Open University’s CALRG Conference 2015 – Notes Day 3Findings: #calrg2015

CALRG Annual Conference   17 June 2013

Day 3: Paper Presentations

Jennie Lee Building, Ambient Lab

9:30-9:45 Opening remarks – Canan Blake
  Session V– Chair: Ann Jones
9:45-10:15 Helen Farley

Making the Connection: eLearning and mobile learning for prisoners

  • Project working on for the last 18 months
  • Prisons are overcrowded
  • Education reduced recidivism
  • When  back in the work released prisoners will have to deal with the digital world
  • Australia all time prison population high 34,000
  • Increasing number from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • Asylum seeker
  • Aboriginal prisoners 4% population but about 27% prison populations
  • So project puts emphasis on Aboriginals
  • Prisoners have no access to the internet and limited access to computers
  • Have been offering education into prisons for about 25 years
  • Use a Moodle based Learning Management System and eBook readers
  • Restricted devices because of security concerns – leads to time consuming systems support etc.
  • The prisoners like the dictionaries on the LMS for their Scrabble contests
  • Can now send 2-3 DVDs to the prison educational centre to update server software
  • EEE – eLearning, Empowerment and ???
  • Reverted to hard-book copy because not allowed to use eBook readers but then prison authorities suggested using tablets
  • In 2012 44% tertiary students could not access the internet
  • Project Scope
    • – Also now in Victoria and Western Australia (with interest from other states)
    • – Funded by Australian Government
    • – Aboriginals half as like to finish year 12 school education
    • – Now can been invited into a women’s prison
  • Technology designed to be robust and easily maintainable
  • Important after the project that everything does not just fall over
  • Self marking quizzes, games, etc. but not blogs
  • Now narrowed spec down to one laptop, one tablet and 1 notebook
  • Moodle does not run well on the notebooks to introduced a HTML layer
  • It’s not easy – system and processes are complex to ensure life after the project
  • Now have an off-line authoring environment
  • Course development environment deposits content into a repository – developed a compiler for this so isolation from internet maintained
  • Educational officer can download courses for their institution
  • It’s not just about the technology
  • Looking at English for academic purposes courses – just a 10 week course so ok for prisioners with short sentences
  •  Diplomas:
    • – Arts
    • – Business
    • – Science
  • Looking at incorporating OpenLearn courses
  • Problems:
    • – copyright
    • – prejudice
  • High level endorsement from the University and the Government Authorities
  • Issues of getting funding for prisoner related work – so style it as not internet users on funding bids

Brief question time 

10:15-10:40 Anne Pike

What makes the difference? Understanding the interactions and experiences of ‘at risk’ learner

[This presentation not blogged] 

10:40-11:05 Annie Bryan and Lisette Toetenel

Designing for inclusion: Supporting disabled students at the OU

  • Why design for inclusion?
    • – OU’s mission
    • – Equality Act (2010)
    • Increasing number and proportion of disabled students (> 18,000, 14% in 2014)
  • Legislation is a limited driver
  • Beginning of a journey
  • Increasing online curriculum
  • Online deliver may or may not be more accessible – e.g. OU Live is problematic for many disabled students
  • Satisfaction and pass rates are lower for disabled students
  • Learning Design – should have a big impact if takes into account accessibility (provides visualisations that help analysis for access issues)
  • SeGA (Securing Greater Accessibility)  – a cross university programme to embed good practice for inclusion in business as usual processes
  • Method:
    • – looked at all modules (200+) will accessibility information
    • Analysed SeAM (end of module survey) data
  • Findings:
    • – modules in development might not yet have considered the accessibility issues
    • 49 modules had Accessibility Guides
      • – only 29 Accessibility Guides had specific information for the module concerned
    • SeAM analysis
      • – students value several key things:
        • a supportive tutor
        • special exam arrangements
        • comb bound books
    • Module materials need to be provided in a wide range of formats
    • Learner needs must be anticipated in the learning design
      • – This aligns to the (mostly American) term of Universal Design
    • It is difficult to measure how increasing number of disabled students is impacting on practice [Seale 1996]

Brief question time 

11:05-11:30    TEA/COFFEE
   Session VI – Chair: Doug Clow
11:30-11:55 Martyn Cooper

Learning Analytics and Accessibility – what can be done and pragmatic considerations

[I can’t live blog my own presentation but here is a link to the slides instead]

Learning Analytics and Accessibility: http://www.slideshare.net/martyncooper/learning-analytics-and-accessibility-calrg-2015-mc

11:55-12:20 Jenna Mittelmeier, Bart Rienties, Denise Whitelock

The Role of Culture in Student Contributions to an Online Group Learning Activity

[This presentation was not blogged as I had to be elsewhere on campus]

12:20-12:45 Ann Jones

Informal language learning with mobile technologies: reflections on three recent studies

[This presentation was not blogged as I had to be elsewhere on campus]

12:45-13:10 Ann Grand, Richard Holliman, Helen Donelan, Peter Devine

Linking research and practice: the evolution of “the snakes and ladders of social media”

  • Defining the problem – what do we mean by engaged research?
  • What does “public” mean?
  • A definition that applies across the institution.
  • Used the EDGE tool to identify the issues (a categorization of levels of engagement)
  • Idea of an Open Research University (Profs. Eileen Scanlon and Martin Weller in IET)
  • People start with a blank piece of paper
  • Open/Digital/Engaged – Venn Diagram
  • Are social media work for researchers?
  • Should they work for researchers?
    • The answers to these differ across the university – some parts have no digital presence at all!!!
  • There are so many social media tools
  • Describe an activity a public engagement with research
    • – Very few units identified social-media as part of this
  • Ideal types:
    • – The fully wired
    • – The unconvinced
    • – The experimenter
  • Throw away remark – “Let’s do a board game” -> The snakes and ladders of social-media
    • You sit around, facing each other and talk and play
  • Did a blog post about the game and then other’s got interested in it
  • Used in PhD student workshops; public engagement ambassadors workshop; research Councils
  • The game is a conversation tool
  • Also work across a team to produce online resources – e.g. what is a a digital identity?
  • Research and Scholarship Unit were not on the Web!

Brief question time 

13:10-14:00    LUNCH
   Session VII – Chair: Simon Cross
14:00-14:25 Katy Jordan

Characterising the structure of academics’ personal networks on academic social networking sites and Twitter

[This presentation was not blogged because it is not possible to convey the social-network diagrams in text.]

14:25-14:50 Anne Adams and Gill Clough

The E-assessment burger:  Supporting the before and after in e-assessment systems

[I was not present for this presentation.]

14:50-15:15 Tim Coughlan

Creating Structures for Engagement with Open Knowledge: Interpreting the links between art and location in the ArtMaps project

[I was not present for this presentation.]

15:15-15:40 Lucia Rapanotti, Canan Blake​, Jon Hall

Enriched student context in online professional learning

  • Not a research project but a perspective on evaluating a pedagogical approach
  • Context:
    • – Postgraduate professional computing courses
    • – Students already in a rich context – let’s make use of it
    • – Part of the evaluation of the learning occurs within their professional context
    • – Module on Software Development M813 (there are two other modules as well)
    • – Wide range of learning theories, principles, techniques for software development
    • – Learning organised around fundamental software lifecycle
  • [Diagrammatic overview of the course]
  • M813 Evaluation Questions:
    •  – To what extent does the rich context matter?
  • Use specialised forums
  • Data from formal assessment
  • Tracking the leading-edge
  • Organisation and Scope of the Forum:
    • – Students discus privately with their tutor the sort of context they are in
    • – Determine if their proposed project is suitable
    • – Narrative ideas
  • Analysis of the narratives:
    • – We now know the sort of enterprises the students come from (not previously collected this data)
    • – Many diverse sectors covered
    • – 90% use real organisations with 80% being private
    • – Usually students choose their own projects
    • – 62% pass but completion rate high – pass rate not as high as wished for but consitant with similar modules
    • Qualitative data: “Loved the project”; “Helped me to identify sloppy practices”; …
    • One negative one: “Useless for me”
    • “This is good in theory but it does not work in practice” – useful feedback to revise the course
  • Does the new assessment model work?
    • How is online learning working in this context?
    • Consider the collaborative learning aspects of the course
    • 100s of messages in dozens of threads
    • Looking for evidence that they are making use of their professional learning in their group forum interactions
    • Labour intensive research but no better (automated) way
    • [Examples from the forums given]
    • “Are real programmers a dying breed?”
    • Initial categories of interactions:
      • Greetings
      • Like or don’t like
      • Links
      • Professional experience or work context
      • Discussion of justified opinions
    • Going to follow Kerchner’s framework to look at affordances and other aspects in future work
    • Big data but qualitative
    • Much more to do! – But need to provide evidence that the modules are effective.
    • Appeal for help from the “experts” in the audience
    • Discussion –
      • Could you use NLP methods to code the forums
      • Coding (of forum posts) is a negotiated discourse
      • A programme can go wrong very quickly
      • Forum threads evolve
      • Even in human coding need to work with more than one person doing the coding to get accurate/consistent coding
      • Identify critical incidents (automatically?) then analyse in depth by human assessment

[End of conference presentations]

15:40-16:00 TEA/COFFEE and Close of the Conference
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