Flight Path: A plan for learning

 

17 May 2011

www.dreamstime.com

My educational design journey began as a corporate trainer of business communication in the Middle East. I was tasked to improve the communication skills of consultants of an accounting firm who were of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.  At that time, and without knowing ADDIE, I completed learner needs assessment, set learning outcomes, designed and delivered F2F courses, and supervised design and administration of online skills assessments.

A year later, in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to design courses for a post-secondary program in Communication and Media Arts. I designed two 16-week semester courses in Moodle, complete with teaching and learning resources, and assessments. The work was positively received.

I then designed Moodle-based assessments for first line management courses run by the NZ Institute of Management. These were the first online assessments (paper assessments still being the status quo) so the outcome was speedier assignment submissions, faster grading, and the opportunity for assessors to provide formative feedback to participants through use of Moodle’s social tools (wikis, quiz, assignment box).

I then provided design services for a national NZ retailer and developed management development courses using Composica courseware and the Equip LMS.  The subject matter was human resource management, retail legislation, and building sales-driven teams.  I designed problem-based eLearning modules incorporating formative and summative assessments.

I then provided instructional design support to the Centre for Educational Design & Development at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. The focus was on ‘flexi courses’ delivered on the Moodle LCMS. I used Moodle on a regular basis, as well as other technologies (Camtasia). It was a valuable experience to conceptualise and develop improvements to undergraduate e-learning courses.

For some time, I have been managing a private venture: a community of practice website, Menta Me. It enables professionals to share knowledge and tutor each other, as well as for managers to conduct coaching with remote teams. This project has given me valuable exposure to the open source community and to the challenges of managing learning environments on open source software.

My LMS goal for ETEC 565A is to explore functions of Moodle that I am not so familiar with, exploring interaction in modes other than text (to account for different learning styles and Web 2.0 communication) and to learn about software integration.  I am also curious about Moodle 2.0.

I do not have much experience with social media (facebook learning, mobile learning, blogging, twitter, etc) so I don’t have any set goals in mind here, other than to learn as much as I can through our assignments and conversations.

My multimedia experience is limited to Audacity audio recordings, image design and animation in Fireworks (Adobe), MS Powerpoint, and some limited use of Captivate and Camtasia for software simulation.  I have only recently begun to use professional graphics software like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Regards assessment, this is an area that I have experience with in terms of Moodle-based formative and summative assessments.  I have designed quizzes and used the assignment box function.  I love the responsiveness of Moodle functions for learner feedback, and I value highly the ability to write auto-generated feedback to quiz answers so that learners have immediate feedback, and the options for adaptive and non-adaptive, one attempt only versus multiple attempts in quiz design.  The various options for the assignment box are also helpful.

As a backdrop to my current professional and academic endeavours, I am very influenced by the ‘community of inquiry’ model (Garrison et al, 2007) and Anderson’s (2008) theory of online learning interaction.  Carr’s (2010) novel has also influenced my understanding of sensory perception, working memory and cognitive load in online learning.

References

Anderson, T.  (2008). Toward a theory of online learning.  In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.), Theory and Practice of Online Learning, Chapter 2 (pp. 45-74).  Available online at:

http://www.aupress.ca/books/120146/ebook/02_Anderson_2008_Anderson-Online_Learning.pdf

Carr, N. (2010). The Shallows: How the internet is changing the way we think, read and remember. London: Atlantic Books.

Garrison, R.,  Anderson, T.,  Archer, W and Rourke, L. (2007).  The community of inquiry model.  Calgary: University of Calgary.

http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Community_of_inquiry_model

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