Transferring practice to alternative contexts

The other concern about ‘transferring practice to alternative contexts’ has arisen in connection with staff asking about the ‘online delivery of lectures’. It looks like institutionally there will be some support for Adobe Connect but whether staff are in a position to use it effectively will depend on a range of external factors. I’m preparing for a couple of PD events on the PowerPoint->Presenter->Connect equation and again, it raises a number of interesting issues.

Why! The educational developers favourite question (were we all those kids at the pool and in the supermarket queue going’but whhyyyyyy’ to parents great irritation?)  Why do you want to ‘deliver the lecture’ online. Why is it a lecture? Why is the student going to benefit from this mode of delivery. I’m looking at some interesting uses of PowerPoint/Presenter as stand alone resources which might be seen as multi-modal workbooks, animated, engaging

objects which stand-alone for the student. These might then indeed have some kind of facilitated discourse around them, and that may well happen inside Connect so the presentation (or an alternative version of it) might be shared and annotated, referenced and so on. I am struggling with the concept that the online synchronous ‘presentation’ is an effective use of the student, or lecturers, time. Why (there’s that word again!) would one take the time to present. Maybe it relates in part to the fact that in our face-to-face practice we can ‘half-prepare’ the representation because we often ‘busk’ around the edges. If we want to create a genuinely usefully internally scaffolded and referenced presentation… well that takes real work.

Do most academic staff consider these issues of internal structure to their content? Or are they so used to deal with a linear information exchange model that they just don’t think about it. Who can blame them? How do we change that. How do we move from the ‘Sage on the Stage’ approach to the ‘content author/facilitator’ model on an institutional basis.

Simon Atkinson (the old Open University mug!)
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One Response to Transferring practice to alternative contexts

  1. Nick says:

    In another university, far, far away, we had a very practical application for e-learning last week – a series of timetable clashes!

    For reasons too complex to outline here, a group of students found themselves obliged to attend sets of simultaneous lectures, and the only option was to prepare and present one set online – I had not managed to drum up any interest in online learning before, but the impetus of the necessary discussions around this very practical problem, has led to a sudden enthusiasm for podcasts, iTunes-U, etc.

    Asynchronous, if you like, but perhaps a good illustration of what drives the progress and process…

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