Sunday, July 8, 2007

Exemplary Course Program - Workshop

Interesting session - 15ish participants - half Bb or half WebCT, mostly small institutions. Favourite quotes from the session:

"we alternate between swearing by Bb and swearing at Bb"

"it's not that we failed to finish, we were just not sufficiently advanced when we ran out of time"

It was a good insight into the process of the ECP - the sorts of things the committee look for, their views on the absolute givens in good practice and their unintentional, but obvious, affordance to US-style curriculum design.

The session began by the whole group brainstorming what are the key elements of good practice, when I get a copy of the full mindmap built, I'll post it up, but in the meantime, thought you might be interested in the first four suggestions put forward:

  • good quality online discussions
  • consistency of navigation and structure
  • clarity of purpose and rationale
  • opportunities for collaboration and shared knowledge construction

So we are obviously on the right lines. The group got very enthusiastic about my suggestion of "stickiness" (full credit for term, of course, really belongs to Liz - thanks Liz). They loooovvveed it.

We then went on to critique (based upon the ECP rubric) two unsuccessful entries from this year's submissions - one Bb and one WebCT. This was really useful although my group didn't have any shared vocabulary so we spent a lot of time debating what we meant by learner support, interactivity etc. The objective was to provide concise feedback on the sections of the rubric to be sent to the entrants to suggest ways they might improve their sites.

What I know from the process - I'm really glad we don't use WebCT (much easier to have inconsistent design), course cartridges are still horrible, clarity of purpose of site is even more important than I thought (if that is possible) and it is really hard to figure out what people are doing in their sites when you just look at them cold.

The rubric is used by a number of institutions as an internal tool:

  • for staff self-assessment
  • as a framework for workshop activities
  • as the basis of detailed instructional design guidelines
  • to replicate the ECP competition within the institution

Some interesting stuff said about content-rich sites, use of media and role of learning objects (the things not the company) but I'll save those for now and blog them seperately.


Brian said...

stickilove - Everyone's reaction to Liz's suggestions.

Brian said...

Apologies to everyone (especially Liz) for the decline in the standards of my responses.

gs said...

hmph. how about sarcology: sarcastic + apology. as in '"i'm really, really sorry for using gross words in my responses" sniggered brian. everyone could tell that was a sarcology, though.'

or multimenting: multiple + commenting. as in '"ha ha" thought brian "i'll raise my profile by multimenting rather than collecting all my thoughts together into one comment"' :)

Louise said...

Arrgghh - you've hidden competition entries everywhere.

1 more point for Brian, 2 for Liz.

Brian said...

How about blottack - blog attack

As in Liz is blottacking me with her suggestions.

Louise said...

1 more for Brian

gs said...

e-qualion: e-enabled + quality + discussion = measurement of quality of online discussion in a site/blog, etc. as in "the winners of the exemplary course program had a high e-qualion score. the bb-blogston comments would have scored low on the e-qualion scale however, due to their blogross* and blottacking nature."

*blogross: blog + grossness = the use of a blog to gross out one's colleagues. as in, 'Brian was determined to dodge the flak he was rightly receiving for his blogrossing behaviour, so he invented a new spurimanteau** to deflect the attention."

**spurimanteau: spurious + portmanteau = a portmanteau of spurious nature, oft pertaining to some dubious double-entendre type meaning, or other grossness. as in "many of the words suggested for the bb-blogston portmanteau competition were in fact spurimanteaux" :)

Louise said...

3 more for Liz

Brian said...

Wow, Liz is good at coming up with these!