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  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Beyond learning outcomes October 31, 2018 - 1:28pm
    This is a slide deck for a talk I'm giving today, at a faculty workshop, on the subject of learning outcomes. I think that well-considered learning outcomes can be really helpful when planning and designing learning activities, especially where...
    Comments
    • Jon,

      I really enjoyed reviewing the slide deck. If you have any audio, it would be great to be able to hear the presentation itself.

      I was unaware of Outcome Mapping or Outcome Harvesting, so I look forward to learning more about them.

      Particularly intriguing to me is how much tunnel vision gets added by not looking at all learning outcomes. So, thanks for that.

      Gerald Ardito November 2, 2018 - 11:59am

    • Thanks Gerald!

      Yes, I had an 'aha' moment when I drew the Venn diagram and mapped it to intended outcomes. I've said as much in so many words many times before but, seeing it laid out in front of me, it just seemed so obvious that the only thing we should ever assess is (in positive terms) what a student has learned. It's good news if that happens to overlap with what we are trying to teach and what we are trying to assess, but that's not the main point. Another nice thing about thinking this way is that, if a student achieves outcomes that we did not intend, but that happen to overlap with something else we assess (e.g. a different course) it can be used as evidence towards that, too. This does mean that we need to have a pretty fair idea of our intended outcomes across the whole institution (or at least a whole program), and thus will run into the many problems of misusing learning outcomes as currency/bureaucratic measurement tools, but it might be a way to sell the idea to those in charge.

      Alas, no audio or recording of any kind.

      I came across the concept of outcome mapping/harvesting at the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows conference earlier this year and it resonated with many of the things I have been grappling with over recent years. The details are fairly mundane and obvious - it's a project management tool for dealing with complex projects and emergent/unanticipated/fuzzy outcomes, but the general principle of identifying change (any change) as an outcome, and working back from that to discover what led to it makes an awful lot of sense to me in a learning context. The act of mapping itself is a highly reflective and potentially very effective pedagogical process in its own right, so it's a good idea even if bureaucracy prevents you from actually using those outcomes in summative assessment. If the powers that be prevent you from adding new outcomes (or from removing those that are pre-ordained) you can always add an outcome along the lines of 'be a reflective practitioner' or 'demonstrate the ability to be a lifelong learner' or 'critically evaluate their learning in the field' to the specified outcomes, but I think it is way more useful if we are allowed to be flexible in specifying criteria for success on a per-student basis.  

      Jon

      Jon Dron November 2, 2018 - 2:32pm

    • Jon,

      In a chunk of time full of synchronicity, I have been wondering about the same things. 

      I have been working with my teacher candidates in designing curriculum, specifically units of study and lesson plans for elementary school students. They are good students and very committed to being good teachers, but all of there work amounted to an addition problem = fact 1 + fact 2 + fact 3 = learning. You can imagine that the assessments they designed were very traditional and linear as well.

      I have been working with them pretty intensely around seeing that their job is to create learners and people in love iwth learning, not pushing content. I want to investigate outcome mapping and outcome harvesting further as tools that they could be possibly using to change their thinking and practice.

      Gerald Ardito November 7, 2018 - 7:10am

  • This is a new article from me about smartness in learning environments. The originally submitted title was 'stupid learning environments' but the reviewers rightly felt that this didn't accurately reflect the main points of the article. It's worth...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Laziness Does Not Exist October 20, 2018 - 6:32pm
    @Steve - at a quick glance I don't quite see how, though it certainly adds expanatory richness, and I'm intrigued by the formula and the thinking behind it. I'll try to find out more about it. Thanks for that. @Samson - it's a useful set of ideas...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Laziness Does Not Exist October 19, 2018 - 9:45pm
    Whoever solves that one will deserve a Nobel prize, Samson. Actually, of course, there are already plenty of answers, and someone has won exactly that Nobel prize, for Prospect Theory, at least partly out of which has grown the much more interesting...
  • Jon Dron bookmarked Laziness Does Not Exist October 19, 2018 - 10:44am
    This is a refreshing article from E Price, a social psychologist, who makes an obvious and self-evident point that is far too often forgotten: that there are always underlying reasons for what we perceive as laziness. This quote sums it up: "People...
    Comments
    • Is it possible to replace "lazy" with +/- motivation combined with Peter Sandman's formula of "Risk = Hazard + Outrage" (http://www.psandman.com/index-OM.htm)?

      Assuming an association between "lazy" and level of action, then if there is no perceived risk, why would an elevated action (from inaction) be required? Hence, no risk, no action, nor motivation to action.

      Perhaps systemic drivers to action? (e.g. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rethinking-future-organisational-learning-development-raftopoulos/)

      Steve Swettenham October 20, 2018 - 3:39am

    • It all comes down to motivation. Thanks Jon  for sending the info about behavioral economics. I will definitely explore the online materials.

      Samson Mihirette October 20, 2018 - 7:29am

    • @Steve - at a quick glance I don't quite see how, though it certainly adds expanatory richness, and I'm intrigued by the formula and the thinking behind it. I'll try to find out more about it. Thanks for that.

      @Samson - it's a useful set of ideas and theories, and it dovetails nicely with my favourite (and arguably by far the best validated and most reliable) theory of motivation,  self-determination theory, which helps to explain how intrinsic motivation arises, and the effects of different kinds of extrinsic motivation, amongst other things. With that in mind, I wonder whether you are framing exercise as a chore, or a means to an end, or a duty, rather than something that reflects who you want to be, or even something that might actually be great fun (I bet some of it is but I also bet some things feel like obstacles)?

       

       

      Jon Dron October 20, 2018 - 6:32pm

  • Jon Dron commented on the file Liliana Tang - POS System's ER Diagram October 2, 2018 - 4:41pm
    Good points - for instance, there may be a 'support' entity between customer and employee (if I have understood what 'help' means in this context - it might just be another kind of transaction, so the relationship may be redundant). Similarly, the...
  • Ironically published in a closed and massively over-priced Handbook of IT in Primary and Secondary Education, here's a chapter from me and Gerald Ardito on open and distance learning in the context of teaching children (paywall). I don’t know...
    Comments
    • Jon,

      Thanks for sharing this and for the kind words.

      It is too bad that it is so overpriced and behind a paywall.

      And I particularly liked this:


      Education empowers. Openness empowers education.

      Gerald Ardito September 14, 2018 - 5:19pm

  • Jon Dron bookmarked Unintelligent machines August 15, 2018 - 1:27pm
    In 2012 there were roughly 100 million lines of code in an average car, a number that has been rapidly increasing for decades, and is no doubt significantly higher now. If you printed out 100 million lines of code, it would consume approximately 1.8...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark You Can Learn Everything Online Except for the Things You Can't August 11, 2018 - 1:20pm
    The biggest problem with the classroom is not so much the lecture per se (although that's a truly terrible way to impart most kinds of knowledge), but that we make students attend it. Even when we teach using smarter techniques (see my recent talk...
  • A Wired magazine article from Rhett Allain that is big on metaphor (courses are the chocolate chips, the cookie is the on-campus experience) but very small on critical thinking. What it does highlight, though, is the failure of imagination lurking...
    Comments
    • Jon, to suggest  an analogy, perhaps viewing a play live in a theatre vs. watching a live stream of the same play from your couch.

      Perhaps a music concert is an even better comparison. Say being at a live concert vs. watching a DVD (or live stream) of the exact same concert at home.

      In the live venu, you can watch what/who you want to watch. If you want to focus on the drummer, or the bass player, or a backup singer, you can. You can spend the entire concert watching what you want to watch.

      On a DVD/stream, you can only watch what some other person has decided you will watch. Be that a producer or editor, you see what everyone who watches that stream/DVD sees. If they spend most of the concert on the "star", then that's all you get.

      What is odd  however, is that when you toss this analogy at education, you get the direct opposite effect - real classroom vs. ideal on-line learning.

      As you've so often pointed out, the best on-line learning experience puts the learner in control of the situation. They decide what to view, how often, where to go next, etc.

      Contrast the classroom. You sit, bum in seat, for X minutes, listening to an educator drone on about whatever THEY think is the important thing in the lesson guide. Again, in a perfect world the lecturer would be captivating and engaging, even interacting with the class to create a unique experience. But reality is that most classroom sessions are pure stodge.

       

      Richard Huntrods August 9, 2018 - 2:30pm

    • The biggest problem with the classroom is not so much the lecture per se (although that's a truly terrible way to impart most kinds of knowledge), but that we make students attend it. Even when we teach using smarter techniques (see my recent talk at https://jondron.ca/dtl2018-spotlight-presentation-the-teaching-gestalt/ for a list of examples) the external regulation remains a vicious hobble.  It would be like being forced to attend a concert by the same singer every week, with the threat looming over you that, once the series of concerts was over, if you couldn't repeat which songs had been played and which witty asides had been made in every week, you would be made to suffer for the rest of your life. Even if it were not so life-changing, how would it affect your experience of the concert if you knew there were a test at the end?

      My point, though, was not so much that a single event is better or worse than another single event, but that the person viewing a movie at home has (as you suggest) a vast amount more control, and a vastly greater range of choices, in a host of different ways, at a host of different times, than the person sitting in a cinema seat (or theatre, concert venue, whatever). Among those choices are ones that very closely resemble the experience of the cinema-goer, but they are a tiny subset of the whole. Among the whole, many would be highly superior. It's about comparing ways of learning, not instances of teaching.

      On the whole I'd still often like to attend a live concert performance from time to time because there are many ways it can be very meaningful, at a deep, tribal, visceral level. The rituals of attendance are powerful. The simple acts of making arrangements to be there and paying exorbitant ticket prices add great salience. Even the fact that it is difficult to be somewhere at a specific place and time, no matter how you feel or what the conditions might be, makes it matter more. And, even when Paul McCartney is a speck in the distance seen from behind with big-hatted people standing in front of you blocking most of the view and farting, it's still Paul McCartney and, wow, he was a Beatle, and that's much bigger than just the music.  But I love the Beatles because of radio, TV, cinema, books, magazines, and repeated playing of records, tapes, CDs, and, now, the web, online video and audio streaming. And, though I would kill to go back in time and attend an actual Beatles concert, their movies were really great and could not be replicated in person. Inverting your analogy, would you rather see Yellow Submarine as the original movie, or performed live on stage?

      Jon Dron August 11, 2018 - 1:20pm

    • would you rather see Yellow Submarine as the original movie, or performed live on stage?


      Easy one. YS was an animated (99.99%) movie that defined psychedelia (almost) for a generation.

      Performed live, it's some deriviative P.O.S. "written" by some hack who usually thinks they know better than the original creators.

      I'd take the "real deal" (movie) over some interpretation every time.

      Of course, then there's the original Monty Python Skits, or even the move "... Holy Grail", vs. "Spamalot". Now there's a more difficult choice, as the creators had a hand in all of the above. ;-)

       

      Richard Huntrods August 11, 2018 - 5:49pm

  • Jon Dron commented on the file DT&L2018: The Teaching Gestalt August 8, 2018 - 11:01am
    ps - I will try to remember to record it. It can be followed online 11:30am-12:20pm PDT today (8th August 2018) at https://tinyurl.com/jondronwebinar
  • Jon Dron commented on the file DT&L2018: The Teaching Gestalt August 8, 2018 - 10:59am
    Thanks Gerald Part of my point is exactly that - in both physical and online classrooms we can and do find ways to largely restore that lost autonomy (especially) and we try to cater for different levels and needs for competence.  Maybe not...
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file DT&L2018: The Teaching Gestalt August 7, 2018 - 6:44pm
    My presentation slides for my Spotlight Session at the 34th Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, at Wisconsin Madison, August 2018. Appropriately enough, I won't be there in person, but will be presenting online to a mixed in-person and...
    Comments
    • Thanks Gerald

      Part of my point is exactly that - in both physical and online classrooms we can and do find ways to largely restore that lost autonomy (especially) and we try to cater for different levels and needs for competence.  Maybe not totally, but in a very large part, that's pretty much what we mean by 'good pedagogy'. I guess my really big question is really whether such pedagogies are necessary, sufficient, or appropriate when we take the hobbles away. They solve problems that we shouldn't actually have any more, but that we recreate for ourselves when we replicate the form and dynamics of traditional in-person teaching online. It's really hard to shake off that mindset completely!

      Jon

      Jon Dron August 8, 2018 - 10:59am

    • ps - I will try to remember to record it. It can be followed online 11:30am-12:20pm PDT today (8th August 2018) at https://tinyurl.com/jondronwebinar

      Jon Dron August 8, 2018 - 11:01am

    • Jon,

      Thanks for sharing the information about the webinar. I will try to attend.

      And, I agree that there is something inherently problematic about trying to work around conditions that are remnants of an old, out of date model.

      Gerald Ardito August 8, 2018 - 11:40am

  • An article for Aeon by Jon Tennant on the heinous state of affairs that gives unscrupulous publishers profit margins that put Apple to shame while hiding publicly funded research from the public that pays for it. It is a shamefully broken system...
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  • Jon Dron commented on the blog Office 365 June 23, 2018 - 11:25am
    I totally agree, Mike, both about O365 and the Landing. I'm not so worried about the bugginess and annoying features of O365 as I am about its cavalier attitude to standards and the fact that we are locked in, totally beholden to whatever Microsoft...
  • Sadly published behind a paywall (but, happily, also available at SciHub) this is a fascinating sequence of studies from Hafenbrack & Voh that, firstly, appears to demonstrate that mindfulness (meditative practice) actively reduces...
    Comments
    • Joh,

      I really appreciated your detailed response to this paper,especially your comments on this study employing a behaviorist model, as well your discussion the experiences connected with mindfulness.

      Thanks.

      Gerald

      Gerald Ardito July 4, 2018 - 11:32pm

  • The BBC's Shipping Forecast is one of the great binding traditions of British culture that has been many a Brit's lullaby since time immemorial (ie. long before I was born). Though I never once paid attention to its content in all the decades I...
    Comments
  • Jon Dron commented on the file Jon Dron May 29, 2018 - 3:44pm
    Hi Jeff - sorry for the delay, lots going on. I'm aiming to have marking finished by the end of this week so you shouldn't have to wait much longer! best Jon  
  • I thought this might be of interest to this group...  
  • Thanks Jennifer. Daniel Pink uses self-determination theory a lot in his writing. My personal favourite writer and speaker on the topic is Alfie Kohn. His book 'Punished by Rewards' should be required reading for all parents, teachers and...