Online Pedagogy
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Moodle 2.5 and the Bootstrap based theme – Clean

Moodle 2.5 brings the a new theme into core. It is called Clean and it is based on the modified Moodle bootstrap theme which is maintained by Bas Brands which inherits styles and renderers from its parent theme.
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Already using Bootstrap in 2.4 and have been following the progress of this. Bringing Moodle slap into the 21st C. Brilliant!

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Thinking about Moodle course design

Thinking about Moodle course design | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be responsible for the design of a Moodle course site. This will be the first time in almost 5 years that I've been the academic responsible for a course...
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Back to Moodle and course design. Must do some thinking about this. Maybe the idea of looking at a syllabus as a basis for "designing" a course  would be a hook to catch some faculty on digging into Moodle deeper.

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"Sentence first — verdict afterwards."

"Sentence first — verdict afterwards." | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
"‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’" - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, 1865. What kind of professor "experiments" in front of tens of thousands of...
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A great posting about MOOCS.

“The real value of attending a great university isn’t just the content…It’s the interaction with the person delivering that content.”

Apparently a quote from Andrew Ng of Coursera.

The last paragraph is a real dinger:

 

"Faculty members of all kinds who are in the process of being sentenced to future joblessness deserve a fair hearing. Behaving like the Red Queen when Alice questions your assumptions only makes MOOCs look even more like stuff and nonsense than they do already. Sometime in the very near future, the fortunate college professors left standing after this house of cards collapses are going to look back on these discussions and wonder what the Hell most of us were thinking."

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Why Tech Training for Faculty is a Waste of Time

Why Tech Training for Faculty is a Waste of Time | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
Providing faculty training for ed tech tools is a waste of time, unless accompanied by instruction that shows instructors how to incorporate the tools to enhance teaching. In this post I share reas...
Mark Pearson's insight:

There is a real chicken-and-egg situation here. When figuring out how to perform a certain teaching task in Moodle Faculty naturally gravitate to using the tool(s) they already know. I've seen some creative (and square peg  - round hole) uses of Questionnairre for example. But how to introduce a new tool and suggest uses for new courses / curricula? One thing that has worked for me is hosting a lunchtime session where Faculty share techniques they have used in Moodle to address a pedagogical outcome. These often stir creative juices. The optimal situation is where a Faculty will come to me up front with something they want to do with a class and ask the best way of implmenting. This happened last year with a desire to do Peer assessment of in class presentations. I worked with he Faculty to implement Workshop and then attended the classes and recorded videos of th student presenters. Worked quite well.

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Tim's blog: Do different media affect the effectiveness of teaching and learning

Tim's blog: Do different media affect the effectiveness of teaching and learning | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
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The take home from this : Instructional Design and not media per se matter in learning. It seems to me that some of the most important points about learning that we can assimilate are part of the tradition of teaching research. It's great to see pertinent citations from 30 year old articles and realise that plus ca change plus ca mem chose. I love the quote from the 1983 article:

 

"Five decades of research suggest that there are no learning benefits to be gained from employing different media in instruction, regardless of their obviously attractive features or advertised superiority."

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User personalisation in Moodle – bane or blessing?

User personalisation in Moodle – bane or blessing? | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
We put in a lot of effort testing whether Moodle upgrades have an impact on third-party plugins at work. If there’s one thing none of us want its for some...
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I personally expended a good deal of virtual ink in a multitude of Moodle Tracker and Forum arenas about the absolute neccessity of customizing the order of courses in the My Moodle display. I had implemented a hack in my 1.9 installations that allowed users to change the display of courses in their My Moodle  so that their most frequesntly used ones were at the top and the rest hidden. Alas, despite my pushing, video clips, documentation, encouragement, and straight nagging, no more than 5% of users (if that) ever bothered to avail themselves of this neat feature. Why, I wondered? My conclusion was that teachers want to customize the display of their courses because these are seen (and commented on) by students. But with anything that is just displayed to myself, why should I bother? The test for this might be to enable the option to have personal theme site wide. I would hazard a wager that Teachers would change the course theme but not bother to change their personal theme. But I don't think I'm prepared to try out this thought experiment -- too many opportunities for cock ups :-)

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Why ICT should still be taught in schools and a way to do it properly

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"ICT" -- still not sure what this is. Though this post is oriented towards the UK, K-12 experience I think it gives a dramatic example of how a curriculum  can be turned inside out and given real 'passion'.

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Time to turn the page?

Time to turn the page? | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
Just had my interest piqued by a post from Dai Barnes (Digital Textbooks - Yes or No?) and having initiated a reply, once I reached 500 words, thought it only polite to retreat to this blog. I have...
Mark Pearson's insight:

Worth reading because the author spells 'piqued' correctly!! Not sure I agree with his conclusion about transitioning from a book culture to an ebook culture (my reading of what he wrote). If that happened it would spell disaster for literacy -- public literacy would take a nose dive. Sounds like we need an Aldous Huxley to write an updated 'Brave New World'.

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Ian Guest's comment, May 23, 2013 4:47 PM
Hi Mark. Thanks for the vote of confidence, if only on my spelling ;-) We really have only scratched the surface in considering the factors which come into play when thinking about digital books. I'm interested in the assertion that they would 'spell disaster for literacy' though. Are there studies you can point me towards which support that claim? I have the impression (from articles I can't recall atm) that book sales (from print & digital combined) are increasing. Now even if that is indeed the case, I'll concede that increased book sales do not necessarily mean more books read, nor indeed does it necessarily lead to improved literacy. But surely it's a step in the right direction?
Mark Pearson's comment, May 24, 2013 10:50 AM
I'm afraid Ian that this is an unsubstantiated assertion based on conversations with my wife who teaches elementary school children in a poor district of middle America. My ill expressed concern is basically that if parents at the poverty line have to purchase an ebook reader in order for their children to read, then that will not happen. It's hard enough teaching kids from poor families not only how to read but the importance of reading (especially if their parents can hardly read themselves) -- add in ebook complexity and you've lost a section of the population most at risk for illiteracy.
Ian Guest's comment, May 24, 2013 4:27 PM
I think you're absolutely right Mark; they're valid points.
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Offline grading worksheet in Moodle 2.4 Assignment

Offline grading worksheet in Moodle 2.4 Assignment | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
One of the very useful new features in Moodle 2.4 Assignment is the Grading worksheet uploading. I had mentioned in the post about Blind Marking but this post w
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Am rolling out v2.4 this July. This could make a huge difference to the use of Assignments and grading. Super!

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It's MOOAs, Not MOOCs, That Will Transform Higher Education - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education

It's MOOAs, Not MOOCs, That Will Transform Higher Education - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
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More commentary on MOOC's (note the subversive apostrophe). I think the thrust of the argument about rise in Administration costs is a good one though. Comments section is worth a read through.

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A MOOC Quality Scorecard applied to Coursera Course

A MOOC Quality Scorecard applied to Coursera Course | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
In this post I review a recently completed Coursera course using a quality scorecard approach to measure and quantify five key dimensions of the course. I’m in the final week of a Coursera MOOC, Sp...
Mark Pearson's insight:

Hmmmm. I like the idea of a 'quality scorecard'. Seems to me one could apply this to any course presented online. And it could also double as a checklist for faculty creating an online course to cover all the bases. Nicely done!

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Endpoint - EiC July 2012

Endpoint - EiC July 2012 | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
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Way back in day, and I'm talking early 90s, an Earlham Bio prof called Jerry Woolpy created a system he called 'Delphi' that allowed a class of students to ask each other questions and answer them on the computer (IBM PC). It was very crude (written in Fortran!) and buggy but nevertheless achieved a pedagical goal and was used by a couple of brave teachers. Fast forward 20 years and the Web 2.0 version called PeerWise is now here. This is not Moodle -- it's a system hosted in New Zealand which is free to use. This article is how one teacher has used it in a Chemistry course at Edinburgh. Very enlightening and scales well to any large lecture class.

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Hong Kong Moodlemoot review

Hong Kong Moodlemoot review | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
This week saw the first Moodlemoot held in Hong Kong, and I was lucky enough to get a last minute call up to head over and represent (in a very...
Mark Pearson's insight:

ANALYTICS, analytics, analytics -- I sound like Steve Ballmer :-) We know the buzzword but how to make a real use of the concept in a teaching situation. This article has 3 ideas which piqued my interest. Simple ways of using the Moodle Activity report and Logs to achieve concrete goals for student outcomes. Well worth following up.

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EAC2011 – is the ePortfolio dead?

EAC2011 – is the ePortfolio dead? | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
Ok, pardon me for the dramatic opening line, but this thought has been rattling around in my head after Day 1 of the Australian ePortfolio Conference at Curtin University in...
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Just came across this. Yes, it's somewhat dated, but has the situation changed? I don't think so. Mark Drechsler's commentary is spot on -- institutions don't know what to do with an eportfolio. Until they've done it, and then they probably need something else. Add to this the steep set up curve compared to the LMS which has been around for a decade and now creates your courses and enrollments automatically. Yes, it should be student oriented -- but where are the incentives? If teachers don't evaluate / assess the student's work then the portfolio becomes little more than an academic Facebook with which it cannot compete. If the institution is not fully committed to ePortfolio as a major pedagogical plank then there's little incentive to invest the huge effort required to make it work well. Yes -- eportfolios as a genre are stuck in a rut.

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ePortfolios ... Part Deux

ePortfolios ... Part Deux | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
Introduction The previous post outlined the reasons behind our investigations into ePortfolios. Here are some thoughts following those explorations. ePortfolios mean different things to different p...
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Interesting diagram. I question whether the author's requirements as specified in the previous post would be classed as 'eportfolio'. However, some useful insights about levels of eportfolio and weightings. It strikes me that the investment required to construct and tailor an eportfolio system for an educational institution or group of teachers is collosal especially if you already have a functional Learning Management System. What we need now is 'efolio-easy' system where a Teacher can create something functional and usable within an hour.

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Ian Guest's comment, May 23, 2013 4:54 PM
Absolutely right Mark. Not really an eportfolio, but perhaps a step towards one? If some people are thinking along those lines, then maybe they provide the hook we need to move a little closer? And as you rightly observe, constructing an eportfolio system is quite an undertaking ... which might be why we need to take the small steps first. When you've designed efolio-easy, let me know; I might have a client!
Ian Guest's comment, May 23, 2013 4:56 PM
Can I also thank you for adding value to Scoop.It posts in this way. All too often folks (me included) just Scoop the article/resource and share it out. Adding comments in the way you have invites discourse and encourages deeper thinking.
Mark Pearson's comment, May 24, 2013 10:27 AM
Thanks for your comments Ian. I also have a blog but find that the overhead of adding posts is greater than the effort I'm willing to expend in adding them! At core scoop.it is merely a collection of commented links but the presentation works well methinks.
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Digital Textbooks – Yes or No? - i see teach

Digital Textbooks – Yes or No? - i see teach | Online Pedagogy | Scoop.it
Digital textbooks are an interesting beast. Do you use them? My school subscribes to Kerboodle, Doddle, Dynamic-Learning and others.
Mark Pearson's insight:

What seems to matter is not the content of digital textbooks per se but how it's been processed to construct the digital textbook. I thought this comment was well placed

 

"they are severely lacking. A lot of it stems from the publishing companies being scared of piracy and not moving with the times, Lots of them are the old ones they were selling ten years ago created in macromedia director with a slightly new-er frontend."


Right on. That's why I think that ePub is the way to go.

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