Monday, April 28, 2008

Week 8, Flexible Teaching and Learning Plan

I've looked at this week over a dozen times before settling on a unit that would be appropriate for flexible delivery.
I've decided to put together a blended delivery on the hsi unit standard 13305, complex fish in a commercial kitchen.
It is something being worked on currently but running with this unit as part of this course will give me some more input on the right direction to take it.
The method of delivery would include as a package, a dvd covering an introduction and all information for the start of the unit, workbooks that should be completed and returned as part of the assessment, access to the course blackboard or blog with links to relevant information needed, and Ipod converted demonstrations of the assessment dishes for this unit.
Final assessments could be either taken in conjunction with current classes or in the workplace by an suitably qualified assessor.
We could flexibly deliver several of these types of units as required for the distance learner or for what ever reason the student that may fall behind due to illness etc.
2 - some evidence - refers to an example of online learning and one of distance

Monday, April 21, 2008

Week 6, Does Open and Networked Education Threaten or Enhance Formal Education

Reading the "international review of research in open and distance learning" it was interesting to me to read, article 26, universal declaration of human rights declares that "everyone has the right to education and that technical and professional education shall be generally available (united nations 1948) The OER (Open educational resource) movement starting with Richard Stallman in 1983 at MIT, through to all involved today in the Open Course Ware Consortium are progressing toward that goal set by the UN. If we look at the moral view of free education to all, the idea of open course ware should be available to everyone. The other benefit would be to extend the providers profile within the on-line community, that in turn would lead to more enrollments in courses offered by the institution.
Can OER live up to the promise of delivery free education to all Maybe not in the very near future. To quote from the PennState article "It provides more options for learning and it expands access to resources" (Geith.c. 2008) I looked at an article from MIT that would confirm this, Nutrition and Productivity by Abhijit Banerjee, dept of economics, MIT The article itself is available free and in full and is useful as a resource for use in the theory of nutrition but wouldn't be used in full as a distance course paper.
Do I think open and networked education threatens or enhances formal education. Enhances formal education defiantly, using open sources as resource helps flexible learning and student-centered learning, I can't see it as a threat, just another path to gather information from.
3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Week 5. Examples of Flexible Learning - Part time, Block, Blended

Impressions of Historical Context for Flexible Learning.
I would like to give my impression of a correspondence course I completed about 10 years ago through an Australian provider on Wine Making.
Although the research in grape varieties had to be quite in depth and learning from wine reference books, given specific details to look for was interesting my overall impression was the "Learning Outcomes" could have just as easily been achieved by my own reading and critiquing of the given wines.
I think the whole reason that flexible learning has moved forward can be put down to the access of technologies and the delivery in different media formats that keep tactile and kinesthetic learners (such as chefs) interested and coming back for more.
If I had half the resources to pull from 10 years ago as we do now I would have gotten twice as much out of that course as I did.
One definite I can see is the down turn in very basic education in school leavers and the under 20 age group. Basic maths and literacy skills (I believe) are no where near what would have been expected 10-15 years ago.
Is this because of open entry? The student knows he/she can get on their chosen course so the need to meet a higher standard becomes less important or does it stem from NCEA where again "I believe" the re-sit mentality doesn't push the learner hard enough to achieve a higher standard. We can have in place all the flexibility we want but if the student arrives with a total lack of the fundamentals are they going to achieve the required outcomes, or are we going to spend all our and their time getting them up to the required level.
Is this "Old School" ranting from someone who is new to education and I should go with the PC flow or do I have a point and maybe a little injection of discipline is what is needed to get generation Y motivated.
Teacher Conceptions of Blended Learning and Teaching
Higher education has embraced the E-learning concept as a fundamental way of helping students learn.
Even campus based courses are increasing E-learning technologies to improve the students learning experience.
To quote directly: "the teacher may have little time, resource, knowledge or inclination to attend to the integration sufficiently" or maybe in some cases the teachers would like to implement more flexible and e-learning practices but are hamstrung because of funding issues or support from the institution. After reading the paper I have no doubt for the need to move forward in our e-learning/teaching but can this be achieved in some economic environments? My reaction is the fact we will be left behind when we could be the first and best at certain types of delivery but are being taken over by other institutions with more vision and resources.
Or again maybe it's me with the usual Chefs attitude of, "It should be done yesterday"
3 - average - provides examples of online learning and distance learning, mentions correspondence