Sunday, July 8, 2012

Developing an Online Course!

I am facing the challenge of planning, developing and facilitating an entirely online course. In fact, I starts in a week! So, I am busy.

Private Label Wikispace
I have created a new wikispace for the course and sequenced the learning over 10 weeks, with weekly online web conferences and reading and activities to complete from a text book between online sessions. A wiki page for each week has text references, handouts and learning resources on it to assist the learners.

Learning Resources
I have created flash movies from Ms PowerPoint and iSpring Free to demonstrate dividing medical terms into their component word parts and also demonstrate pronunciation of medical terms.
Flash cards and scatter game created with Quizlet will allow learners to have fun while they practice their medical terms and abbreviations. Medical word part crosswords created with Hot Potatoes will enable practice and self-assessment. There are also some quizzes made with Ms Word forms.
I hope that I have created a variety of learning resources for my learners. I have trialled these with my f2f students and they love them. In fact, if I don't get them up immediately after a class, I get terse emails demanding to know why they are not available (this is mostly because I have not yet finished creating them!) It is good to know that my f2f learners appreciate the effort I have gone to to provide extra learning resources. Hopefully they will also benefit my online learners.

Gilly Salmon
I have just bought Gilly Salmon's 2 books and am desperately reading e-tivities The key to active online learning. Love the book and am trying to incorporate some of Gilly's ideas into my course.

Online Assessment
I had misgivings about online assessment but I think I have it worked out now. I will use an observation checklist to assess pronunciation, spelling, dividing medical terms into their word parts and diseases and disorders. I will observe these with activities set into my online web conferencing sessions. I will also require learners to work in groups (pairs) to research and present on an organ of the digestive system. This will cover appropriate use of medical terminology, pronunciation, spelling (submit the presentation in written form),anatomy and diseases and disorders. Then there will be a Policies & procedures research project and a written task.

My big challenge will be to engage the learners with online web conferencing (Elluminate)to the extent that they are comfortable speaking (using the mike) and are able to present by the third week - or perhaps I will leave the presentations until later. They will be thrown in the deep end so I have carefully planned my online sessions using icebreakers and Polls to build confidence online as we don't have much time to get familiar with the platform.

Another challenge is to create a sense of belonging and support for the learners. I hope to do this by utilising the discussion forum for learners to share their learning. Having been a learner online I know that a strong sense of comradeship and support is possible and can be stronger than that achieved in f2f classes where you just tend to talk to the person next to you.

Another really biggie is that I will be facilitating these online sessions alone. This worries me as I know that we do not have the time to be trying to solve technical problems. Also I do not have much confidence solving technical problems. A friend has volunteered to come to the first session to give support and technical advice - thank goodness!

Where am I Now
I am creating ppts for the online sessions and lesson plans. These are being tweaked as I get more into Gilly's book - pity I had not read it before I started! Still have a couple of ppts to narrate for flash movies. And need to finalise my assessment tasks. Just as well it is holidays and is too cold to do anything else.

Will tell you how it goes in the next blog.
Oops, forgot to tell you that it is a medical terminology course but I guess that you guessed that.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I have discovered Quizlet!
Don't know why I didn't try it before. I picked up one of my e-learning exercise books and in the front page I had written
Now what was this? I had no recollection so I had a bit of time and decided to investigate.

Quizlet is the best thing! It is an online program that creates Flash cards, Learning and Scatter game from a list of words and their meanings - just perfect for my Medical Terminology classes!

As you can see this is perfect for my students as a learning tool, and to test their knowledge.
Click Choose a study mode to change from Flash cards/Learn/Scatter game

Now I am in the process of creating these for all of the body systems to use in an online Medical Terminology course that I am developing. It adds to the flash movies (iSpringFree), CrossWords (Hot Potatoes) and Fill in the blank Quiz's that I have created.

Painless Learning
The idea is that my learners will be so busy playing these games that they won't realise that they are learning!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Photo to Cartoon

Have been playing with photos

Original Photo

Using Kuso Cartoons I changed the picture into a cartoon

I really do need to update my photo!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Love Wordle

Better Late than Never
Trying to catch up with my 23 Things - but I need some photos

One Thing Leads to Another
So I decided to have a go at Wordle.
I love the look of it and watched a video on uses for education. previously I had simply thought of it as decorative but now I can see educational uses and plan to use it when teaching Cert IV TAE later in the year.

Follow this Link for ideas I especially liked 52 Ways to use Wordle in the Classroom

Wordle: EMR

What do you think?

More and more
I'm sure I can use these with learners

Document Design
Wordle: Design

Assessment Validation
Wordle: Valid

Unit of Competency
Wordle: units

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learning Styles

Your link didn't work for me, Michael so I used the VARK questionaire

Mild Kinesthetic
It showed that I have a mild Kinesthetic learning preference.
• Visual: 2
• Aural: 6
• Read/Write: 7
• Kinesthetic: 10
I totally agree with this - I do have practical bent but when I study I go through reams of paper as I have to summerise and rewrite constantly. I used to envy my husband who recorded his notes, then just sat in a comfy chair and listened while I was desperately writing and rewriting!
I am also a list writer! Trouble is I feel so good when I write a list that I may not actually get anything done.
Reading the VARK definitions I found that it fit me perfectly and also fit my employment history - originally I was a Medical Technologist (hospital labs) and now I teach computer - I guess that I am not a square peg in a round hole.

Students and VARK
I used the VARK questionaire on my recent VCAL students and apart from the student who ticked everything without reading it, they all proved to be visual learners. I then adjusted my learning resources to suit and they did much better!

Cup Day Weekend
Took off and spent the Cup Day weekend at St Leonards. Lovely to get away. Weather wasn't brilliant but managed to get some walks in without getting blown away or drenched.
The photo is of pelicans I encountered on the beach.
Also managed to get some of my Cert IV TAE work done. I am trying to customise purchased resources so we can get it on our scope and finding it tough going.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thoughts on Blogging

Just realised that I was supposed to reflect on blogging in my first blog so here goes:

The Start of my Blogging Experience
I started blogging last year when it was a requirement of my Dip TAA course. I felt a bit insecure about the whole concept so I only shared my blog with my assessor to start with.
At first I wrote out my blog long hand and then edited it and keyed it in. That became a drag after a while and very time consuming so I tried just typing my blog straight in. This worked well as I had the security of being able to go back in and edit a blog at any time.
I got very positive reinforcement from my assessor so I continued.
Then I realised that I was blogging every day and not getting my work done - much as I am now!
I set restrictions on myself that I could only blog once a week. Then I got very busy and found that I was only only blogging for each unit I completed.
I was pleased with the feedback I received from my assessor - very positive with the comment that he always enjoyed my blogs.

Reflections on Blogging
I enjoy blogging and found that it enabled me to reflect on the unit I was in the process of completing.
I could reflect on:
- what went right
- what went wrong and why
- how I could do better
- how I felt about the whole thing
This reflection helped in my learning and also with my credit result!

I tried to continue blogging as I had enjoyed it so much but found it quite difficult as you can see - this is the blog I started after I completed my study.
So I guess that I really have to have a purpose to blog or at least I find it easier if I am doing something that I need/want to reflect on.
I tried to encourage my students to use a discussion forum in wiki to create a reflective blog - not a very positive response. To be perfectly honest I am not comfortable blogging in a discussion forum - I feel a discussion forum is more for short questions/answers/reflections/comments.
I like to have a big space where I can put all of my thoughts down as you can see.

23 Things
This is great for me as it has got me into blogging again and given me a purpose to blog.
I look forward to taking the time to really investigate the aspects of blogging I have not taken the time to explore and really learn how to make my blog lot more attractive or at least interesting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

23 Things

Just attended the first session for 23 Things.
Sounds like it will be a great adventure if I make the time to take advantage of it.

Should do
I know that I should be doing this in WordPress but I already have this blog and was not really using it so I am here.

I intend to take the time to add stuff to make this blog interesting but not today.

I have been in Elluminate sessions since 3.30pm - nearly 4 hours and I am hungry, stiff and my eyes have just about given up.

I do like the idea of 23 Things but I am not sure that I will be able to convince my e-leaders as most of mine are admin staff and are time poor.