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Peter Scott's view of Representations

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Peter Scott
28 March 2013

One point I found I had to remind myself of in this activity is that the representations of the lesson were produced from the actual lesson that took place. I would expect these tools to be used to plan lessons before delivery.

Web collage

Web collage is a web based tool that produces Computer Supported Collaborative Learning scenarios, these are suited especially to methods of teaching and learning delivered primarily online with online social interaction as a key component. The tool gives access to 6 defined flow patterns used in CSCL, examples of these are Brainstorming where a group bounce ideas around between them or Think Pair Share where pairs of learners focus on a subject.

This approach provides less in the way of a lesson plan for an activity but does allow a more detailed view of how an activity can develop an idea. The example given in the review online is that of the pyramids where the class is broken into groups who are initially given some information and subsequently go off to carry out research in groups of 4 before coming back together as a whol to review their findings.

The outputs of the tool give a clearer view of how the class collaborate on activities and allows modelling of the collaboration.

 

CADMOS

CADMOS is a graphical tool aimed at educators with lower skill levels in Computer Technologies but with knowledge of learning standards. I took the opportunity to download he tool and familiarise myself with it in operation as part of this task.

The approach to use of the tool is to define the tasks that will comprise the learning scenario, define the metadata that define the individual tasks, goals and the associated prerequisites for each task. The tasks, goals and prerequisites are then used to develop and define the conceptual model for the learning activity. This is one area of the tool where there is a restriction; an activity may have only one goal and one prerequisite. A detailed description of the activity can be attached to the model at this stage and the task categorised.

The tasks are then used to generate the conceptual model of the lesson where each task is defined and the actor of the task is listed, these generate a swim lane flow model of the activity which can then be divided into phases and which define the flow of the lesson.

The tool gives a clear view of the activities, their order and the prerequisites and resources. The representation produced works well for me personally, I am comfortable with the idea of swim lanes for representing activity flow and the conceptual model is very clear.

Conclusion

These are 2 very different tools giving different views of the same activity. The first, Web Collage, allows the modelling of the interactions for collaboration within the classroom, the second, CADMOS, provides for the development of a lesson plan and defines the structure and flow of the activities in the lesson. The tools should be seen as complementary in the context of modelling the lesson

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