Tweaks, templates and the LMS: exploring how to improve the learning environment [...]

- Effective learning requires high levels of contextually appropriate TPACK
- There remains a TPACK problem in higher education and its use of digital learning
- Academics - while experts in content - are largely left alone struggle with the act of creating and using digital (primarily web-based) learning environments due to their typically limited technical, multimedia and pedagogical knowledge
- This paper draws lessons from the early stages of a DBR research project at Griffith University seeking to develop ways to help improve the level of TPACK available to academics and subsequently improve the quality of the learning environments and the learning that takes place within them

 

### Misc thoughts

Blackboard 9.1 is already sort of based on templates e.g. the course contacts. But the problem is that those template haven't _evolved_. The focus on Bb and others has been on developing the broader systems. Not the individual "templates".

This is where Tweaks come in.

Tweaks also enter the picture because the standard "content item" doesn't provide any scaffolding. It's just HTML. This allows a lot of crap content (e.g. as complained about in the Bb community) but also the flexibility to do their own thing.  The same thread that complains about the crap content is the same one in which the people with knowledge boast and share their positive use of the generativity.

The tweaks are a way to develop a constructive template. To reuse the expertise to produce a certain useful display.

But they also suffer from the problem of not having been kept up to date. Perhaps again because of the focus on bigger picture - the inability to learn about the context and perhaps the gulf between the people who know that context and the developers who can do things.

h5p comes in ....

What is missing ... Goodyear and Retalis.

Examples of issues

  • The template for "Contacts" (Blackboard) has been labelled "Staff Information" in the menu. The Blackboard title can't be changed, but Griffith have decided to go another way.


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CardBox:: Paper Ideas [...]


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Tweaks, templates and lessons for digital learning


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Tweaks, templates and the LMS: exploring how to improve the learning environment [...]

- Effective learning requires high levels of contextually appropriate TPACK
- There remains a TPACK problem in higher education and its use of digital learning
- Academics - while experts in content - are largely left alone struggle with the act of creating and using digital (primarily web-based) learning environments due to their typically limited technical, multimedia and pedagogical knowledge
- This paper draws lessons from the early stages of a DBR research project at Griffith University seeking to develop ways to help improve the level of TPACK available to academics and subsequently improve the quality of the learning environments and the learning that takes place within them

 

### Misc thoughts

Blackboard 9.1 is already sort of based on templates e.g. the course contacts. But the problem is that those template haven't evolved. The focus on Bb and others has been on developing the broader systems. Not the individual "templates".

This is where Tweaks come in.

Tweaks also enter the picture because the standard "content item" doesn't provide any scaffolding. It's just HTML. This allows a lot of crap content (e.g. as complained about in the Bb community) but also the flexibility to do their own thing.  The same thread that complains about the crap content is the same one in which the people with knowledge boast and share their positive use of the generativity.

The tweaks are a way to develop a constructive template. To reuse the expertise to produce a certain useful display.

But they also suffer from the problem of not having been kept up to date. Perhaps again because of the focus on bigger picture - the inability to learn about the context and perhaps the gulf between the people who know that context and the developers who can do things.

h5p comes in ....

What is missing ... Goodyear and Retalis.


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Expertise for content development [...]

Jegan & Eswaran (2004) suggest that

Content development requires expertise from different fields. The design and development of content require major inputs from instructors, instructional designers, graphic designers, and programmers. Normally instructors are expected to develop the content for e-learning on their own. The design and development of content is not an easy task for instructors who lack experience in instructional strategies and learning theories. They are not aware of the effective methods, which can be used to present their content to learners.

And the need that

The content development team needs a method, which can capture the strategies developed by the experts based on their experiences with specific sets of problems Patterns have emerged as a solution to overcome this difficulty.

And constructive templates

Patterns are implemented by using constructive templates. A well-designed pattern can have more than one template.....The templates generate interactive content with good and customizable user interfaces as solutions for the patterns.

References

Jegan, T., & Eswaran, C. (2004). Patterns for E-learning content development. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 15(2), 117-.


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NGDLE – Next Generation Digital Learning Environment [...]

EDUCAUSE define the NGDLE as

a digital learning architecture encompassing a confederation of learning applications, tools, and resources woven together by means of open standards.

In part, because of the inherent variety

What is clear is that postsecondary learning is far too diverse to be enabled adequately by a single application or platform. Therefore, it seems legitimate to conclude that any LMS will always need to be supplemented by additional components and resources, resulting in a digital learning environment instead of an LMS platform.

Raising the question of who decides what supplements are allowed?


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Why the web scales [...]

The citation for Tim Berners-Lee's Turing award reads (emphasis added)

For inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale.

It cites "initimately tied in with the Unix operating system" and a "whole approach reflected the distinctive Unix philosophy of building new system capabilities by recombining existing tools".

Not to mention "achieving compatibility through communications protocols rather than standard code, hardware, or operating systems" ... The Internet philosophy.

But also - in comparison to the hypermedia community and Ted Nelson in particular - since he only had a few months this led to

Rather than attack intractable problems, Berners-Lee used proven technologies as the building blocks of a system intended to be powerful and immediately useful rather than perfect.

And there's distribution

This technological minimalism made the Web easy to scale, with no indexing system or central database to overload.

It also points out

Yet the ACM’s 1991 Hypertext conference had rejected Berners-Lee’s paper describing the World Wide Web.


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CardBox:: Affordances [...]


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Why the web scales Blackboard tweaks


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Blackboard tweaks [...]


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The Blackboard LMS (9.1) is an enterprise system. A LMS seen as very unmodifiable. However it has been. Two building blocks offer direct support

  1. jsHack which appears targetted to help an institution/administrators create and implement hacks across the institution.
  2. Blackboard Tweaks designed "for academics, deigners and programmers"

Related


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CardBox:: Bricolage [...]


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Long and short arc learning design


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Long and short arc learning design [...]

Goodyear (2009) proposes two contrasting images (recognising that there are many) of how a teacher may design a course

  1. Long arc - extended process of thinking, discussing and research possibilities, looking at repositories, books and using various exchanges. "There is a long arc between finding an idea or resource and embedding it, or its implications, in the new course."
  2. Short arc - "a more time-pressed teacher who is having to make decisions about good learnign tasks, tools to be used...etc.."with only a day or two of lead time"

He suggests that the short arc teacher will be working with some tools and

the route to influencing their practice, with the highest probability of success, is to embed good ideas in these tools

References

Goodyear, P. (2009). Teaching, technology and educational design: The architecture of productive learning environments (pp. 1–37). Sydney. Retrieved from http://www.olt.gov.au/system/files/resources/Goodyear%2C P ALTC Fellowship report 2010.pdf


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