It is a reflective thinking week for me. The course focused on blended learning innovation and how technology can help for the challenges the VET (Vocational Education and Training) sector are facing.
First, reaching more learners, more flexibly. Without learning the course content, I would say to make learning materials easy-to-accessible and widen the distribution channels are key to reach more learners. Through the course, I realised that developing collaborative learning will improve learning opportunities. Learners can take the task on their pace (synchronously or asynchronously). The teachers can reuse the learning designs and reduce their time on creating learning materials from scratch each time. The UCL Moodle Hub is a good example that shows how Moodle course design looks like, and how learning designs are shared and available for wider audience/teachers.
Second, developing independent learners. Many possible ways here such as peer review that is well facilitated by teachers, reflective learning activities and collaborative learning activities, and flipped learning activities. A combination of these ways will offer students different learning experience. Technology plays a valuable role in fostering independent learning and making teacher’s time more productive. For example, we can use the Learning Designer Tool to modify designs, share design ideas and reuse good designs. Students are able to access learning materials pre-/post- classes and learn at their own pace. To achieve this, it’s necessary that teachers know the best practice of using the VLE systems, the IT services make sure the technology works and fits the teacher’s purposes. The learning design needs to facilitate independent learning activities.
Third, reducing the costs of innovation. Encouraging people to share their learning designs, materials and good practices is important here. Cross-institutional collaboration is increasing gradually. I don’t have many evidence for its benefits. However, my experience with the JISC projects/programmes (cross-institutional collaboration) is positive. For example JISC Digital Literacy development programme and Jisc Digital Student. My perspective is that we need to work on how we can change institutional cultural and adaptiveness, and how we encourage people do so before OER policies are ready in the institution.
My another take-home tip is from the case analysis of “Prospect Training“. To take account of two important barriers to learner use:
- (a) they made it downloadable, so it could be used on-site in any location, not being reliant on the internet, and
- (b) they made it device independent, so that it works on any mobile device
- Good Things Foundation is a social change charity that supports socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital.
- OER Commons is a digital public library and collaboration platform that aims to make high-quality education accessible, and to grow a sustainable culture of sharing and continuous improvement among educators at all levels.
- Kahoot is a free game-based learning platform that makes it fun to learn – any subject, in any language, on any device, for all ages.
- Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard app that allows users to annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. An infinite collaborative space.