Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Course personas: more haste less speed

One piece of work I tackled early on in the Learning Design project was to develop Course Persona cards for two potential delegates.



There's nothing especially radical about the ideas presented there - but it was a really useful stage in taking me from my starting point (making an online version of a course I already run) to my current point (making a new course, using some of the older materials, but rethought).

A Revised Storyboard

Having looked at the comments and revisited some points about the learning design that didn't seem to mesh well as I put together the sample materials, I decided to redo the storyboard. Initially this consisted of taking down the big presentation board and adding some new post its, but it's becoming painfully clear that although an "analogue" approach works well in terms of me doing this in my spare time it wouldn't work outside that, and in any case it makes presenting the course to anyone not sitting across the desk from me a somewhat constrained experience for us both!

I've spent some time therefore putting the storyboard onto one of my favourite online tools - Realtimeboard - not only would this allow colleagues to collaborate on a design with me (synchronously or asynchronously), it also makes producing usable documents easy, and gave me the opportunity to reword and generally tighten everything up. Finally, with one eye on the need to write an assignment in the next few weeks I've introduced a referencing/ numbering scheme for elements of the storyboard that works as:
nAAnn or [courseID]nAAnn
Where the first n is the week number for the element.
AA is the type of element (to date this is TA for topic area, EA for example activity, FA for formative assessment and LO for learning objective, which I've chosen to match the course text, but I expect before using this approach in anger I'd want to have more, and more descriptive categories and sub-categories to make the job of breaking down areas and delegating their design simpler and clearer)
nn is a sequential number to identify each item.
So the first piece of formative assessment, happening in week 2 would either be 2FA01 or (if the course was EDX028) EDX0282FA01.

This is of course all very train-spotterish but in trying to match the theory as set out in the writing about 7Cs and the reality of co-ordinating people in different locations and institutions these things do matter, especially if a goal is reusability.

So I think I am now at 9Cs (I'd call this one C for co-ordinate or collate, my 8th C was consult to reflect the planning to incorporate a situative approach of master-apprentice interaction and learning by watching).

This is my latest version, you can also see the full storyboard on Realtimeboard.

Weeks 0 to 4, please click to see full sized.

Course learning objectives, please click to see full sized.

Weeks 5 to 8, please click to see full sized.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Learning Design: Review and Feedback

This is a summary of points raised reviewing the learning design set out in earlier posts:

  1. The online conferences are the main way instruction and feedback would occur in this course – probably the single deciding factor in the quality of the course but they are glossed over in the materials and planning shared. Something as detailed as a lesson plan should be created and shared with the students as part of their prep for the session. Agreed. I will work on a much more detailed "script" for the first sessions possibly using the e-tivity templates, although they lack the detail necessary.
  2. Welcome and introductions and a test of the conferencing technology should be brought forward a week.  Agreed. This will in effect be a 'week zero' - a preparation week. This will also create space for checking all delegates can access everything.
  3. Teachers are being expected to get into the online conference very quickly but it is likely it will be just two or three that do so – planning needs to show how that will be managed. I expect all delegates will find the group OK, I've had no experience of people failing to do that - however yes, there may be a period of silence as nobody posts anything - so more structure is needed - I will go back to the Salmon five stage model for ideas.
  4. The follow on activities need to be written out more clearly because although they will be explained anyone who misses the session or doesn’t understand has nothing to fall back on Agreed - this will be part of point 1 above - delegates that miss the live session will have access to written explanations in there.
  5. The course doesn’t allow for teachers to self-study and miss out the online conferences entirely – surely video and screencasts could allow people to do the course on demand?  That wasn't the initial brief - the idea is a blended approach that has set time limits to ensure there is a sense of pace and progression and a group dynamic. As an entirely self-access on-demand course it has value for people to dip in and take away resources, but it is a very different project. That said, it would be entirely possible to record the online seminars and make them available alongside the material in an on-demand version.
  6. Can a tutor led lesson observation and support be built in? As it stands someone could fail quite badly in their lesson and that might not be clear within the review of the course. For example they might say it went well and pick one example where the pupil did good work and the principal will think they’ve moved forward when in fact they haven’t – where is the rigour/ accountability. This is difficult to resource - perhaps some additional resource could be provided for the delegates to ask a colleague within their school to complete the pro-forma.
  7. We expect teachers to set out clear LO for each session, this course should match that. This will be covered in 1 above.