digital literacy

migrating storks02

2010  Otago Polytechnic teaching staff are enmasse facing the prospect  migrating their online teaching from a proprietry Blackboard to an open learning management system Moodle.

As   there could be at least 3 possible optional pathways this which throws up a number of technical and communication issues and  an opportunity to explore these 3  options:


1. The first option would be simply to obey the directive and to bulk transfer existing educational course content from Blackboard to Moodle. This may be the only option for teachers with privacy issues i.e. Otago Polytechnic Intellectual Property policy is to copyright with a creative commons licence (attribution 3.0 which is the @ Otago Polytechnic by default)

2. Alternatively a 2nd option would be to upload content suitable for publication on the websites such as tekotago., Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikiversity or Wikieducator, Survey Monkey, Blogger, Google Docs, GoogleMaps, etc. Then provide links to theirs and others Open Educational Resources in their Moodle by simple links and embed codes. This would however require restricting course materials and licencing these as creative commons CCBy.

3. A 3rd option would be to upload the content to the web (as in 2 above) but run the course on the web (bypassing Blackboard and Moodle Learning Management Systems). Already this is the case for staff using social networking platforms to facilitate and collaborate across social networks; who understand creative commons copyright licencing CCBY;  can author, edit and publish educational content. Teachers and general staff need to consult and debate all these options with those who have taken up these practices. Those staff who have the departmental resourcing and support will also take this opportunity to review content; the way teach or facilitate online courses and find more up to date materials.

In the following posts, taking one scenario at a time I will review and analyse the skill set and begin by breaking  up the tasks into steps. Directing staff to a bunch of (agreed upon?!) tools and services that suit the needs of their programme with ongoing technical support to teaching and administration staff to make migration from Blackboard to Moodle presents a labrynth of possibilities for a small college.

audio Image Text

Eyes wide open

Paying homage to a spidery web on a dewey morning. Heralds the laborious nature of spinning a web and  the refreshing of day and night. New beginnings for this week and for this year.

Project publish OER from a Otago Polytechnic account.

I want to outline scenarios and recommend software tools. this is taking some time as my  selection and evaluation are very important. I plan to produce some video in the process.

Learning about file exporting from camtasia studio and windows movie make, file formats and file conversion.

Next delivery modes.

the fundamental principles of on-line resources are embedding slowley although at times it feels as if objectives keep changing.

The Proposed Budget for digital audio course

Staff time administration and funding application and research and project development

Include training needs of staff and participants

List of potential funding agents

New Zealand

Ako Aotearoa prioriries for 2008

  • Assessment and moderation
  • Contribution to Mātauranga Māori and meeting the needs of Māori learners
  • Learner engagement and learner outcomes
  • Learning pathways
  • Strategic professional development initiatives
  • Workplace learning

National Project Fund

Collaboration projects will support collaborative initiatives such as the fostering of communities of practice on the Ako Aotearoa website or provide seed funding for new or emerging inter/national collaborative groups to explore common interests. The level of funding available for each collaborative project is approximately $10k-$30k.

eLearning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF)

Innovation Development Fund (IDF)

TEO Component Funding – encouraging and supporting innovation is administered by the Tertiary Education Commission.


The Flexible Learning Framework

Time line for development:

Research and Development:

Project Scoping:

Funding: Apply for seeding funding from Ako Aotearoa

Staff training: technical support

Methods to gather feedback

  1. Invite colleagues who may be interested in your plan;
  2. Notify others about the link to your presentation on your blog – unless you have negotiated other arrangements;
  3. Gather feedback via:
  • a face-to-face meeting;
  • discussion and consultation with course facilitators and or colleagues.

plastic air nz souvenir tiki

Issues with flexible learning – access, equity; Because Many aspects of a persons opinion are culturally determined- there will always be cultural differences in most groups and it is fear of difference (ignorance) that instills prejudices and hewn into racism, classism, sexism, ageism etc. Thinking about otherness in terms of us and them is downright barbaric.

Eluminate session contained a practical suggestion by Kate Timms to learn more about what there are in the way of cultural differences between people. This approach would be applicable to most course designs. One of the ways she employs to engender cultural understanding during the Treaty of Waitangi workshops, is to break group into one on one. By generating discussion in pairs there is more opportunity to spontaneously encounter in anothers culture get to know a little of what if any are their differences and similarities. This mode of inviting participants to learn on the one hand about their own cultural influences whilst simultaneously gaining mutual respect for difference is more likely to lead into mutual respect and understanding.

Flexible planning should endeavor to provide opportunities that are inclusive of diversity particularly any evidence of prior learning and goal setting, working formally or informally, independantly or collaboratively. Different ways could include designing ways to map cultural diversity with cultural congruence between students and students . . .students and teachers. . . . Flexiblity could extend to collecting evidence via student evaluation and including evaluation of course assessment, as discussed in a previous post for both learner profiles and in order to determine the future shape the content and the delivery.

“the key idea of flexibility is learner choice in different aspects of the learning experience.” So a component of my practice of Flexible design for music learning could be an incremental continuous movement over reviewing and reshaping the content etc. away from key decisions by the instructor and institution about a range learning dimensions (which were made in advance in order to design a course) towards student choice and student contribution to specify content to course providers.

It could be that and more in a music course, the cultural content, and cultural context of learning design assumes that formal instruction of one convention is based in an elitest cultural group, ie western classical music tradition. Formally this classical genre priviledges a minority of professional musicians by subsidising “certainly very little of this support is offered to the vernacular artist who generally has to endure the full rigors of the economic climate.” ( Working for the government?)

Small, Christopher, 1987. Music of the Common Tongue, Survival and Celebration in Afro-American music. Calder, London.

Now for something I got off of the list of extra resources of some footage from an Aussie mockumentary

Been to the wiki course outline week 9 link of Samuel Manns eluminate presentation -today that is. Out of this presentation and discussion sustainability is going to take participation. Are we including manageability of workloads, mandatory professional development, workbased upskilling one example comes to mind is information technology nouse and digital information literacy?!

Some feedback about the DFLP08 eluminate session with Sam Mann for a sustainablity tick that is. My observation was that going on the level eluminate participation (partly due to small group of three) meant the Eluminate software which has a clunky single directional audio connectivity could be re-envisaged resemble face-to-face discussion that would enable more participation

The key requirement contained in Otago Polytechnic’s sustainable strategy introduced in 2006 welcoming measures…that every graduate may think and act as a “sustainable practitioner”. Departmental heads identify and factor in sustainable measures triple bottom lines for teaching and learning in their faculty.

1. What does it mean to be a sustainable practitioner in your field? (and what progress are you making towards this)

2. How is this understanding being reflected in your programmes (Graduate profiles, learning outcomes etc)

3. Evidence of how this is making a difference in teaching and learning.

Social, ecological and economic sustainability.

Higher-education learner profiles, including online, information-age, and adult learners, are changing in ways that are self perpetuating but not always socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. I want to note some of these trends and refer back to these to scope and shape my course re its flexiblity and design. The focus on the positives and negatives in some of the 32 trends affecting distance education outlined in An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning (Howell, S. L., Williams, P. B., & Lindsay, N 2003)

Is it Ethical to confine this to bottom line analysis. What could follow

Ecological Sustainability

In terms of ecology, having been overlooked when we are considering our ecological impact of educational design on our environment, (including resources used and levels of toxic non-biodegradable waste products). Where our lines are being drawn today frames our projections and determines our genuine strategic goals and the outcome. Being on the back foot is our legacy. What if was to remain a habitual stance, inform our thinking it will follow that this will in time polarise those involved in collaborative innovative solutions. How do we envisage scope our projected goals today for future options when at the present time the bottom line for ecological sustainablity is a paper recycling policy in the corner of offices at Otago Polytechnic. A bottom line by definition is unsustainable so first things first. Bottom lines necessitate action, imply having no other option. There is no question in my mind -these actions should be priortised, however at the same time it is also important to distinguish these as remedial and plan at the same time in a proactive way to ensure there will be sustainable times ahead when there will be room to choose. This is the challenge.

In terms of flexible learning and its social sustainability we might consider issues relating to access and equity, cultural diversity, and research and education.

1. Social access and equity, cultural diversity, and research and education
Information-age learners who tend to be practical problem solvers, trial-and-error to logic, so prioritise doing over knowing. By needing to know the rationale for what they are learning, given the right conditions and support therefore more likely to become in favourable self-directed, and goal- and relevancy-oriented. Modern literacy includes not only text but also image and screen literacy, publishing work in type not handwriting, multimedia.—it involves navigating and critical evaluation of information and reassembling knowledge from disparate fragments

2. Multitasking is a way of life for information age learners, not only are they are motivated by professional advancement, external expectations, the need to better serve others, social relationships, escape or stimulation, and pure interest in the subject. Their demands include time and scheduling, money, and long-term commitment constraints.

3. Higher education out-sourcing and partnerships are increasing the need for faculty development, support, and training is growing. An EDUCAUSE publication (2002) cites Green’s survey of the role of computing and information technology in U.S. higher education, chief academic and information technology officials rated “helping faculty integrate technology into their instruction” the single most important IT issue confronting their campuses over the next two or three years.

4. Some faculty members are resisting technological course delivery. As long as distance education contributions are not considered in tenure and promotion decisions, and as long as professors have their own, traditional ways of delivering their courses, many faculty members will be reluctant to participate in online courses (Oravec, 2003).

In terms of economic sustainability we might consider our finance and accounting structures, our work loads, and cost benefits. It is an extensive and complex consideration with increasing levels of importance today

1. While their life experiences make them autonomous, staying connected is essential, and there is zero tolerance for delays. (Oblinger et al., 2001; Jones & Pritchard, 2000) Education is adopting the characteristic status of a commodity, making consumers of students and putting them in a position to shop around for the best deal (Johnstone et al., 2002; Pond, 2003; West, 1999; Dubois, 1996).

2. In the role of consumers, students do tend to feel insecure about their ability to succeed in distance learning, find instruction that matches their learning style, and have sufficient instructor contact, support services, and technology training (Dortch, 2003; Diaz, 2002; Dubois, 1996). to be able to meet the challenges in self-organized distributed learning networks for lifelong learning

3. Traditional faculty roles are shifting or “unbundling”- disaggregating faculty instructional activities and reassigning or contracting out these pedagogic bundles.

The infrastructure of advancement in digital technologies means computers double in speed decrease in cost, and high-speed network connections which also help enrich access and transfer of information, enabling collaboration via distance media and provide many benefits of networking over the face-to-face instruction.

Our huge issue of sustainability today is a humungous issue tomorrow going by ecological, economic and social trends, an extensive and complex serial variation of literacies and digital information technologies. With networking and collaborating via digital software and information sharing tools comes describing, modelling, defining and creating 2nd life, thus we can learn about the global scale of position we are in, we can inform others …. which in itself is not enough to turn things around and shift our intervention beyond the bottom line. The challenge as I see it is another catch cry -to turn adversity into advantage.

in hindsight

An innovative proposition on collaborative teaching design with so much potential. Whats happened to flexible learning design re-volution and these authors, their peers and those implementations of flexible learning design … ? in the intervening years

What we now know that they couldn’t know back then -The failure of e-learning to deliver equal access and learner centered designs. – who wants what ? …. (Collis and Moonen, 2001, p 10)

Why should we now use a learner centred design is a central question in article on application in Journal of knowledge and E-learning and Knowledge Society . These other authors , (Maria Pertonilla Penna et al 2007) are arguing the design of an e-learning interface, while it is one solution to spatial and temporal constraints, falls short of enabling more students to learn more effectively than in traditional environments. Learner centred design requires adapting the design to suit the individual learner.

This can be exhaustive, as you can imagine, and include both the environment around the work station and the day to day pressures personal preferences, learner styles and self and peer motivation to engage in the interface of online learning. Learner profile can include educational background; academic/ conceptual/cognitive/ profile, our experience base, attitudes both toward application of both the technology and attitudes to content, our expectations, our thinking and cultural socioeconomic stereotypes. That is even before determining literacy, numeracy needs, digital information literacy, technical skills and and last but not least our cultural influences. Such things, interrogated as learner centred design, provides evidence that the design promotes accurate assessment and the student outcomes are fair! Social justice issues are explicit throughout this list: people of all ages and ethnicities with literacy, numeracy needs are failing to step up to the digital information literacy plate to access educational opportunities.

Taking learner profiles to heart is a big ask. Logisitically speaking how realistic is the task to adapt learner centred profiles to course content and blended delivery … seems this could account for just how slow tertiary teachers seem to be to implement learner centred designs.

Today application of network learning across the www needs revisit the basic literacy and numeracy issues via educational planning, their software, hardware interface, web digital publication, syndicated reading services, social networks, multimdedia course design, open course delivery platforms net and the amassing of (open and electronic) access to survey evidence of the application online-learning.

For teaching professionals it could be beneficial to collaborate with the programme designers and to trial information technology design critically evaluating integration of literacy and numeracy needs. Professionally it could be disingenuous not to measure outcomes for students with literacy and numeracy needs; where we are not interrogating these mechanisms of social engineering across the internet we’re maintaining that the right to education is only for some.

What do we now know that they couldn’t know back then –so that’s it… the benefits of hindsight is really where learning begins (and ends). Every day can begin with evaluation, reflection and collaboration.


Every attempt I have made to compose a comment to leave on a weblog has expanded my consciousness and mushroomed into something bigger than I could have anticipated. Although there will always be the tension involved in divvying up ones course work time been individual interests and collective interests, peer to peer networks are one great resource. I would claim I am one of those …”students who are helping to build a professional network”, however many of my comments to DFLP blogs and others for that matter beyond never arrived. This, due to the course workload digital literacy technical issues, were either lost enroute wordverificationnavigationloopsusernamepasswordID, social fears of demonstrating my lack of mastery of these tools not to mention unfamiliarity with the course content and the particular subject at hand. …. I would be the first to admit it; there are such tangible benefits from commenting (insight derived from the becoming a collective member collaborating in a consciousness raising exercise) and the valuable questions that arrise some of which I should simply just answer in my head, and others which I will continue to interrogate, investigate and will inform my blogs about my teaching design. Considering that when I go through the motions of writing, don’t post it immediately and then and don’t come back to it, I am either giving in to my fears- or procrastination. Or trying to make more than one (?) comment …

Granted that any interactive features of the course design bring a bunch of unknowns such as commenting on course blogs has proved, can you then have prescriptive teaching gulidelines that assess a range of quality learning experiences and so include collaboration? My concern is where to be flexible and where not to be considering the amount that is unknown (include RPL in there) during the planning stages of a flexible e-learning course. Revisiting Athena’s post about reconnecting with consciousness and  with a reference to a short quote from the (Ellis, Applebee,2006) scrolls

“It (blended teaching) means getting them to do some sort of valuable learning activities without me being there in the room with them.”

Take the digital literacy across a social network environment required for participating in a DFLP blended course design. despited being valuable learning activities, can account for different levels of participation. The digital skills required to interact with peers and facilitators, keep up to date with prescriptive assignment guidelines, publish weekly in blogs and collaborate via comments, when these are also the documentaion for assessment schedules, does suggest a teachers’ still in the room with us!

Next Page »