Friday, April 30, 2010

Theory and Practice of Online Learning

I have spoken to a number of people over the last few days about eLearning, flexible and blended courses in tertiory education, and the same issues come up time and time again: how to engage students, how to get students to participate, how to replicate the sense of learning community in the online environment, and how to manage face-to-face students at the same time as an online cohort?

If you have been asking these questions I am sure you'll find this book really useful: The Theory and Practice of Online Learning edited by Prof Terry Anderson. The book is free to download from the Internet.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Myths of e-Learning

Here is a video presentation given by Professor Kwok-Wing Lai, Director of Centre for Distance Education and Learning Technologies, College of Education, Otago University called:

The Myths of e-Learning

Professor Kwok-Wing Lai is a very enthusiastic and experienced proponent of eLearning, and this video is very easy to watch both in terms of technology and content delivery. I'd recommend watching it if you're interested in getting an overview of eLearning.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Virtual International Day of the Midwife 5 May 2010

Otago Polytechnic Educational Development Centre is sponsoring this years Virtual International Day of the Midwife (VIDM) on 5th May, 2010.

The VIDM is a 24 hour free online conference facilitated by one of EDC's staff Sarah Stewart, and Deborah Davis (University Technology Sydney). The conference is focused on the professional development of midwives, but there are a number of sessions that will be of interest to pregnant women and parents of young babies. For example, Anna Hughes who is also a member of EDC is talking about how to bring up a nappy-free baby at 3pm (New Zealand time).

If you are an educator, you may be interested in the session that Pauline Costins is facilitating on reflective practice at 10pm, as well as the session Sarah is running on ePortfolios at 11pm. Sarah and Deborah will be leading a tour around the virtual birthing unit in Second Life at 7pm. And Bob Green will be using Second Life to lead a session about midwifery in the USA at 11am 6th May - Bob is an educator who is very experienced with using Second Life to teach student health professionals.

If you have a general interest in health, you may be interested in hearing how the humanitarian efforts are going in Haiti at 2am on the 6th May (if you're up at that time of night), as well as hearing about child and maternal health in Romania at 5am 6th May.

All the sessions will be recorded and stored on the VIDM wiki.

NB: All times are based on New Zealand time - to work out the time at your place, please go to the World Clock.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Online resources for Educating for Sustainability

Education for Sustainability is becoming strongly integrated into teaching and learning at Otago Polytechnic. Many staff members are discovering the links between their subject area and sustainable practice and successfully integrating this into their operations and teaching. The Sustainable Practice at Otago Polytechnic blog has started to document some of these advances.

There are a couple of other websites created within the Polytechnic to help those who are looking for resources, wanting to up skill their own understanding of Education for Sustainability (EfS) and looking for examples on how to apply some of the concepts.

Education for Sustainability wikieducator course is an elective within the Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Learning and Teaching run out of EDC. It can be done as a standalone course, is free to all staff members and is a priority for professional development training. It is an online course with some face to face sessions when their are a significant number of participants. It can be done over any length of time. At a minimum of approximately 8 weeks part time. Participants are encouraged to register with the facilitator and formally enrol when they near completion.

Another wikieducator site Sustainable practice 1 is an online resource rather than course. It documents a vague progression through generic education for sustainability ideas and resources. It also has a full description of an 8 week face to face course facilitated using the sites material on the discussion page. Staff are encouraged to utilise whatever bits of the site are appropriate to their teaching and contact the course facilitator for more information and copies of the power points etc for manipulation. The resource list at the end of the wikieducator site is a valuable, constantly added to list of just some of the resources that can be found on the Internet to assist EfS.

Big Cedar Tree, (tiny girl) Olympic National Park. Image by:">woodleywonderworks

From the book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio