One reason why this space was so quiet last week was that I was hunkered down in a near-frenzy preparing for May 15th’s full-day LO development workshop. It was sponsored by MAPLE, and held at UBC’s Distance Education and Technology unit for a diverse group of DET’s faculty, instructional designers, programmers, administrators — with a few guests from elsewhere on campus.
It was the first time I’ve led an event on reusable media on this scale, and I’m grateful to have collaborated with a couple of DET’s talented course developers, Jeff Miller and Karen Belfer, when putting it together. I’m grateful for the kick-ass catering too.
Best of all was the group of participants, who were outstanding. They maintained a remarkable energy level, balanced a healthy skepticism with a respectful open-mindedness… and the afternoon strategy sessions produced some useful recommendations. I’m working on assembling their efforts into a relatively concise summative document.
Lessons learned: people who work in online learning may have minimal familiarity with specialized concepts around learning objects, metadata and consortia, but they do have a very firm understanding of the media they work with, and the issues that are relevant to them. In future iterations I will be more vigilant in minimizing the jargon and building on the existing expertise in the room. It seems to me that very little of the terminology tossed about in the learning object universe demands its own vocabularly, creating its own significant barriers to adoption.
[I’m storing up negative energy for a corker of a rant on this subject, which I hope to unleash later this week, assuming things degenerate as badly as I expect.]
On a related note, I resolve to keep the presentation segments much shorter in future events. Though I gave only a total of one hour or so of actual presentation, maybe half of that was necessary. And that itself could be carved up into five minute chunks, and deployed only if needed in the course of a more engaging, activity-based framework.
The master PowerPoint file is here (1MB). We also prepared this set of associated links (please excuse the longer list of omissions). You are welcome to use this material if you think it’s of use to you… and of course your feedback is more than appreciated.
Thanks to D’Arcy Norman for letting me use his presentation for a section dealing with tools and systems.