Active MOOC

I’ve been dipping into the Blackboard MOOC  called Designing an Exemplary Course. I have found it to be quite useful picking up instructional design nuances from previous exemplary course winners . The weekly course structure is run via BB own CourseSites platform and makes use of a blog plus weekly webinars showcasing  online or blended courses.

The supporting blog also reinforces the learning theory; active (and social) learning  which is proving to be a key scaffolding concept . I’m currently designing a new staff development course promoting active learning by exploiting experiential methods using the tools (discussions, wiki, blog, journal) in a student context. The top ten methods summarised in the active instructor post resonated with my own approaches , i.e. exploiting adult learning theories; real world projects, collaborative work, peer learning using a variety of media. I’m also including opportunities for reflective thinking throughout, and group presentations in the final week.

There are also links to another Blackboard blog, discussing active learners in relation to 21st Century teaching, including the very outdated reference to “digital natives” in the form of a particularly cheesy video.

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The visitor & resident metaphor developed by David White  is a more accurate portrayal of the continuum we all reside on in relation to the use of technology. Make sure you follow the link to the peer reviewed journal to read his critique of Prensky’s digital native/immigrant paper. As we all know, the concept of digital native is an overhyped myth, which is currently being investigated by the JISC funded digital literacies programme. They say..

By digital literacy we mean those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society: for example, the skills to use digital tools to undertake academic research, writing and critical thinking; as part of personal development planning; and as a way of showcasing achievements”.
The Study of how UK FE and HE institutions are supporting effective learners in a digital age (SLiDA) is well worth reading.

Obviously I’m currently focussed with developing the digital literacies of our staff in relation to the exploitation of the tools we have here, which in turn should cascade down to our students learning experiences. I’m finding the use of small developmental steps beneficial – taking inspiration from the 3E Framework developed by Dr Keith Smyth.



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