Thursday, 17 July 2008

Evaluation of the course

I'm a lazy blogger, and I don't think I will be the type of person that use this tool too often. A pitty realy, because I do believe in writing to sort out ideas and to reflect on what has been done.
It's a paradox that I stress reflection as important for learning with my students, but do not manage to do this as often as I should myself. Well life and doctrine does not always come together.

Now I've had 4 weeks of holiday and think it's time to do some reflections on how the e-pedagogy course has been going.

It seems to be a long time since the students were in Bergen on the Campus week. I think the weekend we had at Skjerjehamn was important for making a good group. Even though Jochen was not partisipating in that seminar, I think he very quickly came into the group in a good way when we started the course Monday the 5 May. Even though the group of students (it's strange to call this group students since they are teachers and colleagues from different countries) seemed to learn a lot from this first week in Bergen. We were lucky with the weather and Bergen really showed herself from the best side (even the guests complained that they did not have any rain!).
Still I think many things could be changed and has to be changed before next time. First of all I think that we wanted too much. It's always a problem when constructing the e-learning courses to calculate how much work and time everything takes. During the Campus week - from my point of view - we need to improve the lectures we presented. It's difficult to know how to prepare good lectures, when you do not know the knowledge base of your students. This time we experienced difference in the knowledge about basic pedagogical theories which we had taken for granted that people knew. To improve the course we should make a screen lecture on the pedagogical theory we are using and let students see this during the first two weeks before the Campus starts.
To have in mind that teachers like to speak themselves is also important, and an improvement for the Campus week will be to work more process oriented and grouporiented with tasks. It is important to activate and use the knowledge and experience that is in the student group.
The group task where we used different triggers seemed to work well and made a good change in the programme. It is important next time to give more time for reflection and feedback after the group work - and to link the task to theoretical aspects and their own construction of e-learning courses. The task were the students were asked to give a transparent feedback to papers written by other students were also a very good exercise and showed that this is a good way to start discussions about how to give feedback and what is criteria for good feedback. Also when we worked on this task we might have used more time when summing up the experience.

The literature presented for the course/curriculum can be improved, and some good ideas from the students - especially Vivienne should be considered to take into the course next time.

From the report students gave after the week in Bergen, most of them returned to a very busy periode with work at their institution and many had difficulties with keeping up witht he course schedule in they way they had intended to do. By prolonging the course periode till 15 August we hope all the students will manage to fulfil their plan.

This is not an easy course. It is however a course which is based on the idea of giving meaningful learning - where the students can learn by developing their own e-learning module which should be used for students later.
I'm very curious to see how the students evaluate this course in the end.
Yesterday I started to construct the survey for an end evaluation. It will be interesting to see the results of this and also to see the construction of the e-learning courses they develop. There is a lot of interesting subjects related to different aspects of social work. I hope that we in future can see these courses part of the package of optional e-learning courses that can be offered as part of the VIRCLASS studies.

When constructing this e-ped course we wanted to give students knowledge and skills in using different tools for e-learning. Both being able to use standard LMS, but also to know how to use blog and the different Google tools. It will be interesting to see how the students will evaluate this in the end. As teacher in this course I think that this sometimes has resulted in confusion - especially how and where to find the students tasks (this can be improved with better instructions). I find the reflections students have made in their blog very interesting to read and I think that the way we "forced" them to reflect during the Campus week was a good thing. However not all students have managed to continue to use the blog for reflection as often as expected later. I'm impressed though about the creativity many of them shows and how they use Youtube vidoes in their presentations.

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