Dr Christopher Jobling

Senior Lecturer

Engineering

c.p.jobling@swansea.ac.uk

Diane Laurillard has posted a nice summary of week one of #FLble1 and I thought that I’d records a few things myself.

Good Ideas for Blended Learning

  • Crib sheets – introduce new technology and provide a user guide.
  • Padlet – is a good place to collect ideas and links but may not work so well for large classes.
  • Quizzes can be formative – if you provide feedback, it doesn’t matter if your students answer correctly.
  • Glossaries can be a useful learning tool – but I’m note sure that mediawiki is necessarily the easiest way to create one.
  • Typeform is an interesting tool for creating surveys and formative assessments.

Linking to the discussions

The thread on started by Clare Alderson is particularly pertinent to my current work:

The benefits of Blended Learning are undeniable but if educational institutions expect their teaching staff to incorporate digital technology to create student-centred, action-based and authentic curriculum, then they need to provide them with training and resources.”

I wanted to link to this discussion so I responded:

“Really great discussion in this thread … no way to link to it though. Is that a limitation does anyone think?”

and got this response from Adam Warren one of the FutureLearn developers which would be useful to others:

“Christopher – you can link to specific discussions but it definitely a work-around: right click on the ‘report as inappropriate’ flag to the right of any comment and ‘copy link location’ (or similar; depends on browser). Paste that link where you need it and edit to remove the last part (moderation_reports/new) – so your post (for example) is https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-getting-started/1/comments/8692259/

“You can also right-click on the View conversation links in your Replies page (linked from the top of every page) to get the URL for your own comments if you wish to share them, add them to a portfolio etc.”

For the record, the rest of my comment was:

“I’m a teacher not an instructional designer and I think that I have some of the skills needed to achieve some blended learning in my courses (perhaps in parts it’s already there). Plus, I believe that there are many others like me. Lack of time and skills/training is an issue but perhaps a bigger one is that there’s little recognition within many institutions’ recognition and reward structures to encourage innovation and to provide the time and training to foster it.”

The value of forums in large courses

Discussions remain for an issue for me. FutureLearn courses are of course outliers in terms of learner numbers but in my institution we also have large classes and since social learning is important, the best way to use technology to support this is important. I’m not convinced that forums, at least in the way they are typically implemented in VLEs, provide the best way to achieve this. They are particularly flawed in the FutureLearn platform in that there’s no search function and no way to find people. Relying on “likes” and “following” to filter the conversation only works once you’ve been immersed in a forum long enough to be able to judge the community. And of course, there are many participants who don’t actually post anything so their voice is effectively silent.

Disclaimer

To follow some of the links in this post, you’ll need to join the FutureLearn course Blended Learning Essentials.

 

November 8th, 2015

Posted In: #FLble1, blended learning

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