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Where does the university end and learning begin? Facilitating personal learning environments to enhance ownership of knowledge.

0020 ALTC 2009 Alan Cann, Jo Badge, Stuart Johnson, Jon Scott

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24 August 2009

ALT-C 2009 Session: This Cloud has been set up to aggregate live blogs, comments, discussion and links for this session.

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Alan Cann's session has the short totle 'Dude, where's my University?'. Some really nice work with students asked to draw their own PLE (for learning) and comparison with this and what the Uni provides (VLE, for control).  Some lovely mindmaps.

Slides bear looking at, but curious under-reporting of (say) Blackboard use at 70% (VLE) compared with delicious (81%), wikipedia (1005) and google (99%).

Clearly coming across that we need both (other talks here at ALT on whether the VLE is dead), The students have a clear expectation of what the different spaces are for.

Chris Pegler
10:35 on 8 September 2009

AJ Cann, University of Leicester

  • Key skills module for new undergraduates - numeracy and IT skills
  • Needs changed over time e.g. most students have experience with MS Office before arriving these days
  • Using VLE for what it's good for - authentication, storing student data to comply with data protection act, communication (convenient to be able to email all students just by clicking a button!)
  • New version of course interleaves IT and numeracy components
  • 2 semesters, towards end of first, ask students to draw a mindmap of their PLE. Second semester produce e-portfolio
  • What do students perceive as being part of their PLE? (e.g. only 1% mentioned student support services, maybe see as something they go to when they have problems?). Also perceptions changed in terms of keeping work/personal separate perhaps (e.g. when used to do podcasting, students didn't want to put university podcasts on their mp3 player but listened to on a computer)
  • e-portfolio - showed assessment criteria, used wiki architecture (e.g. wetpaint), given choice if public/private (about 50% each), reflective rather than about authenticating achievements
  • only 1% updated e-portfolio after the end of the course, one example which worked was when e-portfolio essentially turned into a blog i.e. fortnightly update
  • Planned changes: only assess at end of first semester (but give feedback), give e-portfolio chronological scaffolding and allowing tagging for cross-referencing
  • Relation to PDP: in past PDP paper-based but put away in a filing cabinet! this will meet legal requirements but from personal point of view want to stress the reflective aspects
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Juliette Culver
11:47 on 8 September 2009 (Edited 11:50 on 8 September 2009)

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Chris Pegler
10:34am 8 September 2009 (Edited 10:35am 8 September 2009)


Interesting to be reminded of how difficult it used to be to get an email account.. Remember that. Alan reckons 10-15 years ago, which is not a long time when talking about universities and change ...

Gráinne Conole
10:47am 8 September 2009


Good point Chris! I remember being one of the few people at North London with emal, no one else could see the point. Then one day a colleague came back from a conference and said "I met this guy I want to collaborate with, how do I set up an email? Within 6 months there was a shift and email became standard practice.

Juliette Culver
11:49am 8 September 2009


I still remember getting my first e-mail as a first year university student at the end of my first term. I was only the 26th student in my college to get one and had to traipse over the university to get a form signed in triplicate by different parts of the university!

Gráinne Conole
11:50am 8 September 2009


Likewise! When I got mine I had to give a detailed account of why I needed it and what I was going to use it for! Unbelievable!

AJ Cann
12:18pm 8 September 2009


Thanks for the great summary Juliette - your typing is amazing! :)

Juliette Culver
12:36pm 8 September 2009


Hope it didn't disturb you too much! Learned to touchtype as a displacement activity when I was writing up my phd!

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