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Getting Connected (#cck11)

It’s winter. I hate the cold and the grayness of it all. I hunker down and hide out from the blahness of it all. I become a hermit. And for those who know me personally, they know that THAT is the exact opposite of who/where I like to be. I’m a chatty-Cathy-sunshine-flip flops-cycling-beach kind of girl who just happens to be a bit of a tech geek as well.

When the weather closes in on me like this, I find that I reach out virtually a lot more. I connect with new friends on Facebook, I look for new people to follow on Twitter, and I find blogs – reading and leaving comments more often, as well. In general, I grow my personal network in the cold months. In simplest of terms, I think this is what Stephen Downes (2008) is describing as knowledge formation in his explanation of “What is Connectivism?” in this Ustream video shared in the #CCK11 MOOC which started Monday. It’s being facilitated by George Siemens and Stephen Downes.

For me, when an idea seems complex, the simplest way to conceptualize it is to associate it with something I already understand. Back in high school, we watched a couple of films about the brain, and with cartoon animation simplicity, the concept of neural pathway formation was explained. As Downes described Connectivism, images from those old films popped unbidden into my head.

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It makes sense though – Connectivism is about growing the number of interactions between two nodes which creates connections. In the brain, more neural pathways means increased potential for learning. The more those pathways are used, the easier a skill may seem (like riding a bike or driving – both are difficult at first, but subconsciously easy after practice).

So, what does all this mean to me…hiding inside on this 36 degree, dreary winter day? It means it’s time to connect both digitally, which I’ve done here, and physically, which I’ll be doing as soon as I tie my tennis shoes and head to the gym. I’m not sure if this is exactly the types of connections Siemens and Downes have in mind, but this end user needs both.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in #CCK11, Year Two

 

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Open PhD – Year One in Review

Learn at computer

CC-BY-SA Lumaxart

It shocked me to realize an entire year has passed since I embarked on this journey last September 22nd. I have learned a lot, often in unexpected ways and from unexpected sources. I decided a progress update was necessary for those following along.

First, a bit of a recap. On that fateful declarative day, I wrote this:

I am going to create my own Ph.D. program via open education using open courseware. My degree will be in Educational Technology with an emphasis in (what else?) Open Education as the Great Equalizer. As the tag line to my blog states: it will be all the learning, with none of the “doc”-uments. (Or none of the “cred”-entials). But I will have the knowledge; and, in the end, isn’t that the most important thing? (Oh, and I will still have my $45,000).

In the next few posts, I will lay out my 4 year plan – with help from the Twittersphere, blog readers, my advisors, and hopefully some subscribers. I plan on completing research and a dissertation as well – no shortcuts here. My first advisor – Dr. Kay Lehmann is a blogger, online instructor, book author, and course developer. I look forward to finding a few more Ph.D./Ed.D volunteers in my grand experiment.

Will this work? Can it be done? Can we make it rigorous enough to be equal to an actual online Ph.D program? Join me on this journey. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome!

I really had no idea how big the #opened movement was at that time. I learned very quickly. That first blog post went a bit viral, and one week later, I had more than 1,000 unique hits. Commentary to that first post has reached 50+ and I still get a new comment every now and then on it. Lesson #1 – this is a big idea!

Several posts later, I went on to define my plan, define exactly what was (and was not) an Open PhD, and layout the open courses I wished to pursue. Lesson #2 – finding graduate level open courses is not easy

You might be wondering where all my exploration has led me. I admit to feeling like I haven’t made a lot of progress through the courses I chose, but Year One became more of a research/intern year instead. And I am okay with that.

During my research to learn more about Open Education Resources, I have made some powerful connections in the Open Textbook movement. Judy Baker (@educ8ter) and Jacky Hood (both of Foothill-DeAnza College District) brought me into the Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources and College Open Textbooks. What a find! After attending several workshops (online and f2f), I volunteered to help the collaborative and soon found myself with a contract as a trainer and instructional designer for COT’s Moodle workshop.

About the same time, I noticed Cable Green (@cgreen) of the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges out of Washington State was spearheading an OER initiative to help lower the costs of textbooks and improve retention for community college students. As an adjunct online instructor in Washington and an Open PhD student, I wanted to be a part of this! Several months later I was (and still am) working as one of ten instructional designers to the Open Course Library project.

The Open Course Library project is about designing 81 high enrollment, important general education, and pre-college courses for face-to-face, hybrid and/or online delivery, to improve course completion rates, lower textbook costs for students, provide new resources for faculty to consider using in their courses, and for our college system to fully engage the global open educational resources discussion.

In addition, I’ve remixed the COT workshop to provide an open course workshop on open textbooks for Washington State community college faculty. That workshop will debut soon. (Ironically, for expediency it will be housed behind the state’s “closed” Angel LMS system …for now). A version of this same workshop is being held on P2PU and led by COT’s associate director, Una Daly (Adopting Open Textbooks).

Speaking of P2PU, it is one of the many open learning initiatives I have become acquainted with this year. Stian Haklev (@houshuang) has contributed many good ideas to this project and I look forward to having time to give back at P2PU – perhaps inaugurating a DIY department :-). I’ve also exchanged dialogue with other “Open” students – each figuring out this idea in their own way. Parag Shah in Computer Science, Leigh Blackall, Jason, Dan Pontefract, and the DIY Grad School among others. Lesson #3 – Open PhD’s require getting “connected”.

And “connected” I have become – from Curt Bonk, Stephen Downes, and George Siemens to Clark Quinn, Marcia Conner, Jane Bozarth, Jim Groom, Dean Shareski, and so many others. Between Twitter, LinkedIn, and resources like eLearnMag, Learning Solutions, and many blogs, I am connected to the thought leaders in not only open education, but educational technology as well. Social media is the lifeblood of the DIY student – providing that necessary component of discussion and debate.

With those connections has come the opportunity to write. My co-author and colleague, Dr. Kay Lehmann, and I have published this article about Twitter in higher education, and a chapter about Twitter in higher education for a peer reviewed book Educating Educators with Social Media (in press – due Jan 2011). I even had the thrill of having this Open Phd project mentioned in Anya Kamenetz’s (@anya1anya) book DIY U:Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. (More a study of the funding of education, there is a nice section of resources in the back).

Where do I go from here?

Solving the puzzle of recognition for the work put into an “open” degree is a vital part of my journey. I get questions regularly from readers with similar ideas – all wanting to know if their efforts will be recognized by the employing world. The real answer is – I don’t know. In the ed tech field, knowledge has currency, but in other fields, sheepskin carries the required validity. Other “open” arenas are wrestling with the same idea – and certificates of competency are emerging from some (like Pippa Buchanan’s School of Webcraft). I will blog more about this later and hopefully we can crowdsource some good ideas to move forward with.

I also want to focus my energies towards completing more of my “course load”. Specifically, project management and applied multimedia technology are the areas in which I need more depth. If you’re interested in learning about these two areas also, drop me a comment – we can form a virtual study group.

And, frankly, I need to update my blog more often…it keeps me moving forward.

As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, and feedback! You are all part of my Open PhD journey.

Lisa

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Year One, Year Two

 

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ADDIE and ITIP – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Having come up through the K-12 ranks in education, my course design background has been, until recently, almost entirely based upon face-to-face educational theory models like Madeline Hunter’s ITIP and Grant Wiggin’s Understanding by Design (UBD). These methods of course design and lesson planning have served me well, even as I transitioned to hybrid teaching and, finally, fully online.

Now, as my teaching (and OpenPhD studying) has branched out into online professional development and educational technology, I am working with many trainers, corporate instructional designers, as well as teachers, and I’ve repeatedly been exposed to the ADDIE model used by instructional systems designers. At first glance, ITIP and ADDIE appear to be different models for different purposes, but the more I compare and use them – the more they seem two sides of the same coin.

ITIP

1. (Learning Objective) Select an objective at an appropriate level of difficulty and complexity, as determined through a task analysis, diagnostic testing, and/or congruence with Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy.
2. (Anticipatory Set) Motivate instruction by focusing the learning task, its importance, or the prior knowledge/experience of the learners.
3. State the lesson objective(s) to the students.
4. (Input) Identify and teach main concepts and skills, emphasizing clear explanations, frequent use of examples and/or diagrams, and invite active student participation.(Includes Modeling).
>5. Check for understanding by observing and interpreting student reactions (active interest, boredom) and by frequent formative evaluations with immediate feedback. Adjust instruction as needed and reteach if necessary.(Can be Closure at the end of lesson as well).
6. Provide guided practice following instruction by having students answer questions, discuss with one another, demonstrate skills, or solve problems. Give immediate feedback and reteach if necessary.
7. Assign independent practice to solidify skills and knowledge when students have demonstrated understanding.

 

When designing lessons, the teacher needs to consider the seven elements in a certain order since each element is derived from and has a relationship to previous elements. Also a decision must be made about inclusion or exclusion of each element in the final design–NOT ALL ELEMENTS WILL BE INCLUDED IN EVERY LESSON. It may take several lessons before students are ready for guided and/or independent practice. When this design framework is implemented in teaching, the sequence of the elements a teacher includes is determined by his/her professional judgment.

“Planning for Effective Instruction: Lesson Design” in Enhancing Teaching by Madeline Hunter, 1994, pp. 87-95.

 

ADDIE

I found this simple explanation of ADDIE to be most useful in comparison. The five phases of ADDIE are as follows – with the ITIP comparable added in blue:

Analysis

  • During analysis, the designer identifies the learning problem, the goals and objectives, the audience’s needs, existing knowledge, and any other relevant characteristics. Analysis also considers the learning environment, any constraints, the delivery options, and the timeline for the project.

1. (Learning Objective) Select an objective at an appropriate level of difficulty and complexity, as determined through a task analysis, diagnostic testing, and/or congruence with Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy.

2. (Anticipatory Set) Motivate instruction by focusing the learning task, its importance, or the prior knowledge/experience of the learners.

Design

  • A systematic process of specifying learning objectives. Detailed storyboards and prototypes are often made, and the look and feel, graphic design, user-interface and content is determined here.

Development

  • The actual creation (production) of the content and learning materials based on the Design phase.

Implementation

  • During implementation, the plan is put into action and a procedure for training the learner and teacher is developed. Materials are delivered or distributed to the student group. After delivery, the effectiveness of the training materials is evaluated.

3. State the lesson objective(s) to the students.

4. (Input) Identify and teach main concepts and skills, emphasizing clear explanations, frequent use of examples and/or diagrams, and invite active student participation. (Includes Modeling).

6. Provide guided practice following instruction by having students answer questions, discuss with one another, demonstrate skills, or solve problems. Give immediate feedback and reteach if necessary.

7. Assign independent practice to solidify skills and knowledge when students have demonstrated understanding.

Evaluation

  • This phase consists of (1) formative and (2) summative evaluation. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users. Revisions are made as necessary.

5. Check for understanding by observing and interpreting student reactions (active interest, boredom) and by frequent formative evaluations with immediate feedback. Adjust instruction as needed and reteach if necessary (can be Closure at the end of lesson as well).

*********

As I see it, the real differences between ADDIE and ITIP are 1)semantics and 2) a slight shift in focus. ITIP’s focus is on the instruction and ADDIE’s is more on design. While a designer (course or training) could use ADDIE to create the training/lesson, ITIP can be used like an outline to actually teach the course/training. These models are more complementary than competing, and online course developers, trainers, OER authors, should look into both models to better improve their teaching and opportunities for student engagement and learning – face-to-face or online.

As always, I look forward to your perspectives and commentary!


 
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Posted by on February 9, 2010 in Teaching Online, Year One

 

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My First “Official” Open Ed Resource

I am in the middle of teaching three online courses, taking George Siemen’s Introduction:Emerging Technologies -Africa open course for my Open PhD studies, making tons of Twitter connections with fellow like-mined educators, and staying in a 5th wheel trailer for two weeks on my sister’s property in Eastern Washington state while I visit my relatives on this side of the country.  What’s a girl to do in her spare time?

Write up a post about a teaching resource for using digital media and social networking to promote critical thinking in the on or off line classroom, of course.

I’ve had the article rolling around in my head for a while now.  I posted it to my other blog site that I use for sharing resources and reflections with other online educators.  You can find that post here.  Nothing really new in my doing that.

The “aha!” moment came when I realized what was significant about this practice.  I’ve been  intentionally creating and posting educational resources to be shared…openly…freely…use them at your own discretion.

What??!!

I’ve been a part of this movement for sometime now, and I didn’t even know it?

Cool!

With this particular post, however, I officially slapped a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial, share alike license on the post just to make sure my readers knew they could play with my toys in their own sandbox.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2009 in The Plan

 

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Dr. Kay’s Thoughts on Open Education

Dr. Kay will be blogging on OpenPhD throughout this experiment in the role as one of my “PhD” advisors.  Look for her posts with Dr. Kay in the title and under the category of Advising.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2009 in Advising

 

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#openphd

I am getting lots of comments, suggestions of resources, some offers help, etc.,  coming in from just the first two posts on the Open PhD blog. There appears to be a lot of interest in this idea and whether we can make it work.  I say “we”  meaning the collective blogosphere, Twittersphere, and edusphere since, collectively, you all know more than I do, and you will be my teaching assistants in this process, along with a myriad of websites, and other resources.

You are in my PLN! (Should we make T-shirts?)  😉

Some of you are beginning to tweet your suggestions and questions to me as well – and you have great questions!  I want to be sure everyone gets to see them.  However, I use Twitter for a variety of reasons – most of them academic – but for various different aspects of my academic career. To help make it a little easier to track which tweets apply to this project, I’ve registered a Twitter hashtag  #openphd.

If you are replying to me or tweeting original content about my pursuit of a “D-I-Y PhD” (a nod to @paul_bone for that term), please include the #openphd hashtag. Other interested readers will then be able to search the topic out more easily.  (If you are unfamiliar with using hashtags in Twitter, you can find out about it here).

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2009 in The Plan

 

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