Halfway point in module team activities

Hello everyone.  Great work by the module teams for Mods 4, 5, 6 and 7. Very engaging activities and a whole new perspective for most of us on the module themes. Excellent media resources and links have been provided for further use and study by the teams.  Thanks Mods 4-7 teams.

Bring it on Mods 8-11 teams!

We are now at the halfway point in module team activities.  As instructors, we’re beginning to look at participation levels in the activities from all members of the class.  We realize that there is a lot to do in ETEC 522 and some of you may be taking multiple courses.  However, you may be getting a reminder note in your email from us with respect to participation, and the requirement for such in the overall scheme for the course.  In most cases, you will not receive an email from us because you have been active in most or all modules.

We’re now heading into the home stretch with a few module teams yet to provide us with an activity for their module theme.  Most of you will also be focused on your Assignment 3 pitch.  Please let us know if there is any advice we can provide as we head towards the venture forum, Module 12.

15 comments


1 Ernest Pao { 11.01.09 at 4:37 pm }

Hi David,

Thanks for the reminder regarding participation in this course. I’ve enjoyed this course thus far and I think there has been a lot of great collaboration and sharing of ideas amongst the class that has been extremely valuable.

With that being said, I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and suggest that due to this web blog format of this course, which may be new to many of us, has probably brought down the participation levels somewhat vs. the traditional Vista format. I know a number of people have suggested that it can be a bit harder to follow compared to traditional threaded discussion forums. I have used an RSS reader (Google Reader) and it has not really helped (in fact, I’ve ditched it). Perhaps it is just a matter for students to “get use to” but I thought I’d offer some constructive feedback from personal experience thus far.

Nonetheless, I’ve found guidance and feedback from both Davids prompt, constructive and valuable. This course has been a great experience so far! Look forward to the next half!

Cheers!

Ernie


2 Ian Doktor { 11.01.09 at 5:33 pm }

Just so Ernie doesn’t feel all alone, I’ll also stick my neck out there and say more or less the same thing. The course is interesting and engaging and I like many of the discussions that arise from it. However, I also think its difficult to follow (and in particular follow-up) with conversations. It requires hunting through many different links or pages. Despite that, the comments I’ve recieved, both from the dynamic Dave duo as well as the other members of the class have always been constructive and thought provoking.

I just wanted to make sure Ernie didn’t feel all alone 😉


3 jennie wong { 11.01.09 at 6:02 pm }

Dear Davids,

I’m with Ernie and Ian on this one. Overall the course has been fantastic and we’re looking forward to the final stretch. Our team has worked well together with lots of momentum.

Jen


4 Sean McMinn { 11.01.09 at 6:23 pm }

To join in with my fellow group mates, I must say that I agree with much of what Ernie says. It’s funny how we sometimes do need that structure (threaded forums) in order to accomplish something.

I am not really a proponent of CMSs! In fact, I believe that we do need to get away from them, somehow. And I do like the concept of how this course is OpenCourseWare. But I have often felt that the variety of ways to communicate in the course to be a little frustrating.

Like everyone above, I’ve been enjoying the content. And I’ve found the subjects, discussion topics, resources, and comments interesting. But, also like Ernie, I have a feeling that I may participate more if everything were in one place. Of course, this doesn’t make me right.


5 davidp { 11.01.09 at 9:55 pm }

Thanks for the constructive comments all. Very much appreciated by us as instructors. Thanks for kicking it off, Ernie.

We’ve been hunting for a structured discussion format that fits within the loosely coupled structure of the blog environment, too. Many of our own instructor issues with Vista have been about the constraining nature of that particular environment. It made us want to break out into a more lightweight, free-form environment.

However, we do have to acknowledge the needs of our students for an economical approach that keeps the cognitive burden within reason. So, thanks for this feedback. We will indeed find a way to act on your feedback in future iterations of ETEC 522.

In fact, if you have some specific advice about tools for helping us keep the whole experience lightweight but organized (without a retreat to Vista), let us know here or directly via email.

Saludos.

d.


6 Annette Smith { 11.02.09 at 9:07 am }

I wonder if using the Ning or Joomla! environments would help keeping the discussions under control for the participants?

I also find it hard to follow and contribute in a reasonable way to the discussions on the blog. If I had unlimited time to wander around I would be able to read all the posts and the ensuing comments, but given that my time is constrained by the rest of my life I think I would be better able to contribute if there was more structure.

Annette


7 davidp { 11.02.09 at 11:58 am }

Thanks for the suggestions of tools, Annette.

d.


8 jennie wong { 11.02.09 at 2:34 pm }

ETEC522,

I believe that you will find Moodle quite easy to move around and explore within. I hope you all enjoy !!!!


9 Sean McMinn { 11.02.09 at 4:19 pm }

Thanks for responding, David.

It’s not that I find readers like Google Reader difficult (in fact, I’d be lost in this course without it), but I felt limited by it. For example: Who is commenting to whom? Again, bot overly difficult, but not as convenient.

After you asked for suggestions, I quickly went to do a little research to see if there are alternatives. And, interestingly, I found myself with unexpected outcomes — that is I’m learning something new again within the MET programme.

What I found is what Brian Lamb has been posting about this very subject! (Nice to see that you guys do listen.) I hope no one objects by my posting it hear for others in the course to see, but I think seeing something in “real-time” action within our own learning environment is just as beneficial to us in the MET programme as reading about or looking at outside examples. That said: I think the possible solution Brian is looking at seems promising.

Here’s Brian Lambs post: http://blogs.ubc.ca/brian/2008/10/making-wordpress-comments-behave-like-a-threaded-forum/

Novak’s blog related to the subject: http://blogs.ubc.ca/novak/2008/10/29/forum-like-blog-comments/


10 Ernest Pao { 11.02.09 at 7:42 pm }

Hi David,

Thanks for the prompt reply, David. I can certainly understand the reasons you instructors are wanting to move away from Vista. Looks like Jen beat me to the punch but I was also going to suggest Moodle as a potential platform. The forums there certainly lends themselves a little better to reading, posting, replying, and searching as the they have a threaded option. I’ve been using it lots for my teaching at school so if you have questions about it, I may have some answers. John Egan may also know more about Moodle as he taught ETEC 565.

Cheers!

Ernie


11 Sean McMinn { 11.02.09 at 9:14 pm }

I tried posting this early, but it seemed to get stuck.

Thanks for responding, David.

It’s not that I find readers like Google Reader difficult (in fact, I’d be lost in this course without it), but I felt limited by it. For example: Who is commenting to whom? Again, not overly difficult, but not as convenient.

After you asked for suggestions, I quickly went to do a little research to see if there are alternatives. And, interestingly, I found myself with unexpected outcomes — that is I’m learning something new again within the MET programme.

What I found is what Brian Lamb has been posting about this very subject! (Nice to see that you guys do listen.) I hope no one objects by my posting it hear for others in the course to see, but I think seeing something in “real-time” action within our own learning environment is just as beneficial to us in the MET programme as reading about or looking at outside examples. That said: I think the possible solution Brian is looking at seems promising.

Here’s Brian Lambs post: http://blogs.ubc.ca/brian/2008/10/making-wordpress-comments-behave-like-a-threaded-forum/

Novak’s blog related to the subject: http://blogs.ubc.ca/novak/2008/10/29/forum-like-blog-comments/


12 davidp { 11.03.09 at 7:51 am }

Thanks Sean for this helpful post on what Brian and Novak, the architects of this particular WP MU environment, are doing in order for us to have the loosely-coupled experience we seek while enabling the threaded nature of posts and comments into a more discussion-like format.

What I use to manage posts and comments globally (including this course) is a very slick information manager for the Mac called Devonthink Pro.

I actually manage all of my research and various active projects in that environment. It allows me the processing power of a few clicks to see posts, comments, dates, relationships, etc. in a very agile manner. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me.

We’re hoping for the kind of threaded emulation that Brian and Novak are designing for future iterations of this course.


13 davidp { 11.03.09 at 7:53 am }

Hi Ernie and Jen – yes, Moodle. I actually run my own Moodle server for a whole other purpose.

What I found myself doing was paring down that Moodle server to the essentials to make it into a lightweight delivery engine for content authored offline using another lightweight tool. My quest was to keep the content clean throughout its lifecycle, while having a managed environment for presentation and discussion.

d.


14 Bev { 11.06.09 at 8:20 am }

Thanks Ernie for stepping out and making your point on behalf of many of us. Another problem I have with posting is the fact that this is a public forum. In the security of Vista, it is possible to explore ideas without always having to be as polished and articulate as this forum requires. I know this is a graduate level course and responses should always be thoughtful, and articulate- but I think we need still a space to throw out half formed ideas and toss them around. Vista feels like a much safer place for this type of engagement- at least to me.
All that being said-I am really enjoying this course. I wish I had taken this course a long time ago-each and every presentation has filled in a lot of gaps. Good job all.


15 Barrie Carter { 11.07.09 at 8:35 pm }

Hello David and Course Mates:

This course has been offering a wealth of information, content, and knowledge from both David and us. In fact, I have been bookmarking the module presentations and saving the modules for they are useful and rich in creativity and ideas.

Indeed, it takes time to go through the discussions, but I enjoy reading everyone’s comments even though I do not respond to every single one. I do this because I have much to learn about computer and e-learning technologies.

Thank-you for the collaborative knowledge thus far. In truth, it has assisted me in developing lesson plans for my grade 8 computer studies course.

Cheers,

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