Category Archives: Conference Notes

Proces, formidling og konferenceformat

Det er lidt et benspænd at skulle kondensere større og længere projekter ned i et ekstrakt på 3400 anslag (inkl. mellemrum), og der blev da også hugget et komma og klippet et forfatterfornavn her og der for endelig at få godkendt upload :-).
Men udfordring eller ej, så se jeg tilbage på en proces, der dels har været spændende som formidlingsøvelse, men også værdifuld for læringsprocessen i de projekter vi har præsenteret.

Vi har skullet arbejde metodisk med datamaterialet, og være os bevidste, hvad det er vi ser efter, for at kunne stille skarpt på de væsentligste erkendelser og fund. Og vi har skullet et oprydningsarbejde igennem for at nå frem til kernen i projekterne, for i udgangspunktet så vi mange flere værdier, fund og erkendelser i data end, der kan rummes i et lille abstrakt.

Vi har derfor skullet en proces igennem for at nå til et abstrakt, og netop Vi’et, vil jeg fremhæve som en væsentlig faktorer i en god proces. Det er en banal sandhed, men en sandhed ikke desto mindre, – det er rigtig godt at få diskuteret opfattelser og pointer igennem, budskabet bliver mere præcist af det.

Nedenfor en lille illustration af vores proces, sådan en proces vil varierer afhængigt af person og projekt, men måske kan den inspirere som et eksempel på en case der kunne indgå i en lektoranmodning.

Procesbeskrivelse – eksperiment og formidling
proces_abstract

Konferenceformat var som Jesper har beskrevet var baseret på mange og korte oplæg (12 min + 3min spørgsmål) og samlet under temaet med 4-6 oplæg i hvert.
Det fordre igen en noget ’ind til benet’ hård analyse for at få stillet skrapt på de få pointer, man kan nå at formidle på så kort tid.
Den samlede oplevelse af konferencen er, at det er ikke en disciplin særlig mange af forskerne havde fokus på.

Overordnet manglede mange at beskrive en ramme, udgangspunkt og formål, derudover var fokus ofte på at formidle meget data og mange fund, og præsentationerne blev ofte ren oplæsning af tabeller og Excel lignende slides, hvilket desværre gjorde oplæggene noget utilgængelige.

Jeg mener den valgte tidslængte på oplæggene kan diskuteres, jeg havde selv fortrukket, at der var mere tid til diskussion og nok også, at forskerne havde haft mere tid til at udfolde deres ofte meget omfattende projekter. Når det er sagt, er min læring som tilhører og præsenterende, at det vil styrke os i vores udviklingsprocesser og senere i videndeling og formidling, hvis vi (som Ditte og Camilla altid siger J) får den del med som integreret i projekt- og eksperimentprocessen, – måske faste midtvejsevalueringspræsentationer…?

Konferencen var også interessant som en målestok og perspektivering af for vores arbejde og tilgang.
Jeg oplevede at vores eksperimenter adskilte sig fra hovedparten ved en mere kvalitativ anvendelsesorienteret tilgang, med flere iterationer af test og redesign. Vores ambition om at arbejde med Design Based Research (DBR) og aktionsforskning –
i sammenskabelse med praksis, kunne også spores i enkelte andre projekter, men den overordnede tendens var en mere klassisk etnologisk tilgang med fokus på viden og erkendelser og mindre på omsætning og anvendelse.

Alt i alt kan sådan en konferencedeltagelse være med til at give en fornemmelse af, hvem vi er og hvad vi er også i forhold til andre institutioner og akademiske praksisser.

Summary of my experience with Edulearn Barcelona.

The conference started with two excellent keynotes from Kiran Bir Sethi and Eric Mazur.

Kiran Bir Sethi talked about her succcess with starting the Riverside School. It is founded on a design mindset, where student engagement and ability to make independent choices is highly valorized. She summarized the design mindset as human centered, optimistic, collaborative – creating competences in problem solving & scientific inquiry. A typical learning cycle departs with the pupils own feeling, and continues through imagination, action and finally the act of sharing the process.

Check out http://www.dfcworld.com/ for the global “Design for Change”-program.

Eric Mazur did his brilliant speak on Peer Innovation. Peer innovation is Eric Mazurs coining of a very precise method of teaching, that tries to deal with the bad retention rates observed in traditional lectures. Eric Mazur demonstrated the method on the audience, by asking us a question about the effect of heat on metals. The process is as follows:

  1. question – in this case: does a circle in a metal plate get smaller or larger when the whole plate is heated?
  2. let the students think
  3. poll the students (with clickers)
  4. make the students discuss the question
  5. repoll
  6. explain

It worked perfectly: everybody was engaged in figuring out the answer to the question, and we were all dying to know the right answer – even though the theme was unrelated to most attendants professional sphere.

Read more about Peer Innovation here.

Most of the following speeches at the conference, however, did not pick up on these themes of design thinking and didactics. A majority of the presentations were concerned with quantitative measurements (on the basis of surveys), of the effect of introducing new technologies in the classroom. There were papers on the use of whatsapp, wikis, blogs, tablets, facebook, mobile technologies etc. My personal interest was a more foundational one: on which basis do we choose new technologies? Which methods can help us gauge the use of technology in learning? How do we design decision-making processes? How do we bridge the gap between generic IT and local context? These questions, of course, were adressed in our presentation and paper.

Highlights:

The true value of materials (Pernilles notes)

New learning paths for augmented learning, by G. Torrisi from the university of Urbino. Excerpt from the abstract:

 ….at the University of Urbino we tested and compared, against more than 100 indicatorsfive among the best augmented learning solutions, identifying “it’s learning” as the learning platform which was best for our specific educational needs.

Integrating web 2.0 technologies in higher education learning, by G. Dafoulas, S. Azam. Excerpt from the abstract:

“With the advent of Web 2.0 tools, educators are looking to these new technological tools to examine its potential in enhancing teaching and learning. While its runaway success as a social networking tool is now renowned, the use of Facebook for educational purposes may be considered still at its infancy stage.”

Entrepreneurship in actions and blended learning, Pernille Berg and Karen Fritzbøger. Excerpt from the abstract:

The entrepreneurial mindset is addressed theoretically via The Business Model Generation (Osterwalder and Pigneur). The elective entailed an explorative process oriented learning design, which secured students attention to and interaction with the business model elements, mixed with practical independent exercises and supported/collaborative online activities.

A comment on the conference-format: “Blocks” consisted of 5-6 lectures each, each with a duration of 12 minutes + 3 minutes for questions.  This gave a great and fast overview of many different themes and fields, but in many cases, more time for discussion could have provided the opportunity to perspectivize findings, and discuss how findings could be applied to the participants local context.

All in all: the conference gave a great international overview of the field of technology in learning, but general focus was maybe a bit too positivistic for our own design-view on education.

Relation, identitet og mobile enheder

I flere af projekterne under temaet Mobile and tablet technology, var omdrejningspunktet de studerendes relation til og oplevelse af deres mobile enheder – og her særligt deres smartphone. En forsker havde undersøgt elever og studerendes relation og adfærd ift. deres telefoner, og undersøgelsens resultater skilter ikke overraskende en brugsadfærd, hvor de studerende og deres aktiviteter er så nært forbundet til smart phonen, at den i nogen tilfælde beskrives som en ven, i et eksempel omtalte en ung dreng sin smart phone som ”my wife”.

Smart phone er betydningsfuld for deres sociale liv og de interaktioner de har med hinanden. Et væsentligt element er selvfølgelig deling, anbefalinger og feedback fra venner og familie, og eleverne og de studerende i undersøgelsen lader deres valg omkring programmer og platforme styre af anbefalinger, fra netop venner, familie eller nogen de ser op til. Smart Phonen er på den måde rammen om den sociale identitet og essentiel ift. deres tilhørsforhold, relationer og udvikling.

Undersøgelsen afdækker også en tilbageholdenhed hos de studerende ift. at integreret smart phone i undervisningen. De betragter det som et meget personligt læringsrum, de deler med det netværk de selv har valg, det nævnes som sammenligning – at de fx heller ikke ønsker deres forældres tilstedevær i deres online rum på fx Facebook (FB).
Omvendt bruger de selvstændigt tilgængelige platforme til at oprette socialforums, hvor de deler materialer og kommunikere om læringsspørgsmål.
Undersøgelsen er måske ikke så overraskende, de fleste KEA undervisere, vil nok i forvejen have haft en fornemmelse af ’tingenes tilstand’.
Det der måske er mest interessant er de studerendes umiddelbare modvilje ift. at integrere smartphone og egne sociale platforme i undervisningen, og deres ønske om på den måde at adskille det formelle og uformelle læringsrum.

Hvis vi dykkede ned i de myriader af levende og døde FB-sider, der eksistere som spor af tidligere og nuværende studiehold på KEA, kunne det være interessant at kigge på forskelle i aktivitet og aktiviteternes karakter holdt op imod læringsindhold – er der således mere eller mindre læringsindhold, når undervisere deltagere i FB grupperne/ på siderne?

I et forsøg fra American University i De Forenede Arabiske Emirater, har valgt at forsøge med netop at integrere og interagere med de studerende via at et socialt medie nemlig What’s app. Målet har været at finde et vejledningsformat med mulighed for jævnlig interaktion, uden det bliver en tidssluger, derfor har man valgt at forsøge sms-formatet og har valgt What’s app, fordi det er gratis for de studerende.
Studiet arbejder praksis- og problembaseret og der er en forventning både fra studiet og de studerende om, at underviser er tæt på de studerendes arbejdsprocesser.

I undersøgelsen af de væsentligste læringsbehov vist sig som det; at opnå tryghed/forsikring om egen forståelse, at kunne repetere forklaringer og få supportmæsssig hjælp. En del af de behov lægger sig på linje med vores egne resultater fra Entrepreneurship in Action eksperimenterne, hvor betydningen af at føle presence og nærvær af en underviser samt at blive ’se’ og anerkendt af den underviser, er essentiel for de studerendes tiltro til egen evne til at løse opgaver succesfuldt (self efficacy).

Underviseren var også bevidst om at skabe et læringsfællesskab de studerende i mellem, det gjorde han bl.a. ved at arbejde med gruppebeskeder, de studerende kunne således lære af hinandens spørgsmål, men de kunne også assistere hinanden og bidrag med svar. I introduktion til platformen brugte underviseren studerende, der i forvejen kendte platformen, til at hjælpe de øvrige, på den måde blev det en fællesskabsopgave at få systemet til at køre for alle.

M-learning

Under temaet M-learning = mobile learning, var fokus i oplæggene meget omkring den tekniske integration med eksisterende Learning managment systemer (LMS) og omkring sikkerhedsspørgsmål. Det er væsentlige og nødvendige overvejelser gøre sig inden en udviklingsproces og anbefalingerne var dels, at institutioner tager stilling til og få klart defineret sandarder og dialoger omkring sikkerhed for data, inden man omlægger dele af undervisningen til M-learning.

Udviklingsmæssigt er det anbefalelsesværdigt at arbejde med standarder som SCROM (= et sæt af tekniske standarder for e-lærings software), da man på den måde i nogen grad tager højde for integration med andre platforme, men også ift. senere deling og spredning af det der udvikles.

De didaktiske og pædagogiske overvejelser omkring brugen af mobile learning, synes overvejende at handle om, at fange de studerendes opmærksomhed, at møde dem ‘hvor de er’ (ved at lade dem bruge deres egen enhed /device), og på den måde gøre det lettere for underviserne at motivere de studerende til at brug e-læringsressourcer.

Et enkelt projekt beskrev dog en meget fin og brugerinddragende udviklingsproces, hvor de havde brugt aktivitetsteori modellen til at strukturere processen og til at rammesætte dialog og interaktioner med de studerende om hvordan M-learning platformen, skulle indgå i sammenhæng med øvrige læringsaktiviteter, samt til formuleringen af en kravspecifikation for hvad man læringsmæssigt faktisk søgte at opnå ved brug af M-learning.

tri3

Projektet: Informal M-learning research in Agriculture – to udgangspunkt i en meget praksis-orienteret undervisningsramme, hvor de studerende selvsagt har bruge for at være meget på farten og har store praktik-eller arbejdsenheder i deres studie. Den læring og ressource de netop efter spørger er den der kan assistere dem når de står i praksis og skal arbejde med eller løse en helt konkret problemstilling. I den situation tilbyder M-learning nogle oplagte muligheder der også udvider læringsrummet.

Just what are the critical success factors in e-learning for project-based courses?

The conference is coming to an end but the presentations are still interesting and noteworthy.

Robert Lagerström from Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden,  addresses the really interesting question:

Can we identify critical succes factors when it comes to e-learning for project-based courses?

Inadvertently and unfortunately many e-learning courses have been designed by copying the traditional courses, in other words, no critical assessment of whether learning objectives have to been achieved in different ways than when in the classroom. The pattern of automatic transfer of curricula has to change.

Lagerström identifies the very pertinent factors which have to be taken into account when designing a meaningful e-learning course:

  • teacher – ensure the teacher is ready, able and confident to embrace new technological methods
  • student – ensure the students are aware of their roles and responsibilities
  • course – ensure the course objectives and activities take into account the online dimension
  • technology – which platform, which technology is chosen and why (explicate whether doodle, google hangouts etc)
  • support – ensure technical support so lecturers’  and students’ focus can be on the content of the course

When it comes to project based courses, e-learning activities have to include interaction possibilities and socially inviting technology platform.

Interesting observations based on qualitative interviews with lecturers in Sweden having experience with lecturing project based courses in an e-learning format.  Furthermore Lagerström mentioned that his research indicated that the e-learning systems already designed, and on shelf as it were, do not cate for the needs for interaction possibilities and socially inviting features. Thus further development is needed when it comes to the current e-learning platforms.

Chairing and presenting – multitasking and that is what conference participation is also about

There are so many different ways and reasons to attend a conference. Sometimes attending a conference is to gain new knowledge and new insights whilst networking as best one can. However, there are also other reasons to attend a conference, such as chairing a session / workshop. This is the case today.

The eminent Jesper Balslev was appointed this honourable assignment of chairing a session pertaining ‘Pedagogical and Technological Innovations in Education’ at the EDULearn 14 conference. Jesper and Karen (Karen Fritzbøger) are also presenting their paper during this session and this small blog will attempt at narrating just how this session went.

Below Jesper is opening the session.

Mr Chairman

We had the pleasure of attending a session with wonderful presentations.

Among the presentations we heard Dr. Arnau Gifreu-Castells’, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, personal experiences in ensuring learning environment where students create interactive platforms. Amazing platforms, aesthetically and content-wise. The ways in which Dr. Arnau Gifreu-Castells surmised the module it became evident that students’ motivation increased during the course as well as the learning objectives were achieved. The motivation increased due to the ways in the students were enabled to design their own platforms and the ways in which the students were involved in creating their own narratives and reflections.

The session also entailed an interesting presentation on global citizenship education and the importance of global citizenship education. One way of enhancing pupils’ awareness is through digital storytelling (Joe Lambert – http://storycenter.org).  Very interesting and a paper worth reading.

Then the highlight of the day – Karen and Jesper’s presentation. As the picture portrays, their charisma was mesmerizing and the participants laughed when they heard that Denmark is the happiest country in the world and Copenhagen the most livable city.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 1.15.40 PM

Above Karen is presenting the model of check list and the experiences obtained from engaging the students in learning design activities. The interesting experience is among other things that students albeit digital literate are not necessarily digital literate when it comes to learning systems.

The learning landscape was presented as a way in which students can be actively engaged in the design process of a module / course / curriculum. The conclusions from the two experiments conducted show that involving and engaging students in this design process increased their motivation, their engagement in the learning process and their digital literacy.

All in all the experiences from both chairing and presenting at conferences such as EDULearn are that it is a way to present our various projects, experiments and experiences re. developing excellent studies at KEA. It also allows us to reflect on the value and quality of our projects, experiments and experiences.

  • Have we initiated the right projects and experiments?
  • Have we based these projects and experiments on the right sources of theories and knowledge?
  • Have we conducted the documentation and evaluation of these projects and experiments in ways which enable us to convey our experiences to others in such a way that it makes sense?
  • Do the projects and experiments possess potential value to others than ourselves to such an extent that we should aim to disseminate further than just one conference?

The paper, which Karen and Jesper have written and on which their presentation is based, indicates that although KEA is not frontrunner in digital learning, blended learning and / or e-learning, the approach adopted in the experiments described in the paper is highly relevant to other institutions, too. It has become evident at this conference that many institutions still assume that e-learning requires choosing between various technologies and thus share experiences on how to use Facebook.

The experience from Karen and Jesper’s research is that the question is not which social media to choose but how we intend to interact with technology and what we aim to achieve by engaging with technology when it comes to learning.

In closing, Mr Chairman did extremely well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you create a technology acceptance model and what is a technology acceptance model?

Overcoming cultural differences and e-learning – how do they go hand in hand?

TAM TAM – Technology Acceptance Model was proposed by Davis 1989.

The model can be used to predict the acceptance of new technology, the intention to use it which can lead to the use of this technology.

TAM has been used as the main system for predicting technology acceptance because it uses factor that can be measured. TAM proposes that people’s intention to use a new technology depends on to main factors:

  • Perceived usefulness
  • Perceived Ease of Use

This interesting presentation deals with identifying cultural factors’ influence on learning and how TAM can be modified and become a method which enables us to identify the cultural factors and ensure that they do not become an impediment to learning in e-learning courses.

However, it is noteworthy from a didactical point of view to critically address the value of TAM in order to gauge the ways in which the results can influence the planning of e-learning courses aiming at addressing cultural factors.

The True Value of Materials

You sit in Barcelona and never know quite what to expect from the different workshops and presentations. A point I have already raised but it is worth reiterating especially when a demure woman takes the stage and delivers an amazingly interesting and well-documented presentation on trans-disciplinary, international and a highly relevant societal problem.

Welcome to Bridge (http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/projects/bridge)= Building Research & Innovation Deals for Green Economy.

Dr. Joan Farrer raises the pertinent points when it comes to creating and ensuring a learning community which encompasses the relevant knowledge topics and embraces all participants.

  1. a domain of knowledge that defines a set of issues
  2. a community of people who care about this domain
  3. the shared practice that they are developing to be effective in that

Points worth remembering.

In conclusion – cross disciplinary problem-based projects provide some interesting learnings to students and the institution:

  • Returning to your own subject areas on a more sure footing (students become aware of what they know)
  • Deepening understanding through discussion
  • Enhanced sense of understanding of respective disciplines
  • Engaging students through real world subjects
  • Making better use of the learning environment
  • Making best use of the resources of an educational institution
  • Knowledge where to look or specialist expertise
  • Making connections across disciplines