Tuesday, December 7, 2010

almost the end

Kiwi xmas tree by W J (Bill) Harrison

Thank you all for your participation and for making this course so varied and interesting.  The course officially ends this week, but I am taking reports up until 15 December for marking this year. If you have negotiated an extension, I will be in touch next year.  If you want to catch up don't forget to take in the class sessions in the archive of web conference recordings.

I am going back through your blog posts now for marking Assessment One - so if you are feeling almost finished, don't forget to check out the marking criteria for this assessment in the Assessments section. Here is a Hint: A summary post with links back to previous posts is a good idea to make sure I don't miss items you have described under each of the marking criteria.

At this moment in time, one report is in and about to be marked, and I know there are a few others which are very close to being submitted. A couple of people are still at the data collection stage, and others are in the throes of data analysis. So you are all working on different points in the continuum from evaluation plan, collecting data to analysing data and reporting. I am happy to give feedback on draft reports.

Now I have a dilemma for next year. How to get everyone to the evaluation plan stage, and collecting data as suggested in the schedule. Planning the evaluation projects seems to be the biggest 'stumbling block'. I would like to find out from you - what would have made it quicker and easier for you to get the planning phase completed?  Having a buddy seemed to work well, but aligning projects set in different places may have been a bit tricky for some of you. Yes?

In the final web conference, we discussed some aspects about the design of the course. One thing which came up was that people would have liked more idea about what they were in for, right at the beginning - my assumption was that the exemplars would help with this - but they didn't seem to be enough. I am interested in your ideas about this.  How do you think students could be informed about the big picture evaluation processes involved in this course right from the start?


Misha said...

Hi,Bronwyn, I have just been reading an article by
Debbi Weaver, Shane Viper, Jennifer Latter and P. Craig McIntosh Off campus students’ experiences collaborating online, using wikis Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 2010, 26(6), 847-860
and reflecting on my experience. I found the team/group approach challenging as I was struggling not only with content but with using the technology successfully. One week I would remember how to do something and then it would be gone again. I felt that I worked co-operatively with my first partner but not collaboratively and in trying to stay co-operative waited far too long and got behind myself. Second group project was much the same- life intervened and project buddies disappeared. I can take responsibility for my part in all of that but I may have found it helpful to have had an Elluminate session for those of us who might have been struggling with the access and getting started technology side of things.I know it is a post grad course and we should know stuff but I floundered around quite a bit at the begining just following the wiki process. And perhaps an extra session a little further on to check on progress with technology. I really like the wikieducator way of presenting work- more flexible than blackboard but it took me a while to get comfortable with it. And heavens above we are considering introducing that concept in one of our Certificate papers - the Service portfolio paper. It is meant to be an ePortfolio but we tutors need to get a grip on all that over the January, early February period.
So, for me I am musing how to move from being co-operative to being collaborative when working with an online group. I work collaboratively in a face to face setting but even then I can get somewhat irritated at the pace of some team members. Then I just want to go off into my own little corner and do it myself- and then I miss out on all the benefits that come with collaborative learning. Still on a learning curve here.

Misha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlexR-G said...

Hi Bronwyn,

I think the thing that made my planning slightly more diffiut was having a buddy because i was trying to contextulise it for mysef and understanding someone elses at the same time was a bit overwhelming. maybe pairing up could be optional? the other thing I was thinking was may be the activities you do in the first few weeks could be proactice runs for finding that foundaion information in your evaluation plan. Obviously the very first few weeks are great to discussing what evaluation is and the various theories but maybe some of the activites could be modified to mimic what participants eventually do in the planning phase. Personally i did get a bit lost in Wiki educator, maybe because I was so used to Blackboard. The navigation didn't seem intuitive to me and I felt a bit swamped by information and wasn't sure what would be most beneficial to investigate. This could have bee due to starting a bit late in the programme also though.
Hope theat is helpful in some way!

Katie said...

Hi I wont repeat anything that is already said by Misha and Alex. I also found Wikieducator difficult (I am not as use to Blackboard as maybe others) I found myself in last year's work). To mentioned the role of the examplars. I found them useful but needed to understand the role each component played. I also think I missed the move from plan to report. The partner issue I agreed with Misha that often timing was an issue. Lisa and I had an advantage because of our proximity and that we were able to tie our topic so closely. Choosing partner if wished could be an option but would make the web conference a more important component and maybe part of the assessment. Talking assessment I had mentioned before to you about the balance of marking to be swapped - the plan was a bigger process than the report. Thanks again

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Great feedback everyone and this will be very helpful for my planning about the course next year. I have been scratching my head a bit. and you have given me some brilliant suggestions. It has been a pleasure working with you all on your projects. Yes wikieducator does cause some challenges, and I am thinking google docs would be more comfortable. I am definitely going to rethink the buddy process - maybe for some activities to warm everyone up to preparing and thinking about the plan but not the actual project - as Alex suggests.

Yes the technology is always a fish hook Misha and can be off putting when people need to be focusing on the experience of evaluation and theory. More scaffolding certainly and more regular web conferences with experiential activities about evaluation. Lots of planning to do.

I am very aware that my interactions on the blogs fell off in frequency, and thank good ness you all made the effort to comment and give feedback to each other.

Liz said...

late comment but also a thoughtful one, i am in agreement with most comments about wiki, it seems so full and easy to get lost, especially after using blackboard.
i have been a most irregular participant so i can only get back what i put in. It was hard to have no buddy to start with and then get one with little feedback from them but again, you only get what you put in.
i have been going over comments again from Bronwyn for finalising the plan and then using it for the report.. thanks or the invaluable feedback B and also for directing me to some useful resources. It has been a hard journey but more so from my unside down life of the last 18 months and nothing to do with the course at all, so despite that i have learned new things and know there is much much more to read and learn, so i will look forward to getting on with ideas for the special project as the new year begins and I finally get a draft report ofver to Bronwyn. Good luck to all, and hope to hear from you in another paper. Best regards Liz C