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PPEL – Final Learning Object

A single learning Object where I publish the work i did for PPEL http://final-ppel2010.wikispaces.com/

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Fevereiro 27, 2010 Posted by | PPEL | | Deixe um comentário

PPEL – “Profiling online students”

Morten (2007). Profiling online students, available at http://www.eden-online.org/blog/?s=profiling. Accessed on 15-01-2010.

In this post, Professor Morten tells us about the NKI transparency system.

All 9500 students have personal presentations and 2,5% of those had chosen the global visibility option, so everybody can access their presentations.

Many students like to share information with friends, family and colleagues about how their work in the course is going and some others use it as an online CV.

The fact that so many students choose to show their presentation to everyone is a valuable resource for NKI because prospective students can have access to information.

This transparency is also important for online education as it shows the work done throughout an online course.

This show us how important for online students transparency is. Online education would not have the same learning effects if we would do everything only for ourselves without sharing. Transparency is a valuable factor for learning. We can all learn from the fact that the course is open and transparent. If the students would not get any advantage with that why would so many NKI students want to share their profiles and assignments? Transparency contributes to online communication and contact with others. Communication and contact promote successful learning.

Janeiro 15, 2010 Posted by | PPEL | , , , , | Deixe um comentário

Morten, FP (2008). Transparency for cooperation. Available at http://toonlet.com/archive?m=s&i=11245. Accessed on 15-01-2010.

In this cartoon professor Morten mentions the importance of transparency for learning and the importance of the level of that transparency being set by the student. The student can decide on the privacy settings so only some people (or all) can have access to the information he wants to make public.

In my opinion transparency is a very important factor in online education. If an online course is not transparent how can we share ideas and learn from each other? Isn’t communication and connectivity some of the principles of learning online nowadays?

Janeiro 15, 2010 Posted by | PPEL | , , , , | Deixe um comentário

CAEL – Avaliação Online

Comentário aos seguintes artigos no âmbito da disciplina “Concepção e avaliação em E-Learning”:


BARBERÀ, E. (2006) “Aportaciones de la tecnología a la e-Evaluación”. RED. Revista de Educación a Distancia, Año V. Número monográfico VI. http://www.um.es/ead/red/M6/

PRIMO, Alex (2006) “Avaliação em processos de educação problematizadora online”. In: Marco Silva; Edméa Santos. (Org.). Avaliação da aprendizagem em educação online. São Paulo: Loyola, v. , p. 38-49. http://www6.ufrgs.br/limc/PDFs/EAD5.pdf


Ambos os textos acima referidos nos fazem pensar acerca da avaliação que fazemos enquanto professores/formadores. De facto, o nosso sistema educativo dá ainda muita primazia à avaliação final, de resultados, sendo a avaliação contínua quase que uma opção do professor. A atribuição de testes para notas finais, em que o aluno demonstra aquilo que aprendeu respondendo a perguntas feitas pelo professor, prevalece relativamente à construção do conhecimento por parte do próprio aluno.

O autor do primeiro texto, Primo, faz referência a um tipo de aprendizagem por interrogação, em que o aluno se questiona e procura soluções/respostas para o problema que coloca.

Claro que é necessário ter em consideração que os alunos aprendem de formas diferentes. Há alunos que se sentem mais motivados a tirar apontamentos nas aulas e estudar em casa o que o que foi dito pelo professor. Outros, para alem disso, procuram ainda outras fontes de informação relativamente ao tema em causa. Outros há que  preferem discussões, interrogar os seus próprios pontos de vista e o dos outros.

Perante tantas formas de aprendizagem, a avaliação não pode responder da mesma forma a todas elas. A avaliação tem que dar oportunidade a todos os tipos de aprendentes.

O facto do professor optar por uma avaliação contínua, em vez de se focar apenas numa avaliação final, com vista aos resultados e não aos processos, põe de lado todo o trabalho que os alunos mais críticos desenvolvem ao longo da sua caminhada de aprendizagem.

O surgimento das TIC e a importância cada vez mais dada ao E-Learning traz diferentes formas de aprendizagem e avaliação. Alunos e professores têm disponíveis uma panóplia de ferramentas de aprendizagem e o trabalho cooperativo é cada vez mais valorizado a partir do uso destas ferramentas. A cooperação, a interacção e discussão com colegas ou especialistas na matéria são fonte de motivação para o investimento no processo de aprendizagem. O aluno tem a possibilidade de discutir pontos de vista, de pensar num direcção diferente da sua.

A avaliação tem que, por sua vez, acompanhar esta evolução. Num ambiente de aprendizagem online o professor não se pode apenas focar no trabalho final que o aluno apresenta: a avaliação contínua é primordial. Para alem de permitir que o aluno seja avaliado justamente, não apenas a nível do resultado, mas também a nível da forma como atingiu os resultados, como possibilita que o aluno seja avaliado pelos pares e pense, ele próprio, no processo como a sua aprendizagem foi feita. A utilização de ferramentas de aprendizagem online para o desenvolvimento de tarefas escolares e formativas contribui assim para a auto-avaliação, hetero-avaliação e avaliação por parte do professor.

Como refere o segundo texto, a avaliação também permite aprender. O aluno reflecte a partir da avaliação que teve. Para alem disso, o aluno pode ainda aprender durante o processo de avaliação, já que é feita toda uma reflexão, individualmente e em grupo, acerca das matérias dadas e da performance e progresso do próprio aluno (pelo aluno, pelos colegas e pelo professor).

No entanto, existem também aspectos negativos quanto á utilização extrema deste tipo de avaliação contínua e colaborativa. Da mesma forma que alguns alunos não se integram tão bem num sistema escolar empirista, de repetição e valorização de resultados finais, outros alunos preferem o trabalho individual. Estes poderão ter alguma dificuldade em se ajustarem a um processo de ensino/aprendizagem de colaboração online. A internet também permite uma aprendizagem mais solitária, de pesquisa, questionamento e procura individual de respostas. Mas a avaliação, neste caso, teria que ser uma avaliação menos centrada na colaboração em grupo. O professor avalia o resultado do aluno, podendo também avaliar o seu processo de desenvolvimento de aprendizagens, já que apesar do aluno privilegiar o trabalho individual, o professor pode fazer o seu acompanhamento. A avaliação é feita pelo professor, mas o aluno pode também auto-avaliar-se, reflectindo sobre o que fez e o que poderia ter feito de forma diferente.

Terá que existir um balanço. Primo, enquanto defensor de uma aprendizagem mais colaborativa online não coloca totalmente de lado o trabalho individual. Por conseguinte, a avaliação online não deve totalmente desconsiderar os resultados e o trabalho que cada aluno desenvolveu individualmente cujo processo não foi “auscultado” um grupo. Esse balanço deverá estar no uso combinado de formas e instrumentos de avaliação. Porque é que avaliar o processo invalida a avaliação dos resultados? E vice-versa.

A aprendizagem e a avaliação são dimensões bastante complexas que não se devem restringir a apenas uma forma ou um meio. Sendo os alunos que se sentam numa sala de aula tão heterogéneos quanto os alunos que por detrás de um computador pesquisam, discutem, relatam, porque não acompanhar essa heterogeneidade?

A verdade é que o professor também não podem arranjar tantos modos de avaliação quanto o número de alunos que tem que avaliar. O professor pode, no entanto, conjugar. Já vimos que a avaliação tem diversas dimensões (podendo avaliar a aprendizagem, ser utilizada para a aprendizagem, como aprendizagem e a partir da aprendizagem) que trazem benefícios tanto para o professor como para os alunos. Ambas as avaliações contínua e final podem ser enquadradas nestas dimensões, proporcionando assim um carácter mais justo e diversificado a este processo, o que vai influenciar a própria motivação para a aprendizagem dos alunos.

Janeiro 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Deixe um comentário

PPEL – Question/Answer activity – Cindy Wolfe

As part of Activity 2 of PPEL (Pedagogical Processes in E-Learning), Professor Morten suggested us to ask a question to the author of an article we found interesting. I chose the article “10 ways to ensure distance learning success“, written by Cindy Wolfe (you can also find a sort description of this article in a previous post).

Below you find my question and Cindy’s answer.

Question:

(…) With my question I meant the biggest challenge to your students and in this case also for you as an online student. Because, if I am not mistaken, maybe your students and you had classroom school experience and they/you needed to adjust to distance learning. Sometimes we develop habits that don’t work in another environment. What was their and your main difficulty that needed to get over?

Since you are also an instructor of distance learning courses, I would also like to ask if you could tell me what was your biggest challenge as an instructor. As sometimes when a classroom teacher becomes an online teacher, they need to learn new things and unlearn other things in order to help their students reaching success. What was for you the biggest challenge you had in terms of that?

I hope I made myself clear. Just to explain a bit more why I am asking these questions, I am doing my master in Portugal at the Open University. I am Portuguese but I live in Amsterdam, where i work as a trainer in the Internet business. My experience is mainly face-to-face training courses and now I am starting to work with eLearning a bit more.
One of my teachers thought about this activity: read an article we find interesting and ask a question you would like to know about to the author (…).

Answer:

Hi Sandra,

I am happy to answer your questions.

I think that one of the main problems I see with students who are used to traditional classrooms is the lack of personal responsibility for learning. In a traditional classroom, work is pretty much spoon fed to the students; each day the student comes in and the instructor helps the student by reminding him about work, assignments, readings, requirements, etc. Regular undergrad classes often consist of lectures and PowerPoint slides…all prepared and parceled out by an instructor.

In a distance learning classroom, the instructor is not as intimately involved in keeping the student on track…only the students who are highly organized and self-responsible will be successful. The student must understand the syllabus, the textbook, the assignments, etc. He must also “learn” by reading the teacher’s and other students’ forum postings. Learning in an online environment means the student must be engaged in learning. It is impossible to “sit in the back of the class” in a distance learning classroom.

My biggest challenge to online teaching is staying organized. I find that my lesson plans for a traditional class vary little from one class to the next for a particular course. However, in the online classroom, students are required to post to forums (required to discuss) so that often the class discussions become quite lively and take off in a new direction. This means the instructor must be very adaptable to the classroom.

The key is staying organized, and up on every discussion. It takes time to read through many postings. The professor cannot take a day off; he will get too far behind! So you will find that distance learning teachers often invest more hours in the “classroom” than they do when teaching in a traditional classroom (but unfortunately, the distance learning educator is not paid more!).

You did not ask, but here is what I like about elearning: every student has the opportunity to learn. I find that many students who may have hung back in a regular class, find their voice in a distance learning class. There is something about the anonymity and asynchrony that opens the doors to learning. It’s very close to seeing Bloom’s taxonomy in process! I often have students tell me that they believe they learn MORE in a distance learning class than in a traditional classroom.

I hope that I have given you some things to ponder about elearning pedagogy. By the way, if you want to read about my path to a PhD, my blog is www.thinkPhD.com in which I trace my struggles with papers and balancing work, life, and school.

I wish you all the best with your degree and future studies.

Have a great and happy new year!

Cindy Wolfe
www.thinkPhD.com

In case you have to have some bio facts:
adjunct at the University of Phoenix, Richmond, VA, teaching Business and School of Arts and Sciences
student at Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, AZ, pursuing PhD in Business Admin/Management
MBA from Troy University, Troy, AL

Again, thank you Cindy for your help 🙂

Janeiro 11, 2010 Posted by | PPEL, Uncategorized, Unit 2 | , , , , | Deixe um comentário

Online teaching and evaluation

I’ve just read a very interesting article about evaluation in online education, written by Alex Fernando Teixeira Primo. Primo compares the empiricist vision of education, where  the teacher is seen as the person who has all the knowledge and transfers it on to the students (that will reproduce it), to a vision that sees knowledge as the result of imbalance, of questioning and of the active search for solutions. Evaluation will stop caring only about the content itself and the result. The teacher, as part of his educational/teaching growth follows the whole educational process of the students. The type of education that we still see happening in schools is referred to as oppressing (mentioned by Paulo Freire in his book “Pedagogy of the oppressor”): the teacher talks while the students passively listen to it.

Students learn in different ways. When thinking of a student who learns better by questioning things than by reproducing what he hears from the teacher, and when the school system privileges the latter, evaluation itself will show some distorted results.

The author transports this traditional forms of education onto online education where behaviorism is mostly used. We tend to call interaction in distance learning to a mere click “next”or “previous”. We are basically promoting learning in the same way as in school: the teacher/facilitator tells the story, the student listens/sees it.  This is what the author calls “reactive interaction”. This kind of interaction promotes repetition: the same outputs to the same inputs. Even the tests “check your knowledge” that the students find at the end of an online learning unit are only meant for him to reproduce what he’s just read. There’s no questioning, no active knowledge construction involved. The student does not create anything. The student repeats.

Piaget sees learning from a different perspective: the learners need to create and to re-construct. Paulo Freire thinks in a similar way: teaching is creating possibilities to produce or construct knowledge. He suggests the adoption of a kind of education that revolves around the way the students look at the world; the need of problematising, questioning. This education by problem-solving works differently to traditional education: the exercising happens before discussing the content.

In this case, evaluation must change: it needs to start focusing on the process; it should be done during the whole course, following the constructive process of the students.

Group tasks and cooperative work are also taken into account. In online education there’s plenty of room for this type of interaction: forums, MSN, blogs, wikis, Facebook, twitter and so on. The teacher should promote discussions and debates in order to help the online students to learn from and with each other, to construct their knowledge, to keep them motivated. Their success depends on this relationship and interaction. This can be done by debates, thematic discussions, chats, work groups,  case studies, simulations and working on the theory within a project. This way the student learns by confronting ideas and reflecting about the value of his own ideas when compared to what the colleagues say.

The student also needs to discover, to search, to pose questions and search for an answer himself, without just reacting to problems or activities.

Another interesting idea is that the online course should start with an empty “library” that the students should build up.

While reading this article, I thought about all the online courses I tried to finish so far and that I couldn’t, exactly because of this kind of E-Learning: the movie, the text, the button that has “next” on it, and the questions in the end. It works, if they are short ( 2 to 3 minutes max.) and if you need them to try to solve a quick question or learn about a specific issue very briefly. But these online programs never kept me engaged or motivated to re-start or follow the next unit the morning after.

I am experiencing now an E-Learning course where interaction is the main word. It was actually my main requirement when looking for E-learning courses to continue my studies in E-Learning. I didn’t want the merely solitary home study. I wanted to discuss ideas, to meet people that would make me think in a different direction, to go on a way I haven’t thought yet. And let me tell you it was a great choice so far!

The use of blogs, the use of wikis where we can work together, the debates and the fun that they can be (especially when we are confronting ideas) are fruitful and help us building our own learning path. But not alone.

Reference:

PRIMO, Alex (2006) “Avaliação em processos de educação problematizadora online”. In: Marco Silva; Edméa Santos. (Org.). Avaliação da aprendizagem em educação online. São Paulo: Loyola, v. , p. 38-49. http://www6.ufrgs.br/limc/PDFs/EAD5.pdf

Janeiro 6, 2010 Posted by | PPEL | , , , , , | Deixe um comentário

PPEL – “Online educators come out of your caves!”, by Mark Welch

Welch, M. (2009).  Online educators come out of your caves!. Available at http://elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=opinion&article=127-1. Accessed on 29-12-2009

This is a very easy to read article with lot’s of sense of humor as well. Mark Welch touches 2 interesting topics:

1. The fact that online educators like to socialize and network, although they need to be on the other side of the screen due to their profession. The author enthusiastically asks online educators to meet and attend more conferences together.

2. Asks the following questions to teachers that are not totally convinced about online education and still very pompous about “old school-schooling”:

  • Do you have your syllabus (course guide) online?
  • Can students turn in their assignments online?
  • Can students check their grades online?
  • Can students access library services and student services online?

If they do all of this then, these teachers are actually using the functionalities and advantages of online education to prepare and motivate their students.

Dezembro 29, 2009 Posted by | PPEL, Uncategorized, Unit 2 | , , , , | Deixe um comentário

PPEL – 10 ways to become successful online students

Cindy Wolfe (2009). 10 Ways to Ensure Distance Learning Success, available at http://elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=best_practices&article=62-1. Accessed on 29-12-2009.

In this article the author mentions the need of online students taking an active role in their learning process. According to Cindy Wolfe there are 10 ways of ensuring success in distance learning courses:

1. Read the course guide and use it as a roadmap

2. Turn in all assignments complete and on time

3. Pay attention to newly available contents and resources. Follow them carefully week by week

4. Search for one new idea in every class session, assignment and reading. “I suggest writing down what you discover in a notebook and referring back to it each time you start a new learning session. Use what you learn today as a building block for what you learn tomorrow.”

5. Support and encourage fellow classmates

6. Contribute to discussions

7. Stay organised

8. Never procrastinate. “Start future assignments early and build them day by day”.

9. Consider how your experience fits into the discussion

10. Set long term goals.

I really think that these 10 ways described by cindy in her article work as advice as well. I am an online student and I identify myself with all of these. It is really important that we stay organised and follow all the activities and new posts by the colleagues and the teachers every day. Otherwise we get lost.

We need support from colleagues and teachers because with the amount of messages and deadlines we sometimes get a bit desperate 🙂 but in the end, if we follow these 10 steps, everything works out ok.


Dezembro 29, 2009 Posted by | PPEL, Unit 2 | , , , , | 3 comentários

PPEL – Online teaching techniques

Centre for Teaching and Learning. Good practice – Integrating technology, available at http://www.queensu.ca/ctl/goodpractice/technology/strategies.html. Accessed on 22-11-2009.

Strategies for Teaching in Online Environments

Teaching Strategies

  • instructional design is critical
  • design it ahead of time and think through everything you are asking the students to do – and make sure it works
  • relax and have fun learning about the new experience
  • remember it takes time to develop a teaching style online
  • evaluate your course regularly
  • keep web pages up to date and current
  • the most important role you will have is as a cheerleader and motivator, as people tend to get very unmotivated in an online environment
  • be prepared
  • tools are secondary — learning is critical
  • try to push the limits of what’s possible, I know this advice doesn’t solve practical problems but have to get beyond them
  • trying to replicate what you do in the regular classroom is pointless if not impossible
  • make sure you know what you are getting into, expect to work harder than with any other course
  • try not to feel that you have to respond to every comment
  • use time-management strategies for online teaching and feedback

Engaging the Students

  • course development must be student friendly and where students are active participants rather than bystanders to learning
  • the same pace, content and approach will produce different results with different people
  • encourage mentoring relationships and learning communities
  • be explicit to students about the norms and grading
  • don’t underestimate how much time students are spending online, doing readings, reading each others discussion and posting – think about the workload – and don’t overload them

Technology Related Strategies

  • have students experiment more on the web so they aren’t afraid of the technology
  • ensure that good technical support is in place
  • use the web once or twice a week purely for fun, that way you can become comfortable with the technology
  • keep track of any difficulties with the technology or course design
  • learn how to work effectively with students who are anxious about online learning and listen to and diffuse any concerns about the online learning process
  • campaign for more resources; e.g., improved access, adequate equipment, and technical support

Novembro 22, 2009 Posted by | PPEL, Unit 2 | , , , , | Deixe um comentário

PPEL – Online teaching techniques

Modelling new skills for online teaching, available at http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/brisbane99/papers/salterhansen.pdf

In this article, the authors talk about the use of technology by both teachers and learners. They mention that teachers who have good experiences with technology have more probability of integrating technology into teaching, however ‘traditional’ methods of training are still clearly favoured over online methods.

In online courses there’s the need to provide a clear structure for activities and to structure online discussion groups.

The article states the need of making online activities interesting and relevant to life

Another aspect that is mentioned is the fact that not only teachers need to be trained on the use of technology. Students may be able to access email, but may ‘have difficulty building mental models of the multi-layered electronic’ learning environments (Witmer, 1998).

Students need to have the right and appropriate support in order to achieve successful learning outcomes.

The article also refers to PlatformWeb, which is a web-based teaching environment developed at UWS, Macarthur.

Novembro 22, 2009 Posted by | PPEL, Unit 2 | , , , , | Deixe um comentário