Archive for the 'e-Learning' Category

Final Reflections on the #edcmooc experience


I wasn’t joking when I tweeted this. And here I am about to take another MOOC course.

Though I still feel like a cocoon, I’d like to get here eventually.


Reflection on my own engagement during this course

Learning is rewarding, but it’s tiring too.

This MOOC has been one of the best learning experiences in my recent life and I think it had such an impact on me because it required me to apply what I was learning creatively. This wasn’t a typical course with a set syllabus where you could check assignments off a list.

I probably should have engaged more in the other channels, but for some reason I found Twitter to be the easiest to engage in.  I’ll confess that this is most likely due to convenience. In my next course, I would probably choose a different social media to engage with others in the class. But not Facebook. Call me a curmudgeon, but I’d like to keep Facebook in a separate place in my life… like off. Is it right that I don’t want to use it? Or should I succumb and become part of the entity?

To be frank and I may lift some of the learning & reflection I’ve taken from the #edcmooc, Facebook does not make me feel human.  I don’t feel like I want to know small details from other people’s lives or share private parts of my life and thinking with others and if I do maybe on my own terms. I like hearing about people tell me about their lives and their children in person. Maybe this makes me less of a digital native. that I want to carve my own little cubby corner where I can still think and be on my own, so be it.  I read recently in a tweet or blogpost of a classmate that they felt that the #edcmooc was both an enriching and lonely experience.  I can see that. For me it was less lonely, but by then end I was really jonesing to be ‘disconnected’ for a bit.

I am glad the designers of the course didn’t settle on one channel of social media. If it had been only Facebook I would have been SOL, but I guess that’s part of the point to have multiple channels in which to learn.

The flow of good information and thoughts shared by others in this course was overwhelming. I’m still reading through blogposts I favorited from the second week of class. I may never get to all of them, but I am inclined to read the posts of people I connected with in the Twitter feed going forward. This is probably the greatest value I got from the course: connecting with and learning from others.

I’ll be honest about one more thing. I took this course, more for the experience of being in a MOOC, not as much for the subject or the prospect of getting credit. This was my first experience in such a large course. I wanted to experience it and analyze it from an Instructional Designer’s perspective. I was incredibly curious about how such a course would work, and for the most part it seemed to do just that. Whether it gave use the ‘traditional’ higher-education experience that was academically rigorous is another matter. You could make that age old argument: “It is what you make of it.” While this may apply, I still feel that guidance and feedback from instructors even on a broad scale. On a regular basis would have been more helpful. I did notice a few facilitators really engaging with students in the Twitter and in replies on the forums, but I felt somehow that their feedback wasn’t always there. Or maybe i missed them like I keep missing the Easter Bunny.

Would I do it again? Yes. Would it be as engaging and as much fun as in the #edcmooc course? I’m not sure.

The artefact experience and consuming custom created content

I’ll admit I probably put more into my artefact that I should have. I was dealing with a topic that I feel passionate about and probably didn’t spend enough time killing my darlings. I’m glad that I was able to learn about tools I hadn’t used before for creating content like Prezi or Wallwisher.

As I watched many of the videos outside of the assigned clips I realized how much YouTube has been commercializing content, some of which was not meant have a  home despot ad attached to it. It reminded me that even though we’re creating this content for free, if it’s popular, it’s becoming a commercial vehicle for someone else.

When you share things online whether it’s a quip or a carefully crafted video, you’re providing fuel for the machine. Whether it’s data to be harvested or attractive electronic flypaper (if your creation is ‘good’) you’re still contributing the lucrative value of web-content. This world of free-wheeling sharing may all seem wonderful and open right now, but I wonder how long this will last. Or will people’s expectations and demands for easily accessible content that is ad-free trump the engines that demand ad capital. I’m not sure.

Where do I go from here?

Things I learned about learning from this class:

  • Learning is messy. Thanks to @EleniZazani for the image
  • Learning makes me feel human
  • Learning with others and from them is powerful
  • Learning may not bring us to utopia, but it may help us get there
  • Cultures need to continue to put a higher value on lifelong learning

I still have links to use, and tools to learn as time permits. I want to use sort my Pearl Trees and really use Storify. I want to explore every tool or website I bookmarked or favorited. And as I wrap this up I realize that I’ll probably still be learning from this course three months from now.


Learning is Messy. Moocing is messy too

Image by @EleniZazani

Technology Can’t Replace Teachers – Week 3 Image #edcmooc

An attempt at a digital image for Week 3. I was inspired by Week 2’s Twitter Chat’s question:

Q2: Is the future teacher a computer or a human?

Screen shot 2013-02-10 at 4.36.52 PM

Brrrr-ainstorming online learning activities

I have a little bit of time to think about generating as many ideas for online learning activities. This list of course is not exhaustive, and I will probably benefit from the contributions of colleagues, at work and not at work.

Click to view larger image.

I’m trying to keep these activity ideas simple and as ‘familiar’ as possible. Not all stakeholders are open to newer forms of learning online. Whenever introducing a strange or unfamiliar tool or technique (for example: using synchronous chat or Twitter to facilitate discussion)  I try to pair it with a similar or analogous term use for traditional or face to face training.

In my past experience, I found that designing learning opportunities is only the first part of good online learning design. Facilitator preparation and training is the next key piece to achieving success. In my last position I was fortunate enough to work with a crack team of Instructional Designers who worked hard not just to create the training materials, LMS (Learning Management System) simulations, and activities to prep our facilitators by helping them adjust to the ‘culture’ of working online.

Last week I was able to quickly develop a slide set that covers my take on successful online facilitators based on what I’ve learned from my experience. You will have to download the presentation via Slideshare to view my notes.

5 Ways to Improve Bad eLearning (via eLearning Weekly)

This option for layering content will possible work for some of the projects I’m working on. Also I agree wholeheartedly with avoiding “Scope Creep” and reducing content instead of putting too much content in such a limited space or in a format that is not favorable for lengthy reading. I wonder sometimes if the impulse to do this comes from hardcoded behaviors and understanding of the ‘print world.’ Sometimes folks find it difficult to transfer from print media to online.

5 Ways to Improve Bad eLearning Experience tells me that elearning people do not have a lot of time to go back to the vault of existing training and revise it. New projects dripping with deadlines take priority. Still, it’s not easy knowing that the older elearning is out there and that new hires will be required to take those courses–or worse: that whole teams or the entire company will retake one of those old modules every year. It might be more embarrassing if you actually … Read More

via eLearning Weekly

Future Think for Educators


Great film that helps us envision education and learning in transition. Some things educators, policy makers, parents, teacher, curriculum developers should all be getting excited about…

  • Cloud Computing – In many cases you don’t need to have software installed on your computers.  Content development tools such as Google Docs and many others make it possible to create and share documents, materials, etc. on the web. Students can track changes, add notes or comments and truly author pieces together.
  • Mobile Devices – Mobile devices and smart phones are definitely here to stay. Yesterday I realized that I only use my laptop if I’m working on something complex or lengthy. All other materials for reading or immediate access are funneled through my mobile. Educators can search out or even design learning enhanced by or using Mobile Devices – Why not create or develop learning activities where students can enhance their learning by connecting to materials and resources while they’re learning, or on a field trip? In a previous post I shared a number of different possible learning applications for cellphones. Several are quite ingenious and fun. You can view a detailed mind map of the lecture notes from the presentation where I got those ideas.
  • Leveraging Social Networking and Media Sharing Tools – Students and educators can learn from social networks that have pods or communities built around the topics they are interested in.  I found this great community on Learning Physics Online. You could even find or start communities on Ning or other similar networking site. Students (and or their teachers) can create videos, film projects, and presentations to put up on ‘safe’ sharing sites such as TeacherTube or YouTube. Check out this group of student’s retelling of the Boxer Rebellion. Love how they cleverly used recognizable styles and characterizations from Hong Kong  & martial arts cinema. I shared this some time ago, but I never get tired of watching it.
  • Alternatives to Written Papers – While I still think this skill is absolutely necessary to have. I don’t think the essay is the only way to test someone’s knowledge and grasp of content anymore. Students can put together podcasts. Writing the content and putting together the interview questions for the podcast as well as engaging in the discussion and interviews can help reinforce the content they are learning. Sometimes writing a script for a film, story boarding, and coordinating the filming is way more labor intensive than writing a term paper. Plus you’re actually using far more skills that can transfer to real jobs and life (… outlining, drafting, planning, writing, coordination, directing, … ummmm project management. I actually heard somewhere that film school is the new MBA :))
  • Ethics & Security Education for Parents and Students – yes the web can be a scary place, but so is the street. If we train students  (and parents) to be aware of the dangers and learn guidelines for avoiding them then that’s half the battle. It would also be in our best interests if we teach the younger generation appropriate netiquette.

More resources:

#dl09- Team use of xml authoring

Presentation Description


  • XML structured language
  • Separates content from code.
  • Portable and reusable.

Using XML w/ Captivate:
1. Create file in captivate
2. Put content
3.Export to XML
4. View in eclipse (open source editor).
5. Find your content. U can change
text in this file
Color of text
6. Now u need to import XML to see changes in Captivate.
7. Captivate project caption to close captions. To export to word document.

Write application that communicates between tools.

You could get content management system to talk to XML to talk to flash.

He demos how to change opacity of fade out.

Manifest file is like a table of contents.

Adds filter to image in flash timeline “glow_blue”. (pre made coding)
Changes attributes to filter in XML.

In XML u can create new attributes thing like filters in XML. And then apply tag to objects such as text, images, etc.

Devlearn from my i phone

Pleas exxcuse the typos I’m typing from my Iphone. 🙂

What are my challenges with elearning?

Andrew McAffee speaks:
It’s important to convince company execs.

Asks does anyone here find their company intranet easier to find things than the web only 5 people raise their hand. Duh :).

Rely on peoples good will
Don’t allow anonmynity
Important to lower behaviors to encorage altuism.

Freedom and flow of information:
Jimmy wales doesn’t want to use newpedia. The process is laborious and clunky.

Walk away from assumption that bad things happen. Allow people to self select and organize their own learning and info needs. YAY!

Use tagging.
Undo and redo.
Use voting.

My question how can we leverage drupal for this?

I’m still typing. Check refresh for an update.

Best predictor for how a problem got solved was the diversity of scientific interests of the people that were looking at it. Not their iqs or degrees. I’d say pushy leadership or people who want to claim credit for the ideas doesn’t help either.

Build communities that people want to join.
Find ways to build participation.

Intelligence of crowds.
Ex – us 2008 election – polls done by professionals but developer of 538 website used his knowledge and algorithms to predict electoral vote breakdown. Helped by strangers Result: Margin of error about 15.

Enable peer review.

Benefits business stuff:

Don’t do this, dudes:
1. Declare war on enterprise
2. Allow walled gardens to flourish
3. Don’t accentuation neg
4. Declare war on email
5. Fall in love with bells and whistles
6. Don’t over use the word “social”

Probability Illustrated

Currently, I’m working on a rapid e-Learning solution for teaching probability. I was able to quickly use PowerPoint and some clipart to put both the storyboard and the template for the interactivity. I use the animation features in both PowerPoint and Captivate to create the effects and interactive features for the piece. I’d like to spend more time explaining my process for this, but I will save that for a future post.

I created two presentations:

  • Probability and Dependent Events
  • Probability and Independent Events

Actually, the text of both of the presentations comes almost directly from text written by the Subject Matter Expert who intended to have it read online as one would read a print document. Somehow, it didn’t seem engaging enough to me so I went about creating these visual multimedia presentations. Unfortunately I can’t share the finished product up here, but I can share the images of the storyboards.  Both presentations are included in the gallery below.

Slide 3

Slide 3


Brave New Web

Are we ready for the change?

My husband just sent me this interesting article in how “DreamWeaver is Dying.”

This isn’t a matter of bells and whistles, it’s absolutely fundamental. Ultimately a web site is all about content – posting it and making it findable – and Dreamweaver and the other static HTML editors have proven fundamentally flawed when it comes to these two core tasks (and features such as Dreamweaver’s libraries and templates are patches not solutions).

I think the lack of searchability is what really bothers me about putting pages up for our courses with DreamWeaver.  As the article points out, the model of authoring static webpages and managing html files from a central point may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I want to take some time to think about the future that is being hinted to us in this article.

The only feasible course for the future is for content to be posted by the content contributor, whether that’s the site owner or site visitors, and for the best possible navigation to be constructed around that content on the fly.

I’m okay with this, because I’ve been trained to ‘look for things’ using searches and to search for wording using the built in text finder in my browser. I’d argue that I have this so ingrained in me that I feel powerless and helpless when I cannot search for anything electronically. This afternoon I about had a fit because I was finding it difficult to use the Postal Zipcode index/book at the Post Office, so I called my husband and asked him to look up the postal code on the net. I even wondered… why the heck doesn’t the post office have access to this information via their computers? I and many others know how to navigate and search on the web, but what about those countless people who honestly don’t know how. We need to train them how to do this.

Not to mention we have to break them of the thinking that only ‘experts’ can manage and create content. Also, will this ability to have multiple ‘loci’ of control for content creation/editing cause confusion or even conflict? How can you train people to work with each other effectively and follow rules of etiquette for changes?

I know that it will probably be at least a few years before the idea of dynamically created and shared content will be universally accepted or as normal as e-mail.

As Tom Arah points out, this sort of change will present many opportunities for the “web designer who can adapt.” But how? I can think of a few things:

  • Designers will need to chill out and let go of their old ways (no more sacred cows, more tasty innovative burgers)
  • Designers will need to be able to effectively partner & communicate with developers to both learn how to manage dynamic content as well as the different possibilities available to them
  • Designers need to know when different tools & widgets will be appropriate for managing and presenting content
  • Designers need to learn how to manage & leverage user contribution/management of  content and build this to their design plan and possibly user training plan.

Second Life Events for Educators

Bunny Kiwitz at the Sloodle 101 class

If you’re interested in learning more about Second Life or how to use if for educational purposes, I suggest you take a look at this calendar:
Many events are listed here and even have slurls (secondlife link locations) that allow you to teleport directly to the site in SL. Remember, you have to have the SL application installed, and you can get that from the Second Life official website.

I was able to attend most of the Sloodle 101 class (that occurs every Wednesday 2x a day). I highly recommend it. Hopefully, I’ll have time in the next few days to blog about my experience in the class.


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