Monday, 29 November 2010

Teaching students real world skills

Was approached today by an academic who wanted to incorporate version control in their engineering course.  Now VC is something which is used in the 'real world' and is an industry standard practice.  This also includes project management methodology, so why not start introducing them to project management tools!

The academic wishes to create groups and wants the groups work to be locked down to that group. But also have a place for them to discuss the project.

So some of the things we will have to look into is
  • Who will support the technology (IT,e-learning)?
  • What tech would be best suited?
  • How can we link into what we are doing into other similar modules
This is a showcase of some of the places we as education have to go, by replicating real world scenarios and infrastructures.

Some of the ideas is using elgg/sharepoint as the communication platform, subversion as the version control and microsoft project/Trac as the pm.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Gaming in E-learning

Gaming/Movies has already been proved to be very influential in the way we learn.  For example think about after you have played need for speed, when driving have you thought, Im just going to try to slip stream that lorry or take the inner lane on a corner.

It intrinsically builds into you the desire to replicate the game into real life.  Same as real life replicates into the game, you see UFC and you want to control Brock Lesner in UFC Undisputed and you want to elbow smash into Frank Mir.  All these things are exiting, which is at the core of learning, if you have motivation and excited about something you will want to learn.  If its dreary you wont take much in. 

One of the most important aspect of gaming is levelling, you want to test yourself against certain situations that allow you to progress.  If you are on a linear module designed to cater for all skill levels you will either fail to learn enough important stuff or if you are on the higher end feel less stimualted to learn and so pass along the module course like its a breeze and it doesnt challenge.  The role of the teacher in that sense is to try to gauge the level of the course based on  their own academic and peer experiences, this is hard when most academics in the field are not teachers first they are content experts.

In order to build these quality gaming simulations takes time, money and experience.  All of which poses a major risk especially in this economic climate.  It is still something which I would like to triall and if the chance ever came about would like to partake some research on.