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Ian’s comparison of 4SPPIces model and CADMOS

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Ian Derbyshire
1 April 2015

Their ‘Readability’ (i.e. the ease with which I understand the content)

4SPPIces : Like a SWOT Analysis, Balanced Scorecard or Performance Dashboard used in business reporting, I found this model has the advantage that there is a one-page overview diagram comprising a circle broken down into four segments: Pedagogical Method (PM: the ‘what’ and ‘when’, or ‘learning flow’’), Participants (P: the ‘who’), Space (S: the ‘where’) and History (H: see next sentence). The meaning of each of the terms PM, P, S and H is not intuitively clear, but once I read the background explaining each, I found the diagram visually appealing and straightforward to understand, with the exception of the H segment. The representation stated that “H models what is likely to be varied during the activity enactment that requires a flexible management … H expresses the need of a technological setting to store and share the resources generated”. It seems that it is a segment to be filled in by a technician to set out the technological support needed, as the overall purpose of this model is to enable design conversations between teachers and technicians. At the bottom of the page are separate tabs (and thus separate pages) for PM, P, S and H which allows for more detail on each of these elements, although the presentation does not give an example of any expanded tab.

CADMOS : This creates two different graphical models: a flow model, which shows the sequence of activities, roles and timings using ‘swim-lanes’ for the student, teacher and group (Figure 2 in this representation); and a conceptual model (Figure 1 in the representation), which shows what resources (e.g. video, whiteboard, email etc) are used in each activity. However, as it was designed for electronically-supported learning, the resource is blank where the activity involves face-to-face teaching or discussions. Being graphical and with no difficult to understand terms, I found CADMOS very ‘readable’. In addition, for more detail, metadata can be added to each activity, for example a learning goal (but with the limit of one per activity), description, pre-requisite, role and type (informative, theory, example, assessment, feedback, scaffold, simulation-modelling, communicative). It appears that there are separate screens to display this information, although I would have thought that it would have been informative to show the ‘type’ information on the conceptual model (Figure 1).

Their Expressiveness (not fully clear what is meant here – the emotional impact? explanatory value?)

4SPPIces : In terms of its ability to give bird’s eye view of a teaching activity, it is strong. The tabs for the four elements have the potential to flesh out more detail about each component. But I found it less clear than other models (such as CADMOS and 4Ts) in setting out the flow and sequence/narrative of teaching activities. They are set out on the PM tab, but not in a visual flow graphic. And I find the H element unclear. If it is intended to set out the technologies involved, it would be better to be termed Technology (T).

CADMOS : With graphics showing a student, teacher and group in the ‘flow model’, CADMOS has more visual and emotional impact that 4SPPIces. It is also good at explaining the process and sequence of activities and who is involved (in the flow model) and what technical resources are used (in the conceptual model). In addition, the metadata can be analysed to show, for example, what mix of types of activities are involved, for example in the Healthy Eating lesson 7 of the 14 activities were ‘communicative’, 3 ‘assessment’, 2 ‘feedback’, 1 ‘informative’ and 1 ‘example’.

Their Utility

4SPPIces : If the H tab was renamed T, I could see this model being useful in representing (and as a record of)  what is involved in a learning activity, for example a course. It would be less useful than models such as 4Ts and CADMOS in guiding say a relief teacher who had to suddenly take over activities in a course. The lack of a timeline reduces its utility. I understand, however, that its webtool, LdShake allows collaborative work on design and is integrated with Moodle.

CADMOS : I could see CADMOS to be more useful to a relief teacher plunged into teaching part of a course than 4SPPIces, which might be more useful for the person managing/overseeing the course. This is because it more clearly shows sequencing and resourcing of tasks. I would need to see the metadata screens – not shown in this representation – to be able to comment more fully here. But a limitation of CADMOS is that each activity cannot have more than one learning goal. So it would not be possible to show how each activity contributed to a course’s learning goals where an activity might contribute to several goals. And CADMOS is not designed to describe face-to-face learning scenarios.  

Are they adequate for expressing my learning design from activity 1b, and what would be the benefits?

The 4SPPIces model could be used to express my learning design, with detail in the separate tabs: although I would not be clear what to put in the H segment. The benefit would be to encourage me to think more carefully and in a structured way about the mix of PM (i.e. teaching methods), use of the classroom, home and virtual space environments and group formation policy. It would also be very useful to show, share and discuss the script design with colleagues and the course director so that it can be tweaked. The CADMOS model I would see as better suited for each weekly class, rather than for a course as such. It would provide a clear visual of what was planned and could be interrogated to show for a course over the term the changing mix of activity types used.

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