This week was lead by Damian Gordon and covered different learning styles and how they are categorized. We looked at:
Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Edwards de Bono’s CoRT and 6 thinking hats and his PMI technique.
We also discussed our group project ideas for developing our e-resource. I can’t recall exactly how but we discussed the Han school of teaching and the Open Dyslexia font designed to aid dyslexic learners.
And we also covered instructional design models:
Of these I think the ADDIE model seems to be the most straight forward to use.
This class was the first of our new module Instructional Design and Authoring. We got an overview of the major dates during this module and information on our assessments. I am looking forward to getting started though I am slightly nervous of group work on the development of a eResoure. I see instructional design as a very important part of my professional practice and want to see what I can learn from this module.
The second part of the day was led by Damian. He brought us through techniques to brainstorm ideas and think outside the box.
An interesting day but mainly administrative stuff covered.
This week we were introduced to Mahara the ePortfolio system used by DIT. I was curious to see how it looked as I had read about it before for work and knew it was popular. Having played around with it I decided to go with a more conventional web resource like this wordpress.com site. I think it will provide me with most of the feature available on Mahara with a shallower learning curve and a more intuitive interface.
I also managed to some how lose the video I made of my hopes, fears and expectations when Muireann was asking us to transfer them from her camera. I’m not particularly sad about having less video of myself on the internet but it would have been a nice artifact to have in the future.
This week saw the class give individual presentations on their teaching practices and how different learning theories apply. In a way I copped out on this one as I am still struggling with the different elements of behaviorism constructivism and socio-constructivism that all play strong roles. It seems to me that behaviourism is often present in any learning experience as learning often involves changing behaviour in some way.
Outside of that context I think my teaching practice is largely socio-constructivist with a strong element of Vygostsky’s Zone of Proximal development. We provide each student with an online mentor. It is the mentor’s job to assess the ability of the student, provide them with a learning activity that challenges them and help them if they require help.
Some of our students require less mentor intervention then others but even in those cases the mentor is often guiding the student to appropriately challenging material through the student’s learning plan and is in that way mentoring them also.
Feedback from the group was great though I think I was speaking so fast during the presentation that they may have only heard every second word. Class members pointed out the potential of gaming in education and the Comic Life app which I was able to say I was aware of and use in my practice frequently.
This week we had a talk by Dr Kevin O’Rourke on the philosophy of elearning. This was an interesting class for me as I was introduced to some terms I had heard of before but never really understood. For example, epistemology, the philosophy of knowledge and “knowing”. We were given a crash course in some of the great philosophical thinkers from classic Greece to more modern thinkers such as Sartre, Derrida and Kearney. Hopefully I can make time in the future to become more familiar with their writings.
Dr O’Rourke also gave us an informative and thought provoking but brief history of education in Ireland. He proposed that education was initially introduced to Ireland to tame the “mad Irish” and prepare us for factory work. I think that this is an interesting notion in that it implies that this is no longer the case. The factories have changed but education is still largely in the business of producing an obedient citizenry and a viable workforce for the economy.
He also highlighted the strong constructivist tradition in Irish education and how when a teacher tries to use constructivist methods they are often rejected by the learners who have become used to being spoon fed what they need to know for “the exam”.