Tuesday, July 27, 2010

IT - Open and Transformed

After twenty odd years of accrued cynicism towards IT departments my faith in IT was redeemed today. I met a CIO who espouses Gov 2.0, moves to transform and engage, challenges the way things have always been done, and seeks to establish an IT service that acts as an enabler, not an enforcer. Allowing users to choose their own technology, moving to open source software software, and allowing staff to surf an unblocked web FROM THEIR WORKPLACE! Driving towards open ecosystems in city and corporate governance? And espousing the merits of web 2.0 -acting to break down corporate barriers and forming a conversation between those within and those outside a corporation - he espouses the move into web 3.0. Chris Moore, CIO of Edmonton - also took time to share his vision and creation of Edmonton in Second Life. A great initiative - combined with an open invitation to other Edmonton institutions and companies to share in and collaborate. Chris is hosting an international CIO panel in October for a Digital Cities conference. Love the transformation of IT, and the Edmonton Second Life - I'll be pushing to get my company involved - yes it will take some doing, but I'm not one to walk away from a challenge. Hobbled a few times, or was carried away, but not consciously walked away. Chris has given me the legs I need. Read Chris' blog.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm alive! Alive!

Very tardy - but not by choice. Beholden to the behemoth that is Google I could not access my blog for months. The email account I had when I created this blog is no longer active (and for the longest time I couldn't remember which account I used)and of course I forgot my password, and when seeking assistance the prompts were automatically being sent to the old email address. An address I forgot about, and when I did remember could not access.

I sought recourse and assistance in the only place possible - the user forums. What a graveyard of digital mishaps live there. Other saps like me who lived in this digital space at one time but are now lost, voiceless, and unable to defend their points and positions. Many accounts just flapping in the wind because of access issues. So much digital air floating in cyberspace with no owner, no moderater, at the mercy of hackers and flackers filling up the comments; a cesspool of comments - lurid, rude, exploitive and dismissive messages awaiting a rejection cleansing that may never come! Psst - there are ways to remember your password AND the e-mail account you first used. Hmmm - good advice - I should rmember these things, I should maintain a password file, get a global sign on ID - good advice if given BEFORE my memory defaulted!

For months my stream of thought on the web was disrupted - I was about to create a new blog and set this one out there as a runaway that I would have to refer to but not own. But no need now - for the moment - I am back in, and can demonstrate a webpulse, and I am alive again on the web. Now I just have to go through a bit of rehab, build up the social muscles again and find a renewed interest in continuing this digital monologue.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Knewton -adaptive testing tool

Adaptive learning tests are taken on computers. The questions get progressively harder or easier depending on each student’s answers. Thus, they adapt to each student’s knowledge and abilities. Knewton is taking the adaptive learning concept and applying it first to online test preparation services.

The service combines live video chat with an instructor in a whiteboard environment, along with learn-at-your-own-pace sample questions and tutorials. Knewton finds the best teachers it can get and pays them $500 to $800 an hour. In addition to the virtual classroom, Knewton keeps track of each student’s progress in mastering the thousand or so concepts that can be covered in each test. A “concept queue” keeps the students abreast of what concepts they have mastered and which ones they are weak on. They can click on each concept tag to dig deeper.

Read the full review here (it digs pretty deep).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Training Materials Development:Delivery Ratio

Bryan Chapman culled these from Brandon Hall surveys of real life experiences - in answer to how long does it take to develop training materials? development time: delivery "seat" time -

Ratio for each Type of learning

34:1 Instructor-Led Training (ILT), including design, lesson plans, handouts, PowerPoint slides, etc.

33:1 PowerPoint to E-Learning Conversion. Not sure why it takes less time then creating ILT, but that’s what we discovered when surveying 200 companies about this practice

220:1 Standard e-learning which includes presentation, audio, some video, test questions, and 20% interactivity

345:1 Time it takes for online learning publishers to design, create, test and package 3rd party courseware

750:1 Simulations from scratch. Creating highly interactive content


Here are the bibliographies for each, in case you want to cite these in research:

34:1 Chapman, B. and the staff of Brandon Hall Research (2007). LCMS Knowledgebase 2007: A Comparison of 30+ Enterprise Learning Content Mangement Systems [online database, no page numbers]. Published by Brandon Hall Research, Sunnyvale, CA

33:1 Chapman, B. and the staff of Brandon Hall Research (2006). PowerPoint to E-Learning Development Tools: Comparative Analysis of 20 Leading Systems. Published by Brandon Hall Research, Sunnyvale, CA, p. 20.

220:1 Chapman, B. and the staff of Brandon Hall Research (2006). PowerPoint to E-Learning Development Tools: Comparative Analysis of 20 Leading Systems. Published by Brandon Hall Research, Sunnyvale, CA, p. 20.

345:1 Private study, done for a consulting client, information was not published. No bibliographical reference.

 750:1 Chapman, B. and the staff of Brandon Hall Research (2006). Online Simulations 2006: A Knowledgebase of 100+ Simulation Development Tools and Services [online database, no page numbers]. Published by Brandon Hall Research, Sunnyvale, CA

Of course I would add two more ratios with innumerable citations:

It Depends: 1
get it Done or Else: 1

Friday, August 01, 2008

Illusionary Learning

THE DOCTOR FOX LECTURE: A PARADIGM OF EDUCATIONAL SEDUCTIONDonald H. Naftulin, M.D., John E. Ware, Jr., and Frank A. Donnelly
Journal of Medical Education, vol. 48, July 1973, p. 630-635

Abstract - On the basis of publications supporting the hypothesis that student ratings of educators depend largely on personality variables and not educational content, the authors programmed an actor to teach charismatically and non substantively on a topic about which he knew nothing. The authors hypothesized that given a sufficiently impressive lecture paradigm, even experienced educators participating in a new learning experience can be seduced into feeling satisfied that they have learned despite irrelevant, conflicting, and meaningless content conveyed by the lecturer. The hypothesis was supported when 55 subjects responded favorably at the significant level to an eight-item questionnaire concerning their attitudes toward the lecture. The study serves as an example to educators that their effectiveness must be evaluated beyond the satisfaction with which students view them and raises the possibility of training actors to give "legitimate" lectures as an innovative approach toward effective education. The authors conclude by emphasizing that student satisfaction with learning may represent little more than the illusion of having learned.

Who will change the University...You?

Yes the University model needs changing – but to what? We can all cite the problems – as articulated in Carl Wieman's recent article on New University Education Model Needed but the solution continues to evade us. Might it be that we are the wrong one’s to come up with the solution to the problem that “we” are part of and contribute to? Imrevensoo, posted a comment to Wieman’s post citing a number of insightful quotes - "We can't solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”Albert Einstein. Perhaps the "we" who created the problems are not the "we" who can solve them. Physicist Mano Singham: "No great scientific advancement has ever been made by anyone whose thinking has remained kosher. The problem is, the intelligentsia is dominated by danger zone IQ holders (125-140), a species capable of enough reason to be useful in maintaining an accepted model, but utterly useless in formulating new ones. Good stewards make crappy iconoclasts. It takes a solid paradigm inventor to shake things up. Given some years after any old model is replaced with a better new model, the stewards defend the new model as rapidly as they defended the old one." It may well be the students who are the "solid paradigm invetors" - as it should be they will teach us what should be. We would do well to listen and help them structure the solutions.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Personal learning Environment and Evolutionary pedagogy

I just finished a presentation at ADETA 2008 on my work with virtual communities in higher learning - I'm proposing that some enitity (eg. university) develop and maintain a community of learners (a social networking space w collaborative tools) for their students and graduates (at a program level).

I'm developing a series of these environments now. I see them fulfilling many roles - what I dub "evolutionary pedagogy or pedagogical multiplicy" - They can fulfill a formal learning role while the student is registered but become the informal learning network (and continued personal learning space) after graduation. I'm using Elgg as my example of the personal learning environment (or I coin Continuous learning Environment). After course/program completion students/teachers continue to be associated with the institution, their program, their teachers , their fellow graduates through this space. It is true continuous learning, and has capacity as a teaching space, a research space, a personal relective space, a resource repository of student work and an eportfolio for demonstration.

I dub it evolutionary pedagogy - example below:

Example evolutionary path – blended graduate program

1. Create informal network space and personal area
Students/teachers join the larger informal network
Post personal profile and use personal weblogs and resource repository

2. Creat bounded temporal space
Students/teacher join restricted class space((incl. groupware tools)
Course is taught within this temporal space (could link into LMS)
Continue to use personal space for reflection/e-portfolio/resources (life beyond LMS)

2. Students complete class
Temporal class activity ends - students, teachers continue within informal network space and personal space

3. Evolve into informal community development
Evolve into the continuous informal network space
In informal network social, informal learning; sharing, connecting, social capital development
Members document personal informal learning

4. Repeat 1-3 with next cohort

All within same online environment integrated with web based resources and internal/external RSS feeds.

Who should sponsor a space for a network of learners? Blackboard NG will offer a community space - but at what cost? Should a private entity like Blackboard (or Google, or Face book) be THE platform for your web based data?

I want a FREE personal learning environment, linking me to those who cross my learning path, linking me to my lifewide learning experiences - BUT I want it managed by an NGO or govt or educational institution.

Jesel Odedra of ECampusAlberta has put me onto ASN Alberta:

"Welcome to Learner Registry!
The Alberta Student Number (ASN) is the single unique identifier for all Alberta learners. Through the use of the ASN, Alberta Education and all educational institutions in Alberta will have better information to evaluate programming and emerging trends in student choices across the education system. This will lead to improved programs and services for students and improved administrative efficiency for Alberta Education."

This is a good start. With this approach we have a unique identifier, that moves with a student through informal and formal learning (theoretically) and can be used to ID a student in a social network/eportfolio for Alberta citizens.

I'm still working on the best premise for ownership of these spaces but want to see institutions maintaining some connection. I'm leaning towards smaller connected social networks, probably at the program level.School wide or province wide community - too big and without a 'focus of interest". (How to capture those not in formal learning? - aah another post.)

I am developing my PLEs at a program level - eg. family physicians rather than the medical faculty. Then it can remain small (relatively, be in control of the program area - use it for marketing, polling, keeping in touch with alumnae).

This is a concept whose time will come - it integrates so much of what is being talked about - authentic learning, documentation of learning and competence, skill management, meeting labour training goals, workforce migration,personal control of learning path and outcomes, prior learning, continouous learning, personal relfection, and more!