E-Activity – Intuitive assessment using the eMM e-Learning processes

For this activity I have chosen to assess an online course from a New Zealand University. The course was intuitively assessed against the delivery dimension of L1, L2 and L3 of the e-Learning Maturity Model developed (Marshall, 2007). The institution offers

Process L1: “Learning objectives guide the design and implementation of the course” 

For this process the delivery dimension assesses five criteria, the criteria and my intuitive judgements are listed below:

1. Course Documentation includes a clear statement of learning objectives.

(LA) – Formally stated learning objectives provided to a limited extent, either as narrative descriptions of the course outcomes or only in documentation
provided after enrolment.

2. Learning objectives are linked explicitly throughout learning and assessment activities using consistent language.

(LA) – Most, but not all, assessments and learning activities contain explicit linkages to course learning objectives or restate learning objectives using different
wording.

3. Learning objectives are linked explicitly to wider programme or institutional objectives.

(LA) – Learning objectives are linked to wider programme or institutional objectives in most but not all courses, or only stated subsequent to course design and development.

4. Learning objectives support student outcomes beyond the recall of information.

(FA) – Learning objectives formally and systematically address a range of student outcomes beyond the recall of information.

5. Course workload expectations and assessment tasks are consistent with course learning objectives.

(FA) – earning objectives are formally and systematically linked with course workload and assessment design and development.

Process L2: “Students are provided with mechanisms for interaction with teaching staff and other students” 

For this process the delivery dimension assesses three criteria, the criteria and my intuitive judgements are listed below:

1. Courses provide a variety of mechanisms for interaction between staff and students.

(FA) – Interaction between staff and students provided formally through multiple complementary communication channels.

2. Students are provided with teaching staff email addresses.

(FA) – Course documentation contains clear and consistently presented lists of teaching staff email addresses repeated in suitable places.

3. Students are provided with technical support for all of the communication channels in use.

(LA) – Technical support is provided to students to assist them in making effective use of the available communication channels, but support is not actively promoted or provided to all students.

Process L3: “Student skill development for e-Learning is provided” 

For this process the delivery dimension assesses four criteria, the criteria and my intuitive judgements are listed below:

1. Students are provided with explicit descriptions of the relationships between course components and activities.

(LA) – The relationships between course components and activities are conveyed to students explicitly, but only for some components or courses, on in an unnecessarily different way between courses.

2. Courses include opportunities for students to practice with e-learning technologies and pedagogies.

(PA) – Limited or informal opportunities for students to practice with e-learning technologies and pedagogies are provided after commencement of the course.

3. Students are provided with e-learning skills support through a variety of communication channels.

(LA) – A formal e-learning skills support and training service is provided to students but required face-to-face contact at the institution or in incomplete or offered over reduced or constrained hours of operation.

4.  Course activities provide students with opportunities for substantive feedback on their e-learing skills.

(LA) – Formal opportunities for feedback beyond the marks assigned for assessed work provided by course activities but only for assessment tasks.

Comments: This intuitive assessment is based on the experience of the course, the course documentation and web portal. However, it should be noted that experience of the wider institution is very limited and assumptions based on publicly available resources (e.g. Website) have been made to complete this assessment.

DISCLAIMER: This assessment is based on intuition I have not consulted with any specific evidence for this assessment, and this was conducted only for the purposes of a formal course activity.

Reference:

Marshall, S. (2007). E-Learning Maturity Model: Process descriptions [draft report]. Retrieved from http://www.utdc.vuw.ac.nz/research/emm/documents/versiontwothree/20070620ProcessDescriptions.pdf

Advertisements

Annotated Bibliography 8

Ensminger, D. C. (2004). Factors Contributing to the Successful Implementation of Technology Innovations. Educational technology & society, 7(3)

Description:

This paper describes the results of a study into the conditions that facilitate the implementation of instructional innovations. Specifically the factors contributing to the successful implementation of technology innovations. the primary purpose of the study was to determine if there are underlying relationships between Donald P. Ely’s Eight conditions that facilitate implementation.

Ely’s eight conditions are:

  • Dissatisfaction with the status Quo
  • Adequate Time
  • Resources
  • Knowledge and Skills
  • Rewards and Incentives
  • Participation
  • Commitment
  • Leadership

The Study refers to the ADDIE Model of instructional design: ADDIE – Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation.
While also referencing several different Change Theories noting that “Change theory isn’t one unified, universally accepted theory, but rather a broad family of theories.” (p. 61). The theories mentioned include: Rodgers’ Innovation-Decision Process, Havelock and Zlotolow’s CREATER Model, Hall and Hord’s Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM), User Oriented Instructional Development (UOID) and other non-attributed theories.

The study found that four factors emerged from the data these were:

  •  Managed Change – Participants wanted Management to play an active role in the change process.
  •  Performance Efficacy – Individuals believed that they would be successful in using the innovation either due to preexisting skill sets, or confidence they would be able to learn the skills if provided time.
  •  External Rewards – Individuals were more likely to participate in the implementation process if they receive some recognition or reward for using the innovation.
  •  Resources – Simply participants wanter to know that the equipment, finances, personnel and other resources were in place and easily accessible before implementing the given innovation.

Evaluation:

While this study does not directly relate to my research topic, it provides some interesting insight into different change models (CREATOR, UOID, CBAM) and how they can be used to determine wether an implementation will be successful or not. An interesting factor that has come up in several different readings now is the idea that “External reward” is important for successful change within educational institutions. While this is not something that can be easily offered by a single institution within New Zealand I believe it is something the Ministry of Education could.

Annotated Bibliography 6

BYOD: ONE YEAR LATER. (2013). Technology & Learning33(7), 36-39.

Description: 

This article presents interviews of 5 different School Leaders one year on from implementing a BYOD strategy, asking them about their Goals, Successes, Challenges, Improvements and Changes they would make to their strategy.

The article offers several valuable insights into the use of BYOD’s as more than a replacement for the traditional means of content reproduction. “Students are empowered to use their tools the way they want to support their learning. when teachers allow students to drive technology, they are much more focused on their content specialties than on teaching how to insert a picture in PowerPoint. ” (LaMaster J.)

The key themes of the article are firstly the need for change in pedagogy to lead change in technology:

“We have learned that traditional teacher-directed instruction does not lend itself to student technology use. we are working with the instructional leadership on changing pedagogy to take advantage of these new resources. This has been harder than building the infrastructure.” (Cave R.)

“If the teachers and the instruction are not ready for BYOD, then it will not be successful.”  (Cave R.)

and secondly to empower or provide agency to the students:

“When students are actively involved with the lesson by gathering information, collaborating, and sharing their findings, technology will have the type of impact for which we have been striving.” (Cave R.)

“Once one student finds an effective tool, shortcut, method, or research article, he or she willingly shares it.” (LaMaster J.)

Evaluation: This article offers insight without unfortunately offering specifics, it again highlights the importance of Leadership, clear pedagogical focus and Student agency. However the specifics of “Which pedagogy methods were most effective?” and “How can we scaffold the agency experience for the learners?” are not discussed.

I did appreciate the clear language answers given by these school leaders as they talked about the challenges and surprises that arose on their BYOD journey.

“We spent three years discussing a 1:1 BYOT program, hosting PD for teachers, making web resources, piloting, and installing a new wireless network. Taking the front time really paid off.” (LaMaster J.)

Annotated Bibliography 5

Norris, C., & Soloway, E. (2011). BYOD as the Catalyst to Transform Classroom Culture. District Administration47(9), 114.

Description:

This short article presents the necessary  change in pedagogy for BYOD in simple terms stating that Schools will need to move away from the “I Teach” paradigm into a more inclusive “We Learn” environment.

It offers the comparison of BYOD with the earlier introduction of computers into schools, and the failure of this change to achieve significant improvement in student achievement as: “The same textbooks, the same curriculum and the same pedagogy continue to be used, but computers were substituted in for pencil and paper.”

The article asserts the following challenges to schools implementing BYOD:

  • “Teachers teach the way they were taught, and since teachers learned via ‘I Teach,’ there will be significant resistance to moving to ‘We learn.’ If you make the move optional, you know what will happen.”
  • “Teachers will need curriculum to support ‘We learn'”
  • “It is crucial that all students have at least a smartphone, even if the school has to provide some of them. Do not allow internet-less phones. They will drag the rest of the class down to the lowest level of common functionality.”

Evaluation:

This article summarises a number of my findings to date, firstly the need to have a clear pedagogy focus without this the devices will simply be adapted in as substitutes for other stationary. Micheal Fullan expressed this well when he said “Without pedagogy in the lead technology may be driving us to distraction.” Secondly the vast importance of clear leadership the idea that staff must be supported but also need to be directed in a non-optional way. Thirdly the need for clear thinking around the device, directing the selection of the device to the students curriculum learning needs.

This article was directed at District Administrators, a position not found in the New Zealand Schooling system, I would like to share it with anyone leading learning in a School. E-Learning or BYOD, like any other initiative in Schools, must be driven from a base of sound pedagogy.

Annotated Bibliography 4

Moore A., Fowler S. and Watson C.  (2007).Active Learning and Technology: Designing Change for Faculty, Students, and Institutions. The EDUCAUSE quarterly, 42(5), 42-61.

Description: This article describes a recommended approach to designing technological change for staff, describing a process to overcome institutional resistance to Double Loop Learning.

Double Loop Learning (DLL) (C. Argyris 1978), is learning in which “an individual, organisation or entity is able, having attempted to achieve a goal on different occasions, to modify the goal in the light of experience or possibly even reject the goal”. It is possibly easier to understand in comparison to Single Loop Learning (SLL) which is defined as “the repeated attempt at the same problem, with no variation of method and without questioning the goal.”

The article further discusses the need to lower the anxiety associated with new learning for staff, and discusses six broad strategies or “best practices” to ensure program longevity and increase the likeliness that staff will “participate, learn and ultimately change” these are:

  • Manage Institutional Issues
  • Implement Adult Learning practices
  • Offer incentives to participate
  • Deliver workshops
  • Utilise Colleagues and peers
  • Provide ongoing support

The article highlights the need for the institution to have a pedagogical focus  “Pouring a solid foundation of good pedagogical design before adding on the layer of technology can become a critical factor in the success rate of technology integration.” Particular emphasis is given to the idea of “Active engagement of learners” which further reinforces the ideas of Meaningful Learning (Jonassen, 2003). It stipulates the need to transition students towards meaningful learning because “For many students, standardized testing has often worked to derail their innate intellectual curiosity and their desire to know the “whys” and “hows” of a given topic or subject area.” it suggests that Teachers have often trialled new methods without involving the learners in the “why” of this new approach, but in fact “helping students make the transition from passive to active learners means engaging them in the conversation from the beginning.”

Evaluation: This is the second article in my annotated bibliography that focuses on change in the context of higher education. The lessons inherent in the article however are not specific to this particular sector of the education spectrum.

Key take aways for my research include:

  • The six “best practice” strategies at an institutional level
  • The availability of walk in “Just in Time” professional support
  • The need for a clear pedagogical focus
  • The engagement of the learners in the “why”

Annotated Bibliography 3

Moser, F. Z. (2007). Faculty Adoption of Educational Technology. The EDUCAUSE quarterly, 30(1), 66-69.
Description: This article explains a Technology Adoption Cycle that was developed based on the experiences of Staff at three different universities, the model (pictured above) highlights a circuit of faculty behaviours (shown in bold) and the outside factors which influence them (shown in italics).

The article goes on to identify barriers to the adoption of educational technologies for each of the groups identified in the Diffusion of Innovation Model (Rodgers, 2003) and highlights the need for support, and the type of support required, for faculty at each stage of the cycle.

Key take aways from the article included, the importance of time commitment this was highlighted throughout the article, both as an extrinsically motivational factor (the institution) and as in intrinsically motivated factor (the individual).

“The time faculty spend integrating educational technology into their teaching lies at the core of this model. Because time is a scarce resource and many other activities compete for faculty attention, time commitment illustrates the value and importance assigned to an activity”

Additionally the need for support, it was highlighted that the majority of organisations had adequate support for development of staff competence, however support for pedagogical development and reflection was lacking.

Evaluation: Although the article highlighted experiences at the University level I found that it also reflected what I have seen working in Schools and as such the lessons from the article can be applied. The concept of time is one dear to the hearts of Teachers everywhere a Teachers time is often divided between Transactional (doing) and Transformational (changing) activities, however during an average teaching day we get so busy with transactional items. We are busy getting things done, that transformational falls by the wayside. It must be the institution that provides the time and support for teachers to engage in the Transformational change that e-Learning offers in order to ensure its adoption.

The final recommendations of the article I believe apply to any change not just an adoption of technology, they are:

1. Engage in continual need analysis.
2. Provide a well-rehearsed supply of scaleable services that reflect the priorities and skills of the individual support groups.
3. Implement a solid and efficient process for consulting with individual faculty.
4. Get involved with a number of larger projects that foster overarching collaboration.
5. Conduct multifaceted evaluation activities.

Annotated Bibliography 2

Evans L., Chauvin C. (1993). Faculty Developers as Change Facilitators: The Concerns Based Adoption Model. In To Improve the Academy (Vol. 12, pp. 165-178) Retrieved from Digital Commons University of Nebraska.

Description: This article explains the Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM) from the perspective of a change facilitator. It details the underlying theory of the CBAM and highlights the nature of change and the stages an individual will progress through.

  • Awareness – “I am not concerned about it”.
  • Informational – “I would like to know more”.
  • Personal – “How will it affect me?”
  • Management – “I am spending all of my time on this”.
  • Consequence – “How is use affecting students?”
  • Collaboration – “How are others using it?”
  • Refocusing – “What are the next steps?”

The article further illustrates methods of questioning that can be used to determine which of the above stages a particular practitioner is experiencing.

Evaluation:  This article offered a clear description of the “Concerns Based Adoption Model”  of particular use is the questioning allowing a facilitator to determine at which stage an individual is experiencing and techniques to address their concerns. I also noted the date on the article and was surprised that some of the issues mentioned in 1993 as “In the last two decades” are the same issues Schools are struggling with today. 

I found two quotes within the article to be powerful and would like to share them with every school I have worked with, firstly:

“While others often assume change to be an event, those of us who work with faculty to implement change in organisations, in classrooms and in individual faculty members’ teaching know that change is a process.” (p167) Any school looking towards implementing a BYOD or BYOC style of programme would do well to heed this, its not about setting a date and telling students to bring their new tool along, the process must be laid down carefully and implemented in stages.

Secondly: “change at the individual level involves anxiety and uncertainty, developing new skills, practice, feedback and congnitive transformations with respect to ‘why this new way works better'” (p166) One of the dimensions of Cognitions E-Learning Planning Framework is “Professional Learning” and perhaps additional thought should be given not to “can teachers do this” but “do teachers believe in this”.