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Jeff: design principle - please comment :-)

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Jeff Waistell
3 February 2013

Hi, I would be grateful for your comment on my choice of the Animation Creation Tool. This feature can enable my students to create animations, which they can play and edit. They are studying an MBA module on innovation and change. The tool can be used for both of these themes. It can help the students to visualise, articulate, represent and share their innovation. Equally, the tool can portray their change environment - e.g. the forces driving and restraining change, key stakeholders, and the outcome of the change process. The tool is important for helping to make students' thinking visible and to define the scope and boundaries of the change process. Creating animations rather than simply viewing animations can engage students, advance their thinking, and foster group debate. Edu-design-principles summarise key advantages in the cited web-link.

Question: what would be the adantages and disadvantages of this tool within your own educational setting?

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Helen Crump
3:20pm 3 February 2013


Hello Jeff

I don't know if my comment is going to the point you wish to be answered and I'm not clear on the learning design principle that you're trying to address. Any how, I agree that an animation tool could help learners "visualise, articulate, represent and share their innovation" as well as the forces of the change environment. However, on a practical note, if it was me that was being asked to produce an animation I would be somewhat horrified and in no small measure daunted. It's not that I wouldn't be able to do it given enough time and support, which I doubt I'd get, it's more to do with the way I've developed (been conditioned) to represent my knowldege; it's primarily text based. I would feel disadvantaged using this tool. It would be the same in my educational setting, which is literacy. There would be winners and losers, some would be better able to represent their knowledge in this animated multimodal fashion and others wouldn't.

Helen Guerin
3:39pm 3 February 2013 (Edited 3:41pm 3 February 2013)


Hi Jeff,

I really like your choice of the Animation Creation Tool to promote student engagement, encourage reflection advance their thinking, and foster group debate. Unlike the other Helen I am a visual learner and would love this project. Given that a large propotion of MBA students are highly motivated and from engineering and business backgrounds I don't imagine they would have any bother this this assignment.

However, given that this tool is reommented for a middle and high school audience, I would be concerned that it may not be challenging enough for MBA students. It may be worth considering the WISE Inquiry Map as an addition visual tool.

I guess like all of these tools, one really needs to try them out and see how they work in the field.

Hope this feedback is of some use. Regards, Helen

Jeff Waistell
5:04pm 3 February 2013


Wow - 2 Helens reply to my message!  :-)

Dear Helen Crump - that is a really helpful point, thank you, and indeed we all have different learning styles - so this tool should be offered as a choice among others (including text-based) - and yes, we would all need clear instructions on how to use them.

Dear Helen Guerin - yeah, I am a visual learner too - which is why I chose this particular tool. Thanks for the pointer to the other WISE tool, which I will take a look at, thank you.

Best regards, Jeff

Alice (Xin) Huang
6:33am 4 February 2013


Animation creation tool: 

The feature includes an animation creation tool that enables students to easily create animations through a simple interface. Students define the number of frames and fill them in with simple drawing tools. They are able to play and edit their animations as their understanding of mitosis develops.

I am not clear what exactly this tool will look like, I assum that students will be given an interface to work on, with several simple steps, students will be able to create an animiation reflecting what they are leanring. If this is the case, then it is very exciting.

From my understand, the advantage will be: it is interactive, so students will be engaged, they will be curious to find out what is going to look like if they insert the drug somewhere along their mitosis animation in order to interupt the process at the right step to stop cancer cells from replicating.

Disadvantage: if the tool is not intuitive enough, then students may spend longer time in learning how to use the tool than exact learning point. 

Cheers,

Alice

Jeff Waistell
8:36am 4 February 2013


Thanks Alice - good critical points! I think your last point is an important acid test of any technology - i.e. does it enable learning or create an obstacle to it? 

Anyone else like to share their views before I summarise? 

Many thanks.

Jeff

Jane Nkosi
1:46pm 4 February 2013


Hi Jeff,

This is an interesting tool enabling students to create content at the click of a butto. I am not sure though if it work that well in my contexts. We would have to explain the nodes and how theymake sense to a learner who is used to text based resources.

 

Jane Nkosi

Steven Warburton
4:09pm 6 February 2013


hi Jeff - one quick comment, though perhaps there is not a quick answer here - do you think a concept mapping tool would be more (or less) applicable to this scenario? Especially when one says something like "to make students' thinking visible".
Best, Steve

Jeff Waistell
9:08am 7 February 2013


Good point, Steve. As with theories, 2 or more are better than 1 - and there are different leaners' styles to consider also. So I would use both. Best regards, Jeff

Jeff Waistell
9:23am 7 February 2013


SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION

This discussion followed my choice of the Animation Creation Tool - a feature that can enable my students to create animations, which they can play and edit. They are studying an MBA module on innovation and change. The tool can be used for both of these themes. It can help the students to visualise, articulate, represent and share their innovation. Equally, the tool can portray their change environment - e.g. the forces driving and restraining change, key stakeholders, and the outcome of the change process. The tool is important for helping to make students' thinking visible and to define the scope and boundaries of the change process. Creating animations rather than simply viewing animations can engage students, advance their thinking, and foster group debate. 

The question I posed was: what would be the adantages and disadvantages of this tool within your own educational setting?

It was agreed that an animation tool could help learners "visualise, articulate, represent and share their innovation" as well as the forces of the change environment. However, it was comment that some prefer text-based learning. So there would be winners and losers; some would be better able to represent their knowledge in this animated multimodal fashion and others wouldn't. In line with this point was another reply which confirmed that the Tool could promote student engagement, encourage reflection advance their thinking, and foster group debate. This respondent was a visual learner.

While people generally might struggle with an animation tool, it was commented that, given that a large propotion of my MBA students are highly motivated and from engineering and business backgrounds, using the tool should not present an obstacle to them. In fact, given that this tool is recommended for a middle and high school audience, it may not be challenging enough for MBA students. It may be worth considering the WISE Inquiry Map as an addition visual tool.

One advantage will be that it is interactive, so students will be engaged and curious. However, if the tool is not intuitive enough, then students may spend longer time in learning how to use the tool than exact learning point.

Another respondent proposed a concept mapping tool as more applicable to this scenario,  "to make students' thinking visible". As with theories, 2 or more are better than 1 - and there are different leaners' styles to consider also. So I would use both.

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