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SOLE and DiAL-e Sites August 2011

The  27th Annual Distance Learning and Teaching Conference at Madison-Wisconsin this August was a diverse and varied programme attended by some 900 distance educators from all sectors, from K-12 to professional education. My contribution was a half-day  DiAL-e Workshop with Kevin Burden (University of Hull) attended by some 24 people. The workshop went relatively well but also gave us an insight into a variety of cultural differences in such settings. I was able to learn from this and the 45 Minute Information Session on the SOLE model the following day definitely had a better 'buzz'. In addition I contributed to a new format this year, a 5+10 Videoshare session where participants had (supposedly!) produced a 5 minute video and then made themselves available to discuss it for 10 minutes.

All the sessions went well but the SOLE model and toolkit seemed to grab some serious interest and I will hope to have the opportunity to go back to the States and work with colleagues on learning design projects in the future.

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SOLE Information Session 4th August 2011

The 45 minute 'Information Session' session on Thursday (4th August) at the 27th Annual Distance Education Conference at Madison-Wisconsin produced a tweet from @lookstein "simon atkinson shares his flexible model for student-owned learning engagement - very valuable (and entertaining!)" so at least one person was interested!

The session was attended by some 50-70 people on day two of the conference at the stunning Monona Terrace Convention Centre and consisted of an introduction, this was the first US outing for the SOLE work, to both the conceptual model and the Excel Toolkit. The session was run from this WordPress site using a Resources page (which will remain here for people to access) to contain images and extracts, as well as the latest Excel Workbook file.

The session began with an interesting insight for me of the spread and diversity of people in the room. Representing K-12, Universities, Military Educators and a range of 'outreach' organisations. People identified themselves as roughly 75% 'Faculty' but a large proportion also identifying themselves as ID or instructional designers. After describing the contextual basis for the model itself, there was a fascinating exchange around the language used in the model, "What is meant by 'Social' context?" in distance learning, "What do you take 'feedback' to mean without faculty engaged?". The session ended with a live demonstration of the SOLE toolkit as it currently being used by me to design modules for a Postgraduate Certificate.

A very enjoyable session with some excellent in-session feedback and questions and some provocative questions along the way which is after all what the best conferences are made of.

Simon at Podium

Madison-Wisconsin Workshop 3 Aug 2011

24 colleagues from Distance Providers across the US, including form sectors with which we were less familiar such as Military Instructional Education, joined us for a DiAL-e workshop  in Madison-Wisconsin. A half-day workshop on the first day of the 27th Annual Distance Education Conference in Madison-Wisconsin ( #dtl2011 ) provided us with an excellent opportunity to explain and explore the work progressed since 2006. In retrospect we might well have spent more time on the underlying theoretical frameworks and contextual issues which underpin the DiAl-e, but we were excited to discuss video in a broader digital context with a focus on distance education. We took the opportunity to discuss how digital video might be optimised in distance education contexts using Web 2.0 technologies. We discussed and demonstrated the opportunities for using video as the basis for asynchronous discussion using VoiceThread, (about which we have already written elsewhere), for using subtitling not only to translate but annotate and punctuate video using Universal Subtitlesand the opportunities for using embedded segments of existing YouTube clips with ChopTube.   We ended with an insight into the role of emerging Semantic Video engines and the HTML5 format. The focus was very much on how teaching and learning can benefit from these emerging technologies. Details of the workshop are available here.

Just a few days before the 27th Annual Distance Education Conference in Madison-Wisconsin kicks off and final preparations for the workshop are underway. The conference tweet tag is #dtl2011 and we plan also to use #DialeUS for our session. We expecting at least 17-20 people which will make a very effective focus group to develop the work Kevin Burden and I have done over the last 5 years. We are very excited to be reconsidering the well-tried framework developed for video in a broader digital context with a focus on distance education. We always believed the model was adaptable to context and this is our opportunity to explore that notion with experienced and expert colleagues. Simon Atkinson (from Cambridge, MA!)

The programme has been releasded for the 27th Annual Distance Learning and Teaching Conference at Madison-Wisconsin this August. It looks like a really fascinating programme and I'm very excited to be part of it.

I'll be running a workshop with Kevin Burden on the DiAL-e and details will follow on that (www.dial-e.net) but on the SOLE model front I'm delighted to say that I have two sessions at Madison.

The Videoshare session, which I'll post here immediately afterwards, is V1 on Wednesday 3rd at 4:30.

conference programme screencapture
VideoShare Session

there is also a 45 minute Information Session (which will be a fairly interactive workshop) on Thursday 4th from 2:15-3:00 and is designated I-22

Second programme extract
Second programme extract

It's a great looking programme, I'll just have to remember to turn up to my own session! There doesn't appear to be a conference hashtag# but Kevin and I will be using #dialeUS for our workshop and I intend using #SOLE2011 for my sessions.

Great to see details of the DiAL-e Workshop is PM-7 at the The 27th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Our session is: DiAL-e Framework: Optimizing media for engagement at a distance and is a half-day workshop on

Wednesday, August 3; 1:00-4:00

advertised as

"Despite the abundance of digital media and communication tools now available to educators, it remains a challenge to use media effectively to promote learner engagement and higher order thinking skills. Join this lively, interactive and hands-on workshop to learn the Digital Artifacts for Learner Engagement (DiAL-e) framework for distance learning design and how to adapt it to your particular discipline and institutional setting. Through exemplars and problem-solving scenarios, you will explore how digital artifacts from a range of worldwide video archives can be used to develop higher levels of engagement, critical thinking and student independence. This workshop will also demonstrate how Web 2.0 tools support effective interactions around digital artifacts. Finally, you will develop your own ideas and exemplars for immediate application. Laptops will be helpful but are not required for participation."

We are very excited about running this worksop, which we'll endeavour to capture here at dial-e.net too.

Any questions lease feel free to ask via the comments.

Tweet tweet #dialeUS

DiAL-e Poster ALDinHE

It was a pleasure to join some 120 colleagues at ALDinHE 2011 at Queen's University Belfast. From a range of different HEIs, and a diverse set of professional roles, participants came to share insights and good practice in a range of learning development related activities.  The conference theme 'Engaging Students - Engaging Learning'  was so closely related to the work the we have done on using digital artefacts (notably video) to support higher order thinking skills in students a submission was a must.

I presented to colleagues Wednesday 20th April. I had a 90 minute workshop entitled 'Engaging Learners with Digital Resources'. I opted to use a single webpage on this site to support the workshop, with links to the relevant resources and exemplars, static images and the YouTube channel. So a PowerPoint free zone! After providing a bit of background on the thinking behind the framework I demonstrated a simple example of how what it NOT said or shown in a resource might be the catalyst for the 'what else' question that can, as Phil Race said in his keynote, be the most powerful learning question.

Participants then had the chance to consider how two other examples might support non-subject related thinking amongst academic staff. The focus is on what the student is to DO with the clip, not what the clip is 'about'.

There was some useful discussion and significant interest in the poster on display (available to download from the workshop page). It was also, on a personal level, a great chance to meetup with former colleagues form the Open University and the University of Hull.

Simon and Russell
Simon Atkinson and Russel Gurbutt (University of Leeds) discussing e-learning adoption strategies

ALDinHE 2011 was a relatively small professional conference with some 120 colleagues from across a diverse range of UK Higher Education institutions. The theme was "Engaging Students - Engaging Learning" although, with some noticeable exceptions, much of the conference was concerned primarily with the challenges we face as educational (or academic) developers.

There was a lot of discussion about 'teaching' to engage students but too little emphasis for me on the designing in to the learning the engagement we say we expect. Still it was a useful and interesting opportunity to get reacquainted with some former colleagues form the Open University and for the University of Hull.

I had two posters at the conference, a solo effort with the SOLE model (see and download the poster from http://www.solemodel.org) and a joint effort with Kevin Burden from the University of Hull featuring the DiAL-e framework work we have been doing since 2006. Details of the that poster and the workshop that I ran on Wednesday 20th April are available at the www.dial-e.net website. The workshop ran using a single webpage on the wordpress site so you are welcome to access the workshop resources. The post conference requests for "your PowerPoint" leave me frustrated!

Kevin Burden will be describing the relevance of the DiAL-e framework and related work to ICT in the schools sector during an invited lecture at the 4th Exploring ICT in Education conference in Qatar 16-18 April 2011. Entitled  "If you build it they will come: Engaging teachers with e-Content", Kevin will consider the vast amount of digital content already available for teachers and students in schools and the limited evidence to suggest it is being used effectively by teachers to support and enhance student learning in ways which are deep rather than superficial. He suggests teachers need a clear and practical model for using digital content in ways which are pedagogically sound and principled. The Digital Artefacts for Learner Engagement framework (DiAL-e) is a model which was designed for just this purpose and has since been used by teachers and lecturers across and beyond the UK.

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Simon Atkinson will present the DiAL-e Framework to colleagues at the ALDinHE conference in Belfast on Wednesday 20th April. The 90 minute workshop (session 6.3 1400-1530) is entitled  Engaging Learners with Digital Resources.

Participants will have an overview of the framework before getting the chance to use it in earnest and consider how it might support their colleagues in more effective use of digital content.

The workshop will be run using this website and resources at the Workshop Webpage and we’ll be tweeting at #dialeALD as we plan and review the workshop. We hope some of you will join Simon.

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