Excuses, excuses, but I’m on the right track…

I’m unexpectedly away at the ALT-C conference for a few days and also have 2 job interviews this week so it’s a rather intense time and not surprisingly my MOOC reading has suffered a bit. With only my mobile devices to hand I haven’t been able to catch up with the webinars either. I’m now sounding like your worst student aren’t I?
I have, however, been reading some blog posts in odd moments and got as far as the introductory page for this week’s reading, the nine steps to quality online learning;

1. Decide how you want to teach online.
2. Decide what kind of online course you and your students need.
3. Work in a team.
4. Build on existing resources.
5. Master the technology.
6. Set appropriate learning goals for online learning.
7. Design course structure and learning activities
8. Communicate, communicate, communicate
9. Evaluate and innovate

I was struck by how closely the 9 steps mapped against a 5 step model I have been using recently to explain what I see as the appropriate way to approach the introduction of learning technology innovations. My 5-stage model originally went like this:
1. Identify the learning issue (with the teacher and taking into account the intended students, diversity etc.)
2. Work with the academic (tutor / convenor) to discuss and choose relevant available technological options bearing in mind disciplinary context, staff experience, enthusiasm etc. And plan its use.
3. Provide scaffolded support and training for staff and students leading them to learn by doing.
4. Evaluate the innovation.
5. Share / disseminate interesting outcomes and related resources to encourage others to consider trying the approach.

You can see that this matches quite well:
‘Identify the learning need’ becomes ‘decide what kind of online course you and your students need’.
‘Work with the academic’ becomes ‘work in a team’.
‘Build on existing resources’ is somewhat analogous to bringing in the disciplinary context and factoring in staff experience and enthusiasm.
‘Master the technology’ matches up to the ‘scaffolded support and training for staff and students’
This is where we diverge a little, but back at the identifying the learning need and choosing relevant TEL tools stage there would have been an explicit goal for the innovation – to resolve the learning issue. And the use of the technology would have been carefully planned as part of the discussions between learning technologist/advisor and academic.
The last two steps I would do the other way around, evaluating first then communicating.

So before I’ve even read the material I’ll feeling quite comfortable with the approach and as soon as I get the chance I’ll be launching into the materials wholeheartedly. In the meantime I look forward to reading what others have made of it all.

With not much time to catch up before next week’s email arrives in my inbox what do you suggest I look at first?

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