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This is how I develop a Creative Brief … this happens to be an MAODE exercise on Learning Design.
As a video producer this is the idea I’d sell to the client.
I’d then work with a coach and group of swimmers to set the scene and milk it.
This is the kind of thing corporate clients use to teams of 10,000 employees. This is also how I go about writing scripts, sometimes adding drawings, cut-outs from magazines and photos. Nothing hi-tech at the thinking stage … which gives people more freedom to contribute.
A whiteboard marker pen on unforgiving wallpaper backing paper (30p a roll in from the reduced bin!). Stuck to the kitchen door.
The Forum Thread deserves as Swim lane of its own with as much activity into it and Elluminate as I have put here into a blog/microblog.
Often I find a dedicated thread such as e-Learning Professionals is more likely to guarantee a response to something I say; the reason for this is simple, they have thousands of active members.
There are reliable statistics to say what tiny per centage of people are happy to write, read, comment and contribute. 1% to write, about 4% to comment. This has to be reflected in forum activity too, however much it is required by the course. I’ve missed out blogs other students keep, and the links back and forth to these.
You’d be surprised how much goes on in the background.
I’ve found myself working things through with people in different tutor groups, who did the module a year ago … or who have nothing to do with MAODE but have an answer. Which reminds me of the fantastic diagram drawing tool dia. How does Naughton’s journalistic point of view compare to those of an academic?
I worked through it alone, blogged about it and offered thoughts and replied in the tutor forum.
The degree or blogging I’ve put forward reflects what I consider an invaluable addition to taking part in Forum Threads. You express what you think, ‘stream of consciousness’ into your own blog, edited to140 character for Twitter than take part in a Forum where some back and forth discussion should come about.
The other invaluable form of participation is through a conference call – as Jonathan Swift said, ‘I don’t know what I mean until I have heard myself speak.’
This is akin to a treatment outline for a video. The script in our case is the ad-libs and verbatim responses of student and input from the tutor. I like the idea of swim-lines and can imagine the Tutor online as a coach, rather than a subject matter expert, as a guide and mentor.
The reality is that such rapport develops with fellow students.
It is a shame that there isn’t more continuity through your original cohort. I have used the Compendium to share projects, using the layers to attach documents and have another contribute. For a simple mind map I like bubbl.us, otherwise I’m as likely to do a sketch and photograph it to share … or draw directly into a paint/draw package such as ArtPad using a stylus and Wacom board. Like all tools you need to have a clear use for it, rather than playing in a sandpit. To be able to collaborate in a team people need to be familiar with and using the same software/platforms.
Compendium can be used as a basic mind-map or flow chart and with experience be used for much more, as an e-portfolio of sorts.
It is overly prescriptive. Tools need to be intuitive and follow common practices regarding buttons and outcomes. For a first draft I prefer marker pen on paper, followed by bubbl.us.
As Beetham’s Chapter 2 (Activity 2) points out learners will find their own way through a task regardless. We understand things differently, draw on different experiences and come up with our own metaphors.
Whilst I go with the ‘Swim Lanes’ analogy, I often think the reality is like a Catherine-wheel nailed to a post in the rain.
Should an exercise such as this be addressed in a way that has so scientific connotations? It is surprising how easy it is to share the narrative of a linear activity in a multitude of ways. A simple set of numbered bullet points, perhaps worked up as a presentation. As a board game, one step taken at a time. Or a set of activity cards. You can talk it through by counting five activities off on your fingers. I’ll do one of these in the truly, joyful, brilliant http://www.bubbl.us and post it to my ou blog and extracurricular blog’ ‘My Mind Bursts’ which in turn is fed to Twitter ‘jj27vv.’
Make one of these mind maps, then change your mind and be tickled with the way the ‘node’ or ‘bubbl’ behaves . Go see! This and a list of wonderful tools from an H808 student who is a primary school teacher in Thailand. Work should be fun, especially learning design. After all, if you don’t enjoy it, how do you expect your future students to behave?
Bubbl.us has gone from toy to a grown up tool with layers and the opportunity to add sound, images (stills and moving) and no doubt much more, none of which I have had time to try.
The old bubbl.us was like playing with kid’s party balloons and when you deleted a balloon (or node) it blew up and burst into flames. This new version still does some magic to the eye, fading away like a mist, also when you save melting into the background like a rainbow of ice melting.
An extraordinary delight to the senses and apparently of far more practicle use than I credited it with a few months ago.
Click on this and it takes you to Picassa Dropbox. You can then enlarge it, save the code and help yourself. I think all the images I’ve put into this OU identify album is ‘open to the public.’
Seeing this all again I am reminded of my inspiration David McCandless.
By working on this a few more times an art director or designer would turn it into a thing of beauty; it is this level of inspiration that sells ideas to committees, colleagues and others.
People buy into ideas. People like to be inspired.
The pedagogy must of course be sound, the right offering of activities, outcomes and learner flexibility and support is the OU magic mix.
P.S. Don’t imagine I was familiar with any of these tools until I started the MAODE in Feb 2010, most of everything I now use I was introduced to by someone here.
Add the role of the Tutor.
Get in a designer and make it a thing of information beauty.
Sell it internally and externally.
Watch what happens and adjust accordingly.
‘As soon as a new radical market emerges, hundreds of new entrants rush to colonize it. Before long, consolidation takes place and most of the early entrants disappear. A few survive. But even these early survivors usually are not the ones that end up conquering the new market. The true winners are those that undertake a series of actions that scales up the new market. How do they do that?’ Markides and Geroski (2004)
Markides.C; Geroski, P. (2004) Strategy and Business, 35: 2-10
Over the course of a single working day, keep an eye out for examples of good practice wherever you may find them.
During a commute, reading a newspaper, magazine or journal, observing ‘things’ (tangible products) in action or experiencing some service delivery.
How could any of these be adapted to suit your organisation?
Try and discover a good idea that could be adapted to suit your organisation from the experiences of as many of the following as you can:
A member of your family (at work or school or wherever)
- Tesco customer suggestions and response board
- Free content on Facebook; pay for the piece of paper.
- OMU plasticated wall for planning
- Electronic sign in at Doctor’s Surgery
- Barcode entry to Gamesmaker Training
- Rotating three lanes at swimming club so each in turn gets the attention of the coach.
- Self-service check-out at WHSmith, Victoria Yo Sushi conveyor-belt food servings
- Social Media Marketing eLearning from MMC learning
- Keeping a diary
What has anyone else come across?
To what extent do you think that all five of Woolgar’s themes are relevant to virtual worlds?
The answer is to look both ways and to do so with aplomb.
Read Woolgar’s five themes.
|1||The uptake and use of the new technologies depend crucially on local social context||Liff et al. (2002) demonstrated the importance of ‘third-place’ settings, separate from both home and work, as influential in engaging a wide range of local people in using the internet: museums, trains or jogging circuits. In all these places technology now enables people to learn using the resources of formal education. The idea of ‘place’ takes on a new form, as the boundaries of a multitude of sites are crossed.|
|2||The fears and risks, anticipations and enthusiasms associated with new technologies are unevenly socially distributed||Woolgar cites research into surveillance equipment in support of this theme. Counter to expectation, for example, surveillance technologies in the workplace were not found to be generally resisted by workers. However, acceptance was undermined by the failures of the technology to meet design specifications. This led to extra work and sometimes the technology had to be scaled back (Mason et al., 2002). There are differences between staff and students in universities, in terms of perception and usage of ICT.|
|3||Virtual technologies supplement rather than substitute for real activities||Electronic communication has multiplied the use of paper in offices, though we can read material online. Learners may feel less need for the printed page. Educators look to substitute electronic supports for expensive and scarce direct tutor contact.|
|4||The more virtual the more real||One unanticipated outcome of teleworking was that travel increased. Electronic communication increased the number of clients contacted and a face-to-face meeting was then required. Computer-mediated communication is being used, partly because it offers benefits for learning and partly because students seem less able to, or to have less time available for, travel to study centres to attend tutorials. It may be, however, that mediated communication using one tool encourages a somewhat different form using other tools. Thus learners may use forums provided by their institution, but also Facebook, Skype and Twitter.|
|5||The more global the more local||‘The very effort to escape local context, to promote one’s transcendent global (and/or virtual) identity, actually depends on specifically local ways of managing the technology’ (Woolgar, 2002, p.19). In Singapore, for example, the Singapore Institute of Management was the base for provision, and a careful fostering of mutual understandings between the two organisations was developed over at least a decade
Educational provision is typically seen as valid and trusted only if it is located within recognised local institutions and accredited by local awarding bodies – even though the technology enables all aspects of a course to be delivered electronically from the originating institution.
Having just completed the activities about Second Life, to what extent do you think that all five of Woolgar’s themes are relevant to virtual worlds?
|1||The uptake and use of the new technologies depend crucially on local social context.||Not one bit, in this case any versioning is simply the English language (US).|
|2||The fears and risks, anticipations and enthusiasms associated with new technologies are unevenly socially distributed.||The context will include access to broadband, a computer, time to indulge, family attitudes to gaming, space in the home, time to indulge, other commitments (persona, family, school and/or work).|
|3||Virtual technologies supplement rather than substitute for real activities.||Substitute. It has become too easy to tap into a game that is, like the modem and some computing devices, on through all waking hours and readily accessible. A blended form of activity often occurs with participants playing together online, sometimes coming round to each other’s houses to do so.|
|4||The more virtual the more real.||On the contrary, seeking out the tricks and cheats is very much the culture of gaming. Even if you don’t have wholly real-life attributes ways are found to defy gravity, walk through walls, I’ve even see a sub-culture underneath or behind the game in which you behave/exist play and muck about ‘subway’ like behind the set, as it were.|
|5||The more global the more local.||In the context of business working at the OU Business and Law School I have first hand knowledge of how OU materials are developed for Russian partners (the 1000th MBA student celebrated this week) and are being initiated in Japan while having various other local centres globally. Though NOT in the US or France where local politics have restricted tutoring on the ground.|
Select two of the five themes that you feel most strongly reflect the way in which you perceive the effects that technology is making currently in a context known to you.
The more virtual the more real
|On the one hand there is a culture of gaming that attracts escapism and engenders a rule-breaking sub-culture of hacking with cheats a supplementary and important quest and reward. On the other webcasting and conferences whilst becoming more real, speaking and seeing each other in real-time, nonetheless afford less than real behaviours.||I attended a live-cast 250 miles away and did so in my PJs, not dressed for the office. When interviewed by an organisation in New York I set up an redecorated one corner of a bedroom rather than reveal that I was sitting either at the end of a bed, or at the kitchen table, or in an office the size of a walk-in cupboard and as messy as a shed-used as a dump for unwanted stuff. It is a different reality, sometimes a ‘hyper-real,’ that as we become familiar with its nuances will play to these differing attributes and so become distinct from reality … or of course, enrolled in that universe that we call ‘real’, which of course it is.|
The more global the more local
|Thinking directly of the technology, it strikes me that there is a global language: HTML. Are these codes not universal?||Watch the HSBC bank ads and see how we have two distinct types: the importance of local knowledge on the one hand, followed by the current roll-out support for their ‘Key’ which is universal. i.e. there is a duality, that is Janus-like. Aptly Janus is the god of transitions. He is depicted as having two faces on his head facing opposite directions and so look simultaneously into the future and the past, back at the last year and forward to the next. What strikes me about HSBC is that whilst globally owned and operated, it works to meet not impose local cultures; while this new ‘key’ with its diddy 1970s like plastic key-ring calculator code generator and the concept of bolts, locks and vaults, feels highly retro.|
Liff, S., Steward, F. and Watts, P. (2002) ‘New public places for internet access: networks for practice-based learning and social inclusion’ in Woolgar, S. (ed.) Virtual Society? Technology, Cyberbole, Reality, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp.78–98.
Mason, D., Button, G., Lankshear, G. and Coates, S.(2002) ‘Getting real about surveillance and privacy at work’ in Woolgar, S. (ed.) Virtual Society? Technology, Cyberbole, Reality, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp.137–52.
Thorpe, M. and Godwin, S. (2006) ‘Computer-mediated interaction in context’ in Markauskaite, L., Goodyear, P. and Reimann, P. (eds) ‘Who’s Learning? Whose Technology?’, Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, University of Sydney, Australia; also available online at http://routes.open.ac.uk/ ixbin/ hixclient.exe?_IXDB_=routes&_IXSPFX_=g&submit button=summary&%24+with+res_id+is+res20033 (last accessed 10 February 2011).
Thorpe, M. (2008) Effective online interaction: mapping course design to bridge from research to practice, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, vol.24, no.1, pp.57–72. This article provides an in-depth case study of a well-designed sequence of conferencing and online activity and introduces a particular form of concept mapping called ‘compendium’ to demonstrate the design.
Thorpe, M. (2009) ‘Technology-mediated learning contexts’ in Edwards, R., Biesta, G. and Thorpe, M. (eds) Rethinking Contexts for Learning and Teaching: Communities, Activities and Networks, Abingdon, Routledge, pp.119–32.
Woolgar, S. (1999) ‘Analytic scepticism’ in Dutton, W.D. (ed.) Society on the Line: Information Politics in the Digital Age, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Woolgar, S. (ed.) (2002) Virtual Society? Technology, Cyberbole, Reality, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
My son might be online playing World of War craft often, but so are two or three of his best mates.
From time to time they down tools (weapons, magic wands or whatever it might be) and head into town, or meet up to kick a ball around. Ditto my daughter whose use of the internet is exclusively to talk more with her immediate circle of friends.
This is real.
A colleague who has had the ‘social media manager’ tag at the OU has gone the full loop and is a ‘Communications Manager’ despite being online all day. I see her point, we differentiate new practices with new terms, but drop them once we see them in context.
It has happened sooner that I thought but there ought to be no need to different ‘learning’ from ‘e-learning’ as it is just learning that exploits new platforms and tools.
The human element is important.
Our human nature demands that we have physical contact with others. We are sociable, which interestingly has me spending increasingly amounts of time as a ‘social media manager’ in meetings or calling up people to meet face to face over lunch or a coffee.
I appreciate that the MAODE is all online.
I wonder however if this ‘purist’ point of view is sustainable or even desirable. Or do those who can and want to meet up do so anyway?
(Meeting a fellow MAODEr for the very first time a few weeks ago was odd. We felt we knew each other, there was no ‘ice to break’ as we’d worked on group tasks together in a previous module).
Not once have I imagined the technology making the genuine educator redundant i.e. someone whose modus operandi is to help students acquire knowledge and apply it, even to instill a life long love of learning with some tools and techniques to see them through.
If on a holiday to the Dordogne you came across a person from the Paleolithic painting in a cave would you leave him to it, or offer him your oils and sable brushes, or show him how to use a digital camera? (or her of course).
You don’t change the desire for self-expression, or capturing the world around you.
I know educators in their 80s who marvel at the Internet and the opportunity it offers to inform thousands.
Just think of an academic paper that in the past (and still) may be formally presented to a group of ten in the faculty, a group of thirty at a conference, then published … and quickly forgotten, compared to an age where such papers are presented face to face as described, but live through live streaming or a webcast to several hundred, then shared, copied and commented upon by thousands, and before it is even formally published may be gathering in a large readership?
And this is done by nursery, primary and secondary school educators too.
You have an idea for a class, you share it and if it is liked, it is picked up and used in many ways by many different people.
Its no longer a case of saying, ‘I wish I had done that.’ With permission/creative commons, OER and all that, you can use the fruits of someone else’s efforts, tweaked and personalised of course.
I rather think it is an exciting time to be working in education.
Personally I hanker after contact though, to address, mentor and coach people, probably young adults.