03 August 2008

Week 1

Getting Started

With the first week procrastinating and the conscious awareness that Leigh will ring me (again) if I don't hurry up and get started, here I go.

This is my fourth paper towards the Grad Cert in eLearning, so the temptation to take some time out from study has been challenging, however the thought of getting past half-way is the incentive to keep going. I tend to lurk then commit to a frantic long haul of study at the last minute but am aware that this technique will not work, especially so for this paper, nor is it how I would would want my students to study online!

I wish to get out of this course the skills to ensure I can establish a routine of smaller chunks of learning by consistently participating to online communication, rather than trying to juggle it all at the last minute.

I would like to find better ways to support F2F teachers in a tertiary environment who are currently moving into the role of online tutoring. We have had three out of six staff leave in the last few weeks, so I am working with three new staff who are totally new to either NZ, the tertiary environment and/or teaching! None of them have used LMS before (we use both Blackboard and Moodle) so they also have to learn two LMS - Blackboard for their F2F classes, Moodle for our fully online New Zealand Diploma in Business (NZDB) programme.

My challenge is to also encourage staff to use the online communication tools (Discussion Forums, Chat Rooms) and Web 2.0 tools such as YouTube, TeacherTube, Wikipedia, Wicktionary, RSS Feeds and demonstrate ways they can tie these into collaborative, constructivist learning that can be assessed and still meet internal and external moderation requirements.

I also want a clear understanding of how and when a blog or a wiki would be best used for student learning.

I have discovered a colleague here at UCOL who is also enrolled in this paper who is also feeling challenged with time so we're 'buddying' up to keep kicking each other's butt to ensure we succeed. I'm also looking forward to meeting an awesome group of fellow learners on this journey.

7 comments:

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Good on you Kay. You should find the weekly schedule helpful in keeping you on track - the trick is to keep at it. It looks like you will be taking the fifth grad cert paper with me in semester one 2009 - I use the same format so you will be a dab hand once you get through this course. As a participant you will find out what works and what does not re blogs and wikis - personally I love the set up as a facilitator/teacher.

I am keeping an eye on the fringes while on study leave, curious to see how Leigh manages without a co-facilitator (me) this time round - already I can see he has a whole community of online facilitators supporting him.

vcautin said...

I usually struggle against procrastination, too. I am getting the feeling that so many participants(myself included) commenting our blog posts and "poking" through Facebook, Diigo and the email forum will help us stay in track. :)
Off topic: I see you use "paper" as a synonym for "course", am I right?

Elaine Dittert said...

Hi Kay
Thank goodness we can work together in this paper! Look forward to working with you :-)

Qee said...

And there are other colleagues at UCOL who will be keeping an eye on your progress too...

Joy said...

Hi Kay
Same with Elaine here. So nice to have familiar person here, especially when I was struggling and felt totally lost in the first several days. Now I've complete my first week's tasks and start enjoy the experience using Wiki and Blog, google group, google reader, etc...

Derek said...

Just curious Kay: you said: My challenge is to also encourage staff to use the online communication tools (Discussion Forums, Chat Rooms) and Web 2.0 tools such as YouTube, TeacherTube, Wikipedia, Wicktionary, RSS Feeds . . .

Why are you wanting to do this?

-Derek

Kay Lewis said...

Hi Derek

I want to do this to support staff in using the online tools such as RSS Feeds - using NZ Herald and Dominion (business sections) - in an applied sense. The content is live, current, relevant (though volatile) to the 'real business world' environment in NZ.

With online communication - encouraging staff to use Discussion Forums for tutorial type questions. Why? To promote collaborative and constructivist learning amongst their fellow participants in the paper, as you would in a F2F class. Yes, some students may work happily independently and may gain their knowledge from their workplace for example. However as as Online Tutor I believe we need to develop and nurture the online community initially - nurture but not smother.

Already, a newbie Online Tutor, in his second week of Moodling, used a current newspaper article on Pareto's 80/20 rule (NZDB 130 Organisation and Management) without having to trawl.

Some staff are also having to work with three LMS - Colts, Blackboard and Moodle, plus four of the seven staff have recently left so I am back to the beginning with some staff either new to NZ, new to tertiary education and/or new to online tutoring.

Are you working in a similar environment? Do you have any suggestions that may help me support the staff during this transition? :-)