In this post I’m going to review my first Seminar held at the university to share my experiences with you and get some Feedback for improvement. I will seperate this review into the following parts:
- Description of the Seminar (Intention, Participants, Goals)
- Approach (Schedule, Tools, …)
- Description of the Seminar (Intention, Participants, Objectives)
- Approach (Schedule, Tools, …)
The Seminar was held at the University of Hamburg during Summersemester 2008. It was intended to be a Seminar for Students of Educational Science from Hamburg and for Students who are in the international MA Programme ePedagogy Design – Visual Knowledge Building located at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki – it’s Students are spread around the whole Globe like in Wey’s Seminar.
Thats why the Seminar was held in english Language and was originally structured in a way that it would be possible to participate with just an internet connection.
After two Seminar Sessions it appears that there where only Students located in Hamburg within this course. Thats why I changed my mind and changed some Sessions from virtual to physical where the students can meet physically in a Seminarroom.
The Aim of this Seminar was that Students know about different forms of eLearning and the advantages and disadvantages of different eLearning types, Plattforms and relations to different Learning types.. Also Students expectations from the seminar should be respected. One of the things the students requested was that they wanted to learn more about the tools which could be used for eLearning or at least to support eLearning.
Two ways where offered to receive credits during this seminar. First Oppurtunity was to create a small eLearning -Object or a “Multi-Media Snippet” where you can learn something and write a Essay about it. The other Option was to write a Portfolio using Blogs. All students decided to write a Blog during this Seminar.
The Schedule for this Seminar consits of 14 Sessions. The fist session should help the Students and me to get to know each other a little bit more and to figure out what previous knowledge the students had already.
One of the biggest challenges during the seminar might have been to try to define what eLearning is or at least which existing definitions describes it best.
With the help of images we created Groups for a coming up project work. Within this project work small groups where asked to create small eLearning modules to describe typical eLearning Terms, such as LCMS, PLE, … . We spent a lot of time for the Project work because every group needed time should have enough time to explore the own topic, crate a way to present the content/topic and do the presentation for the group and have a chat with the whole group on how they produced it and what they discovered during this process.
One of the results I really like is a Video about what a PLE is produced by Martina and Daniel.
I wanted the students to reflect about how and/or where they’re leaning or doing eLearning thats why we had a session about the personal learning arrangements.
We had one Session which was completely online but synchronus. We used Skype TM and Adobe® Connect TM to get together.
Further on we had a On- and Offline Session about learning Theories. The students collected Information about different learning theories in the Wiki and gave short introductions within a presentation. In order to support these Presentation they tried to visualize the learning theories.
Beside Behaviourism, Cognitivism and Constructivism we also talked about connectivism.
Below you can see the technical infrastructure of the seminar. The arrows show some of the main communication ways using all the tools. As I said above all Students decided to use a Blog to do their ePortfolio. So I aggregated their Posts with the help of RSS into the Seminar Weblog and added Links to the students Blogs. By doing this every Student had her/his own Plattform to collect own Ideas, Resources and Media and additionally we had a common Blog which had all the Students Posts and the general Course information.
Using a Weblog as a centralized Platform, in my eyes was a good decision. It supports a time based structure, just like the seminar has on one hand a time based structure. Tags and Categories offered a way to organize the content in a way that fits into the content related structure. Definitions and other general Information was stored in the wiki, ususally after having a broader collection in all the blogs. We used the Wiki also for collaberative writing what was pretty succesful. To achieve these goals we spend a lot of time for technical questions to get familiar with Blogs, Wikis and al the other tools. I knew these tools before and worked with them and I think this is an important point. A Seminar is not the right place to try tools if they are the main infrastructure in your seminarconcept.
Beside having theoretical
Input research during the course the we had a lot of Learning by doing and Lyearning by teaching.
One good example is the Video about PLE’s I mentioned above. The students learned how difficult and time-consuming it can be to create a short video film. I mean not only technically but creating a short storybook for en educational video and discover it contents is one part and the other one is to create the video, dealing with different licenses because of copyright and creative commons, get it online or make it available in other ways. After that process sharing these experiences with the other seminarparticipants was quite a big job.
In this point I’d like to collect some things I figured out during the Course and/or like to keep in mind when having the next seminars.
- Working with students is a big joy!
somea lot of time to check that technical things work.
- Students like to have they’r own space in the seminar -On- and Offline.
- Care about (Students) privacy!
- Choose only technical tools if they really support your goals!
- Don’t forget about the content.
- Try things, be brave but don’t bring your seminar into danger!
- The teacher or should I say the one who is responsible for the seminar should have a good knowledge about the tools you want to work with.
- Be creative!
- Ask for and give a lot of Feedback.
- Elate your course to work collaborative and share a lot of their information (seems that usually students think it is not ok to share information that much or work together on the same topic).
I am very interested in additions and other comments in any way.