Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back in the swing

After a loooong break, I'm slowly starting to get back into posting here. What can I say - life intervened :-)
Several conferences, workshops, visits to Oz and other places in the world, new friends, new work, new roles etc ... E-portfolios and digital storytelling have been occupying a lot of my thinking time as I puzzle with the disconnect between new approaches to teaching and new understandings of learning. What changes need to be made to the ways we assess or evaluate learning to better fit with our newer understandings? And what alternative techniques can we use to better suit other ways of creating and constructing knowledge? Of particular interest is the dilemma of critical thinking, critical reflection and reflective practice. How does this develop - and more importantly, how can teachers, peers and colleagues help lifelong learners develop this skill and articulate the processes?
Also, and probably related, I've been working on developing a new theory of learning in which various other approaches such as PLEs and connectivism can be incorporated in a more holistic view of how humans learn - and can learn. I've called it "Ecological Constructivism" until or if I can re-define it in other terms.

Friday, September 5, 2008

EuroCALL 2008 conference in Hungary

Here I am in Székesfehérvár, Hungary (about 67km SW of Budapest), for the 2008 EuroCALL conference on new competencies and social spaces - 2 aspects of the field dear to my heart. I've come here from Antwerp where I attended the international CALL conference on the relationship between research and practice - both very interesting from a [rofessional point of view, but also great catching up with colleagues from all over the world ... and, of course, meetng new ones! :-)

Now I have to get on with going through my presentation one more time, before I get too nervous?!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Research proposals & lit reviews

My students in 702 & I are currently struggling with the parameters of lit reviews and research proposals - what goes into them, how they should be formatted, what "voice" to use, how to incorporate others' findings, ideas or opinions into one's own approach and views - and how to write all this up?? There seem to be conflicts between handbooks, guides, previous students' examples, course instructions, and expectations of faculty ... hmmm. So it's a difficult path to thread through to find the most appropriate combination that will both help them through the course and help them fulfill external expectations.
And I wonder how long it will take for changes to happen in how students present and structure all these - & theses & dissertations ... we are an open university, after all ... How long before all this can or will be done online?
Now that will be an interesting time! :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Now what made me think ...?

... that I would have any more time after CNIE to post some more. As Stephen Downes says, you have to make time ... regularly ... hmm
So I've spent the last 2 weeks writing 2 papers, monitoring my teaching website, preparing another couple presentations, working on a new course proposal, turning Twitter back on & the last 2 weeks participating in the SCoPE online conference trying to formulate a Pan-Canadian research agenda for e-Learning ... which has been fascinating :-) but very time-consuming :-(
So I've been thinking a lot more about e-Learning vs Distance learning, the differences in kinds of learners, the spaces & places & best practice. But now I have to get back to writing my last paper ... & I can't even get outside to take a walk & clear my head cos it's been raining now for 3 days ... grrr ...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Until such time as I can think & post sanely, here is the Slideshare link to my presentation at CNIE 08 :-)

Now back to reading the SCoPE forum postings!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CNIE in Banff

Today is the official day 2 of CNIE in Banff. Some interesting research and considerations so far - especially in the areas of interaction online and the factors that contribute or otherwise to the effectiveness of this. More about this late as I have to get on with putting the finishing touches to my presentation as I am "on deck" in about 3 hours?! :-P Banff is certainly a beautiful location for a conference - though I wonder how many people are skipping sessions to take in some of the scenery, walks and great sunshine that Banff is turning on for the conference. I just hope tomorrow afternoon will be still pleasant as I want to get in a walk or 2 before going back home. Though as "home" is just down the road a bit, I guess the weather is much the same - & there's always the weekend to look forward to. ;-D

Segue-ing into new fields

Finally I finished my marking for 601 & posted the results last week ... some great student ideas for DE projects and agencies - & it looks like some of them are actual, real proposals! So hopefully my comments will be useful in getting these off the ground.
So it is with a mixture of sadness & excitement that I move on to this week: sadness that one course is over and that I may not "meet" with many of the students I have got to know in 601 for many more months - or even ever - again ... :( & at the same time excitement at meeting new voices and people in 702 as I begin teaching that course this week.

And this one will be a totally different pace & style of work, interaction & discourse: the Thesis Proposal. I'm looking forward to seeing the ideas that my new group of students are interested in and to helping them to articulate, refine, manipulate & "give birth to" these in the form of a polished proposal (if the planets align!) :-}