Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice
What can Technology do for our most challenging ambitions? – Week 2
Week 2 of the Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice, covering the topic on “What can Technology do for our most challenging ambitions?” lead us to read several Case studies and watch videos of success story. We looked at how technology can help the individual teacher cope more easily with increased student numbers and the efficient method of monitoring using an app, while also maintaining the quality of the learning experience.
The areas we looked at were:
- reaching more learners, with good support, while not increasing your workload overall;
- supporting your learners to be more independent learners; and
- reducing the costs of innovation, while maintaining the benefits.
The course during the week covered several methods used by various learning practitioners, sharing their stories and how they have implemented digital technology in their learning environment. I found them all very inspiring in how they have managed to do a lot with so little, often just using the open source tools. How I wish I could take away even the smallest part of their enthusiasm to my workplace and implement it.
Collaborative learning to improve learner support
This is one area where I have seen we can excel if we have the right kind of network with the right kind of people. I have collaborated several mini works with colleagues across the regions
and know that it works if you have the cooperation and willingness of like minded individuals. The course video showed that small group of learners learning together and helping each other but to make it work with the learners outside of the classroom environment would be a challenge, not impossible but a challenge nevertheless.
Peer review as a form of active learning
I have completed several MOOCs over the last few years and almost all of the courses I have completed, were peer reviewed, so I see no reason why this would not work. Infact in the process of peer review I have learnt a lot reading other learners assignments and inspired ideas of my own, enhancing my own overall knowledge. It can be a catalyst for so many developmental ideas and creativities with the right environment. This will work with right planning, right use resources and right implementation.
The advancement of digital technology today meant that if applied with the right technology the time and money it can save is undeniable from the case study carried out by the Prospect Training team. Here is the link to their site if you wish to find out more. http://www.prospect-training.org.uk/home
Making Blended Learning design in Moodle
The course covered around the promotion and development of independent learning which in my view is one of the a key life long learning skills. This can be achieved by using digital technology creatively, to design learning activities and as an example Moodle was used to demonstrate in this course.
Sharing and re-using teaching ideas
I am an advocate of collaboration, the idea of sharing learning designs, resources and any creative ideas that would help learners and teachers likewise is a good thing. From my experience of working as a trainer in a large organisation, it is often difficult to use the resources shared by an external body due to it’s specific local requirements. Having said that, almost always I have been inspired by other colleagues’ work which can be adapted and adopted to your own local need even if that meant recreating it completely. So sharing is not a bad thing at all in my mind.
Couple of the stand out tools for me this week are Learning Designer and Moodle Hub to help teachers, trainers, VET practitioners, facilitators or anyone planning lessons to design and share good ideas with others if they wish. I particularly like the export feature to word from the Learning Designer. There are several examples to browse and adapt or even create completely new from scratch. This tool is by far my favourite and I know it will help us plan an effective lessons.
This course is offered on FutureLearn as MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) from the University of Leeds following on from the Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started course last year. I have learnt a lot from this course and hopefully I can put forward ideas to my bosses to improve our training. If you are interested, the same course is starting again in March 2016. Here is the link if you wish to enrol. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-getting-started/
Here are some of the links that I have explored which were provided during the week from the course page:
We should thank the providers for making this great tool available to us for free and I have no doubt that this will help the teachers plan and organise their lessons effectively and efficiently. http://learningdesigner.org/
The document ‘A learning design for ‘Collaborating to draft a good assignment’ [PDF] applies the same idea to a different type of assignment. This is an output from the Learning Designer. You can view this in the Learning Designer, where you access it from the Browser screen under Education Sector – Suitable for Vocational Education.
You can also link to it in our Moodle Hub where you can look through a working version to see how the design is meant to help learning through collaboration. (If you haven’t yet set-up an account to access the Moodle Hub, please visit this page.)
The text of the design is also available in the Downloads as the document ‘Moodle Hub learning design on ‘Collaborating to draft a good assignment’ [PDF].
This is an app which can be used on mobile devices to create learning activity. Here is the link if you wish to check this out. http://explaineverything.com/
The online glossary allows us to create, edit and store our own list for specialised terminology i.e. for Blended Learning technology.
Check my reflective blog along with few others below from the course Getting Started and Embedding Practice:
The following links are from the first course Blended Learning Essentials Getting Started offered as MOOC on FutureLearn by the University of Leeds, same facilitators as in this course: