Thursday 28 February 2008

How to enliven an on-line course:

This is what I think you need for an on-line course. Unless you can tick ALL the boxes, you haven't got true learning 2.0:

  • Topics
  • Text
  • Video / Audio
  • Links - > Journals, games
  • Thougts/activities
  • Discussion

Thursday 14 February 2008

Ideas for a conference submission ...

E learning - a review of the literature and some pragmatic suggestions for the HE teacher.

In this discussion I argue that people have always exercised freedom and imagination in how they learn. I draw from debates around writing and literature, research methods and education theory to highlight the multi-faceted ways in which individuals approach their learning.

E-learning is becoming embedded in teaching and learning in UK HEI’s - institutions are looking for higher quality, wider access, elegant scalability and intrusive monitoring.

Meanwhile academics are coming under increasing pressure to incorporate online support, activities and discussion into their teaching. What I believe is lacking is a pedagogic AND pragmatic model which can be used to inform the teacher as they are designing an online environment. In particular, we are strongly encouraged as teachers to adopt a constructive approach to teaching – but where is the evidence to suggest that this is the best approach, in which context, for what learners, for what age group?

In this debate I propose that the social constructivist model has been stretched beyond breaking point, and that a more balanced and pragmatic ‘blend’ of pedagogy be used to inform the design of the online environment. I am also looking for generic principles which can be used throughout the lifetime of a course, and especially during critical points, such as the design of a first online discussion and a tutor’s
feedback to students – such as the decision of whether to feedback individually or in a discussion group.

I believe that ICT has a central role to play in the university of the 21st century and that this role will grow for both students and academics. I think (and include evidence to support) that its impact will work best when it is engaged to work with not instead of other methods, together not apart from the more traditional approaches. At the end of a debate I am looking for a model which will enable the hard pressed academic to better select and design ICT objects to support their teaching and learning objectives.

Friday 8 February 2008


Any comments about the following books, as recommended by alpercelk - YouTube - "These are the books that we use in The Royal Institute of Technology/Stockholm".

I strongly recommend to ICT entrepreneurs to read these books
1- Crossing the chasm (Geoffrey Moore)
2- Blue Ocean Strategy(W.Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne)
3- Red Ocean Strategy
4- Inside the Tornado (Geoffrey A. Moore)
5- Good to Great (Jim Collins)
6- Art of the Start (Guy Kawasaki)
7- Rules for Revolutionaries (Guy Kawasaki)
8- Made to Stick (Dan Heath & Chip Heath)

Some great links about e-learning ...

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

Connectivism - Presentation by George Siemens at Educause, Jan 2008
Presenter(s):George Siemens, Associate Director, Learning Technologies Centre, University of Manitoba.

Wednesday 6 February 2008

Hybrid Learning

Current use of Hybrid Learning is a term used by some US academics with an intended identical meaning to blended learning. There are a couple of alternatives emerging from the UK – here's mine:

An Alternative Definition

Hybrid Learning is delivered using a combination of approaches to teaching and learning, ranging from short synchronous face to face sessions to asynchronous online sessions lasting many weeks.

Contents (for the wikipedia entry)


I stumbled upon this method when teaching in a UK high school in 2006 - much of the content of the course was delivered on-line – during usual lesson time. I noted the benefit of face-to-face delivery of some, and on-line social constructivist delivery of the majority of the course.

Naming Rational

Blended learning is characterised by a variety of delivery mechanisms, but the term ‘blended’ implies a lack of lucidity in the selection of the mechanism – like mixing different colored play dough together, you might end up with a bit of a mess.

Hybrid learning is characterized by the selection of an appropriate delivery mechanism for different learning components based on sound pedagogical practice. Hybrid has been chosen as it implies a conscious choice of the ‘stronger’ method, therefore giving a stronger ‘Hybrid’.

Thus Hybrid Learning is a subset of Blended Learning – moreover, an improved Blended Learning. It follows that many courses using Blended Learning may more accurately be described as using Hybrid Learning.


The rational behind Hybrid Learning is to select the best tool for the job. Some tasks are best delivered using face to face [ref] or 1-1 sessions [ref]. A major factor of the success of the Hybrid method is the ability of the tutor to select the best method of delivery.


Tutor selection of the delivery mechanism makes the Hybrid method more applicable to captive students such as those in secondary education, undergraduates, and commercial training.


(more referenced required)