Review of AB and LO on Transparency in Online Education

My review of an Annotated Bibliography will be on Hugo Domingues’s work, posted on his blog in http://hdelearning.blogspot.com/2010/05/transparency-in-online-education.html

Hugo presents a very useful bibliography, with four different references. Each of these references are presented with a sequence, as Hugo built his bibliography to ilustrate his reflexion on the subject.

The first reference is an LO created using GoAnimate! which provides an introduction on the theme. To know more about the concepts involved, Hugo refers another LO, which is more theoretical. To help understand how to put this into practice, Hugo gives us an article and a presentation with an example of a strategy to promote transparency in Online education.

I found very interesting this idea of creating a bibliography that suited his reflexions on the subject! Hugo gives a summary of each recourse and presents his thoughts and reflexions on them.

My only remark for improvement would be including the article from Dalsgaard & Paulsen, as it is mentioned on his comments about the 2nd resource.

Well done, Hugo!

The Learning Object I reviewed was a very funny but accurate animated movie created with Xtranormal which shows Larry King interviewing Sarah Palin… about transparency in Online Education. The author is Carla Elias:

In this LO, Carla gives complete information about what Transparency in Online Education is and how it promotes quality.

I thought Carla managed to give the important information on the subject, making us want to watch the sequel with the promised interview with Prof. Morten! This touch of humour was nice and integrated with the situation. As for improvement, during Sarah’s speech about the subject, I think Carla could have showed some of this sense of humour.

Overall, it is another excellent LO. Congrats Carla!

Learning Object – Transparency in Online Education

Here is my LO for Transparency in Online Education:


Free websiteWix.com

Annotated Bibliography on Transparency in Online Learning

Paulsen, Morten et Dalsgaard, Christian, June, 2009,Transparency in Cooperative Online Education,  in  International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Volume 10, Number , available at  http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/671 , accessed in 2010-06-06

In this article, these two authors try to answer a main question. In their own words:

“The purpose of this article is to discuss the following question: What is the potential of social networking within cooperative online education?”

In order to answer this question, the authors start by studying the relationship between networking and cooperative education.
The authors argue that transparency is important to online education, as it enables students to work cooperatively, by being visible to each other. The use of the network social tools is presented as the tools of transparency and, therefore, the tools to create a truthful learning collaboration community. The authors also approach the issue of privacy rights and explain how these two notions are handled at NKI.

However, although we should respect student’s privacy, the transparency enabled by social networking is vital to a collaborative learning experience. “Social networking sites are not the new learning management systems. From the perspective of the theory of cooperative freedom, however, the special kind of communication and interaction afforded by social networking sites is interesting and has pedagogical potential. From this point of view, social networking should be considered as a supplement to other tools. The potential of social networking lies within transparency and the ability to create awareness among students.”

Siemens, George, April 28th, 2009, “Teaching as transparent learning” available at  http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=122 , accessed in 2010-06-06

On his blog “Connectivism – networked and social learning”, Siemens wrote an interesting article about becoming teachers with transparency. This aspect of being a transparent learner (becoming a teacher) is very interesting and I totally relate to it concerning my experience at UAb, since my colleagues work has contributed to my learning as much as the instructional course design.

As Siemens puts it: “Let me explain. When someone decides to share their thoughts and ideas in a transparent manner, they become a teacher to those who are observing. Social technology – such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook – opens the door to sharing the process of learning, not only the final product.”

UNSW, August 2009, “All of a Twitter”, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXwkkiaMilo, accessed in 2010-06-06

This video from the University of New South Wales (Australia) is a look at how social web tools are being used in university classrooms.

This University started a networks’ literacy project to develop the use and understanding of social network tools and its consequences in learning. The researchers point out some of the benefits of making students work visible to the community and outside the community, to the world.

This project also gives attention to Student’s privacy, allowing students to choose when (or if) to post their work outside the UNSW community.

Review of AB and LO on Online Teaching Techniques

I´m going to review Fernando’s Faria AB, posted on his blog in http://mpelejadores.blogspot.com/2010/04/ppel-unit-2-task-1.html

I appreciated the references chosen by Fernando. I find the bibliography presented very complete and useful when studying the subject Online Teaching Techniques.  On his annotations, Fernando gives us a short synthesis of the article, sometimes using other information to complete the article’s theme.

As an improvement, the AB could be more diversified as for the type of Bibliography chosen, instead of only articles, although, in terms of content, the articles chosen are diverse.

As for the LO, my review will be on Juliana’s Learning Object, presented here: http://julianantunes.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/online-teaching-techniques-2/

This is a very interesting presentation, with a lot of information. Sometimes, it is refreshing to go “back to the basic” and watch a more simple (technology wise) LO, but witch gives us a synthesised but quite complete understanding of what Online Teaching Techniques are.

I think this presentation could be improved with the use of graphics and more images, maybe by dividing some of the information and showing it with appealing images. There are a lot of articles and videos published on the web about this subject, I particularly like this one: http://blog.slideshare.net/2009/02/03/4-multimedia-learning-principles-that-will-improve-your-slides/

Learning Object on Online Teaching Techniques

My LO on Online Teaching Techniques was created using GLOGSTER: www.glogster.com

Annotated Bibliography on Online Teaching Techniques

Online Teaching Techniques


Paulsen, Morten Flate –  “Online Teaching Techniques”, in Online Education and Learning Management Systems – Global E-learning in a Scandinavian Perspective, 2003 NKI Forlaget

“This article presents experiences with teaching techniques that were found in the literature and that were recommended by some of the 150 online teachers that were interviewed about their experiences with teaching techniques.”

In this article, Morten Paulsen begins by giving an overview of the teaching techniques discussed in CMC literature and presents a Framework for online teaching techniques, based on the type of interaction used (one – online; one to one; one to many; many to many). It is a very interesting article which congregates the mainly used teaching techniques in online learning environments, based on The Online Report on Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communication from 1995.

Although this particular article is not available online, we can order the e-book were it is integrated at http://www.studymentor.com/

Good practice – Integrating technology, available at http://www.queensu.ca/ctl/goodpractice/technology/index.html . Accessed on 2010-04-18

In this site we can find practical tips or Good Practices for teaching in online environments. It has from the base strategies for teaching in online environments; a Course Redesign Guide by Boettcher & Conrad (1999); an overview of Online Teaching Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communications; tips for building learning communities and other recourses:

Designing and implementing elearning, available at http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/index.htm Accessed on 2010-04-18

“This site provides some answers to two big questions:

Another practical site for e-teachers, with useful information on online techniques and activities. The Gallery of strategies section provides samples of online activities, grouped in two levels. We can access samples and view an explanation of each activity.

1 Question Interview – Stephen Downes

Stephen Downes works for the National Research Council of Canada where he has served as a Senior Research, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, since 2001. Affiliated with the Learning and Collaborative Technologies Group, Institute for Information Technology, Downes specializes in the fields of online learning, new media, pedagogy and philosophy. (To learn more about Stephen Downes’ work, visit http://www.downes.ca/)

Question:

Dear Prof. Downes,

I’m a master student in e-learning pedagogy at Universidade Aberta in Portugal and I’m studying the Theory of Cooperative Freedom with Professor Morten Paulsen. I came across your insight on these matters from your site and Blog and I hope that you can answer the following question. If it is acceptable for you, I would like to share both my question and your answer in our course forum and my personal blog at https://lealmaria.wordpress.com/

I was very interested in your distinction Groups vs Networks. Can we say it has a direct parallelism with the distinction Collaboration vs Cooperation? In terms of enabling student’s freedom, how would you describe each one?

Thank you for your time and I hope to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Maria Leal

____________________________________________________

Stephen Downes’ answer:

Hiya Maria,

I believe that you can draw a connection between the two distinctions. Collaboration belongs to groups, while cooperation is typical of a network. The significant difference is that, in the former, the individual is subsumed under the whole, and becomes a part of the whole, which is created by conjoining a collection of largely identical members, while in the latter, the individual retains his or her individuality, while the whole is an emergent property of the collection of individuals.

I have identified four major dimensions distinguishing the role of the individual in collaboration from the role of the individual in cooperation:

– Autonomy – in the case of a collaboration, the actions of the individual are determined with reference to the needs and interests of the group, and are typically directed by a leader or some sort of group decision-making process. Groups often have a ‘common vision’ to which each member is expected to subscribe. In a cooperative enterprise, each individual participates out of his or her own volition, and acts according to individually defined values or principles.

– Diversity – in the case of a collaboration, diversity of aim or objective is not desired. While individuals may engage in different activities, each is understood only in terms of the common end or goal, as in the production of a car on an assembly line. It is important that people speak the same language, sing from the same songbook, or otherwise exhibit some sort of identity with other members. In the case of cooperation, there is no common element uniting the group; rather, each individual engages in a completely unique set of interactions based on his or her own needs and preferences. There is no expectation even of a common language or world view.

– Openness – in the case of a collaboration there is a strong sense of group identity, a clear boundary between who is a member and who is not, often to the point of excluding non-members and even hiding large parts of the group’s activities from view. In a network, by contrast, there is not a clear boundary or even a recognized set of members. While membership in a group is an all-or-nothing thing, membership in a network may be tenuous, drifiting in and out, like a lurker at the edge of a conversation.

– Interactivity – in the case of a collaboration, information typically diffuses from the centre to the periphery as people receive their ‘marching orders’. A ‘broadcast network’ is more common of a collaborative organization. Management, structure and hierarchy govern the connections and flow of information. Group communication dynamics are characterized by a ‘big spike’, whether or not there is a long tail; that is, a few members will have an influence disproportionate to the rest, and will use their positions to define the ‘common’ or ‘shared’ values that will be held by the rest of the group. In a cooperative enterprise, by contrast, there is a relative equality of communications and connectivity; there will be no big spike or single centre of influence.

In general, the properties describing those of collaborative relate to mass. The creation of movements, whether nationalistic, religious or political, are based on amassing large numbers of people united under the same sign, set of beliefs or statement of principles. These mass activities are often instantiated in the figure of one person, a leader or inspiration. The same belief is held by each of the members, who will also share a certain language or jargon, and this belief propagates from one person to another through a process of diffusion, conversion or enrollment into the case.

The properties describing a cooperative, by contract, relate to organization. The creation of networks, whether they be economic or commodity marketplaces, infrastructure or communication systems, ecologies or ecosystems, social networks, local communities, and the like, is based on sets of interactions between members where these interactions form, as a whole, a unique, distinct and recognizable entity note based in the individual actions, beliefs or values of any, or even all, of the individuals, but rather exhibiting its own logic based on is organization.

It is interesting no note how the traditional ‘process’ freedoms relate almost entirely to the formation of groups or collaborations. They are not individual freedoms so much as a set of mechanisms that allow the creation and formation of new groups (which was a stunning advance for its time, an era when typically only one group at a time would be allowed to legitimately exist). Consider how ‘freedom of assembly’, ‘freedom of the press’ and even ‘freedom of speech’ allows people to create new groups, while ‘freedom of opinion or religion’ allows a person to join new groups.

In terms of freedom, it is my belief that a cooperative network engenders greater freedom. This is because, even though process freedoms (freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, etc.) may be the same in the two models, and indeed, essential for each of the two models, the network model allows more freedoms in other dimensions. In particular, an individual working cooperatively has greater empowerment; not merely the right to freedom of expression, but a channel to connect to others, and the means to live according to the beliefs expressed. And the individual in a network is free from a variety of pressures, pressures to conform, pressures to stipulate to a belief or creed, language requirements, nationality requirements, and the rest.
— Stephen

p.s. please feel free to share the question and answer freely with whomever you want.