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A summary of the discussions- a bit dense, but there were many, many ideas.
One action item: to start listing learning activities in the Sakaipedia as a step in better supporting learning activities.

Who was at meeting: About 50 people. Approx ½ express knowledge about teaching and learning, many from teaching and learning centers. Many were first time SEPP conferencees. Led by Malcolm Brown and Phil Long.

High-level Summary of Previous meeting:

  • Some participants wanted to design tools to support learning activities
  • Others wanted t create documentation to aid in more effective uses of the existing tools
  • Others were researchers who want to study the use of Sakai.

History since last meeting ­ Discussion Group had discussions on:

  • Should Sakai create innovative tools; Yes was the consensus response.
  • Innovative tools: which tools might be useful. Several were listed.
  • Enhanced discussion tool: much discussion of features to support learning in this type of tool

The Tool vs Learning Activity Paradigms: What to Do?

  • Hard to build learning activities in a CMS because functions tend to be built in "tool" silos. Tool paradigm dominates and reinforces the segmentation of activities. Can we work on influencing the tool design process to enable more integrated learning activities?
  • Tools currently manage data within their own boxes. But we need tools that work across each other's currently separate spaces. (E.g., content chunk with integrated discussion thread and survey questions for polls)
  • Do we know what effective, integrated learning activities are? Is there work there to identify them. Sakai Designers really don't know the scenarios that are realistic in the classroom or as a coherent course activity
  • There is a set of teaching modes( project-based learning, case-based, collaborative know bldg, etc) that people feel strongly about and are effective in different areas ­ mapping these onto existing tools always results in cludgy outcomes. Users have to move back and forth from tool to tool to accomplish single activity
  • Perhaps there should be a group focusing on specific learning activities ­ learning activity work groups would be a way to move this design need forward.
  • Learning Activity Work Groups ­ pick a theme, e.g., project-based learning, what does Sakai do now and what are better ways to support these activities. What are the services that the workgroup activities require?
  • Talking about the methods for a workgroup is probably an online discussion, not time for it at meeting. Perhaps that's a meta-level discussion. How do we communicate good learning activities to interface and design people.
  • Scenario based design is a powerful way of doing this work.
  • Has anyone looked at LAMs? This is the type of thing the learner community wants ­ how many of the scenarios does LAMs meet? How does the IMS learning design spec fit the needs to describe needed learning activities? (Note: See David Wiley's recent postings in the pedagogy section for more info )

How to influence Sakai?

  • This group is thinking in a broad context ­ to have influence it needs to articulate things to the Sakai project early on. Up until now things have been tool-based; to break out of that paradigm we need to influence thinking now.
  • Different methods of teaching haven't had a voice influencing the usability/user centered design process for redesign of the tools. Most of the current tools support top-down information distribution model ­ how do we move from the lecture-based system to a more collaborative system. Can the CMS at least not impede innovative teaching and learning?
  • Will this be influenced by work being done at UToronto? - where the learner can specify the way in which the material is presented. How does the learner chose amongst the different options for presentation and teaching style?
  • The tools team isn't a permanent installation ­ not sure what structure will emerge with Sakai in the future. Where will input about teaching and learning fit in. How do we influence Sakai so that the design is not solely for the 80% late majority adopters, but also for early adopters and innovators in pedagogy.
  • should this group take an active role in determining governance rather than the other way around (governance needs to be shaped by groups like this).
  • Need to acknowledge that pedoagogy and usability are cross-cutting activities and have an ombudsman to advocate for the teams and across these activities. They need to track the work and promote issues.
  • This group is one where the art of teaching is articulated ­ this group needs to drive the vision and set the tone for the 'what' rather than the 'how'. Drive the vision and be fearless about it.
  • What is the role of this group's role in relation to the board? Are there advocates for teaching and learning improvements on the board? What should that be.Goal ­ what are the ways this group can influence governance? How will it inform and/or lead the process.
  • Can we have more interaction withTeaching and Learning centers? How do we include them in the SEPP process? Some of these groups support innovators who are early adopters of technology and pedagogy innovations and act as change agents on campuses.
  • Note T&L centers focus on full-time day faculty ­ the community that is online isn't well represented by these centers. Distance learning folks grind out the courses and don't have the time of those working with full-time faculty. How do we get their input
  • Last Mile Problem ­ Faculty talking to developers is hard ­ need translators to make the faculty input have relevance to the governance of the group and make things useful.
  • Community issue ­ assumptions about who we are. Is there a face book tool to help facilitate the networking of smaller groups with metadata around interests?
  • Where will pedagogy discussions actually take place ­ will it take place in the tool development teams? There also needs to be a meta level discussion outside the development teams. General discussion ­ use the dg ; use Sakai pedia for scenarios, information, learning activity specification. Categories have been put up in the Sakai Wikipedia as 'probes' to see whether it is useful. if it isn't added to within 60 days it'll be pulled.
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