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Steve's Design Narrative

H800 Exercise

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Steven Douglas Bamlett
26 March 2015

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Steve’s Design Narrative: Jumbled Definitions


This design narrative is produced for an exercise in week 8 / 9 of H800 On Wednesday 25th March 2015.

Following retirement from teaching social work, I applied for an AL position in the OU teaching DE100, a new ‘Investigating Psychology’ Level 1 course, starting October 2014. I was conscious particularly of having a very cursory knowledge of online education options, although I had designed quizzes and created resource banks for Blackboard and Moodle. However, it was clear that it would be necessary to participate in online learning using both synchronous and asynchronous forums. OU Live in particular struck me as new and I had some kind of block about thinking about the blank whiteboard it presents on entry. I did however manage to get on the 3 week training course which, despite the plethora of experienced people on it, did throw up some new ideas. However, I was hesitant about diving in too soon. One technique we played with was the creation and use of ‘moveable objects’.

As a result I was thrown back on techniques taught in my initial teacher training, including labelling exercises (I did one on brain parts) and ‘jumbled definitions’ exercises. It is the latter I want to share here. Both were originally designed for used in face-to-face tutorials, one on Skinner’s theory and another an introduction to psychological research report writing. This is my PowerPoint slide for a session that happens tonight (23/03/15) on OU Live.




Leading the event scheduled for tonight was the result of lots of historical accidents. One of our teaching team became suddenly unavailable, the other was immersed in teaching two other live courses. I had used PowerPoint to pre-design slides before but had not used OU Live specific features. Hence how was I to design activities for the session of 1.5 hours? I had used Jumbled definitions before and it had ‘worked’, although in a sparsely attended session on Skinner.


I therefore adapted this exercise, creating a base for a Whiteboard from a PowerPoint slide. It contained three objects:

  1. a box of six terms necessary to understanding research reports that were numbered

  2. A box of definitions of those terms in a different order that were not numbered. However there was a column provided in this box to allow you to insert numbers.

  3. A box containing numbers, in black font, from 1 – 6. There was a space to the right of those numbers.

Loaded into OU Live, this slide was transformed into a ‘background’ of static objects on an OU Live whiteboard. Then when in OU Live, I created a set of numbers, from 1 – 6 in red font over this background. I placed the ‘red numbers’ next to the appropriate black one in Box 3. I then saved this slide (and the others) as a .wbd file. Once reloaded into OU Live tonight the red numbers will be ‘movable objects’ that can placed next to the appropriate definition in Box 2 such that it matches the corresponding term listed in Box 1. To make this possible the edit icon needs to be toggled on.


My planned actions for the session tonight are as follows:

  1. When the slide is presented, I will explain the purpose of the exercise and its outcome. The outcome will be a list of definitions in Box 2 with red numbers next to them. The purpose of the exercise is a bit different. I will explain that it is to raise conversations, questions, comment as we go along about the terms, what they mean and why they are significant. The conversation will involve the TMA currently due which is to write the RESULTS section of a report based on data provided by the Module Team.

  2. I chose to explain the difference between purpose and outcome, in order to see if it encourages different discussion options than those my face to face tutor group on Saturday where I will not make this distinction or explain its purpose. The aim is to begin to consider whether the invitation to think about one’s own individual and group cognition changes the content of that cognition.

  3. I will show participants how to move ‘moveable objects’ in case they do not know.

  4. Depending on attendance, I will leave participants to work on this for 7 minutes, reminding them that the session is of course being recorded for viewing by non-attendees.

  5. After 7 minutes, I will return, .and we will discuss each answer and any questions raised.

  6. At the end of this, I will ask participants to revisit the exercise in the recording and let me know by email, if they wish, their evaluation of the learning, if any, it contained for:

    1. Themselves as an individual,

    2. The group.


These will be added, to a separate post if necessary tomorrow and on Sunday.


These will be made between Thursday and Sunday or Monday following each session, with comparative reflections on Sunday only.


Steven Douglas Bamlett
16:56 on 26 March 2015

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Steven Douglas Bamlett
5:02pm 26 March 2015


This was not as successful as I hoped it would be, particularly since one on Skinner, had been successful. One issue was that a number of unplanned events on OU Live. The microphone control was continually bein turned off and learners were not able to discuss the task at all. i learned that it depended entirely on such discussion since only that could hold the tension statistical terms seem to cause.

I'm still thinking about this and will add after face-to-face..


These will be made between Sunday and Monday following both sessions.

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