Landing : Athabascau University


  • Terry Anderson published a blog post Pondering on media responses September 2, 2011 - 10:43am
    I had a great question (by email) from a colleague yesterday about why one staff group at Athabasca had a very healthy discussion on email, but when she tried to move the discourse to a similar conversation on a discussion board (in this case in...
    • Love this conversation - I wonder too why is it that people insist on staying with email, despite the apparent (at least to many techno-interested people) advantages of new communication technologies. I must say Craig's comments ring very true for some of the people I know who simply insist on using email only - and my children who insist on using facebook messages to contact parents (an vice versa). I agree that it seems that the communication technology you start using (or your friends and the people you want to contact start using) perhaps is the technology you continue to use.

      Personally, I use email for direct contact to individuals, and discussion boards and facebook when I want to group message people. One thing that drives me nuts about email is a train of messages when working with a group of people - so that is when I invest the time to use a discussion board group. This includes my committment to then have to check that group or deal with the messages that I forward to my email. The reason for my forwarding the group messages is due to the device I use - an iPhone - which is on me at all times and I can reply to emails quickly from everywhere. 

      In reply to Terry's original question - I am answering this post in the landing, after reading the post via message forwarded to my email, and then seeing Craigs reply when I logged into the Landing today. What caught my eye and resulted in this posting was that I read the original post of Terry's, saw a reply of Craigs, and am interested in the topic of discussion - so I went into the blog and read the postings. The topic is very relevant to my work - and so I was drawn into the discussion. One thing that a friend once told me about email comes to mind - he commented that people will likely only invest the time to learn about a communication technology when they have a personal reason to connect to others using that technology!

      Nathaniel Ostashewski September 6, 2011 - 1:02pm

    • Part of your colleague's problem might be Moodle. If I have to navigate to get to a specific site or discussion in Moodle (instead of just clicking a certain link in it), I easily get lost. So many topics and threads on one page. I can't say the same for the Landing, which is super intuitive to navigate, whether via tags or via the Activity tool, which is what I usually keep open during the workday. I check Activity here and email about as often as each other. I find Activity more like the water cooler, in that I can pick what water cooler I stop at (while big listservs seem more broadcast-style and thus conducive to shall we say technologically induced incivility: not seeing who's subscribed, I've no idea how many people's inboxes my message is cluttering, or who I'm vexing by cluttering it).

      Landing > Tools > Activity: it's like Facebook for our distributed workplace, only way more secure, and with 1000% less Farmville.

      Mark A. McCutcheon September 6, 2011 - 1:39pm

    • Interesting discussion. I use email, message forums and social networking sites equally, but am not a huge fan of the Landing (maybe that will change). There was one message in this thread (Craig's regarding a doctoral project) that piqued my interest. Had I been using email, I would have saved the message for later reference. Had I been using Facebook or Google+, I would have "liked" or "plus 1'd" it. But in the Landing, I see no such options. I don't think Moodle offered any option for flagging messages either. So all of these methods of communication are interesting, fun, and useful, but not one is just right for me. I'd like something that allows me to interact with others, but allows me to flag or save certain posts or threads for later reference (whether or not I participate in the actual discussion). 

      And of course, others have their own preferred method of communicating online, for whatever reason(s). Because of that, I use all of the tools available to me and adapt based on the habits and preferences of those I'm communicating with.

      Barbara Adamski September 14, 2011 - 3:27pm

  • Terry Anderson published a blog post Data from online institutions September 1, 2011 - 12:10pm
    Too often ratings of universities from McLeans and US News completely omit online institutions and thus don't allow either our students or ourselves to benchmark our programs against other online institutions. USNews is reported to be...
  • Terry Anderson added the photo Open Access Pledge to the album AU Shots September 1, 2011 - 8:36am
    Open Access Pledge
  • Terry Anderson created a new photo album AU Shots August 30, 2011 - 4:58pm
    • AU Logo smallest
    • AU LOgo small
    • AU Colour Logo
    • AU_Logo_RGB_future.jpg
    • Protest in front of Alberta Legislature re cuts to funding and services, Oct 15 2013
    • Halloween Pumpkin
    • Norm Vaughan
  • Terry Anderson added the photo Convocation Banquet 2011 to the album AU Shots August 30, 2011 - 4:57pm
    Convocation Banquet 2011
  • Terry Anderson published a blog post Interaction Equivalency site August 30, 2011 - 3:35pm
    I am pleased to be able to introduce a new site - created by Terumi Miyazoe from Tokyo Denki University and myself to invite more use, critique and understanding of my 2003 distance...
  • Terry Anderson added the photo Welcome Back to the album landing Page Photos August 30, 2011 - 9:40am
    Welcome Back
  • Terry Anderson created the group CDE Adjuncts Network August 4, 2011 - 2:54pm
    This is space for current, past and prospective teaching faculty in the Centre for Distance Education
  • Terry Anderson commented on the poll July 11, 2011 - 10:49am
    Sometimes a voice (picture or video) is worth a thousand words - adds teacher presence  and immediacy.
  • Terry Anderson voted on the poll July 11, 2011 - 10:48am
    • Sometimes a voice (picture or video) is worth a thousand words - adds teacher presence  and immediacy.

      Terry Anderson July 11, 2011 - 10:49am

    • An important proviso; like any technology, it can be done pointlessly, badly, counter-productively. 

      As much as anything, inclusion of podcasts usually implies that the creator cares enough to put effort and personal energy into creating a good learning experience. The caring of the teacher is among the very top factors in motivating learning in an educational/training setting. It is very hard indeed to extricate the enormous benefits of that simple fact alone from anything that is innately valuable about podcasts themselves.

      A further benefit is that it almost always increases time on task: time spent listening to a podcast provides more opportunity to think about, reflect on and generally connect knowledge gained in other ways. Again, this is not so much a necessary feature of the technology itself as a useful side-effect of using it.

      Jon Dron July 19, 2011 - 10:32am

    • Animated gifs come to mind. Just because we can do it doesn't mean we should. That said, I know that well-designed podcasts can improve engagement and help students grasp elusive concepts. (I learn a lot from YouTube Wink)

      However, I think it is more foolhardy than brave to venture beyond a talking head without some support from a visual designer and/or videographer. The medium is the message, and badly designed (or undesigned) media can convey the message "this is silly," or  "this person is an amateur" even though you may be an expert in an academic field.

      Mary Pringle July 19, 2011 - 12:12pm

  • Terry Anderson replied on the discussion topic More features for CDE Group in the group Centre for Distance Education (CDE) July 10, 2011 - 8:18pm
    Hi Stu Yes, we certainly could have used the tag tracker in 605 to help students find postings. I THINK it is retroactive to the last X (configuable) number of postings with the search tag. If there is only old tags, it will still show them. I...
  • Terry Anderson added a new discussion topic More features for CDE Group in the group Centre for Distance Education (CDE) July 9, 2011 - 9:57am
    We are continuing to add new features to the Landing, and I try to make changes to incorporate these in this group. This morning I added a Tag Tracker - on the tag CDE.  If you you put the tag CDE on any blog posts, pages, bookmarks, photos...
  • Terry Anderson joined the group MCAST July 7, 2011 - 1:29pm
  • Terry Anderson added the photo Safe Summer icon to the album landing Page Photos July 4, 2011 - 3:25pm
    Safe Summer icon
  • Terry Anderson added the photo Canada Day to the album landing Page Photos June 25, 2011 - 12:46pm
    Canada Day
  • Terry Anderson added the photo Summer time to the album landing Page Photos June 25, 2011 - 12:39pm
    Summer time