Concepts of identity are inherently fluid and flexible and our understandings of learning are becoming less strongly bonded to institutions and specific educational spaces. This is a landscape where the form is contingent on the beholder. A place where learning opportunities shift and adjust to the learner.
I have been working on EU funded projects in the domain of digital competence development in relation to enhancing social inclusion for older people. In a similar vein the University of Surrey has been involved in work (with other partners) through the SUS-IT project (http://sus-it.lboro.ac.uk/index.html) that ran from 2009 until 2012 with the aim of helping older people to use information technologies for a better and more independent future. During the life of the project, the barriers to the sustained and effective use of ICTs by older people were investigated and a range of solutions that combined both technology and social context were explored. In brief the project was able to:
Produce a conceptual model of the risks to sustaining digital engagement for older people;
Develop an innovative suite of tools, methods and guidance for working with older people in research and design of ICT-based products and services ;
Formulate an 'adaptivity framework' to develop prototype software that helps to address problems encountered by people experiencing age-related changes in vision, dexterity and;
Produce a user-generated strategy for provision of sustainable, community-based ICT learning and support for older people.
Arguably one of the most engaging outputs has been the production of a design catalogue of 40 product concepts aimed at the ICT industry to stimulate new product development for the older market. These 40 design concepts were generated during four group ‘sandpit’ session strands, each carried out in close collaboration with older people. They covered the areas of: A custom computer for older people; Supporting memory and identity in later life; Combating social isolation; iPad apps for older people. The concepts show an intriguing mix of familiar objects with more advanced technological functions. In one such design, an everyday telephone becomes a ‘Photo phone’. Here, the standard functionalities of a telephone are preserved and augmented by the ability of the user to add electronic photos and then also share them with a caller. The idea behind this concept was stimulated by a desire to find social technical solutions to combating isolation and loneliness.
What further strengthens this approach is the nature of the methodology. By embarking on a process of participatory co-design the concepts encapsulate the authentic voices of the older people who are, after all, the intended end-users of these potential prototypes. This is a compelling message to send to companies building ICT products and also an empowering experience as older people become co-designers of their own tools and services.
Frolich, D., Lim, C., Woods, S. and Amr, A. (2012). What older people want: A catalogue of co-designed ICT concepts. University of Surrey: UK.
Working in the field of distance education is a challenging one. Not simply because we are now debating the nature of what DL means or has to offer in a highly connected world where open access to a variety of rich data sources are available but also in terms of the kinds of business models we deploy. Being innovative in curriculum design is important yet this does not mean that we need to lose control of development and delivery costs. A lean business model approach that lets the users pull value from the system requires a backend development process that is flexible and agile. In this presentation - from the EADTU conference 2011 - I explore some of the features of the University of London International Programmes' response to these contradicting forces.
Have just finished chairing the 2012 iteration of the annual CDE conference - this year with an extended title of Research and Innovation in Distance Education and eLearning. The title was perhaps the most radical change in our one-day conference that has fallen into a regular but highly successful format of keynotes at the beginning and end of the day, sandwiching parallel morning presentation with short sharp workshop sessions in the afternoon. Our keynotes were given first by Diana Laurillard on 'Teaching as a Design Science' which on the pedagogical pattern collector and the learning designer tools. With Steve Wheeler completing the day with a rapid fire presentation on cutting edge ideas and thinking out there on the Web. Quote of the day, was deservedly won by Diana who, in describing the new breed of online lecture- exemplified by the TED talk - filed these under ... "cute guy in designer jeans striding around the stage". Of note was a particularly stimulating session by Ormond Simpson titled 'You be the judge - ethics dilemmas in distance education' and is one session that we want to repeat next year. And to summarise ... as was with "Web 2.0" several years ago, the touchstone at the moment is the "MOOC" and no self respecting presenter can speak without at having at least one slide on MOOCs and a comment to go with it.
Slides from my presentation at the 24th ICDE Conference held in Bali Indonesia. The talk outlined the University of London International Programmes' approach to capacity building in the area of academic/teaching practice and how we are using a combination of workshops and OERs as a vehicle for change and transformation. The project is scheduled to run until December 2012 and will also embrace some of the work that has been carried out elsewhere in the area of Open Educational Practice as part of the scaffolding necessary to sustain OER use.
This document describes the methodology that has emerged from a series of workshops we have facilitated over several years. These workshops brought together practitioners from a wide range of fields and engaged them in intense conversations about issues regarding technology and education. These conversations were rooted in participants’ personal experiences, driven by the problems they have overcome, and aimed at collaborative articulation of their design knowledge; knowledge of how to get things done. We call these workshops Collaborative Reflection Workshops.
Our process goes beyond a single workshop. Over the years, we have identified a structure of three consecutive workshops; a Design Narratives Workshop, a Pattern Mining Workshop and a Design scenarios Workshop. Together, these form what we call the Participatory Patterns Workshops framework.
If you are about to participate in such a workshop, this document will tell you what to expect and how to maximise your benefits from the event. If you would like to run such a workshop (or series of workshops) yourself, this document should give you a good starting point for their design. You will still need to adapt the framework for your own needs and circumstances, and we will be happy to assist you in doing that.
Everything presented here is a reflection of work in progress. If you find this document useful, please check for new versions. If you find some mistakes or gaps, please let us know. If you run a workshop, please share your experience and insight with us.
The new Rhizome report highlights the issues we face when dealing with our online identities. The material is released as
an open access resource and is aimed at contributing to a deeper
understanding of digital identity and the impact it can have on the
individual and those around them. It will be of relevance to anyone who
uses the Internet to disclose personal information about themselves – be
it purposefully through the use of social media tools or as a result of
work-based professional activities. The report is available for download from the Rhizome website at http://www.rhizomeproject.org and by direct link here.
Citation: Warburton, S. (ed.) 2010. Digital Identity Matters. London: King’s College London
Back from a flying visit to the Society for Research into Higher Education conference. Two papers were accepted for presentation, the first on the real opportunities for virtual worlds in HE and the second on formative assessment (FA) practices. The body of work on FA is drawn from two complimentary funded (University of London) projects that have been examining the role of feedback in Open and Distance Learning settings - from the perspectives of the tutor and the learner.
The slides here provide an overview of the more recent work that has been exploring the student view:
This project explored a range of formative assessment practices and examined how they are implemented within Open and Distance Learning environments in higher education. It identified students’ perceptions towards assessment and investigated the relationship between formative assessment and learning technologies in light of the affordances of these technologies. It also put forward a conceptual model of formative assessment and examined how this can be made to work purposefully within the specific constraints of ODL environments.
In an earlier paper we have also explored the relationship between formative assessment and social software. The claim is that the social dimensions of emerging technologies – specifically, blogs and wikis – allow for formative assessment practices to be re-invented or at the very least facilitated by essentially participative and student-focussed interventions. A comparison of these technologies against formative assessment mechanisms identifies the types of processes that these new tools might best support to encourage effective feedback approaches that both empower the learner and enhance their learning experience.
Resources and links:
Hatzipanagos, S. and Warburton, S. (2009). Feedback as dialogue: exploring the links between formative and social software in distance learning, Learning, Media and Technology, 34:1, 45-59 DOI: 10.1080/17439880902759919, URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17439880902759919
Call for proposals deadline: November 30th 2009
Full chapters by: January 30th 2010
Over the past year I have been exploring the impact of new media and emerging technologies on understandings of digital (or online) under the Eduserv funded Rhizome Project. In that time digital identity has become a topic of debate in many different fora. As part of this process of engaging in debate and grappling with the issues that surround digital identity there is now a Call for Chapters for a new book entitled "Digital Identity and Social Media" which will be published by IGI Global in early 2011. It is an exciting project and we encourage anyone with an interest in digital identity matters to look through the details and send us a proposal. Submissions on any of the following themes are welcome:
Conceptual frameworks and approaches to understanding digital identity;
The impact of new technologies, social software and social media, on conceptualisations of [digital] identity;
Authenticity and trust in identity based transactions;
Machine mediated identities;
Digital identity management - defending identity, reputation management and risk;
The digital self and blurring boundaries between public and private spaces;
Lifelong learning and the importance of digital identity for transitions from school to adult life and beyond;
Negotiating individual, group, community and network based digital identities;
Personalisation software and the impact on digital identities;
The economic, societal, ethical and political issues raised by the increased availability of personal information;
Digital literacies and accessibility in relation to digital identities;
Identity, trust and authenticity in social networks;
Relations between communities, networks, groups and individual identities;
Personalisation technologies and digital identity;
Cultural dynamics of online identity;
Social media and emerging identity practices;
Presence technologies, online visibility and digital identity.
The design, development and implementation of an educational intervention often involves learners, teachers, educational designers and policy makers. To support collaboration and effective sharing of design processes between these participants, a common language is needed. One form this can take is a design pattern, which articulates sharable design knowledge in a meaningful and actionable form.
Practical design patterns for teaching and learning with technologywill produce a collection of patterns across six themes:
Learner centred design
Supporting learners to become active, self-directed and self-responsible participants in the learning process
Section Editor: Michael Derntl (University of Vienna)
Learning as collaboration
Supporting content creation, communication and collaboration between learners and tutors
Section Editors: Christian Kohls and Till Schummer
Learning as conversation
Supporting learners to effectively communicate their learning process
Section Editor: Staffan Björk (Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg University)
Supporting learning using social media
Section Editor: Steven Warburton (King’s College London, UK)
Supporting effective assessment of student learning
Section Editor: Harvey Mellar and Norbert Pachler (Institute of Education, UK)
These patterns will be supported by case stories that illustrate a critical problem and elaborate its appearance and successful resolution within a concrete context. For an overview of the book and further background information, please see the book’s supporting website at http://www.practicalpatternsbook.org/
Submission procedure Authors are requested to submit co-ordinated contributions of patterns and their supporting cases. These can be individual submissions, or a joint/group submission, where person A produces the case-story, and person B provides the associated pattern. Each submission is expected to be 3,000-4,000 words in length: 1,500-2,000 for the pattern and 1,500-2,000 for the supporting case-story. We encourage the use of images (with appropriate copyright clearance) to illustrate submitted case-stories and patterns. For more details, please see the author guidelines at: http://www.practicalpatternsbook.org/guidelines.
The book will be developed in an open-content process, using a collaborative web-site. Submitted cases and pattens will be reviewed by the section and book editors, and those selected will be included in a shepherding process. During shepherding, all contributions will be openly available for comment. The section editors will iteratively work with authors to ensure quality, coherence and cohesion of the book as a whole. Authors will also be asked to comment on their peers’ contributions and identify links with their own contribution. The web-site will continue to evolve, as a companion to the book after its publication, while the book will remain an authoritative, quality controlled and professionally edited off-the shelf resource.
What the elements that scaffold the strong sense of [co-]presence we experience when working and playing inside in a MUVE? When we examine a social MUVE such as Second Life it is possible to identify three layers on which 'sense of [co-]presence' operates:
Presence according to Yee et al. (2007) measures how real one believes a mediated environment is in terms of non-verbal behaviours (Garau et al. 2001), physiological responses (Slater, 1994) and other measures. In the diagram three separate presence layers are identified. The physical presence layer is composed of a visual element, where avatars can see each other through the default camera point of view (POV) - the main window on the 3D environment – and a geographic element where the location of other avatars in-world can be tracked using the in-world 2D maps. Physical proximity also allows avatars in-world to see physical gestures, poses and animations. The communication layer offers several channels for interaction from synchronous voice and instant messaging (IM) to asynchronous mechanisms such as an in-world group notification system and the connection of IM to an email account. The status layer provides minimal information about in-world presence indicating when avatars are logged into Second Life.
Warburton, S. (2009). Second Life in higher education:
Assessing the potential for and the barriers to deploying virtual
worlds in learning and teaching, British Journal of Educational Technology. 40 (3), 414-426.