This excerpt (8’30”) is from the ‘wrap-up closing keynote delivered by Simon Atkinson at the Estonian e-Universities Conference held in April 2009 in Tartu, Estonia. Simon builds on comments made by conference contributors to reflect on issues such as media environment, cultural priorities, and the breadth of the state curriculum.
It was my pleasure today to present some of my visualisation tools to be used in higher education learning design. At the BETT2017 exhibition in London, with a small crowd of some 25 people, I shared the following presentation. With just 20 mins (plus 10 for questions) it was really simply an opportunity to emphasise that technology needs to be intelligently designed into programmes and modules in service of specified learning outcomes to be meaningful. I unveiled some recent work on an original taxonomy for the ‘Interpersonal Domain’ and shared an updated version of the Toolkit (available here)
Following the presentation of the SOLE model and toolkit at Madison-Wisconsin in August 2011, a number of conversations about the ‘diagnostic’ function of the SOLE toolkit have taken place.
One of the concerns of faculty and students is contact time. How much contact time am I being offered (versus how much I take advantage of), what other opportunities for facilitated guidance do I have. Why indeed, do I as the student not recognise the ‘directed’ learning I have been pointed to, and in the case of the SOLE approach, the entire toolkit forms an advanced organiser that demonstrates the consideration faculty have given to my learning time as a student.
The version of the Toolkit presented at the 27th Distance Education Conference at Madison Wisconsin broke down the learning engagements students were being asked to complete under the 9 elements of the model into 5 areas, or modes, of engagement. These are exploring the notions of learning engagement as reflective, introspective, social, facilitated and directed. In the next version of the toolkit I’m exploring a ‘dashboard’.
The Dashboard is a separate sheet that simply presents an overview, to faculty and potentially students, of the modes of learning being designed for the student. It shows at a glance, alongside the full profile of activities for each week or unit, a schematic that illustrates how much of the activity is facilitated, directed, and so on.
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.
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.
Wednesday 3rd afternoon Videoshare session had some 60-70 people present for 5 short videoshare presentations. The session was intended to be 5 minutes pre-prepared video and 10 minutes of questions each. A fun and interesting session. The 5 minute SOLE video is shared here:
This year the ALDinHE conference had as its theme – “Engaging Students – Engaging Learning” and was a series of small, diverse but very practical sessions ranging from identifying successful work-based learning models to the effective induction of non-traditional learners. In amongst all of that I ran a small workshop on Wednesday 20th April using a single webpage on the wordpress site for the DiAL-e Project.
I had two posters at the conference, a solo effort with the SOLE model and a joint effort with Kevin Burden from the University of Hull featuring the DiAL-e framework work we have been doing since 2006. There was an excellent response to the SOLE poster and considerable interest in its potential use as a staff development stimulus. I was particularly keen to suggest it form a useful tool for course team development in the broader context of course design, but every conversation helps me refine my own ideas, which is after all why we go to these conferences!
The ALDinHE Poster (as a PDF: SOLE Poster)
The next version of the SOLE model, with embedded Intended Learning Outcomes and further pedagogical guidance, along with a populated example, will be ready for the 2011 conference season!
Version 2.0 will be released on Saturday 16 April just before the 8th ALDinHE Conference: Queen’s University Belfast “Engaging Students – Engaging Learning” 18-20 April 2011
I will be presenting a workshop on the DiAL-e Framework and posters for both the SOLE model and DiAL-e.
The SOLE Model poster will also be featured at the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) Annual Conference, “Changing Practice, Changing Times” at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham, 5-6 July 2011
Perhaps most exciting is the invitation to present the SOLE model at the 27th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on August 3-5 2011. Again I have been issued a workshop invitation, along with Kevin Burden, to present the DiAL-e Framework and alongside that work there will be an ‘Interactive Video Presentation‘ of the SOLE Model.