Using social media and a Heutagogical Framework to support development of self-determined learning skills

First Keynote

Lisa Marie Blaschke – University of Oldenburg

Connect and share – listen – collaborate – reflect

ride 7Listen – Drive or thrive? Heutagogy is a term that I had never heard of before! Lisa first spoke about her first job working in Germany where she saw many of the people she employed thrive but also many unable to cope.

Which pedagogical framework do we need to take advantage of the technology and the pedagogy? (there are many different models, Rhizomatic etc)….Heutagogy study of self determined learning as a result of personal experience based on active learning in a holistic environment.

Learners are at the centre, active and self determined. Nonlinerar designs and connections. Instructors take the back stage ‘Instructors are guides’. Institutions are support networks. Benefits: improves critical thinking, sustains learner engagement, learner has more control over learning. What do employers want? Heutagogy and web 2.0 affordances …Fred Garnet – PH continuum Pedagogy – Androgogy – Heutagogy…

Lisa then showed how these heutogogical principles are applied to the masters programme that she designed and teaches on, such as Collaborative projects using Google Docs. Individual showcase projects, eg WordPress, Blogger, ePortfolio. Social Networking, Twitter, Whatsapp, Twitter is an opportunity to connect with distance education scholars. Content information communities Slideshare, Youtube etc Students on the course have to research and share information on Diigo. However she does NOT use virtual games or social worlds on the course.

Lisa ended with a quote from Otto Peters.

Ride2Finally the group then split into smaller groups. I went into a group to discuss ‘Student Engagement’ where the discussion was bullet pointed onto a flip chart and then two members of the sub-group fed back to everyone. I guess this activity was an example of Heutagogical practice, although it just seemed like a very common classroom activity that you would see in every school or university.

Implications for touch Technologies on Enhancing Teaching nd Learning in Higher Education.

Margaret Cox and Jonathan P.San Diego Barry Quin – The Dental Institute – KingsCollegeLondon.

HapTEL project. Rationale for the original project. Growth in the use of TEL in dental education. Funding lasted originally for 4 years. It is an Interdisciplinary team , nursing, Midwifery, Cyberetics, Engineering, Generic robotics.

Evaluation framework….Pedogogical framework, Multimodal model (Technical innovation), Student attitudes….see also Entwistle 1987 Educational Evaluation framework.

Barry Quin. First spoke the goals and issues for Dental Education…Hand-eye coordination etc. The he spoke about the requirements of Dental curriculum. Current practices, and perceived formal interventions.

Haptel is a virtual simulation of tooth decay. So for example, students can take the tooth out (which you can’t obviously do to a real patient!!!) This made for more sophisticated means of evaluating the student s progress.

Educational Impact. The students did exactly as well in the virtual environment as they did with practicing on physical (plastic) but a lot cheaper.

Finally Jonathan Diego showed us the technology and how the students used it. He also showed us the potential of how this Haptics technology could be used in other situations such as ‘Digital Underwear’!!!!

Conclusions:University teachers need to be involved in Innovation from the beginning.EL needs to complement the existing teaching

Teaching in Virtual Worlds: A 2103 Snapshot

Clare Sansom – Fellow of the Centre for Distance learning

What is a virtual world? Immersive online environment or alternative reality. Generally rich 3D graphics. Technology often based on games. Most popular is Second Life. Launched in 2013 by Linden Labs. Baisc use is free. Educational discounts. Currently 50-60,000 avatars online at any time.

Hype cycle. Gartner’s Hype Cycle applies to these worlds.Technology trigger…Peak of inflated expectations (probably around 2007)…..Trough of disillusionment…..

Gartner estimates “ by the end of 2011, 80 percent of active internet user will have a ‘second life’ (that is will be active in virtual worlds)….” Birkbeck’s piloted using second life with mixed experiences for the students but it was a very steep learning curve for staff and students.

2011-12 is this the trough of disillusionament for virtual worlds? User numbers are vastly down. Is it reaching its plateau of productivity?

The 2013 snapshot shot:

Eight interviews: What works and what doesn’t work? All particapants had use Second Life but others had used Open Sim, Wonderland and Unity 3D. Institutional picture is very mixed. Uni of Edinburgh runs The Virtual University of Edinburgh. Some still interested but less involve eg OU.

What works? 1 scenarios eg case studies on virtual law courts or majoe incidents 2. Learning and practicing methodology eg Virtual gentics Lab at University of Leicester. 3. Exploring digital Identity work well.

What doesn’t work…Virtual ‘chalk and talk’ replacing lectures for students at a distance (ie simply uploading Powerpoints). Unplanned open activities. Most explorations of molecular structure.

Pedagogy in Virtual Worlds:

Associative (Transmitting information), Cognitive, social constructivist, Connectivist.

Challenges: Financial (Steep increases in price), Institutional challengeds, Technological ( Firewalls etc), Students ( some hate it) also they prefer the competitors eg mobile technologies.

The future…Virtual worlds will settle down into their niche also the virtual worlds will move onto the smart phone environment. VW’s have settled down into their ‘plateau of productivity’.

ride 4Motivation and Retention workshop

2 presentations:

1.Mariella Stivala, St Martin’s Malta. – Students retention through interaction: a view from the institutions.

How do instil the love of education? Which is a question all institutions are asking. Mariella is looking at issues and identify problems of motivation. Problems encountered so far in her own experience 1. Static VLE. 2. Materials not updated.3. No relationship between authors and with the examiners. 4. Students complain that Athens is difficult to understand. 5.Student motivation fluctuates throughout the year.

The missing link: Students not fully aware of what the examiners are looking for.

Overcoming problems. Moodle system, establish contact with foreign examiners, study tutor scheme, regular training for lecturers. Applying Goal setting theory and Vroom’s Expectancy Theory.

2. Is Distance Education falling education? – Ormond Simpson CDE Visiting Fellow

Conventional and distance graduation rates – The ‘Distance Education Deficit’ The ‘DED’ . Students who drop out of education experience higher rates of Depression, unemployment and for women higher rates of domestic violence. Massive cost to society and the insitutions. Creates a vicious triangle of Student Drop out > institutions lss monet> less resources to stop drop outs.

Proactive contact can reverse this trend….motivation is the key to student success (not a startling revelation). E-Learning is a category erra….students are doing eLearning but institutions are doing i-Teaching. Too much time is spent on teaching rather than looking at a support model that supports the students motivation

Proactive> Proactive motivational support>increases retention.

4 motivation theories that are useful:  John Keller ARCS theory, Matin Seligman – Postive Psychology, Carole Dweck – Self Theories, John Hattie – Self-Reporting

Putting money into motivating students saves institutions money because that increases retention which in turn increases fee income which increases motivation support. (the opposite of the vicious triangle) Why aren’t we doing this? Probably due to the institutional views, such as, ‘The Darwinistas, students drop out because they are too lazy, ‘The Fatalistas’ students drop out for reasons beyond our control, ‘The Retentioneer’ Students drop out because of lack of proactive support.

Closing keynote

The Story of ‘Open’ Alan Tait Professor of Distance Education and Development The Open University Uk

 3 themes: 1. Openness where it has come from, 2. Quality (dropout), 3. Commoditisation

Openness. Alan started his discussion of openness with the Gutenberg press creating the book which created the potential for the democratisation of knowledge and those who are ‘excluded’. Next he mentioned the growth of railway which enabled people to live and work in different places. Thirdly the Telephone enabled long distance relationships. Finally the search engine allowed information to be available to all who have the technology. All of these examples had their distracters!

1858 University of London External Studies: first university to be open to place. 1878 Uni of London first Uni to be open to women in the uk.

1926 Jack Stobart at the BBC first proposed the ‘wireless university’

Est of Open University1962/1969 Jennie Lee Minister of Education 1973 240,000students, nearly 1 million qualifications awarded, 1100 academic staff.

Pushing at boundaries, place, social class, gender, disability, wider to open entry to HE, Always have been those who ‘there is no point in educating them’.

What has openness in education mean? Attack on notion that quality means exclusion. Major element in democratisation of society and disembedding of individual from the local.

Dropout. 21.6% failed to complete degree in 2010/11. figures vary between institutions:  32% for University of Highlands and Islands1.4 University of Cambridge. Improvement overall from previous year.

45% of OU students have less than one A level or less.

Is distance education doing worse? Students generally busy working lives, wider ethi diversity etc

What does drop out represent? Not status of university, not distance or online modes. BUT risk and challenges of openness and inclusion.  So what is to be done about drop out? Respond to major facors; Time pressure, self management, etc

3 ways OU supports students: 1976-2000Tutor –counsellor embedded in local study centre.200-2012 Tutor more or less local 2014 National student support NOT located locally. With the aim of moving OU qualification rates to the national average.

Ride 10National Student Survey (NSS) has been very complementary of the OU. OU in the top 3 for the last 3 years.

Conclusion: Learning design subordinates ‘student Support’ and Learner analytics supports intervention radically improves thing.

Is Openness and inclusion worth it? Yes it for Rights based approach and a Skills-based approach. OU always pushing at boundaries.

Alan finished by promoting various ‘open’ access resoures, such as OER’ publishing open journals and MOOC’s esp FutureLearn

Commoditisation. At the same time as openness is happening the neo-liberal approach to private education has been increasing. Education is a contested domain. Commodity or a tax supported/free. Openness is at the heart of the debate.