Rosie Miles, E-Mentor

Ms E-Mentor, Rosie Miles, came to talk to us at the University of Winchester for a couple of hours. Really interesting (and I like their VLE more than ours, but shhhh, don’t tell anyone!)

Notes taken on my iPhone

  • Supporting elearning. Ms E-Mentor – follow e-learning through courses.
  • Wolf is Wolverhampton’s VLE
  • Blended – integration, developing online. Exercises 3/4 weeks, questionnaire after then integrate more coherently.
  • V 1st session, integrate how the online works – black, info, pink – exercises. Start in the classroom. Move onto online, including threaded forums. Each session online is timebound. Critical mass – means knows others will be in there. (web transformed the visual)… Ask students to find & share.
  • Compulsory/assessed. Collaboration, interaction & discussion – all part of it. Discussion only possible online.. Couldn’t have done visual exercises without the web. Some of it is v conventional.
  • Forums – lots to say – those who leave it late – it’s their choice. Get less feedback & mark reflects lack of timeliness.
  • Online roleplay – enter the debate as a character. Only 1 person can be each character. Students have great fun with this… Tutor interacts without killing the discussion.. Eg As Dickens. Had already done a lot of character work. Serious play.
  • Assessment
  • 7 exercises over time, lots of forum posts marked. Welcome folder sets out criteria clearly. Extensions of the sessions in seminars. Ensures better engagement – improvement over writing 2 x essays. Threshold participation 5/7 = D. Then qualitative. Emphasise marked individually but marked on interaction also. Clear criteria A-D. Pushing discussion? Engaging the readings? This element 40%. Other 60% long essay.
  • Find topics they love engaging with … E.g Dickens, Dracula. Offer guidance as to how to find material etc. – encourage good Study skills. Put the first post on to establish in the right place & encourage the start. Imgs for fun. Sometimes students add another dimension – e.g My Opinion which others may pick up on.
  • Forums related to assignment – but also a general forum – get student involvement – they name it. Vote in class. Feel ownership & participation – sometimes it doesn’t work – voluntary. Have notifications. Students can set up. Tutor picks & emails if urgent or encourages them to look on the social forum. If it’s not illegal or offensive it’s OK. Weblinks not just a repository.
  • QUESTIONS
  • End of year – every course archived but no one new could see it. Students like to see & engage!?
  • Time spent engaging & marking? Can sort forum by author – both initial posts & replies. Skim read each and get a sense of the level – as you would with a series of essays. 2.5 days to mark 30+ over 7 forums. Less feedback as not writing on this. (what about forum/cut & paste/ commenting – added too much time). Short form – no sessions, narrative para feedback & a mark.
  • 15 credit system – students – 4 per semester. Ft 7-8 over year.
  • Sold soul for dissemination? Will it save time? NO – little buy in. Initial investment time in new teaching materials – now bank of materials to reuse. What expectations so you set up with the students? Eg NOT interacting with all posts.. Or should it be none? Try not to look like aren’t picking same students every time. Late submitters / yes – often bad essay marks. Occasionally find those who struggle to write essays enjoy online – but exception rather than rule.
  • Questionnaire – some indicate they see it helping to give them context. Grading criteria – base line & how can improve rather than how can lose marks.
  • Inbuilt reluctance to change set texts etc because have invested so much in initial preparation. Computer aided questions / more intensive than these. Here – tweak – and the format works & apply similar exercises.
  • UoW: Am Studies – allow 12 weeks to write on Blogger – how express in marking criteria if they write it all in last couple weeks.
  • Some think forums – unaccessible. Assessed 100% participation.. Otherwise not get engagement. Variation in assessment – validation. Shy of speaking. Lots of literture on the shy student. Reflective learners don’t talk out but go away & think. Emphasise the process.

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