Friday, 22 August 2008

Facebook - Social Ego Learning

Well ive just bought a facebook applications book and Im going to give it a try to build an application that tests students. The app will allow for students to show the facebook app on their profile with a grade. This will allow students to compete while learning about who has the highest 'Socio Grade' for their module for those that want it.

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

E-Learning - - A one off ?

Repeat business is difficult in any industry, e-learning is no exeption.

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

Chatbots and ESL in Second life

While doing some research I came across chatbots, there seem to be quite a varied range of bots out there for use.

The technology seems to be progressing well with people integrating the chatbot with other forms of simulation for example second life. 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

Would you like a cup of (TEA)

Technology Enhanced Assessment

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.

Question Based Exams Vs Virtual Reality Testing

First post in a while, but I have some issues that I thought I better get off my chest.

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 ?