Reflective formative spaces moulded around course pedagogy

Using Campus Pack Learning Objects

With a bit of imagination and clear idea of a course’s pedagogic remit, building learning spaces around specific learning outcomes is a breeze using Campus Pack Learning Objects. The trick behind this ease of flexibility is getting under the hood and changing a few settings according to the type of interactivity desired. For example, a tutorial blog can allow the tutor to post up notes (and any relevant media) that feed forward (Murtagh and Baker, 2009). These face2face one2one tutorials are normally given with a laptop to hand, notes are taken by the tutor and posted up, students respond with the comments tool by a certain period (if requested). The benefits to this method mean tutorial notes are held centrally and online; act as an aide memoire to both tutor and student of what was discussed; allows the student to reflect and articulate how they intend to take their work forward; provides a recording mechanism which is useful when several tutors are giving feedback over the course of a project. Additional support staff (study development tutors/disability tutors) can also access the feedback first-hand and discuss this with the student, often contributing with posts so feedback is collective and everyone is on the same page. Thus, taking a heutagogic approach consistent with Bandura’s (1986) conceptualisation of self-regulation, involving self observation, self-evaluation, and self-reaction, learning is student centric and self disciplined.

Presentation given at Durham’s Blackboard User Conference 2015 demonstrating Unit Feedback, Tutorial Log, Personal Development and Work Placement Blog learning spaces.

By integrating the student’s private feedback areas within the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), staff and students can access a ‘trail’ of feedback – all in one place thus ensuring students and all the teaching support teams have 24/7 remote access. This student-centred place also becomes a deeper space for autonomous learning and continuing dialogue between students and staff, thus creating an ‘inside-out’ (Higgins, Hartley and Skelton, 2001) approach to assessment feedback, which embraces reflection, criticality and student ownership to learning.

Reflective formative spaces moulded around course pedagogy

WHO BENEFITS: Reflective formative spaces moulded around course pedagogy

Alongside benefits to the student, university and course team – as shown above, this learning and teaching intervention has greatly increased student satisfaction at UCA. Students’ perspective of course organisation and management has greatly improved and administration time along with costs has significantly reduced. See above slideshare which illustrates improvements to UCA’s NSS figures.

Campus Pack may not be the most sophisticated piece of technology, but it is certainly cost effective and adequate for courses wishing to adapt and flex learning activities/spaces and deliver a far richer model of teaching, learning and assessment.


Higgins, R., Hartley, P. and Skelton, A. (2001) Getting the message across: the problem of communicating assessment feedback. Teaching in Higher Education 6(2): 269–274

Murtagh, L. and Baker, N. (2009) Feedback to Feed Forward: student response to tutors’ written comments on assignments. Practitioner Research in Higher Education Vol 3 (1): page 20-28

Bandura, A. (1986) Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Web Literacy in Academia

Durham BB 2015 conference

The conference brought together examples of students as partners as well as question what this might mean to the future of education. The second conference keynote Radical Participation (slides below) was delivered by Doug Belshaw, web literacy lead at the Mozilla Foundation.

Doug spoke about a perceived value for academics to learn a certain literacy in order to come closer to the concept of students as partners, for example Facebook literacy, or Blackboard literacy. He defines the need for radical participation in order to succeed in this notion of partnership. Such engagement would fall into three key themes shown below.

Mozilla’s web literacy map

Building:

  • Composing for the web – Creating and curating content for the web
  • Remixing – Modifying existing web resources to create something new
  • Design and Accessibility – Creating universally effective communications through web resources
  • Coding/scripting – Creating interactive experiences on the web
  • Infrastructure – Understanding the Internet stack

Connecting:

  • Sharing – Creating web resources with others
  • Collaborating – Providing access to web resources
  • Community Participation – Getting involved in web communities and understanding their practices
  • Privacy – Examining the consequences of sharing data online
  • Open Practices – Helping to keep the web democratic and universally accessible

Exploring:

  • Navigation – Using software tools to browse the web
  • Web Mechanics – Understanding the web ecosystem
  • Search – Locating information, people and resources via the web
  • Credibility – Critically evaluating information found on the web
  • Security – Keeping systems, identities, and content

See webmaker.org/literacy for more about Mozilla’s work on web literacy.

A time when all academics are web literate

We need to ask ourselves honestly if such an ideal can ever be achieved? Indeed, I have seen a good number of new staff employed for their web and IT literacy skills over and above their subject based skills. From my own experience as a late starter to technology, messing around learning how new tools work and employing them effectively within pedagogy is extremely time consuming. I had the luxury of studying an MA in Online and Distance Education; so many hours were devoted to learning how these tools worked. I am not trying to make excuses for busy academics that never find the time to dabble with new learning technologies, I just wonder how they can when they teach, assess, produce research outputs, review course programs, manage staff and recruit new students.

Are we really expecting the impossible, or should there be a far greater focus on learning technologists working together at course level with academics to ensure real currency lies within the course’s pedagogy. One solution might be to offer student TEL ambassador scholarships whereby the student’s tuition fees are wavered if they become active partners and work to literally retain technical currency both within the course program and the people who deliver it.

Students as Partners

Durham BB 2015 conference

Conference signature image

This year’s Durham conference was centred around the theme of Students as Partners with Abbi Flint from the HEA giving one of the keynotes broadly based around the report Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education that Mick Healey, Abbi Flint and Kathy Harrington have just published via the HEA.

Clearly the conference theme is a very timely topic that challenges our assumptions, practices and beliefs about learning, teaching and assessment. The educational experience a student today gets is very different from the one their tutors and teaching staff received as undergraduates. The conference questioned whether our own experiences are still valid reference points.

From my experience as a learning technologist of five years and MA student in online and distance education 3 years ago, I have witnessed rapid change in pedagogy with the onslaught of technology. This change has indeed reconceptualised education as we know it. The concept of students as partners may seem strange and some students might indeed ask why they should be partners when they pay 9k a year for a course program that is partly conceived by their peers. But unless educators can fully understand today’s digital technology and how new generations are using it, we can never hope to deliver a parallel learning experience that enhances and excites our learners. In fact, without working and learning from students in a form of partnership, we will be out of touch, ineffective and blatantly arrogant with the needs of learners. As Jim Emery from Glasgow Caledonian University stated in his presentation around student engagement “those who graduated even as recently as 4 years ago faced different challenges from the students of right now. The dynamic and relationship between a teacher and a learner is different, or if not it’s ineffective”.

But the notion of student as partner has to be genuine. To be a partner, one has to be fit for purpose, be able to understand the challenges, tensions and opportunities. For students to take partnership seriously, institutions need to man-up and take the responsibility of ensuring technical currency exists within the pedagogic delivery. This again can only be done with the student voice and institutions positively acting on their findings as Duune suggests below:

There is a subtle, but extremely important, difference between an institution that ‘listens’ to students and responds accordingly, and an institution that gives students the opportunity to explore areas that they believe to be significant, to recommend solutions and to bring about the required changes. (Dunne in Foreword to Dunne and Zandstra 2011, p. 4)

Students as Partners – Making it Happen

Measures such as student reps being on all university committees, including the exam reviews and assessment boards have been put into place by Hull York Medical School.

Student TEL Ambassadors at Hull York Medical School

Slide from HYMS presentation

They expelled the ‘token gesture’ principle and forged ahead to work with students as co-producers by involving them with getting a variety of curriculum development activities as paid university employees. Examples include working with the HYMS eLearning Team as Student TEL Ambassadors to ensure that the VLE courses for the new academic year are updated and evolve in appropriate ways both in curriculum design and content and to accommodate the changing profile of students. Often, this would involve the students working alongside clinical and academic staff as co-designers of learning resources and influencing the way they use technology to enhance learning and teaching. Students have also worked on research projects and developing eLearning resources such as virtual patients and e-tutorials.

Another significant and simple participation tool used in the open course GCUGameson was Padlet embedded into their Blackboard Course Site. This simple tool cut through all the red tape and complexity that comes with the Blackboard discussion tools.

Highlights from Blackboard’s L&T Conference 2014 – Dublin

My 3 days at this conference was a really worthwhile experience and below are some highlights I wanted to share and take forward in my own practice.

Keynote Address

The opening keynote was delivered by Professor Stephen Heppell – Chair of The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, a research and innovation centre based in the Media School at Bournemouth University. His talk focused on the value and power of the ‘now learning’… such as Twitter and YouTube and the sense of connectedness through technology and social media. His work researches how kids in different environments react to a range of learning and teaching approaches. His photographs demonstrate how spatial surroundings affect mood and attitude to learning by using colour, soft furniture, audio and a relaxed sense of order. His classrooms are more like chill-out pads than the usual traditional desks lined up in front of a blackboard.  The Kids would often be encouraged to direct the learning, take the classes and engage in peer feedback. This notion of peer directed learning brings about the need to involve students far more into curriculum development – which ideally needs to happen when courses are conceived or revalidated – something a bit more radical than inviting a few student reps along to agree a near preordained course program.

A number of workshops tackled staff digital literacy with using a range of frameworks to implement mandatory assessment and a suite of needs-based training – Regents University London being one. Other presentations focused on how course teams and learning technologists transformed the curricula to employ a blended approach to learning – reducing traditional lectures, using webcasts, reflective journals and peer reviews.

Peer Review with Turnitin’s PeerMark

There were 2 very interesting sessions about Turnitin’s PeerMark assignment tool presented by Jiska Bomans-Memelink and Klazine Verdonschot from Leiden University and Dr Ronel Callaghan from the University of Pretoria. PeerMark allows students to review their peers’ papers based on scale and free response questions selected by the instructor. In all cases, the practice was extremely successful and adds an extremely important element to student learning with regard to criticality and self-reflection.

PeerMark Process in BlackboardPeerMark process in Blackboard – practiced by Dr Ronel Callaghan

A Menu of Learning Approaches from SHU

Brian Irwin, Head of TEL and Ian Glover from Sheffield Hallam University presented an excellent workshop around teaching approaches to encourage deeper engagement with TEL. The university had two big institutional challenges around consistency and not fulfilling TEL potential. They TEL team wanted a way to encourage staff to go beyond the minimum and transform their teaching with the use of technology. They felt a fixed framework such as the minimum expectations would not work for teaching given the diverse needs of different modules and different teaching styles/personalities of academics. To meet this goal they set up a project as part of the UK’s Changing the Learning Landscape programme, which explored the creation of a ‘menu’ of teaching approaches, which reflected the ways academics at SHU were teaching their students. The menu works by helping academics identify the different ways they could teach their students. For each teaching approach there are examples of how technology can enhance those approaches using the range of tools available at the institution.

Cards to use for different learning approaches in workshopsCards used in workshops for different learning approaches

Their approach was to focus on the things Shu was doing from a grassroots direction involving academics. They pulled together a project steering group including SU and academics. The prompts were initially about teaching approaches (not focused on technology). They got over 100 staff attending the focus groups and they put together a menu (not framework) so choice is at the fore. Technology was thought about in a broader sense. The SU also ran their own workshops to identify needs. People participating at the workshops are encouraged to talk about their teaching approaches. Pedagogic language was not used to sell the concept, neither was technology – icebreakers were used to kick off sessions and relax everyone. The workshops last around an hour. The PVC was extremely supportive and encouraged people to attend the workshops. This has become so embedded that course validations are reflecting on their teaching approaches and employing the changing the learning landscapes program.

What’s New in Blackboard

In terms of Blackboard’s new products and improvements, the April 2014 release offers:

– Student preview
– Anonymous and multiple marking (parallel marking)
– Opportunity to reconcile grades
– Improved Safe Assign integration

Interestingly, Blackboard now has a new partnership with Tribal so they will be able to integrate more with marks, assignments, user and module data.

Tribal and Blackboard integrationTribal partners with Blackboard for a joined-up process

Another important aspect they are working on is simplification – making the look and navigation far easier and simple to use. The ability to drag and drop material into course areas will become available and the look will become much sleeker. They want to cut down on the clicks esp. in the grade centre. I have to admit that some of the proposed designs and features look fabulous – it remains to be seen if they actually materialise.

Blackboard's new look grade centre

A preview of Blackboard’s new Grade Centre

In terms of Blackboard’s cloud social space, students can now opt in by signing an agreement, they can also delete their profile and any content they have added to the cloud. For mobility, they are working on responsive design so lets see how well this pans out and complements the Bb mobile learn.

Responsive Design from Blackboard

A vision of Blackboard’s responsive design

Collaborate (video conferencing tool) is I the middle of changing the JAVA function so in future users don’t have the problem of ‘can’t install the latest plugin’ to make it work on institute machines that are locked down as far as upgrades and installs go.

Empower and Enhance with course templates and community modulesFinally, my own presentation Empower and Enhance with Blackboard Course Templates and Community Modules can been seen in Slideshare. It demonstrates how the learning technologists at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) use Blackboard’s tools to enhance staff/student learning

Sharing Practice at JISC’s SETS 2014

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and participating as a finalist in SETS (Southeast Technology Showcase), JISC’s annual awards scheme, designed to identify, promote, reward and disseminate the best e-learning practice taking place across the Southeast of England (SETS was formally known as the HiFi Awards). Each presentation was awarded points (1-10) by everyone else in the room according to 1) benefits to learning and teaching and 2) benefits to the university. Along with UCA colleagues, we witnessed some truly amazing work, which I’ll attempt to highlight below. I’ll also have a stab at what UCA can learn and apply from this innovative practice.

Starting with my own contribution for the University for the Creative Arts and assisted by Librarian Ian Badger, we presented practice on ‘Moulding and integrating the VLE to meet institutional needs’ with the following context in mind:

  • The course portfolio
  • The changing structure to the university, departments & staff
  • Emerging technologies
  • Working smarter with less

Notably highlighted are some of the methodologies and mechanisms employed by UCA’s Learning Technologists to enable Library and Faculty staff to ‘centrally manage’ content residing in over 1000 courses and units. The submission also looks at how the learning technologists audit e-learning activity across the university, which in turn informs UCA’s seven Schools of their course’s strengths/weaknesses and gives each the ability to share and learn best practice collectively.

This slideshare is UCA’s presentation.

Read what the JISC judging panel said about this entry


Swim UK the SETS winner presented a very effective use of the iPad. The swimming instructor would simply video the learner swimming underwater which then allowed playback at the poolside to look at areas of improvement for stroke and technique…

…Personally, I was surprised this submission won compared to some of the very clever and innovative entries I saw. It really does demonstrate the importance of applying the appropriate use technology to the right context – and I guess this was spot-on – simple but extremely effective.


Reading College came runner up with 4 students talking very enthusiastically about their experience of using a Google+ Community as their virtual learning environment and how it served as a vital mechanism for honest peer-to-peer feedback. Studying Object Orientated Programming (OOP) the students consisted of 3 separate groups who are never in college at the same time. In place of the college’s Moodle LMS,  a Google + Community was chosen as a virtual classroom to encourage collaborative working. Set up as a private community with only the students and staff as members, this online space enabled a secure and supportive environment. The G+ community contained the assignment material, noticeboard and links to resources, students were asked to share their work at different stages throughout project and peer-to-peer feedback was encouraged. With the G+ app being available on range of devices it meant that students could gain access to the community anytime and anywhere….

…For me the most striking comment came from a student who said that learning on a tool they used everyday (their phone) and building applications such as game design, the use of Google + was second nature as this was the technology of their generation. Social media platforms do indeed provide a very strong aspect to peer review and feedback in a less formal manner. This informality might even prove to be more effective to student learning than traditional forms of peer review – be it blind or formally arranged by their teachers.

Student from Reading College presenting their ideas at SETS

Students from Reading College presenting their ideas at SETS


Eastleigh College showcased their use of iPads and help videos students used inside workshop from benches and some seriously big machinery.  Designed and produced by students, these iPads were encased in metal covers and perspex fronts that stood on workbenches or could be secured to lathes….

…Having these iPads to hand in a workshop situation in-situ proved beneficial to both students and staff as you can imagine. Technicians can easily locate demonstration videos to show learners – freeing up time to attend to all the other duties that videos cannot replace.


Kent Community Learning and Skills, a learning provider for Kent County Council presented their Virtual Classrooms using Blackboard Collaborate to deliver ESOL to social workers recruited from other EU countries. These learners required support with understanding English grammar and British slang. Being spread across Kent the virtual classrooms provided an excellent and cost effective learning/teaching tool. Indeed, this was one of our favourite showcases…

…For UCA, this practice would certainly be useful for group tutorials or one-to-one tutorials especially with International students. The spanner in the works is JAVA, a technology Collaborate uses. JAVA updates frequently, but without updating the plugin, Collaborate will not work. The computers at UCA are managed by IT Services and students/staff cannot update the JAVA plugin, as they do not have the admin rights. Therefore practically speaking, if we wanted to use this technology, our IT processes would need to change. Students with their own devices would of course not be affected. I remember at the OU, we also used Collaborate (with Moodle) and part of the orientation process was to get set-up, explore and check everything works before an actual live session so all the potential hiccups were dealt with.


MidKent College presented an extremely smart, user friendly Virtual Coach for use in Medway and Maidstone staff rooms to provide cross-site teacher learning resources, videos, communication and information. Built in HTML and Metro UI CSS, the tiled web resource also included a Skype video calling feature, which allows communicate between both sites by touching the relevant tile. This resource was obviously built around a need and demand premise. It allows virtual communication between 2 campuses and provides a learning platform to boot…

MidKent College presenting their Virtual Tutor at SETS

MidKent College presenting their Virtual Tutor at SETS

…For UCA, I don’t think this model would work so well as very little use is made of staff rooms and a good of majority of academic staff are sessional. Therefore a 24/7 anywhere, anytime web-based resource would work better. However, there are a few lessons to be learnt from the very slick user interface and ease of use MidKent


Hadlow College project focused on the support they given to help learners turn their newly acquired skills into opportunity for self-employment. It is more common for Florists to be self-employed rather than find employment working for others. The Facebook business page is seen as a good and cost effective method of presenting Floristry that helps to attract and retain clients. With a view to helping learners finding or improving self-employment on completing the course, the Floristry teachers decided to make effective Facebook presentation part of the curriculum starting in August last year. Consequently, recognition of this end point of study for many learners required the development of self-promoting technologies to help learners understand, design and prepare for developing a client based of their own…

…For UCA, the approach to use social media for self-promotion is not new. However I was interested in the Facebook business pages Hadlow students were encouraged to create under the guidance of their teachers. The many hurdles of using social media can be addressed at course level so the entrepreneurial efforts of these emerging Florists can bloom and grow into professional and successful businesses…. WELL DONE!


Havant Sixth Form College presented a Web-based system to enhance differentiation in teaching and learning. Used by the Learning Support Department, the system allows academic staff to be informed about each student’s learning needs. Very detailed information is held about the learning ability of each student such as the learning style, working memory, sequencing/processing skills, reading/writing speeds, etc. as well as information about the type of aids/techniques that would help improve learning. The system also contains various reports for the Learning Support Manager so that she can track the administration processes and ensure deadlines are met. The system integrates with the college MIS database and Moodle LMS to provide a subset of data relevant to academic staff…

This screen shows details of the student's Nature of learning difficulty / need along other notes and strategies

This screen shows details of the student’s Nature of learning difficulty / need along other notes and strategies

…This system works rather like Caseworker but is relevant to every student. Built very much around the needs of the College, it certainly impressed the people sitting on our table. Having such a system at UCA would bring great benefits to learning and teaching, meaning we would all be on the same page and no doubt retention figures would improve.


Southampton Solent University showcased their Reading List Project which provides students from foundation level to taught masters with reading lists that link to required readings, fully embedded in their VLE unit pages in the correct referencing style. The software enables the reading list to be linked to the Library catalogue for print materials and ebooks, and hyperlinks to online material such as ejournal articles, digitised chapters, videos and webpages. Lists are easily accessed on and off campus and via mobile devices. The system is very flexible so reading lists can be quickly amended or moved at any time once live. Multiple reading lists can be provided for each unit allowing staff to take different approaches (such as core, general, topic-based and weekly lists). The project, now in its 4th year, is a bespoke open source development integrating Moodle and RefWorks based on the Open University Telstar codebase…

…UCA has some of these elements but more work is needed to unify unit reading and embed this into myUCA. We subscribe to RefWorks but students do not employ it heavily. The work Solent has done gives us plenty to follow up on. Currently, unit reading lists are given within the unit handbook which is a print-based document uploaded to the VLE, having a referenced style hyperlinked reading list embedded within each unit is certainly an aspiration for UCA that’s not too far off from happening.

Communities of Learning

Studying an OU module by nature is situated within a group of learners and tutors which naturally evolves into learning community. The success of such a community is dependant on the group dynamics such as how the forum activities lend themselves to discourse, how the tutor draws out discussion and the ability and confidence learners have to engage with such discourse.

Personally, the benefits if learning within a community is sharing knowledge/experience with fellow learners and making sense of course material, literature and new concepts from shared perspectives. Learning alone would cancel out the shared understanding and reduce the richness of my learning journey significantly. There is also the peer-supporting element of the community, getting help and advice from co-learners helps to build a stronger sense of community and this bonds learner more closely.

The Ludwig-Hardman and Dunlap 2003 model is far too supportive of learners and does not provide the authentic learning environment learners really experience when arriving in a new environment and discovering new forms of communication. I would also argue taking learners along such a supportive route is stifling their own pursuit of experiential learning, as McLoughlin states ‘To foster effective learning, it is important to make sure that the learners are not just exposed to inert facts and information but that that they are afforded an experience that enables them to plan, act and reflect’ (2002pp.157). Doing this within the course environment and at point of need then becomes meaningful and relevant. Salmon also supports this view by stating ‘offering face-to-face sessions to try and instruct new participants in all the features of the platform and then to expect them to be able to take part successfully is not a good idea’ (Salmon 2002 pp. 14).

Having the resources to help students at point of need is a matter the course team should build in (or link to) by default at the start of each online course. The course tutor should ensure such resources are used by students who are less confident, while at the same time allowing the more confident learners to help with this support. Thus, such a model helps to support the notion of community and learning happens in a far more evolving manner.

Durham Blackboard Users Conference 2014 – my highlights

Conference Theme: personalised learning

90% MOOCS are didactic – why bother!
The opening keynote by Professor Patrick Carmichael challenged the use of video being inappropriately used in 90% of MOOCS saying this practice amounted to a didactic learning model devoid of any real and meaningful pedagogy… No lecture notes, discussion, context and meaningful conversation – just a one-way dialogue which could be better served at TED or Khan. He argued for video to be embedded within a pedagogic context involving critical discussion and reflective activity that took learning to a deeper level. He showcased a video/discussion type software he co-developed which evolved from his Ensemble project which focuses on Semantic Technologies for the Enhancement of Case Based Learning.

UCA could create a similar model by using embedded video (eStream, Vimeo, YouTube etc) into a discussion tool or wiki even, this would then allow for associated learning materials and dialogue to take place.

Using eStream to help assess video work
Chris Boon from City College Norwich presented work around handling large video files for assessment. His students are uploading their video course work to defined categories within eStream and then using the mashup tool within blackboard assignment to submit their work for assessment. By using eStream, the videos ‘stream’ as opposed to slow clunky downloads, they are able to be presented within context and the tutor is able to view/feedback on the same page. The uploaded video in eStream are made private to the student and thereby only accessed/embedded by that student.

Chris also spoke about the pedagogic role video assignments have at City, whereby video production and role play are offered as alternatives to written assignments. The example given involved a group activity (3 per group) tasked with creating a video production relating to a work-based scenario (around child care), with each person acting out a particular role. Tutor feedback stated the collaborative activity greatly enriched learning outcomes from a shared perspective and greatly improved students confidence.

Currently at UCA, videos are either uploaded to the Blackboard assignment or linked/embedded from Vimeo/YouTube. Having the video hosted externally brings it’s own set of problems such as students developing the work remotely after the hand-in date, copyright and IP issues. So using eStream to assess video work at UCA is definitely worth investigating.

Derby’s VLE’s Threshold Standards and Staff Digital Literacy
Sarah Horrigan and Laura Hollinshead from Derby university presented their work on how they developed their own TEL benchmarking matrix to evaluate how well staff use the university’s VLE. This slightly differs from the annual learning technology audit we run at UCA which measures engagement with elearning by the level of activity found. Interestingly, they audit the VLE from a ‘student perspective’ by turning the edit mode off. Certain elements from this practice would be good to employ at UCA in terms of measuring staff digital literacy – perhaps employ students to define what constitutes a good course area which would then help determine the UCA’s threshold standards (formally known as minimum requirements).

The closing keynote by Robin Goodfellow spoke about how statistical data can (but often can’t) measure student learning. He has concerns technology can be used too elaborately trying to do too much and overly complicate systems. He gave the former MyStuff portfolio system (operating circa 2008 at the OU) as being a classic model of a system trying to do too many processes which results in an overly complex tool turning students off. Ironically, I was one of those students studying for a MAODE and having to use such a system only encouraged me to find my own Portfolio tool (Google Docs) which was a very good thing, as I am a firm believer in student ownership which converts to student empowerment. Here’s a grab of MyStuff in all it’s glory.

H808-compilation-screendump

Finally, I should also mention my own presentation which showcased how the logistical attributes of UCA (University for the Creative Arts) has shaped the growth and management of learning technology with respect to Blackboard the university’s VLE and making learning material available via course templates and module pages.