Task 5: Share your ideas (up to 2 hours in lots of small chunks)

 
 
Picture of Elizabeth Lovegrove
Thinking about induction
by Elizabeth Lovegrove - Saturday, 14 March 2015, 10:51 AM
 

Hi everyone

We've got several different kinds of induction activities going on this week, and most of them are serving at least two different functions at once. How are they working out for you? What sort of induction activities have you used or experienced in the past? What do you think is important for you, and your learners, in getting started on a new online course?

As always, we encourage you to try and unpick the decisions we've made here, to think about what we've done and why, as well as how the experience is working for you, and what you might do differently in your context -- this discussion board is the place for all of that.

I look forward to hearing what you think.

Liz.

Picture of Ari  Naidoo
Re: Thinking about induction
by Ari Naidoo - Tuesday, 17 March 2015, 3:41 PM
 

Hi All

I missed the live induction as I don't have Adobe Connect at work (tried again today - also noted today that Adobe's free trial period is only a month, so...).

(1) At UNISA it's a question of context/semantics: an induction is held annually by HR, each of the seven Colleges academic orientation for its respective teaching staff. The new Centre for Professional Development (CPD - yes, it's ambiguous) has shifted from the "old" induction of academics into an online short-course called "Socialisation into ODL" to be launched next semester.

The open source learning management system (LMS) is sometimes slow because of our numbers (370,000 across SA) and bandwidth issues. So, instead of attempting an online icebreaker during an introduction to the LMS, late 2013 when I joined UNISA, I used thought pieces (a single powerpoint slide - a new one each month) that spoke to broad challenges in teaching, learning and assessment. I would ask small groups to read this then respond to three key questions on the piece's content in the context of UNISA. They would form their own groups, confer then report back: first introducing themselves, then providing their insight. The bonding was important during the ice-breaker as we always had a mixed bag of 15 people from three or four Colleges. Once bonded, preparing a storyboard then a prototype of a part of a course on the LMS was smooth for the group. 

Some in this TOOC group said that the shorter and sharper the MOOC introduction, the more likely they would stay. A similar principle applies to f-2-f groups of people with mobile and tablet access who can keep themselves occupied - so if you have nothing interesting to offer will be ignored. So, yes, I think some first principles used in a teaching environment can and could transfer into an online environment. The difference online, is that we cannot make grouping choices based on the same criteria or gut instinct...

Ari 

Picture of marion waite
Re: Thinking about induction
by marion waite - Wednesday, 18 March 2015, 2:35 PM
 

This is an interesting post Ari.

Firstly you don't need to have Adobe Connect installed on your computer in order to access our webinars. There might be other technical issues that are preventing you so check the requirements for your PC or device.

A PowerPoint slide per week sounds like an easy and simple idea to keep learners engaged. Yes I agree group choice is different within online environments. How important do you think the gut instinct is to group working? It is an important activity in this course, so an important issue to raise.

Marion

Picture of Adrian Judd
Re: Thinking about induction
by Adrian Judd - Thursday, 19 March 2015, 8:55 AM
 

WIZIQ is also worth looking at, depending on your context.

Picture of Cheryl Scudamore
Re: Thinking about induction
by Cheryl Scudamore - Thursday, 19 March 2015, 4:01 PM
 

Hi Ari

I sympathise with the Connect issue. My IT team think there is a need to open specific ports in your organisations Firewall. If they ever manage I will post the solution here.

Cheryl

 

Picture of Elizabeth Lovegrove
Re: Thinking about induction
by Elizabeth Lovegrove - Friday, 20 March 2015, 7:41 AM
 

Thanks for continuing to investigate this, Cheryl, and sorry it's necessary. Eventually, I hope we'll have a synchronous webinar environment which all institutions and all individuals can just access with no problems, but sadly we're not quite there yet. This one is at least a bit more reliable than our previous one, but that's no consolation if you're one of the exceptions :-(

Liz.

Picture of Dan Croft
Re: Thinking about induction
by Dan Croft - Friday, 20 March 2015, 1:09 PM
 

I came very late to this week's induction and, as a result, getting through the tasks is bit of a rush and something of a chore (obviously that's my fault). For example, the videos are a really nice idea but because I'm trying to get through this week's activities they seem interminably long - even the 2 minute ones! I think this is also a function of online reading/consumption - that I'm skimming and impatient. 

Dan

Abi Ball
Re: Thinking about induction
by Abi Ball - Saturday, 21 March 2015, 12:44 PM
 

Dan

I think that one of the things people under estimate with online learning activities is how much time they take.  We say right at the start of this course that participants should put aside about 6 hours a week to gain the full benefit of the course and consequently it is not easy to catch up all in one go.  We are probably all guilty of skimming through online content but be aware that the content of the induction week is relatively light compared with that of other weeks as we do make allowances for participants being new to Moodle and online learning activities.

Abi

Picture of Dawn Buzzard
Re: Thinking about induction
by Dawn Buzzard - Saturday, 21 March 2015, 4:30 PM
 

I like Dan came late to the course on Friday.   I understand the time commitment but I also was concerned by the length of some of the videos.   I normally like to tackle things online in small bites and I found myself trying to skim some of the videos particularly the webinar with the setting up at the beginning and the passing of the controls backwards and forwards.  I am looking forward to week 2 in which I hope to have more time in the week to take part.

Hazel
Re: Thinking about induction
by Hazel Rothera - Saturday, 21 March 2015, 9:16 PM
 

I think online videos are an interesting issue as for me they do highlight the different ways in which we like to take in information (I'm wary of using the phrase "learning styles" as much of the educational research literature maintains there is no such thing! or, at least, that you can't simply characterise people as one type of learner...)

For example, I'm a very fast reader of text, so I often get frustrated when expected to watch a video to explain something to me if I feel that I could have read a transcript in about a quarter of the time (with screenshots if it's an explanation of a very visual tool). But I can see the appeal of video for lots of interpersonal scenarios, like introducing the course tutors - and lots of my students say they would much rather watch a short video than read the equivalent pages of text instruction, so I know it's horses for courses. The ideal is probably to have key information available in more than one format so the learner has some choice...

Abi Ball
Re: Thinking about induction
by Abi Ball - Monday, 23 March 2015, 8:56 AM
 

Hazel

Like you I am happier reading text based resources than watching videos as I feel that the effort it takes makes retention much easier.  As you say 'the ideal' is to have key information available in more than one format but in practical terms this is often too time consuming as we are all working to deadlines.  One of the observations that I have with online learning is how intolerant we have become of certain content delivery methods; yet I can remember trudging through the most boring content during my days as an undergraduate student (and postgraduate for that matter) never considering that it might (or even should) be available in a different or more interesting format.  I wonder why we are so less tolerant of issues with online learning than we are with face to face learning?

Abi

Hazel
Re: Thinking about induction
by Hazel Rothera - Saturday, 21 March 2015, 9:22 PM
 

I really liked the fact that there were a number of quite small activities to tackle - and that things like making sure you could log in, and setting up your profile, were made explicit as tasks. That seemed to me to enact Salmon's first stage of online learning, in that I immediately had to do something that made me feel more engaged with and committed to the course - I had put down a marker that said "I am here!"

The online icebreakers then started the socialisation aspect nicely - they were mostly fun and lighthearted while actively inviting both feedback and participation. I think it's quite important to have initial activities which are not too academically "heavy" or crucial to the main content of your course - it's less intimidating, doesn't allow people who perhaps know more about the subject of the course to dominate (no "experts"!) and also means that if people are still finding their feet either technically or socially, they don't miss crucial course content and feel behind right at the start.

Picture of marion waite
Re: Thinking about induction
by marion waite - Sunday, 22 March 2015, 8:13 PM
 

Thank you, Hazel a really thoughtful summary.

Marion

Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Re: Thinking about induction
by Malcolm Kirkpatrick - Sunday, 22 March 2015, 10:25 PM
 

Hi Liz,

I liked the way that the induction was planned, starting with the course information which gave the learning outcomes which I believe are an essential piece of information and it allowed us to look at the constructive alignment at the beginning, which I think this was important to me because it gave me information as to how the activities mapped with the learning outcomes.

An example of this is where stage 1 of Gilly Salmon's Framework model ( setting up systems and accessing and welcoming and encouraging) has been more than evidenced by the team's efforts to welcome and help with access to the course. and the  use of online strategies to communicate and the application of theoretical concepts.

In stage 2 (Online socialisation) we can see the results of the icebreaker exercise in getting the students to communicate with each other, group organisation and these forums.

Therefore the induction activities are laying the foundations for mapping with learning outcomes which relate to on line learning communication strategies and the application of theoretical concepts such as 'Gilly Salmon'd 5 stage framework', 'Kolb's learning cycle', 'Brookfield's 4  lenses' etc.

Malcolm

 

Abi Ball
Re: Thinking about induction
by Abi Ball - Monday, 23 March 2015, 9:02 AM
 

Hi Malcolm

Thank you for your comments about the organisation and the structure of the induction - we always welcome constructive feedback and try to incorporate it into TOOC generally.

Abi