Didaktics of media: Learning Environment – Recap

This will be the last article in this category, as the course nears its end. I will have a short recap on my experience in this course and how it changed my learning behavior. This is the logical follow up to my post Learning Environment: Status Quo.

 

Experience in this course

This course differs from all my other courses because this is the first course I took outside my “normal” curriculum. So all fellow students had a different background than me, probably already knew the professor etc.

Yet the course was one of the best I had in University. I think I learned a lot in this course and had contact and insight to many topics which I probably would never had deemed worth investigating. Although the professor is strict and the workload is not deniable, I am happy I chose this course.

Methods

In the mentioned article I listed five methods I use when learning:

  1. Information consumption
  2. Training
  3. Discussion
  4. Information curation
  5. Reflection

1 – Information consumption

I still rely heavily on my ability to consume and process an huge amount of information. So no changes here.

2 – Training

As I mentioned in the linked post, doing is better than listening. In the time of the course I hadn’t had that much training (of any kind, not even my martial art). So I hesitate to write something about this part. The only thing I can think of is the third learning unit (the MOOC), where I had a lot of hands on work to do (see my result here: Instagram)

3 – Discussion

As in the section before, not that much changed here: I went to some meetups and also had good high quality discussions with colleagues. But nothing drastically differed by participating the course.

4 – Information curation

Not that much changed here as well: Only 26 upvotes on good questions or answers on Stackoverflow.com for example.

5 – Reflection

Of the five sections, the “Reflection” section is the one with the most changes, I would think. I wrote 17 posts for this course alone, that’s more than for all other topics in that time span. It feels good to recapitulate the learned topics and to put whole sentences on the blog.

Tools

The tools section changed as well. For example I reduced my amount of Feedly and Facebook to 30 minutes a day (StayFocusd for Chrome). The other mentioned tools didn’t change that much. I blogged a little bit more than usual (which is good) and used Stackoverflow and Evernote a bit less.

Something I did add to my toolbox (based on this course) is Pluralsight, a very good training site. I really recommend is warmly. Something I also use since the course is DuoLingo, mostly on my mobile phone. Currently I learn Swedish with DuoLingo and binge watch every thing actor model related on Plurasight.

Didaktics of media: Learning unit four – Report

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goal of this report is to take and rate a online learning unit. For the fourth and final learning unit we should take a mobile learning unit. I used the app Learning Japanese (Google Play Store) for my mobile phone. As an experiment we have been asked to create a video for the review: https://youtu.be/LUS9Tu6RVpo

Short synopsis of the unit:

Learning Japanese is a language learning software for the Android platform. It consists of three main components: The Kana learning (Kana being the two basic alphabets of the Japanese language), an expression trainer (Dates, Time and numbers) as well as a vocabulary trainer.

The app focuses on Kana learning, as all other components build on the ability to read Kana. Based on that skill the “daily expression” tab provides lists of numbers, dates and times as well as tests for these sections. Somewhat easy to overlook is a small icon on the top right corner of the numbers section on which you can enter numbers, which get translated to the corresponding sign (including a sound file).

The third section is reserved for the vocabulary list of the Japanese-Language-Proficiency Test (JLPT). This test is similar to TOEFL or IELTS but for the Japanese language. The needed vocabulary for the five level of this test is listed in this app and can be trained and tested.

Reflection on your personal learning experience

All in all, I’m disappointed. I started (and stopped…) to learn Japanese several years ago and hoped this app could maybe reinforce my small knowledge of the language. Even better I hoped it could ignite my desire to finally learn the language again.

Unfortunately, it didn’t ignite anything. The app may be suited to learners of Japanese which had a more recent encounter with the language but it is in my opinion not helpful for beginners or people looking to refresh their knowledge.

My learning experience with this as (again, basically as a beginner) was frustrating. There is no learning concept at all, just different components like the syllables to memorize.

Did you achieve the stated learning goals?

No, I did not achieve the stated learning goal. As stated before my learning experience was not as good as expected. I think I’m not the right target audience for this app. Maybe with a hint at the description page of the app I would have chosen another app.

Did the given time suffice?

There is not statement how long it does take to memorize all Kana or the provided vocabulary and expressions. Taking the 90 minutes in considerations the mobile learning units should take, I would say that the time is not sufficient.

Even if the learner had some training in the past, the 90 minutes aren’t enough to memorize even one of the Kana (not to speak of the vocabulary and the expressions). I managed to remember the first set of Hiragana (the first of the Kana) after roughly four hours of use, with mediocre results on the tests.

Comment on the design – what was good, what could be made better?

Two main points regarding the design are worth mentioning, when discussing this app: Usability and the used learning method.

Starting with the usability I need to add that I’m not a user interface designer or an expert on this topic. Yet, in my opinion the app lacks usability at certain points:

  • No introduction. It would be nice to have a brief introduction in the app. “What is the intended order of the lessons?”, “What can I do on the different lessons?”, “What is Kana?”
  • No information about location. When the app is started, the first screen is the Gojûon (“Fifty Sounds”, the Kana training area, see Figure 1). Most of the screen is empty, but the information that you are located at the Gojûon chapter is missing (at the top would be a good place). This is true for all menu elements. In the actual trainings this is no issue as there is a title on these screens.
  • Usage: The hamburger menu (Figure 1, top left) is a more or less known element for menus in many apps. Yet it resides unremarkable on the menu screen and I didn’t expect it to contain the whole control flow of the app.
  • Another annoying design issue with these app is the need to download every single sound file manually. A sound file for every single syllable on the Kana table (Figure 2) gets downloaded on the first click on these syllable. This is usually fast (less than one second), yet breaks the “flow”. It would be better to include these file directly in the installation or (if the initial app size is of concern) provide a “download all sound files” button.

 

Gojuon

Figure 1: Start screen

Kana

Figure 2: Kana screen

 

The second (and more important) design issue of these app in my opinion is the used learning method. As I mentioned earlier I had some training in Japanese several years ago. The learning method here in this app is best described as drill: “Look at these 200 foreign characters and remember them”.

The method I learned the Kana with was invented by James W. Heisig (J. W. Heisig/ K. Gresbrand – Die Kana lernen und behalten). It ties every single sign (and the modifiers) to a story which stays memorable longer. Just by looking at the Kana in this app table I remembered some of the stories from that book.

Probably the app can’t incorporate these methods because of intellectual property reasons (which is understandable) but the given learning method for this app wasn’t helpful for me at all. If the designer of the app would have tried to make the learning process a little bit less tedious (stories, small lessons etc.), maybe I would be more positive about the app.

Positive and negative aspects of the contents of the unit

Positive

  • Stroke order: On thing this app shines is the stroke order. For a “good” Kana sign, the strokes of a sign should be done in a certain order (if done so, some of the smaller hooks at the signs are more natural). Most Kana books show the stroke order with small numbers next to each stroke, but the app actually draws the sign.
  • JLPT vocabulary. For every learner of Japanese who wants to have a certificate of his language skill, the vocab list is very important (grammar is in general easy in Japanese, so vocabulary is slightly more important). The app provides a solid test tool (random tests, reappearance of wrong vocabulary, multiple choice for English to Japanese, solution to every answer) so for more proficient learner this app is a good choice.

Negative

  • Usability/Design:
    • No introduction
    • General control flow in the menus
    • The need to download every single sound file afterwards. Very annoying
  • Almost unusable if no (or very few) prior Japanese language knowledge exists

 

Grade the course on a scale of 0-10.

All in all, I would grade this app with a 5 out of 10. Most of the positive and negative points had already been listed in the previous chapter, but I really want to stress the point of the learning method for Kana (see “Comment on the design”). The method used in this app wasn’t helpful at all to learn the Kana (for me). I’m pretty sure one can learn the Kana this way, but it’s harder than necessary.

Other comments

The app got a bad grade from me. My main reasons for that are due to the fact that I’m not the right target audience. So if someone with more prior knowledge in Japanese rates this app, he could give a better grade. Also, the fact that this app is free should be taken in considerations, as other sources to learn Japanese like books (the mentioned one for example) aren’t free.

Didaktics of media: Storytelling

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goals:

Based on the title for that unit I assume we will learn something about storytelling in the context of didactic.

What have I learned:

People remember stories. If information is wrapped up in a story, it increases the possibility that one remember the information as well.

A story consists of a setting, a plot, a character, a narrator with a point of view, (words, pictures, sounds) and most importantly listeners or readers.

Scheherazade from 1001 Nights is one of the earliest cliffhanger provider.

Wandering storytellers

  • Minstrels, Jester (like street musicians)
  • Troubadour (for the higher in the hierarchy)
  • Minnesinger (in Germany, especially Walther von der Vogelweide)

Chansonnier

  • Secular song books. They not only told stories and song but wrote them down.

Icelandic Kvöldvaka

Because of the long winter all family members would gather in one room and one person would be chosen to read a storybook for all members. Usually a child or a guest did the reading.

There is more:

Songs, Music, Poems, Theater, Dance, Political satire

Narrative:

  • Story or part of story
  • Narrator and points of view
  • Time flow
  • fictional or true story
  • structure
    • Story / plot / figures
    • Most imortant: reception: What happens in the listener
    • Representation

Digital story telling

  • Point of view
  • a dramatic question
  • emotional content
  • the gift of your voice
  • the power of the soundtrack
  • economy
  • pacing

Green Eggs and Ham from Dr.Seuss only has 50 words!

Non linear structure

  • Nodes and branaches
  • attributes for the branches
  • circles
  • multiple stories

 

Didaktics of media: Learning unit three – Report

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goal of this report is to take and rate a online learning unit. For the third learning unit we should take either a webinar or a MOOC. I participated in the course Design 1o1 Redux – Part 2: My House from the Iversity platform.

Short synopsis of the unit:

The course “Design 1o1 Redux – Part 2: My House” was the second of three courses on the platform Iversity created by the Design 1o1 Community. The target group was everyone who is interested in learning some basic design attitudes.

For eight weeks every day an email with a task was sent to all participants (I only attended one week). The mail (and the corresponding page on the Iversity platform) consisted of a short video (~15 seconds) with an abstract content. The content (mashups of drawing and images) was accomplished by a short introductory text.

The task for every day was written in a *.pdf file which consisted of four to six pages. Additional to the task there have been added some background information, learning goals, reasoning (“Why do we do this?”) and questions to interest one further.

All tasks were related to “My House” and in the one week I attended to the topic “My Room”. The overall goal of this week was to create some pictures in a Minecraft-like world and upload these pictures to Instagram (see them here).

After the first week all participants were asked to grade seven fellow participants based on six categories and three sub categories each. The grading criteria had been predefined. Two weeks after the start of this course every grading participant received their own grading.

My received grading

Reflection on your personal learning experience

I choose the course to learn something I didn’t had the faintest clue of. I hadn’t had contact with any design related topics beside software design. Therefore, I’ve been curious what I’ll have to do as well what I’ll learn.

The first task had been trivial (installing a Minecraft-like game, finding a good place for our room and make three screenshots which should be uploaded). Yet even on this trivial task I learned to transport ideas to other environments. It took me a while to find a “good” place for my room, mostly because I didn’t know what I was looking for, until I found it. My perfect place needed to be at the shore and a village needed to be in sight.

I learned to transport my room in another world. This world hadn’t had everything I needed but I found the abstract concept I was looking for.

The second task was to measure our own room and transport this in the Minecraft-like world. The participants were asked to take on of the blocks from the world and define a measurement for all dimensions. Also we were asked to make an image with our rooms overall proportions. I created that one in Excel, using different border styles to create a folding instruction of my room.

I learned about myself that I’m missing some key skills in image manipulations. And that I’m a very used to Excel. Also I choose to take the default measurement of Minecraft (1m x 1m x 1m) which wasn’t a good Idea.

For the third task we created a “colour palette” of all blocks we wanted to use in the construction of our room. This palette then should be used to create our boundaries or walls of the room.

I learned that I had no clue about colours and how they work together.

The fourth task was an abstraction task. The participants were tasked to take an object of their room (a lamp, a chair, etc. …) and abstract this object in the Minecraft-like world, honouring the measurements of the second task and not using different material other than the palette from the fourth task.

I learned to abstract my room… Given my colour palette and the measurements my abstractions needed to be… very abstract. Two blocks were my desk; another block my PC…
My room, with abstract desks, a couch and my pc on the desk

The final task was to “step into the Minecraft-like room”. With some kind of image editing we were tasked to integrate us in our newly created room. I replaced the Minecraft arm one always can see in the game with a picture of my own arm.

I learned how to make my Minecraft world more “real” with replacing my hand. That way the real world and the Minecraft world had been connected in some way.

After one week of this course I was asked to rate seven other participants. After seeing the other contributions, I found out, I really am an uncreative guy. There have been extremely creative images on the submitted pages, both from a technical view (how they created the images, the quality of the implementation) as well as the conception view (interesting ideas, very abstract topics).

I learned that there are many different ways to interpret the task. I’ve seen some good contributions which had been so essentially different to mine, although we all had the same task.

Did you achieve the stated learning goals?

The learning goal was to “Develop some basic design attitudes for better understanding the mechanics of today’s world”. I think this goal (or better, the achievement of the goal) is very hard to measure. I definitely learned some design ideas. Yet I wouldn’t dare to claim that I now understand the mechanics of today’s world better.

On the other hand, this is the stated learning goal for the whole eight-week course, so maybe I would achieve the goal in the next seven weeks. But honestly I doubt that. The tasks are too abstract for me to get connected to any real world mechanics.

Nonetheless I learned some things about myself and my abilities. At least that was a good thing.

Did the given time suffice?

The time frame which is given by the “Didaktics of Media” course for our e-learning assessments is around 90 minutes. I did not manage to get this course done in that time frame.
The assumed workload of the Iversity course “Design 1o1 Redux – Part 2: My House” itself is between four to seven hours. I needed 5 hours and 30 minutes to complete all tasks plus the time needed to evaluate my peers (additional 30 minutes). The assumed time from the Iversity course is sufficient to finish the course (albeit other participants maybe took longer, judging by their high quality contributions.

Comment on the design – what was good, what could be made better?

The design of the course was satisfying. The many small tasks and the intermediate feedback (other people in the course “like” your Instagram images) had been a nice touch. The tasks build up one another and this motivates you to not skip a task.

Also the theme was nicely integrated in all tasks. All task revolved around “My Room” (and with the next weeks-tasks) the overall course will take the “My House” topic in consideration.

One of the drawbacks of the design had been the *.pdf files. They have been to big (or the plugin used to display them was to slow). The site often froze for several seconds if the *.pdf was used.

Positive and negative aspects of the contents of the unit

Positive:

  • The tasks have been described in detail (what to do, where to upload, how to tag)
  • The allocated time was sufficient
  • The tasks have been very divers (building, abstraction, image manipulation, drawing…)

Negative

  • The *.pdf watcher in the platform was slow (maybe to big)
  • The *.pdf files were very cluttered. Lots of images, different colours, the background wasn’t ideal (see next image).
  • The grading was not ideal. The given grading criteria discriminated the really creative people contributions.
  • The introductory videos had no meaning to me.

Cluttered text

Grade the course on a scale of 0-10.

I would grade this course with a seven out of ten. I was satisfied with this course in overall, but I did not reach the stated learning goal (not even 1/8 of the learning goal, as I did only one of eight weeks). Maybe my rating is too harsh in this case but I assumed a bit more.
In the end I used Minecraft as a tool to transport my room in another world. That was not what I assumed when I read about “Develop some basic design attitudes”.

Other comments

It was the first time I uploaded something to Instagram but it was a nice way to show everyone his work and see the work of the other participants.

Update: This was my first post written with the Open Live Writer of which I heard from Scott Hanselman. I needed to update some small format bugs.

Didaktics of media: Designing MOOCs

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goals:

Based on the title for that unit I assume we will learn something about designing MOOC. The linked article on the other hand, features a paper about the Tech Ed Revolution, which “will be the Learner Revolution”. It goes on and on about investors needing to put money in education (either traditional education or start ups) and how these start ups could fuel the next learning revolution.

What have I learned:

A MOOC is a massive open online course with thousands of participants.

The two types of MOOCs are

  • CMOOC – Cooperative MOOC . MOOCs where all participants has to cooperate and work together.
  • XMooc – Extended MOOC. Classes of Universities where non students can watch the videos as well.

My University is one of the first Universities which can self accredit a course!

Designing MOOC

The main parts on designing a MOOC is conception, production, execution and evaluation.

Conception

Why do I want to serve MOOC? It’s cool, it makes money, I want to transfer knowledge. You need to define goals.

For whom do I create MOOC? For everyone? For Students? For Users of a technology? For employees of a company? For a community of special topic?

Which content has my MOOC? The language is important and has influence on the target group. The content is important as well. The length is good to have 6-8 weeks. What is the structure of the content.

What format has my MOOC? CMOOC or xMOOC? Is it self-paced or synchronous? Which tools are you gonna use for communication? Will there be gamification elements? Is there a certificate offered?

Attention: Do you have all the rights to ALL your used content? Images in slides? Videos, the tools which are needed for doing the tasks.

Under which conditions is my content published? See CC Matrix. Make it clear if one can use it in which ways.

Costs: The Hasso Plattner Institut plans $50000 for a MOOC. Simple MOOCs are possible starting at $10000.

Production

Think about marketing. Offer them for example on class-central.com. Advertise them early on.

Promovideo: Declare content, organisation of the course

Webcam vs. real camera

Postproduction is needed

Should the quizzes be peer graded or automatically graded? You need to create unique questions. Watch cultural specialties.

Execution

Evaluation

Use an internal or external tool?

Does the MOOC needed to be archived?

Didaktics of media: Learning unit two – Report

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goal of this report is to take and rate a online learning unit. For the second learning unit we should take a video based course. I watched a course on the platform http://pluralsight.com.

Short synopsis of the unit:

The course “Building Highly Scalable Web Applications in Azure” is a video based course on the platform http://pluralsight.com. Pluralsight is a provider for video based online training with 3.500 courses on different topics. The courses aren’t free but there is a 10 day / 200 minutes trial. Also you can sign up for the Microsoft Visual Studio Dev Essential Program (free) and get three months of Pluralsight training for free.

The top categories of courses provided by Pluralsight
The top categories of courses provided by Pluralsight

The chosen course was an intermediate course and perceived very well (4.5 out of 5 stars with 173 ratings). I chose this course because the topic was interesting to me (I do work in a company with Microsoft stack) and I already have read some blog posts about the author. Additionally the allotted time (2hours, 23 minutes) sounded reasonably for me (there are courses worth of 15 hours) for this unit.

The title is very descriptive: The course covered some of the most important steps one have to think of, if one tries to refactor an ASP.NET MVC web application to a highly available, highly scalable Microsoft Azure application.

Reflection on your personal learning experience

I perceived this course as a great addition to my knowledge. I worked with Microsoft Azure on some private pet projects, yet hadn’t any chance (or the need) to create a highly scalable one. Because of my previous knowledge the intended audience “intermediate” was fitting well. I have to admit, that because of the length of the course I kept loose the concentration. I paused the course on two occasions but continued shortly after wards.

Did you achieve the stated learning goals?

It is hard to say if I now would be able to create a highly scalable web application in Azure without having to look some details up. None the less I feel reasonably proficient now to help in such a project and (with some details looked up) even do my own scalable project.

Did the given time suffice?

The allocated time for the eLearning units has been around 90 minutes. As I already stated, the course took two hours and 23 minutes. Therefore the time did not suffice or to put it in other words: I did choose a too long course for this unit.

Comment on the design – what was good, what could be made better?

The course design is terrific. The course is split in eight separate modules, which could be watched in any order. A sequential flow is intended though. Every module is than separated in sub modules with their own “mini-agenda”.

Pluralsight2
Table of content of the course

The video itself was well organized and the audio and video quality excellent. At the start of every module the speaker gave an overview what we will learn in this module, what these techniques will help to achieve and what the consequences would be, if these techniques got neglected. Most of the modules showed a load test at the start and the end to show the impact of the changes at a demo project. After every module a summary was drawn.

Summary on the third module
Summary on the third module

Positive and negative aspects of the contents of the unit

I am very satisfied with this course as already mentioned. If I would need to be nit-picky I could criticize the rash showings of the code of the demo project. I had to pause the video to fully understand the changes in the code.

Also one of the implemented techniques is not quite clear to me how this help in a real world application.

Grade the course on a scale of 0-10.

I would grade the course a ten out of ten but only if all minor flaws would have been resolved. Therefore I give it a nine out of ten.

Pluralsight in general and this course in special was very interesting and I’m looking forward to watch more of their videos.

Other comments

Also: I did the test afterwards and gained a Certificate of Achievement!

My Certificate of Achivement for doing the test
My Certificate of Achivement for doing the test

Update 17.01.2016: Updated the introduction. Nasty copy and Paste bug…

Didaktics of media: Learning Communities

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goals:

Based on the pdf which was provided I assume we will learn something about communities of learners. In the pdf it’s stated that the oldest definition for a university is “a community of learners and teachers”. So I assume we will learn more about the University as a community of teachers and learners. Furthermore the pdf goes on to asynchronous learning communities. Therefore I assume we will learn something about wikis, mailgroups and co.

What have I learned:

As an experiment I try to take my notes of the lesson directly on the blog. We will see how this works out.

One way to moderate an online course is Adobe Connect. Our professor showed as the instance Adobe Connect on the Deutsche Forschungs Netzwerk. She showed us the capabilities (whiteboard, Share screen, Question Answer Session, notes, chat…). One feature she mentioned some of the feedback possibilities: “Raise your hand”, “Slow Down” or “You are to quiet”.

The topic of today was Computer-supported cooperative/collaborative work/learning or CSCW/L. We did a quick round up which tools for collaboration are used by the students. She pressed the fact that you need a learning goal, especially for collaborative learning environments.

We have been informed that in the states the university is more of a community than in Germany: The teachers are doing more with the students and the students wear university stuff (more proud).

The goal of a curricular learning communities are linked classes. A linked class is a class which has different courses, often interdisciplinary, with the same set of students and teachers.

Also important is the integration of different courses: Often the math teacher has no idea what the informatics teacher does. This could lead to inefficiency. If you integrate all courses together more tightly the topics could be more aligned.

Another learning community structure is “coordinated study”. In this concept, there are no such things like courses, but all courses get blended together. So you would have for example a topic (game design) and all “courses” would revolve around these topic.

Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALNs)

There are different kinds of communities. For example there are geographic community like the life in an American Small Town.

What is a ALN? It means anytime / anyplace. Learning networks are communities of learners who work together to build and share knowledge, through computer networks. In an ALN a classroom is the platform. Be it a MOOC or a learning System.

How to build a community?

  • The teacher needs to be online. Otherwise students wont be either.
  • Immediacy is important. Without the nonverbal part a written discussion can easily be misinterpreted.

What are obstacles to virtual intimacy?

  • Paranoia – I might be revealing details about myself I don’t want stored
  • Grifters – Someone can steal my ideas
  • Bad design of the courses

Update 17.12.2015: Added What have I learned section

Didaktics of media: Report on the Online Educa Berlin (OEB) #OEB15

Today I attended the exhibition of the OEB in Berlin at the Intercontinental Hotel. I only visited the exhibition, which was free because the fee for the conference it self would have been to much to bear (roughly 480€). I visited some of exhibitors and will here summarize my experience.

ITNedu

The company is a young startup based in London, specializing in providing access to video content for educational purposes. The problem they try to solve is the often complicated matter of finding the right video content for a learning course, especially if you take in account complicated issues around searching, finding and accessing the content. They currently provide videos they license from various sources on different topics as well as an editorial service of tagging, finding and aggregating of videos with human help (“education professionals”).

numworx

The company is a spin-off of an institute of the Utrecht University. They developed interactive mathematics tools which they use in their own learning management system but also are available for other platforms like Moodle. A tutor can create courses with a various set of interactive elements. For example equitation (“solve for x”) have been very explanatory with an scale and coins on both sides, as well as bags full of money with an unknown sum in it (the x). All the shown interactive elements have been embedded in the LMS and have been part of quizzies. An additional point to mention is the platform-agnostic nature of the interactive elements.

Urkund

The company is Stockholm based and provides anti-plagiarism software. In the provided leaflet they ranked top of the compared anti plagiarism software. Yet they still had “only” 95 out of 130 points in effectiveness and therefore “adequate”. Side note: The test was initiated by the professor I have the course with. After I introduced myself (including the university) I got immediately asked if I know the professor which took the tests.

Unfortunately they could not tell anything about the technical part of software (the algorithms are secret and also the exhibitor had no knowledge about it). What I do learned is that the software not detects plagiarism but similarities between different texts. And this obviously includes only digital texts. Therefore the plagiarism of “offline-text” is harder to detect.

Entropy Knowledge Network

The Italian based company provides augmented reality and serious gaming environments. They showed their solution for an augmented reality tool in use in a hospital to train nurses. The nurses could see hazards in the hospital and additional information on the screen added on top of the video feed. They also could add data on the tool. The second product of them is serious learning in the corporate environment. They have an editor with which they can create games. The showed a serious game for change management and one for problem management. Both included custom stories, background, characters and quizzes.

Darim Vision

The company provides broadcasting systems. For the learning context they showed an (in their words) “affordable” solution for institutions. The showed system consisted of two cameras, two displays and several special video equipment. In a live demo I could attend, I was the “moderator” of an video instruction course and could easily switch between video files, power point slides and live video feeds. The whole content was embedded in an virtual moderation room and my image was included via green screen.

Summary

The OEB exhibition was interesting, even if it isn’t my primary focus of interest.

Didaktics of media: Mediated Discourse: Chats, Foren, Wikis, Twitter, Audio and Video

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goals:

Based on the title and the provided links for that unit I assume we will learn something about the discourse in chats, forums and co. The links provided were about the Minerva Project (an online university) and an article as response to the first link (so, pro and con about the Minerva project).

What have I learned:

The lesson wasn’t at all about the Minerva project, but the difficulties which occurs if one tries to have a discourse via an online media.

The first thing I learned is that a discourse only can happen if both sides are willingly to change there opinion. Otherwise it’s not a discourse. The next takeaway was that I should learn 10 finger typing, to improve my typing speed.

Our professor showed us some examples how she is preparing herself for mediated discourse: She thinks of topics in advance, prepares questions so she can copy and paste them in the chat window.

Whilst a discourse a moderator (our professor) is needed to shape the flow of discussion. Shaping means providing a framework (topic, predefined questions) but also cutting out trouble makers and preventing off topic discussions. Interestingly to me she proposed to forbid “me too” in the chat. Her reason was to prevent to flood a chat window. Some of these rules are also written down in the chatiquette.

Update 26.11.2015: Inserted the “What have I learned” section

Didaktics of media: Evaluation of Instruction and On-line Exercise Design

This blog post is one part of the series “learning diary” for a course at my university.

Goals:

Based on the title and the provided pdf for that unit I assume we will learn how to evaluate and compare different examination methods for different kinds of learning goals. I think we will consider target groups, the goal of the examination and several other aspects of online examination.

In the end I hope I’ll be able to create my own online examination because we need to create multiple choice tests later on.

What have I learned:

On this lesson I only wrote a single sentence as comment in my notebook:

Grading on evaluation is always highly subjective

Reason for not writing more notes was the more or less complete slide my professor provided. So almost everything was covered in the slides.

So what have I learned and is covered on these slides? I learned the up and downsides of creating good online examinations. “Good”, in this case means several things. A good (online) exam needs to to take in consideration some organisational stuff (identity check of the exam taker, for example) and also needs questions which are precisely written and good to grade.

I learned of seven different question types for only exams:

  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Essay
  • Ordering
  • Matching Items
  • Extended Matching Items
  • Multiple Choice (MC)
  • Multiple Answer

We had a quick overview over all of these types (especially from the point of view of someone who grades these tests) but went in more details with Multiple Choice Questions because we will write ten Multiple Choice Questions as an exam.

So, what learned I about MC?

  • An MC has one question and several alternative answers.
  • Only one of the answers is correct. The other answers are sometimes called distractors.
  • A MC with only to possible answers (“true” or “false”) is a special case.
  • A MC is easily scored and the marks can be evaluated by machines.
  • For all but the synthesis level of Bloom’s taxonomy, MC can be easily created.
  • The creation of a good MC can take more time than other kind of exams.
  • There is no way one can justify a choice (this is important if the answers aren’t as precise as needed).
  • Good MC Questions
    • shouldn’t give clues.
    • shouldn’t use jargon.
    • need to be as precise and simple as possible.
  • Good MC Answers
    • should be equally plausible. A set of answers to a question “What is the darkest color?” should only contain colors, for example…
    • should have the same length
    • should avoid “None of the above” and “All of the above”

Update 22.11.2015: Added “What have I learned”