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Introductions to people and projects

JISC-OULDI PGCAP Community Cloudscape

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Rebecca Galley
3 February 2010

Please could you each introduce yourselves and your projects and briefly identify how you see the OULDI project fitting with them.

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Helen Dacre.  I'm an RCUK fellow in the Department of Meteorology. I'm currently implementing a trial of the Turnitin plagiarism software in the Department as part of my PGCAP project.  The aim of the project is to assess whether the Turnitin software is a useful tool for educating students about how to reference sources correctly, and whether it can help improve their writing skills.  The trial is being run on a voluntary basis as part of the final year undergraduate project module. Currently I'm waiting for volunteers to rush forward!

The OULDI project will help with this project as I  can use their design approach to teaching and learning to  identify 1. If the students know how to avoid commiting plagiarism, 2. If they have been briefed on plagiarism, and if they have read the university/departments guidelines on plagiarism, 3. If the students feel that plagiarism detection software is a useful tool for improving their writing skills, 4. To evaluate the use of this technology on the learning process.

 

Helen Dacre
16:41 on 3 February 2010

Problem based learning approaches in Meteorology: Andrew Charlton-Perez

I am a second year lecturer in the Dept. of Meteorology with research interests in Stratospheric Climate and Dynamics.

My PGCAP project is on introducing Problem Based Learning (PBL) approaches in Meteorology teaching. To do this I have identified a course which I teach (a field studies course in Arran, Scotland taken by 3rd and 4th year undergraduates) where PBL can be introduced. Last year, two new PBL activities were introduced to the course:

 

  • A research proposal activity. Students are asked (in teams) to design a research proposal for the use of an expensive piece of equipment used to measure ozone in the troposphere and stratosphere. They are asked to think about when, why and how to use the piece of equipment to maximise its value to the monitoring campaign as a whole. Following short presentations by each group, a steering committee (made up of academic staff on the course) choose the successful proposal and the equipment is used accordingly. Students are then asked to reflect on their proposal and compare it with the successful one and also to analyse data from the equipment. This stage forms the assessment of the activity.
  • A design brief activity. Students taking the course at part 4 are asked to complete a design brief for a new climate monitoring station on Arran. They should use both their experience of the monitoring campaign in the field and original research to come up with a coherent brief. The students work in a single team and attend tutorials with research staff in the department to further their knowledge.

 

The activities have been assessed this year through student and staff surveys and will be repeated with modifications next year before the project is complete.

I think that the design tools outlined will help me to (retrospectively) see how the activities introduced to the course fulfill a need for a more interactive and student-led learning approach in the course. I also plan to submit some video diaries showing how the curriculum design process is continuing through the second phase of the project. 

Andrew Charlton-Perez
12:07 on 4 February 2010 (Edited 12:08 on 4 February 2010)

Katherine Hyde (School of Construction Management and Engineering):

I was recently asked to write a module description for one of three new modules that will be offered with the Henley MBA. The module will run this autumn (2010). The module focuses on Sustainable Construction Management and I will be planning to focus on problem-based learning as much as possible. When assessing the learning outcomes for each lecture, I will be aiming to describe the added learning value that will accrue from PBL. The process of learning design will be carefully recorded and I hope to include peer and student reflections on how well the learning outcomes are achieved.

Dr Katherine Hyde
11:00 on 23 February 2010

Project Proposal by Benjamin Potter

I intend to contribute to the Reading University Curriculum Design Initiative and complete my PGCAP project by creating a new module to be delivered in the School of Systems Engineering in 2011. The module title is provisionally 'Renewable Energy', although I think the module will cover a wide range of issues relating to energy use as well as detailing relevant technology. Learning outcomes for the module might include:

  • An appreciation of current and future energy demands, including international energy and carbon emissions targets.
  • An understanding of how energy is generated and distributed, including the operation of the National grid.
  • The ability to critically evalute the range of technologies that can be used to generate energy.
  • The ability to design, build and test a small-scale renewable energy system. For example, the module may include laboratory sessions to build a solar-powered energy source.

My ideas are at an early stage, and I hope to benefit from the tools developed for the Reading University Curriculum Design Initiative when creating this module.

Dr Benjamin Potter
11:52 on 23 February 2010

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Rebecca Galley
2:25pm 4 February 2010 (Edited 2:32pm 4 February 2010)


@Helen. Thanks for the intro! Visualisation tools may help you demonstrate an alignment between outcomes, activity and formative/ summative assessment (ie CompendiumLD). Visualisation also makes it easier to share designs with others so that they can be discussed/ interrogated. Other tools may prove useful in describing the impact of the technology on the learning process (ie 8-LEM). However, in themselves the tools can't tell you  whether the student has learned what you hoped they would (points 1-3).  I think these could be your design problems: How can we ensure the technology promotes learning rather than distracts from it? What will they learn? How will we know they have learned?

@Andrew - Was it you who asked about CompendiumLD for the Mac or Ben? Anyway the download link is: http://compendiumld.open.ac.uk/download.cfm Can download to Linux too (same link). Have you had a chance to look at some of the tools?

Rebecca Galley
2:04pm 23 February 2010


Thanks Ben and Katherine for adding your outlines. Have you had a chance to look at the Brunel Blended Design Cloudscape? They were doing something quite different from you (just a one day workshop) but it is quite useful to see the tools in use. The Business School Cloud is quite an interesting one to look at.

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