Registering for ocTEL 2014

28 04 2014



Here I go again.  Thanks to all in advance but I can’t believe I have re-registered.  Looking back, I learned a lot and was introduced to some great blogs, contacts and resources so I have taken the plunge again for 2014


(Image source:

Flexible Learning

19 07 2013

Exactly a week ago I was presenting at HEA Flexible learning through professional practice at Bath Spa University Corsham Court Campus.  The place is beautiful!  Worth the long drive from Huddersfield (as much as I love Huddersfield too – do visit, you will be surprised!)  The event was great too.

I was presenting a module re-design to describe how we aspired to create a collaborative and digitally connected learning space.  I am beginning to collect and use learning design models as I think they are helpful to capture an approach.  One of the models I have used came from Oliver, R., Harper, B., Wills, S., Agostinho, S. and Hedberg, J. (2007) Describing ICT-based learning designs that promote quality learning outcomes. In: Beetham, H., and Sharpe, H. (ed) Rethinking Pedagogy for a digital age, Designing and delivering e-learning. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 64-80

Although it looks initially bewildering, it is really just three columns of resources, tasks and support and three rows or phases of the project: prep, doing, reflection.  I hope it is useful to others. It is described as a temporal sequence for role-play based learning designs.


Sometimes you have got to take the risk of failing #octel

17 06 2013

A demonstration of why there is no such thing as the ‘right’ answer especially now.

More than just Content

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
― Michelangelo Buonarroti

As you have probably guessed I have gone “off piste” again this week.  The #octel mooc is looking at project work, success/failures and risk management and how particularly when technology is involved you need to plan and plan well.  Now I must admit that if you are unfamiliar with project planning then this will be really helpful to you – however at my University we are all over this topic, I do this stuff all the time.

In fact as an institution we are reaching the stage where our requirements and committees and approval routes are having a negative effect on our ability to be “Agile” and move at the speed required to keep current with…

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Prioritization using MoSCoW

12 06 2013

During the first ocTEL webinar week 9 the acronym ‘moscow’ was mentioned for setting priorities in in project management.

I hadn’t heard of it before so had a Google and found quite a few useful resources via the Agile Academy:  the slide below probably explains enough but there is also a video clip


Slide from:

Thoughts in motion

11 06 2013


(Image: Keep the thought in motion – Olimpia Zagnoli)

Some strands from ocTEL are beginning to slice together today.  As a course team we are preparing for course planning next month.  We had a useful pre-meeting and have agreed to map out through all the modules of the course some key themes.

Three elements from the course are in my mind as I re-write my modules, reflect on the year and prepare for course planning:

Keith Smyth 3E continuum (week 3)

3E continuum

Gilly Salmon (week 6) ‘start at the end’ – stage 5 Development


Nancy White (week 7)

Nancy white

I seem to have developed a fascination with participation.  The last line of this slide ‘usefully participate’ is really how I see my end point, with my graduates usefully participating as a professional in the industry (in contexts of their choosing).  I have begun some explorations into how the course can extend to include alumni, professional bodies and local SME.  Something is beginning to take shape…

Reading: Chapter 15 HEA / TEL – Learners in Control

10 06 2013

As earlier postings,  the OcTEL orientation resources takes you to this publication: Transforming Higher Education Through Technology Enhanced Learning Publication Date: 23-12-2009 Available at  I’ve put the full link in again after being unable to find it for 10 minutes!  The chapter 15 link is here too:

I don’t know how come  I initially skipped chapter 15 but it seems to be in tune with my skipping back style of this week and so now I come back to this too.  I really like this too but I knew I would just from Keith Smyth being in the authors list. Comrie, Smyth and Mayes Learners in Control: The TESEP approach. Read it, but a quick intro here for my memory too.

P208: TESEP addressed the need to prepare and equip students who enter Scottish higher education, and much of further education, with confidence about taking control of their own learning using the new tools that they will encounter in our rapidly changing educational institutions and beyond, in employment, and almost all other 21st-century learning contexts.

P210 The five principles of TESEP :

  • ensure every learner is as active as possible. design tasks that address this question: how can we challenge learners to think more deeply about what it is they are learning?
  • design frequent formative assessment. encourage the learners to test their understanding regularly and ensure they get responsive feedback including from peers.
  • Put emphasis on peers learning together. create small groups who will work together to produce something – a report, a lesson, a demonstration. consider where groups can teach each other about their chosen topics. Try to engender a sense of ownership.
  • consider whether learning tasks can be personalised. allow the individual learner, or a small group, choice over what is to be achieved. negotiate with learners wherever possible. aim for project-/resource-/discussion-based learning – not direct instruction.
  • consider how technology can help to achieve these principles. online, learners can be actively carrying out tasks, taking formative tests, producing class resources or group outputs, discovering new content for themselves, and through social software discussing and sharing all this with each other, the tutor, and other peers and experts.

P211 Enabling concepts – empowerment and engagement (see 3E framework)

(Some) References from the chapter:

Comrie,A, T., Mayes, N. and Smyth, K. (eds.) (2009) Learners in the co-creation of knowledge: proceedings of the LICK 2008 Symposium. edinburgh: napier university/TeSeP. available from [august 23, 2009]

Mayes, J.T. (2007) TESEP: the pedagogical principles. Available from: [13 April 2009].

Smyth, K. (2007) TESEP in practice: the 3E approach. available from: [13 April 2009]

Reading: Chapter 17 HEA / TEL – podcasting for pedagogic purposes

10 06 2013

Chapter 17 by Newton and Middleton Podcasting for Pedagogic Purposes: The journey so far and some lessons learned

I really liked this chapter.  I think I was influenced by the early inclusion of CoP, Biggs’ constructive alignment and a whiff of ‘it’s not napster’ in the opening paragraphs.

P236:If we aspire to a learner-centred, well-aligned, constructivist paradigm, we need to be creative and open in evaluating the potential of new and emerging technologies.

I would advise you to read it if interested in podcasts, but I particularly liked the twist of students producing video podcasts outlined on p240. I think it has potential for peer feedback in a large team-based module I take.  I plan a video podcast gallery of each team’s initial idea and to make it an early formative feedback point, I think it also has the potential to encourage team development.


Useful resources for further reading from this chapter:

Lewis, D. and Allan, B. (2005) Virtual learning communities – a guide for practitioners. maidenhead: Society for research into higher education and open university Press.

Nason, E. and Wooding, S. (2006) Hub and spoke model for high technology platforms. rand europe memorandum for the Department of Health. Available from: [23 August, 2009]

Salmon, G. and Edirisingha, P. (eds.) (2008) Podcasting for Learning in Universities. maidenhead: open university Press.