US Interest in the SOLE model & toolkit

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 a WordPress site using a Resources page to contain images and extracts, as well as the latest Excel Workbook file.

The session began with an interesting insight for me into 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 identified 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 is currently being used by me to design modules for a Postgraduate Certificate.

Simon at the podium 2011

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.

SOLE Model Poster at ALDinHE 2011

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)

SOLE Model dissemination 2011 Conferences

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.

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