What and How to Teach with Video – Week 2-4

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In week 2, I learnt pedagogically Effective Design for video, which is the essential knowledge in order to achieve the potential of the pedagogic roles. The Week 3 and Week 4 are design exercises. As I was late to register this course, I did this exercise without a peer group.

The Design Principles includes 30 principles defined in 8 categories (Hook, Signpost, Cognitive Engagement, Constructive Learning, Sensitise, Elucidate, Reinforce and Consolidate). This framework is based on the educators ideas at the BBC Open University Production Centre.

As Jack has said that “It’s often necessary to complement video with discussion, printed guidance, practice, formative evaluation”, I can see this course is designed in such way. I really like Jack’s demonstration in each video. In each unit, he provides learning materials underneath the video. In the video, he explains the concepts with examples and used colours to highlight the principles he was talking. His presentation alongside the content does help learners to follow and understand better. For example, the explanation about “control pace” and “word-image synergy” helps me a lot. As when I made a webcast, I spoke slowly because I knew users can change the play speed themselves, but I didn’t think wording and how can I say it in different ways to make the indicate syntax, or where should I pause longer or short due to indicate a new topic, etc.

I like the exercises about which pedagogic roles overlap with the design principles too. The difficult ones for me are:

  • “Concertise/Activate their knowledge” overlaps with “visual representation/analogy/metaphor” and “illustrating concepts”;
  • “Control pace, depth, breath” overlaps with “composite images”, “modelling”, and “condensing time” , and
  • “Maximise cognitive clarity” overlaps with “animated diagrams”.

It’s not easy to remember all 30 design principles and 33 pedagogic roles. However, it’s easy to remember some of the video clips that Jack used to explain the concepts. I will definitely consider what I learnt from this course, and apply the principles that I think the most beneficial for learners when I prepare to deliver video content.

Thanks for Jack Koumi run this open course. Jack Koumi’s latest publications:

At last, I have to say that I found that navigating a course on EMMA isn’t easy. I missed a few assignments, and later I realised that I can go to the course – My Dashboard to view all units and assignments/quizzes linearly, so I can see which section I have missed.  Also the Unit sections should have a number like 1.1 to help learners to browser. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t notice Jack’s blog if I didn’t read his comment in a discussion. He has summarised assignment answers and key notes in his blog, which is very important.


The Learning Technologist role


The other day a new friend asked me what do I do. To be simple, I said “I am a learning technologist…” She answered “oh, that’s good. My nephew works in IT, like you, he fixes computer problems…”. I knew she has seen me as a “Technician”, which many people are thinking it in the same way too. However, I know I am not a technician in my area as I don’t look after computers, don’t install software for users, don’t register people’ mobile devices on the university network, don’t work at helpdesk and answer students’ requests, etc.

The vocabulary “technologist” wasn’t in the 1990s Oxford dictionary. It appeared in some of the 2000s dictionaries.

Technician (definitions in the Oxford Dictionary): 

  1. A person employed to look after technical equipment or do practical work in a laboratory.
  2. An expert in the practical application of a science.
  3. A person skilled in the technique of an art or craft.

Technologist (definition in Longman Dictionary):

  • Someone who has special knowledge of technology. (i.e. A specialist  in technology.)

There are many articles talking about the difference between the two terms, such as “Technician vs Technologist and “Usage of -ist and -ian, when to use which?“. I don’t want to argue about the use of the terms, but to make it clear, as an occupation, the duty and responsibilities of a “learning technologist” isn’t the same as the “IT technician” has. It is an emerged professional area regarding that IT acts as an agent for change to facilitate education transformation since the late 1990s. People have put effort on defining it, see some examples below:

The definitions do not help people who are not in the area to understand it easily. Sometimes I even wonder if it’s precise to call myself as a Learning Technologist, or am I just on the path towards being a Learning Technologist? With the background as a ‘software engineer’, ‘researcher’, ‘teaching assistant’, ‘developer’, ‘information specialist’, and a ‘learning technology support officer’, my current work requires broader experience and knowledge in e-learning, stated in the job descriptions of these key areas:

  • Be the point of expertise, reference, and recognised knowledgeable contact for enablement of IT services within your area of expertise, providing guidance and support to the University.
  • Work with the academic and administrative staff to provide both pedagogical and technical support (advice and guidance), for face-to-face learning and online / distance / eLearning goals, particularly with regard to enhancement of learning through the use of technology. Encourage and facilitate the dissemination of best practices in the use of learning technologies.
  • Regularly engage with service managers, customers, and end users in order to understand the current usage of IT services, including the user experience, limitations, end user capability, and understanding of the capability of service offerings.
  • Contribute to an enablement strategy for your area of expertise, liaising with end user communities to identify customer and business needs.
  • Proactively manage customer expectations pertaining to service capability, creating communication channels to advertise information on service capability and usage.
  • Identify competencies, skills, and development required to maximise the benefit from IT services, assessing the effectiveness of activities completed.
  • Plan, design and deliver demonstrations and development activities for staff across academic and professional service departments on the use of the VLE and various technologies within teaching, learning and assessment. Develop staff development plans and appropriate learning materials. Develop and facilitate technical and pedagogical demonstrations of the use of the latest content developments and teaching tools.
  • Understand new requirements and implement them to the e-Learning platform.

To be specific, I tried to draw a draft of the key activities, connections, and Input/Outcomes in my role together. Hope this first step helps me to make the role clearer.



Common Tech Terms

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I came across a list of “Top 50 Tech Terms that are Now Common Expressions“. Not sure when this list was created. There are a handful of terms I don’t hear often in work and I think terms like “https”, “3G/4G”, “HTML”, and “URL” should be included.

I prefer the following resources:

Do we really need such a kit?

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Said on the KETSO website, Ketso is a toolkit for creative and effective engagement. It is designed to encourage creative thinking, and to engage people from different backgrounds and experiences, so diverse groups can work together enjoyably and productively.

I feel it’s useful for people who run workshops, teaching or organise events. I don’t feel the idea is new. It is similar to using any other concept map software. It is similar to other workshops that use colourful pens, stick-on-it, paper to draw down your ideas. However, I like the reusable materials that can be easily washed off and reuse; very efficient.

The NMC Horizon Report and its discussion

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I had a quick look at The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition, the 11th edition in the annual higher education series of NMC Horizon Reports. It’s a very timely and informative report. It

identified 18 topics very likely to impact technology planning and decision making: six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology. (p.3)

The 6 key trends:

  • Growing Ubiquity of Social Media (Fast Trend: 2-3 years). Yes, human beings are social animals. It’s difficult to avoid social media and its impact in Higher Education settings. We just have to accept it as a carrier for connection and communication.
  • Integration of Online, Hybrid, and Collaborative Learning (Fast Trend: 2-3 years).
  • Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment (Mid-Range Trend: 3-5 years).
  • Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators (Mid-Range Trend: 3-5 years).
  • Agile Approaches to Change (Long-Range Trend: 5 or more years). Yes, “if higher education institutions adopt startup models, it could lead to the more efficient implementation of new practices and pedagogies” (p.16), however, top-down change is normally not implemented quickly enough.
  • Evolution of Online Learning (Long-Range Trend: 5 or more years). Yes, learning is a personal experience. Online learning is no exception.

The 6 significant challenges:

  • Low Digital Fluency of Faculty (Solvable Challenge). “This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that  digital literacy is less about tools and more about  thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools  and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral.” (p.22). Yes, the awareness and organisational approaches for developing digital literacy for all staff and students are urgently required.
  • Relative Lack of Rewards for Teaching (Solvable Challenge).
  • Competition from New Models of Education (Difficult Challenge). True, it’s hard to evaluate a new model across a broad range of institutional settings, especially to measure student’s engagement on a deeper level.
  • Scaling Teaching Innovations (Difficult Challenge).
  • Expanding Access (Wicked Challenge).
  • Keeping Education Relevant (Wicked Challenge). Indeed, we should ask this question “what universities can provide that other approaches  cannot, and rethink the value of higher education from  a student’s perspective.” (p.32)

The 6 important developments in educational technology for Higher Education:

  • Flipped Classroom (1 year or less). “The goal  is for students to learn more authentically by doing.” (p.36)
  • Learning Analytics (1 year or less).
  • 3D Printing (2-3 years).
  • Games and Gamifiction (2-3 years).
  • Quantified Self (4-5 years). “Quantified self describes the phenomenon of  consumers being able to closely track data that  is relevant to their daily activities through the  use of technology… Today’s apps not only  track where a person goes, what they do, and how much  time they spend doing it, but now what their aspirations  are and when those can be accomplished” (p.44). I assume tools like iMeasure has already collected self-tracked data though it’s not particularly in Higher Education settings.
  • Virtual Assistants (4-5 years). Yes, there are many examples of this category. I noticed ToneCheck yesterday and installed it on Windows 7 linked Firefox and Gmail. It did not work. May try it again when I have time.

It will be interesting to look at the following tools/services closer:

  • The Capella University Competency map shows students how is their learning, such as completed assignments and where they need to concentrate their efforts.
  • CMU Sphinx open source toolkit for speech recognition project by Carnegie Mellon University.
  • GradeCraft is a learning management system being developed at the University of Michigan, with the support of the Learning Analytics Taskforce.
  • HapYak – Users can add interactive content such as links, quizzes, drawings into a video. It provides a FREE plan that includes 20 public videos and 1 author.
  • M*Modal is a leading provider of clinical documentation and Speech Understanding solutions. The University of Virginia Health System is using it for medical staff and informatics professionals to quickly and accurately capture clinical narratives for improved billing, productivity and patient care.
  • Penn State University’s One Button Studio is a low-cost model. It is a video recording set-up that enables users with no previous experience to create high quality videos.
  • The Standford University School of Medicine’s SICKO is a web-based simulation game that students practise critical decisions in the operation room.

Flipped learning resource

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I attended a session which titled “flipping classroom”. I didn’t know what it exactly means but assumed it’s a teaching method.

Here I searched this term and collected helpful information.

Flipped Classroom

To make flipped learning easier, using educational technologies or learning technologies are  essential.

3D Printing impacts on learning

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I was interested in the term “3D printing” and the interviewee’s shoes made by the technology after watched the BBC Hardtalk episode. I wondered what are the differences between 3D printing and CAD that I learned before. I don’t want to talk about the interviewee. Her experience in China is what the generations of my parents, aunts, uncles, and relatives might know.

Joris Peels in The Shapeways Blog: 3D Printing News & Innovation provided a definition: “3D Printing is a technique that deposites material layer by layer using a head similar to that of a inkjet printer. ”

In a report “How 3D Printing works“, it pointed out “This reality of affordable on-demand prototyping was first conceived by visionaries at MIT who in 1993 developed the fastest and most affordable method of prototyping — 3D printing.”

“3D printing is a manufacturing process in which material (plastic, metal, or other) is laid down, layer by layer, to form a 3-dimensional object. (It is deemed an additive process because the object is built up from scratch, as opposed to subtractive processes in which material is cut, drilled, milled, or machined off.)” said in the article “3D Printing: What You Need to Know” written by Tony Hoffman.

3D Printing is very attractive as Nicole Kobie stated “forget going to the shops to buy an item, simply design and print your own”.

Clearly, 3D Printing is a complement to CAD. The computer-aided design (CAD) I learned was using 2D vector-based data model design physical components. The 3D Printing is using modern CAD technology to make material layers of 3D solid object from virtual three-dimensional digital model.

However, I prefer this explanation provided by the NMC Horizon Report 2013 Higher Education Edition. (The report also stated “wearable technology”, which is another four to five years challenge.)

“Known in industrial circles as rapid prototyping, 3D printing refers to technologies that construct physical objects from three-dimensional (3D) digital content such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer aided tomography (CAT), and X-ray crystallography. A 3D printer builds a tangible model or prototype from the file, one layer at a time, using an inkjet-like process to spray a bonding agent onto a very thin layer of fixable powder. The bonding agent can be applied very accurately to build an object from the bottom up, layer by layer. The process even accommodates moving parts within the object. Using different powders and bonding agents, color can be applied, and prototype parts can be rendered in plastic, resin, or metal. This technology is commonly used in manufacturing to build prototypes of almost any object (scaled to fit the printer, of course) — models, plastic and metal parts, or any object that can be described in three dimensions.”

Some sources come up in my search:

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