotions. Why was she surprised that students didn't like SL? I asked her thatand she didn't answer (she answered a different question. Just like students do sometimes.)

It's the afternoon and I'm now stuck listening to two presentations I'm not interested in. I offered to preside, but the one I was interested in has cancelled and been replaced by another one.

Today's fact I didn't know before: Ebbinghaus proposed the curve of forgetting in 1885.

Kui Xie, Mississippi State University, USA; Fengfeng Ke, University of New Mexico, USA - Understanding Deep Learning in Asynchronous Online Discussions - does it occur and how do we know? Learning as acquisition; learning as participation. And how do you test it? Scardamalia - learning as knowledge construction. Table from p3263 of this presentation may be useful for marking scheme for collaboration. One to keep an eye on as they are just beginning antoher phase of their research.


Richard Schwier said...

Thanks very much for mentioning our work at and attending Ben's session in October. I thought you might be interested to know that we're beginning to turn our attention to non-formal and informal communities and how people learn in them -- quite a departure from the formal environments we are so familiar with as educators. There are a few papers on the topic on our site, but with any luck there will be several added over the next couple of years.

Rob said...

I'm very interested in those ideas; I hope to do some more work on the connection between what people actually do (which is what we often call "informal learning") and what happens when we corral them into teaching and assessment. In your work will you make connections with the ideas behind wildfire activities?