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Marie's OLDS Learning journal

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Marie Arndt
10 January 2013

 

  • I have been a teacher/lecturer for many years, worked in different countries, taught different subjects, at different levels. I am originally from Sweden, but have lived in Ireland or Britain for many years. At the moment I am teaching English to Oman i students in Sohar, Oman. I am also an academic involved in research, mainly in English language and literature, which has been my discipline for the last 20 years. My PhD is in English literature. I am also interested in pedagogical matters, and have embraced using technology in teaching. Last year I completed an MA in Online and Distance Education (OU, UK). I want to learn more about the technical side of developing elearning material.

 

Extra content

The first few days of following this MOOC have been partly chaotic and partly invigorating. The chaos has consisted of finding my way around the Cloudworks site and the different cloudscapes and clouds, The invigorating part has been to connect with people all over the globe by reading their posts and commenting on some contributions. It was particularly pleasing to find some participants based in the same region as myself, the Gulf.

I'm not sure what will transpire from this, but I am intrigued to follow developments and participate as much as I can. I've always been of the view that the internet is good for social and outgoing people, and this MOOC will probably reinforce that belief. Just like the MAODE I completed last year, I think this course will also give me the opportunity to make some more contacts that will last beyond the 9 weeks.  

I suggested a dream project based on a discussion I had recently with a manager at my college, who was concerned about the inadequate level of English among engineering students at the college where I teach, a higher education college in Sohar, Oman. I hope that during the course I will be able to develop ideas how to help that situation in my workplace.

Marie Arndt
18:29 on 13 January 2013

Reflections on EoR phases

I had a gap of almost two weeks from week 1 to week 2, so I have worked through the writing for the EoR phases rapidly. I have based my writing on my initial project. Through this process I have realised that I need to emphasise more that co-ordination between lecturers from the major subject - engineering - and the supporting are - English - is essential. There must also be a willingness by the lecturers to accept the strong influence of the designer.  

The fact that there is currently unstable network access at the institution makes it a priority to find solution to enable students to work offline to a large extent. Mobile learning is also an alternative, as many students have internet-connected phones, usually Samsung.

Thinking about how to implement the project has made me able to map weaknesses in the current system, and made me verbalise necessary changes. What I am planning for is not a MOOC, but a real project that I have been asked to do at my institution; the blended learning approach is still present, but I will try to do it as self-contained as possible. Although I am behind in my MOOC work and have had to more go it alone and cut corners, I am still learning from this activity. I am forced to address elements, and I know that I have not explored it fully. The cultural dimension is bigger than I have so far scrutinised, for example.     

Marie Arndt
13:55 on 7 February 2013

My week 5 has ended as far as I'm concerned. I have tried to produce a prototype, but I'm afraid I wasn't quite clear about what I was doing. After having looked at a few other examples I still wasn't quite sure. The introduction video clearly did express the purpose, but I was never quite clear about how much or how little to use to inform the programmer what the course wanted to achieve. I have done this week on my own as I was late starting, so I've had no collaboration in any tasks.

I have in another context used a storyboarding template to do prototyping, as well as PPP, and that seemed more straightforward. The way it was done in this MOOC I got the impression you really had to have a lot of background knowledge. I had some knowledge, I realised, but I didn't know the term prototype in this context,

At this point I know that I have learnt a lot already by following this MOOC, although I have swept over parts of it quickly. I think, however, that I will to have gone through the whole MOOC, before I can go over things again, and be able to assess more clearly what I have actually added to my understanding of LD. The chaos, at least, doesn't seem to be imminent.

Now to week 6

Marie Arndt
19:20 on 15 February 2013

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Marie Arndt
7:19am 17 January 2013


This is my reflection on the first week of MOOC. It has been chaotic, to say the least, I'm not even sure if I'm writing my reflection in the right place. The chaos has been having to navigate between so many different strands and trawling for information, discussions, groups etc etc. Thankfully I have encountered several helpful participants on the way, and others who have been as confused as me, which prevents me from feeling like a complete idiot.

On the huge plus-side has been reading about interesting projects that have been suggested and making contact with people from all over the world who have different experiences to share that always puts one's own thoughts into perspective. i also watched the convergence video, but on Wednesday, which was also interesting. Everything adds to my own thought process and reawakens my intellectual spirits about elearning and how to develop learning designs.

This MOOC has been very timely for me as I am preparing a conference paper on blended learning. I am also involved in trying to enhance English proficiency for engineering students. To be able to communicate with likeminded people in this forum is really something I value very much.

The first week I hope will be followed by more organised activities from my side, meaning that I hope to establish more of selective approach to what I read and what I respond to, to avoid drowning in everything that is available.

I am looking forward to next week, when the focus will be on context, because that is essential when you plan any kind of instruction; it's all about knowing your audience and know what makes them tick, an issue also discussed in the convergence video. 

I hope I haven't sounded too negative, but I have been honest in my reflection.

Marie Arndt
5:48pm 19 January 2013


Today I have scanned the material for the week. I've had to spend time copying a lot to prepare for when I have to operate offline, as I have to take into consideration that from Wednesday evening I will be travelling and be away from base. I will have very little time at the end of this week, and next week will be very restricted in time I can allocate to doing the MOOC, as I'll be in India for the Jaipur Literature Festival and a conference, where I am speaking.

It seems to me that the Personas concept will be very useful for me to use, as my audience and cultural context is non--western which requires different considerations than what would be required in a European setting. I think that I'll be spending a lot of time on that aspect during the week.  I will also have to give thought to what the technical possibilities are and what the intended students would be likely to be able to achieve.

As we always have to consider who we are planning for I think that it is good to spend a lot of time considering context when planning  a learning design, just as you have to when you are planning any kind of teaching.

 

Joshua Underwood
6:17pm 20 January 2013


I think you are right that you need to spend a lot of time considering context and theres is no way you can complete this in a week of this course but I hope that it will sew some seeds for ways of thinking about context that will grow.

Making the 'course' easily available offline is a real challenge - I'd be interested to see how you cope with your own offlining of the content.

Marie Arndt
10:17am 12 February 2013


I have done weeks 2 and 3 in quick succession, and I have been taking the short route in many ways. Focussing on week 3 I thought the activity cards were very good, because it forced me to think of the lements in the course I was envisaging. I have ended up doing blended LD, but i think it can easily be tweeked to make material accessible to students when the internet is not working. Instructions, videos and worksheets can be available offline and uploaded when network is accessible.

I saw that some people had made use of CompendiumLD. I was introduced to this tiil when I did my MAODE, and ound it irritat8ingly fiddly, and difficult to get the nodes to stick where I wanted them. I was not going to risk the same situation again, so I didn't use it. The spreadsheet with the facility to fill in context, rationale and details of  LD was far to involved for me at this stage. I was keen to get to the creative aspect and try out some tools!

In my design I used Wallwisher as a new tool that I haven't used before. My result is basic, but it was a trial. i could probably just as well have used Prezi for what I was aiming for. In all my chaos I have been inspired and keep thinking about my project and how I can adapt it to the context in which it will,. hopefully, be used.

 

Marie Arndt
4:48am 26 February 2013


I have been very busy at work, so Week 6 of the MOOC was really browsing for me. I scanned OER sites and saved some resources. I also watched the hangout post-live. The most important thing for me is to know the differences between categories of licenses of use for OERs. 

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