MOOCs often take a little while to ramp up but the MITx 11.133x Implementation yada yada – I’m going to stick with 11.133x for now, that’s a long title – MOOC feels like it’s just about right.
There has been a fair whack of the standard common sense in the videos so far – have a purpose, don’t choose the technology before you know what you want to do with it. stakeholders matter etc – but it has been well presented and by a range of different people.
There has probably been more emphasis on looking at ed tech for K-12 schools rather than higher education than I like but I guess it is a larger chunk of the audience. The ability to form/join affinity groups in the forums has at least let me connect with other uni people around the world.
In terms of practical activities, it has really REALLY helped to come to this MOOC with a project in mind. I’m looking for a live student response/feedback tool (most likely web/app based) that can be used in lectures (large lectures 350+) to poll students about their understanding of content.
This fed well into our first two activities, which involved looking at the context that this project will occur in and considering whether it sits in a general or specific domain and whether it will change procedure or instruction. (I’ll post my responses to both below)
Responding to other posts – you need to respond to at least three to complete the module – helps to clarify some of the concepts. I have a feeling that this isn’t a huge MOOC either – there aren’t hundreds of pages of responses in the forums to each question which is often kind of hellish to process.
Profile your implementation context
I work in the College of Business and Economics in a leading Australian university. We’re relatively well resourced, so buying new tech generally isn’t an issue within reason, which allows me to focus on the suitability of the tool. We have large numbers of international students in our undergraduate cohort. The majority of students are comfortable with mobile and online technology. At an undergraduate level, the students tend to be young adults.
The college is comparatively conservative in some ways – although fortunately our leadership understands and supports the value of innovation. There is an emphasis placed on the seriousness and prestige of our brand that I need to factor into the look and feel of college associated tools.
There is a range of acceptance and engagement with learning technology from academics in the college, from enthusiasm to resistance to change. (Last week I had a long conversation with someone about why he still needs an overhead projector – we’re getting him one)
Our largest lecture theatres can hold up to 600 people (which is big for us) and the college wi-fi has recently been upgraded.
Recently one of our finance lecturers contacted me – I’m the learning technology person for the college – and asked what we have in the way of live student response/feedback systems. Tools that will enable her to post survey/understanding questions on screen during lectures and get real-time responses from students via mobile/web apps.
She is relatively new to the college and lectures to a group of 350+ students. (This is relatively large for us although some of our foundation subjects have 800+ students). She is keen to enhance the interactivity of her lectures but is also concerned about finding the right tool. She really doesn’t want any technology failures during her lectures as she believes that this will kill student trust in this kind of technology. She would also prefer not to trial multiple tools on her students as she is concerned that experimenting on students may diminish their educational experience.
Potential for the technology
There has been a lot of ongoing discussion at the university in recent years about the effectiveness of lectures. Attendance rates are around 30% in many disciplines, due to student work/life commitments, recording of lectures and a host of other reasons.
The lecture format itself is questioned however it is deeply ingrained in many parts of the culture so finding ways to augment and enhance the lecture experience seems like a more effective approach.
Student response/feedback apps can be a powerful way to instantly track understanding and engagement of material in lectures and I am keen to see what we can do with it. While some students may feel confident to ask questions in a lecture, others may feel uncomfortable with this from cultural perspectives or due to English being a second language.
The lecturer has already been in contact with a supplier of a particular platform, however I have some reservations as on a preliminary investigation, their product appears to provide much more functionality than might be needed and may be unnecessarily complicated. However, I’m hoping that this MOOC will help me to work through this process.
Domain / Approach Chart
This seems like a bit of a cop-out given that the example given was PollEverywhere but if you check myprevious post, you’ll see that I’m looking for a tool to use for live student feedback in lectures.
Socrative is one of several tools that considering to meet this need. It is a basic, online tool that enables a teacher to create a quiz/survey question, show it to the class through a data projector and then get the students to respond to (generally multichoice) via an app on their phone or a web browser.
Of the ones that I’ve seen so far, it’s easy to set up and seems to work fairly well. (I blogged a comparison between it and Kahoot a while ago)
I’d say that it is Domain General because it can be used widely and it is more about changing an approach to procedure, because without it, a teacher could just ask for a show of hands instead. (This I think will get a better response though because it is less embarrassing)
My main concern with Socrative for my project is that the website says that it is best used with classes of 50 or less and I am looking for something that supports 350+