Whiteboard learning

Ever wanted to use whiteboard animation for learning? Here is an example of one we did together at our department to visualize what we do.

To complement with words our head of our department Arnold Pears has written a blog post today about what we do.

Why educate graduates to work in Industry 4.0 with Education 1.0?

 

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Animations Pros & Cons

Pros – Animations easily visualize and simplify anything no matter how complex it is. One minute of online video equates to about 1.8 million written words, according to Forrester Research. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text in the brain. Animation easily helps students to describe a process.
Self-learning lets students explore different aspects of a problem and figure out by themselves how to solve it. During such a process, students gain a set of skills in critical thinking and problem-solving. However, as a teacher, you have to be aware of the learning objectives that the animations are serving.
Cons – Customized animations are cost consuming even though there is a range of free animations on the Internet, tailor-made productions are very costly, and most will need some sort of designer to help.
There are, however, plenty of cheap software on the web that you can use to make some simple animations. Search for animation tools.

Challenge Driven Digitalization

For the past few months, I have been involved in a great new project Called Challenge- Driven Education Teacher Training course which had its roots and developments in the KTH Global Development Hub (GDH)
The teacher training course consists of several modules that consist of how to use design thinking, being a facilitator rather than a teacher, how to work with stakeholders and various other tips on teaching with challenge-driven ideas.

It involves multi-perspective student teams and external stakeholders. It is a team-based learning approach that intends to develop students’ key competencies for sustainability and abilities to analyze complex societal challenges, related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

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Discussions with stakeholders (companies, communities or authorities) on a challenge that needs to be solved is the first phase, they then become a partner with the students who will be taking on the challenge as part of their course. The students need to come up with a solution to the challenge and deliver a proposal on how to best solve the challenge. Apart from the students learning. ways on how to run projects, networking with real-life companies, being a part of communities and social skills, they also contribute to the sustainable development of society by becoming a part of it.

I got involved by helping them create a more blended approach to the teacher training course- The first beta version of one module is live and ready to go, hoping to get some feedback at the end of January. As well as helping with the learning design, I also worked on the filming, the editing, and coordination of the project. If anyone is interested in taking the course then here is a link to the course at KTH. Teaching and Learning for Challenge Driven Education in a Global context

Here is an introduction to each module by the faculty teaching the modules.
Continue reading

Digital Champions at KTH

At the Digital Learning unit at KTH, we have been wanting to find some….. what we call “Digital Champions”. Teachers that are using digital tools in their everyday work at KTH for best practice ideas to help our other faculty in their teaching methods. First of all the task was to create interviews for the website but being passionate about media and video storytelling I decided to work with our media production team to get some great video documentaries together.

The videos are less than 5 minutes long so as not bore the watching public.

Here is the first one with Maria Morgunova who has been involved in many an
E-learning project and talks about how she uses the new LMS tool in her courses.

Maria Morgunova

This next one is in Swedish, though you can click on the subtitles in the video player on YouTube to get the English text.

Introducing Lars Filipsson……. a maths teacher who loves using digital technology to help the students understand the mathematical questions he delivers in his face to face classroom and videos as preparation for the classroom activities

lars

The third one is all about how Pernilla Ulfvengren who uses flipped classroom in her courses.

pernilla

We are hoping these video stories will inspire faculty to start using digital technology in their classrooms.

Blended learning ideas for Faculty Development from OLC

Just got back from the very sunny, blue sky, Sunshine state of Florida after attending the OLC (Online Learning Consortium) there in Orlando with over 2000 participants from around the world.

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Disney Dolphin Hotel – Where the conference is every year

With Floridian friendship and many new colleagues in the field of online and blended learning there were some juicy bits to be had, experiences from the field and hopefully ideas for our future strategies.

First up was a panel discussion on ”Blended Learning from Design to Evaluation” led by the charismatic Dr. Norm Vaughan from Mount Royal University Canada (who is by the way going to be here at KTH for a few seminars in the spring, watch this space…..)

The panel discussed and highlighted the benefits, challenges, strategies and lessons learned from their own faculty development initiatives for blended learning.
Here is a summary of what was said by each University.

Benefits

  • Positive feelings in creating new ideas to redesign teaching & learning
  • Some acquired more positive attitudes towards technology
  • The Faculty felt that the professional development has an impact on students learning
  • Flexible learning opportunities
  • Creating smaller communities of practice
  • Getting students engaged

Challenges

  • Faculty motivation
  • Sustainability
  • Resource requirement
  • Time
  • Misconceptions of Blended Learning
  • Change Management – Institution readiness

Lessons Learned

  • Set realistic targets
  • Always remember all stakeholders
  • Get some examples of best practices
  • Provide variation of support offered
  • Patience
  • Time
  • And Listen

Ron Bleed, the former Vice Chancellor of Information Technologies at Maricopa College, argues that the definition “Blended learning is often defined as the combination of face-to-face and online learning (Sharpe et al., 2006; Williams, 2002)” is not actually a sufficient definition for blended learning as it simply implies “bolting” technology onto a traditional course, using technology as an add-on to teach a difficult concept, or adding supplemental information.  He suggests that blended learning should be viewed as an opportunity to redesign how courses are developed, scheduled, and delivered through a combination of physical and virtual instruction: “bricks and clicks” (Bleed, 2001).  Joining the best features of in-class teaching with the best features of online learning that promote active, self-directed learning opportunities with added flexibility should be the goal of this redesigned approach (Garnham & Kaleta, 2002; Littlejohn & Pegler, 2007; Norberg, Dziuban, Moskal, 2011).

Another session I attended was called “Reviewing our Digital Pedagogy Workshop for faculty: success & future improvements”. Dr Kelly Keane was the presenter and is an assistant professor of Educational Technology at Loyola University Maryland. She teaches graduate level educational technology courses to practicing teachers and her teaching style is based in active and collaborative learning.

Their Institution offered a 2-week digital pedagogy workshop for faculty who were interested in converting a traditional course to the hybrid/blended or online environment.  The faculty that were chosen each received a $2500 stipend, which obviously helped along the way, from the University’s Office of Academic Affairs and Technology Services. The workshop occurred over two weeks and support was provided by instructional designers (A role that is not recognised yet in Swedish Universities) and faculty experienced with instructional technologies.

Workshop sessions occurred on campus as well as in a synchronous online environment, where participants received experience in the live sessions from both a student and teacher perspective. Daily instruction was organized around the Understanding by Design process (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) and the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000)

Their Success stories of the 2 week workshop:

  • Pedagogy driving tool selection – Instead of saying this how to use the blog, the questions were more in the lines of what do you want to do? And what do you want your students to be able to do?
  • Asynchronous and synchronous sessions for the workshop – A good balance of face to face & Online workshops over the 2-week period.
  • The participants connected with many “experts” – Experienced Faculty, Instructional designers, Instructional video developers
  • Flexibility of the workshops – Prior to the workshop they had asked the participants about their technical skills so they could choose which grouping they wanted to be in according to their experiences.
  • Providing them with the student perspective of learning by being a student themselves
  • After the workshop a formation of a professional learning community was built, to me a very important aspect in Blended Learning course development

Their lessons learned and future improvements was that they wanted to have more examples of courses that were already built by other faculty that they could look at and more time to develop more modules as they only had time to redevelop one module during the whole 2 week workshop.

 So if we are to move forward in helping our faculty and initiate strategies for Blended Learning course development, then we have to really have a good plan in place, a group of resources that can support in many different aspects not only technological support but also instructional support, time & motivation for the faculty to do this and last but by no mean least (and probably the most complex and challenging in our Swedish Universities), communicating to the leaders the importance of Change Management.

It’s that simple…..

References

  • Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Class differences: Online education in the United States, 2010,
  • Babson Survey Research Group, The Sloan Consortium. Available online at: http://olc.onlinelearningconsortium.org/publications/survey/class_differences
  • Arabasz, P., Boggs, R. & Baker, M. B. (2003). Highlights of E-Learning Support Practices.Educause Center for Applied Research Bulletin, 9.
  • Bleed, R. (2001). A Hybrid Campus for a New Millennium. Educause Review, 36 (1). 16-24.
  • Clark, D. (2003). Blend it like Beckham. Epic Group PLC.
  • Dziuban, C. D., Moskal, P. D., & Hartman, J. (2013). Blended learning: A dangerous idea?. Internet and Higher Education, 18(7), 15-23.
  • Garnham, C. & Kaleta, R. (2002). Introduction to Hybrid Courses. Teaching with Technology Today, 8 (6).
  • Garrison, D.R. & Vaughan, N.D. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA .
  • Graham, C. R. (2006). Blended learning systems: Definitions, current trends, and future directions. In Bonk, C. & Graham, C. (Eds), The handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs (pp. 3-21). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
  • Halverson, L. R., Graham, C. R., Spring, K. J., Drysdale, J. S., &  Henrie, C. R. (2014). A thematic analysis of the most highly cited scholarship in the first decade of blended learning research.  Internet and Higher Education, 20, 20–34.
  • Laumakis, M., Graham, C., & Dziuban, C. (2009). The Sloan-C pillars and boundary objects as a framework for evaluating blended learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(1), 75-87.
  • Littlejohn, A., & Pegler, C. (2007). Preparing for blended e-Learning: Understanding blended and online learning (Connecting with E-learning). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Mayadas, F. A. & Picciano, A. G. (2007). Blended learning and localness: The means and the end. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 3-7.
  • Norberg, A., Dziuban, C. D., & Moskal, P. D. (2011). A time-based blended learning model. On the Horizon19(3), 207-216.
  • Sharpe, R., Benfield, G., Roberts, G., & Francis, R. (2006). The undergraduate experience of blended e-learning: A review of UK literature and practice. London: Higher Education Academy.
  • Vaughan, N.D., Cleveland-Innes, M. & Garrison, D.R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press. Available online at: http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120229
  • Vaughan , N.D. (2007). Perspectives on Blended Learning in Higher EducationInternational Journal on E-Learning, 6(1), 81-94.
  • Williams, J. (2003). Blending into the Background. E-Learning Age Magazine, 1.
  • Williams, C. (2002).  Learning on-line:  A review of recent literature in a rapidly expanding field. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 26(3), 263-272.
  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher educationmodelThe Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.
  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005).  Understanding by Design (expanded 2nd edition).  Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

 

 

The beginning of a new Faculty role

So after the summer break, students have arrived on mass to be introduced to the new city, the university, the various student associations, the student culture by the older students dressed up in some colourful boiler suit covered with patches from various interests and activities the student has accomplished over their time at the University. The woop… wooping has died down, the different types of music blaring out in different locations at campus are replaced by doors shutting and the learning begins.

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I can’t help but reflect on the different leadership roles they will be meeting whilst learning in their different learning styles and wonder how they will perform, conform or quite simply leave and pursue another direction all together.

They will most likely meet a Hierarchical Individual leader, some one who makes sure they focus on clear performance targets, bringing the external requirements from Academia into the work & practice of their teaching, they will also meet many that are a Hierarchical collective leader who will add values and norms to their lessons building relationships with their students so that they build a strong community together based on trust (but only the trust that does not require input from all the students), before a decision can be made.
But there are 2 other leader types they will meet if they are lucky, (though I am biased of course) which are very few and far between:
The Distributed individual leader, a leader that responds to learner needs, who is not afraid to embark on new entrepreneurial ways of teaching and who likes to inspire a team of collaborators with diverse knowledge and skill-sets.
And the Distributed Collective leader, someone who inspires individuals to operate in networked relationships, motivating the students to share resources they have found and create a community of practice.

The beginning of the new leadership/faculty roles in education has begun. I am facilitating the course at KTH I took last spring, we have 12 enthusiastic faculty members that will be starting a new Open networked learning course in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, Linnaeus University, (Sweden) and Independent Institute of Education (IIE) (South Africa).
This course is to teach our faculty to involve inquiry into their own practice, give them an opportunity to explore and try collaborative learning in an open online learning environment with colleagues from different universities, disciplines and cultures (nationally as well as internationally).

It’s a matter of choice of what type of organisation we want to work in, what type of learning environment we want to work in, but also as a leader we need to be responsible in shaping that environment.

As EdX Rob Lue Faculty director quoted in Leaders of Learning
“I’m quite convinced that leading in digital education does require a taste for uncertainty. That ultimately, actually, I think leading in general requires a taste for uncertainty.There’s nothing I can think of where everything is certain. I do think what’s important, or exciting, in fact, about the space that we’re in right now in terms of digital education, is that the landscape is changing. So that we need to build an organisation and a leadership style that allows for a process of learning, a process of deep adaptation, as the environment changes very dramatically”.

References

 

When I believe I can and am ready to learn, then I will learn

I am now ready to learn again and am taking another great open online course from Harvard University. Never in a million years did I believe that I would be able to even contemplate on going on a course at Harvard, but now it is possible with a Mooc, and it all sounds rather posh.

The course is called Leaders of Learning and is so far very interesting in defining what leadership looks like in different learning environments. At the moment as most of us know the education world is undergoing quite a big transformation and the “How we learn, what we learn, where we learn, and why we learn” is being tossed and turned into many different theories and models to follow. But what about the leadership roles that need to be defined during this transformation? I am hoping to find out.

We start the course by doing a learning assessment which categorises us into a certain learning type. Mine was a Distributed Collective Quadrant that is to say I learn when I want to learn, collaborate and join networks to learn, which is very true to my character.

One of the recommendations for us whilst reading through the course, was this book which is the first time I have come across it, it was written nearly 20 years ago but is still very now!

The Book of Learning and Forgetting

In his 1998 book, The Book of Learning and Forgetting, education professor Frank Smith argued that when learning is not enjoyable, it is a waste of effort, and that even the most well-intentioned teachers cannot force students to learn. He instead favoured a natural approach to learning, unbounded by traditional structures.

Learning is: continual, effortless, inconspicuous, boundless, unpremeditated, independent of rewards and punishment, based on self-image, vicarious, never forgotten, inhibited by testing, a social activity, [and] growth. (1998, p. 1-2)

 

 

The future of Higher Ed

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LicenseAttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Max Fridman

The last 6 weeks ONL course has turned out to be enlightening, provocative, fascinating and engaging on how to pedagogically use technology in the classroom. We went through the benefits and advantages of using technology and also the conceivable risks and pitfalls. I really enjoyed every week, writing my personal reflections on a blog, reading what my worldwide colleagues had to say and commenting on their views of the topic.

We have read articles by famous educational developers, watched films, attended webinars, learnt about new tools, collaborated and discussed our learning’s within our groups. We have also created presentations using various tools about our findings to the whole community and giving and taking feedback. Before I went on this course I already knew a lot about technologies & tools in both business and institutions but what I learned from this course was the “why” we should use them and the “how” we can use them especially for deeper learning.

We know that today’s students are pretty much the same as yesterday’s students but the only difference is that they know more about technology than we do right now, but what they haven’t learnt yet, is how to do the thinking part.

This is where the teacher role comes in; a lot of teachers still need to learn about how to use the technology to promote the “thinking process” in students. The one topic that sticks out in my mind and one that I do have a bit of a passion for is blended/flexible learning: today in 2016, I believe that it is still important to have the social face-to-face interaction for the students to reflect & think, alongside with other colleagues of learners and of course a teacher that is a good leader or mentor.

How do we get there?
I work at a Swedish university and can only reflect on what I see here in Sweden but what I do see is that there needs to be a huge change in these institutions and sooner rather than later because the waves of the new generation of students are knocking on the doors (or in todays terms searching on the web) already wanting to learn about facts, figures and how to think so that they can get a good job.
Institutions are lagging behind and are in need of a new teacher role definition, a new support structure to help them move into 21st century education, not just support on the tools provided, but also learning design support. Some more importance and investment is needed on the value of teachers & pedagogy in higher education whether online or blended, so the teachers are motivated to make the design changes in their classrooms.

If we move now not only will the Institutions see the ROI (Return on Investment) by increased student pass rates but also the new target group of Millennial students will also see their ROI and how they can shape the future of human civilisation.

Some thoughts on the future of education: