Thursday, 18 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
These guys seem to have created an api to classify traits on written text, it is quite fun to have a play with and since they created an api, it could also be useful in adding this to our peer review/essay marking programs, as another benefit to the student.
With regards to this post I am
1. happy (99.6 %)
2. upset (0.4 %)
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
- Microsft Outlook
- Microsoft Hotmail
- Google Reader
- Yahoo Answers
- Yahoo Groups
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Thursday, 2 October 2008
The tag cloud is just one example, others include the advanced communication world map which was released recently. Imagine if you could create that on a small scale see, use it to see which departments communicate with others, which student access materials the most etc the list goes on. I feel that does not happen enough within the University and would help in the change that technology gives us.
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Recently I joined a social netowrking group called http://newtoolsclub.ning.com/ created by Jane Hart. This group is designed to review e-learning and development tools as they are known. There seems to be quite a varied change of individuals in the group so it should prove quite topical.
Also this is the first group "that I know off" that is built for educational designers/technologists/academics to discuss ideas.
Anyways on doing a little noseing about the group I came across a comment regarding GoAnimate. This website/tool enables people to create their own basic simulations, which you could put to students to create. An example could be how they go about planning something between set people or interaction etc.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
This would enable students to have easy access to sites/applications etc with out being bloated with stuff not relevent to them. It would also allow staff to support opebn source application and especially with the new google chrome rollout web apllication that might be beneficial to a students course for example report writing using the firefox plugin for references ..etc. It would also allow students to install their own software though that is a comepletely different matter.
Friday, 22 August 2008
Im not to sure on what the impact that would have by allowing students to show their formattive grade to each other.
Anyways its an experiment, so Ill see how it goes.
Any suggestions ideas and feedback is welcome.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
The role of our department is to try and encourage and develop e-learning materials for lecturers to bring the quality of the service the University offers to its students higher. We are generally trying to offer new services to academics all the time generally bringing them on board for multiple tools and facilities.
What I have observed, is a trend to get the academics on board, develop stuff and then let them go off. There are e-assessments which have not been touched for five + years. There is not much communication between old customers and staff, we generally treat an e-learning application as one off, until an academic comes in and requests changes. We should be treating applications as lifelong products and adding yearly product/content reviews. We should treat a customer not just as a customer for one product, but try and review their course with them to explain any technologys that they could use.
It would be interesting to find out what is done in other Universitys etc with regards to customer service and recurring reviews ......
Thursday, 14 August 2008
The technology seems to be progressing well with people integrating the chatbot with other forms of simulation for example second life. http://www.chatbots.org/chatbot/mike. A downside with the second life bot is that it is not readily accessible to students.
For example you have install second life >>>> create avatar >>>> then find the avatar before you can begin. One use of second life which I find particularly interesting is the ability to hold pretend events and simulations. For example the Second Life English island has a holodeck area, which loads up different scenarios for the user like ordering food from a takeawsay etc.
Chatbots were originally started using text editors from which the bot would reply in text format. Currently the bots can take on many forms like allowing the user to type in a sentance and reply by voice. The use of this in ESL is very useful as it allows the student to practice on someone at anytime. Notice I said someone in the previous sentence, it honestly feels like there is someone on the otherside.
What is currently missing is a bot on which a student can practice speech.
Monday, 11 August 2008
From the past we have had
CAA (Computer Aided Assessment)
CBA (Computer Based Assessment)
I think we should change it to TEA (Technology Enhanced Assessment) that would include any assessment that includes technology to be politcally correct.
Currently at our University we are going through some major changes with respect to joining two departments together to form an Educational Development Unit. With the joining of the two departments we will increase the skills and experience to enable us to better provide a service.
This will enable us to develop more advanced interactions/simulations.
Here are a few questions, if anyone has any answers then I'd be happy to hear.
The question is what is more beneficial to the lecturer, to assess students in the time old way of question based exam papers or to try and test knowledge by application using simulations etc.?
Should Applied Simulations ie Virtual Reality be used in summative test's on their own/with QBA etc
Should we provide formative tests in VR in order that students are not shocked when they first encounter one.
How do disabilities affect simulations, should they have another form of testing.
Should we tag an assessment on the properties that it assesses? recall, application etc
Will VR increase Academic involvement in the development of their test's?
Due to time contstraints should we only offer VR/Simulations to a select few ?
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
The visual appearance of the Google website is very minimalist. The main purpose of the site is to allow the user to search the web. The design is very effective in conveying this with the Google logo above the search box in the middle of the page. The size and placing of the logo focuses the users attention there, thus the eye to click time ratio is very high.
The Google applications that are available are found in the top left hand side of the screen. They are easily accessible and a downward arrow represents a drop down menu. The only problem I see with this drop down arrow is that it does not stand out from the hyperlinks even though it is a button rather than a link. Another problem with the Google web site is all one it’s benefits, is that all the links are Blue, there is no definition with regards to applications .
The information structure of the Google website is well laid out with respect to positioning, though there could be more added detail with rather than saying ‘web’ in the top left of the screen instead say ‘apps’. What could be even more useful is if the user could decide what links could go into the top left box and decide how their Google page looked without having to sign into the iGoogle. I don’t mean with lots of boxes all over the place like but having a clean UI with the apps on the top.
As I mentioned in the Visual appearance section, all the links are blue so it is not clear what options are available to the user, there is not discolouration with respect to which links are more important or diverse. What is even more problematic is that lets say a user clicks on ‘mail’, the list of apps at the top of the page disappears. This is crucial with keeping the site design consistent. As now there is no way to go back to the main Google search without re-entering the URL. This is basically a problem with most of the ‘apps’ that they allow you to browse to. What is stranger is that the bars come back once you sign in??
Ease of finding information
With the design of the website it is possible to easily find the information and links you need on returning to the website and luckily most of the applications look the same so are easy to use.
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
It would be really amazing if google developed a method like wikipedia, of users being able to upload their own stats and information, though the steps that wikipedia have taken would have to be implemented to ensure the integrity of the data. Even better if the information could be implemented in our own software via an api.
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Usually I see questions written like the one below ....
Read the paragraph on the left hand side, then answer the question below.
Place the labels shown in the correct order for brain surgery.
Now what I am wondering is if I was to ask the question like
Study the information displayed on the left of the screen, then answer the question below.
Having thought and decided upon the information given, place the labels shown in the correct order that you would use to carry out brain surgey.
Does more direction for the user acheive better or worse results, or do they get in the way and is less more ? Do we encourage more thought or let the user decide that for themselves.
Just a thought ,
Monday, 28 January 2008
The problem with that is of course University's have financial targets which have to be met and other targets to achieve, which at the moment in time is hard considering the current financial climate. Now I can speak from my own perspective of the University I currently work at and possibly give some ideas upon improvement.
At this moment in time (as far as I know) at enrolment we do not actively survey (yes another survey) the student on their individual learning data. If we were to catch that at the start we would be able to give that information to the lecturer and see for example how many students prefer distance learning to one to one, and informatively develop materials to match.