(Learning Log for OLDS MOOC Week 7)
I’ve just spent a couple of hours looking through all the resources on Cloudworks about evaluating learning design and found it all quite frustrating.
The first thing that frustrated me was the number of times I clicked into Clouds to discover they were empty. I realise that they have been set up in the expectation that people will fill them with things, but it has resulted in a huge number of hyperlinks and wasted effort on my part. When you’re busy, it’s just irksome.
The other thing I found frustrating was that there is a lot of information about how to evaluate, about the theory behind it and about how to construct an evaluation method, but what I want is a tried and tested evaluation method to use – not to make. It is all very interesting if evaluation is the thing you’re interested in, but not so much if you’re only interested in getting a job done. Sure, I could design my own evaluation method but I think someone far more knowledgeable than I must have done so already. There should be something that I can pick up and use. I don’t mind providing feedback and helping to improve it, but I doubt that my reinvention of the wheel will turn any more smoothly than previous versions.
Maybe, every situation, every course needs its own evaluation method and tools but I doubt it. I can only assume that where I am thinking of online courses as the product of learning design, others are thinking of smaller units which may not need the whole bag of tools.
Anyway, this gives the impression I didn’t find anything I could use which isn’t true. I explored the Cloudscape called Evaluation Toolbox, looked in all the clouds and then discovered that the Cloudscape was in a Cloudstream which itself contained a cloud called FevaTools -Formative Evaluation Tools for Online Course Design. (I’m slowly getting the hang of this Cloudworks though am not sure I’d want to explain it to someone else).
In this cloud was a link to a website called fevertools at San Diego State University. “Welcome to fevatools! This is your one-stop portal to find out everything you want to know about formative evaluation tools to help you gauge the success of your courses, especially hybrid and fully online courses.”
Sounds too good to be true and a little ‘un-academic’ but I may explore this further since it supplies tools to evaluate different aspects of a course and also different tools for each aspect. I have an online Psychology module I need to look at this week and that can be my guinea pig. But that’s enough for today and the evaluation can be done on Thursday as tomorrow needs to be spent thinking and talking about electronic submission, marking and feedback.
The Convergence Session Today.
I attended the convergence session today – Google Hangout streamed to youtube with questions from non-hangout people (myself included) via twitter. A few things interested me –
1. when running an online course outside a VLE and on multiple systems it is difficult (impossible) to collect data on user participation and hence it is difficult to evaluate the course design properly and difficult to identify ‘at risk’ students and help them.
2. When you run a course with different tutors each week they do not experience the course fatigue that students do who are on the course every week.
3. Someone said on twitter that they planned to do this OLDSMOOC course again. I hadn’t even considered that but it got me thinking that I might just do so (if they let me!). Now I understand the theory I am more ready to put it into practice and if I did it again I might try to assemble a team at my university to work on a real project. (Or would this fail because they would be on their first attempt?). Anyway, something to think about.
4. Davinia Hernández-Leo from Universitat Pompeu Fabra spoke about LdShake which is a social platform that allows teachers to share resources. I will be interested to see whether this gets used outside the geographical area in which these teachers work. if I had time I’d explore LdShake, though in reality I know I won’t ever have time 😦