elearningWatch December 2011

well this month marks a milestone for elearning Watch. It’s been going now for 15 years. It was originally the LearnTech forum until 2001 when it morphed into elearning Watch. It’s still distributed to many of the original movers and shakers of elearning and now reaches I don’t know how many people, but the more the merrier! Vern Smith, ex Unitec in Auckland still maintains the elearnwatch site on his server in the garage. What a good man!
The past month has been a bit frantic. Having to do work for more than three days a week and driving up and down to Hamilton has meant the marrows have been a bit neglected. No matter. The Blueberries are ripening nicely and everything else is growing fast. So what’s all this got to do with elearning? Nought much really except it provides contemplation time and to confirm that cucumbers are immune to Moodlemites but not snail bytes.
It’s been interesting exploring the world of the competency based curriculum and assessment and how such curricula operate in real time for a wide range of disciplines. Much of the success of such a system is dependent on the rigour applied to the development of the assessment rubric or system.There is plenty of debate around whether the assessment should be pass/ fail, competent/not competent, or whether there should be levels of competency accompanied by points and marks.
I’m all for creating clear, unambiguous and authentic assessment and performance criteria, based on an accepted standard, which leaves no doubt as to whether or not the student or candidate has achieved the expected learning outcomes for the task or project.
Hi ho, it’s now onto other related activities, I’ve just had my first day at the ICELF conference in Auckland Steve Wheeler was the principle keynote and as is Steve’s want, he stirred up the audience with a view of elearning, then , now and maybe. He promoted open education resources (good lad) and pointed out that no matter what new technology is introduced , there will always be resistance form the luddites and from my view point the uptights who see their patch being threatened and or don’t understand the needs of the learners let alone the academics! If you don’t follow Steve, it’s about time you did.
Derek Wenmouth also made a great contribution to complement what Steve presented and in his indomitable way got the old neurons buzzing again on what is already possible and no longer a dream.
Thom Cochrane got his mobility scooter on full throttle demonstrating how the world of mobile learning is here and here to stay and how effective it can be for student centered and directed learning. Tomorrow promises more innovation. I hope the promos is kept. Next stop is Hobart (first time visit) at ascilite, before Xmas provides some R&R.
This month’s posting includes links to new JISCInfonet kits, assessment guides, online course development and review, an interesting and useful blog from Ethos, Open education resources,huge range of simulations, how to use google better, information literacy, an educators blog,institutional change, a call for papers, conferences and the odd one out
It remains to wish those of you who indulge it such things, a very pleasant and relaxing festive season.
1. 21st Century Information Literacy:Digital Information Fluency Model.
A very useful Website with extensive tools for information searching, taking challenges, guides and a wide range of resources. The more you look the more you can discover.




















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