Archive for the ‘My personal learning journey’ Category
When we endeavour to troubleshoot issues, it seems to take longer to help people, they are getting easily confused and can’t always get to where they need to go.
Some of this can obviously be chalked up to brains going into panic mode, lack of experience, cognitive overload – but it was happening too often for these to be the only reasons.
I changed tack with some of the learners who lived locally and invited them come into the office. I found that there were two issues I hadn’t considered.
One, was that people lacked the basic vocabulary that would allow them to interact with the people attempting to help them. When a support person asks a client or student what version their browser is and the students do not know what a browser is – you are lacking a valuable shared vocabulary.
Another bizarre issue I’ve had is students telling me they can get to our web site just fine from the email link – but not when I am talking them through typing it into their browser. Even allowing for spelling errors. I discovered there are people who might say on their pre-course IT skills surveys they’ve used the internet for years — but have been using their browsers incorrectly.
So, I’ve created a video that I hope will help my fellow e-learning designers, online facilitators and their learners and clients. The video introduces the very basics of using the top three browsers used by laptops and desktops: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla FireFox.
In making the video for The Klevar Group, I learned that all three could do a better job for n00bs in terms of navigation and common settings. I also decided to make one video showing all three browsers because I feel it’s important for people to see more than one in action. There are some web sites that don’t work well with Google Chrome but do with Internet Explorer and vice versa so I know I need both.
I hope you find this helpful.
- Have you or any gamers in your life run into advertisements for gaming in your games?
- Has gambling actually been a part of game play within a game you tried?
- What about any apps or snack/short games?
- Have you or a friend/family member made or lost real money in these games?
- Is there someone in your life that has become addicted to gambling through gaming?
- Or, have you researched gaming and gambling and have resources you’d be willing to share?
Please leave a comment below and please share it if you know someone who could share some insights with us – and via Twitter if you’re comfy doing that. We’d really like to get some conversations started. If you’d like to share some info but don’t want to do it publicly, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
But did you know that the way you hold yourself can change your brain and body – and even your life?
This incredible Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy shares the research and science behind how just two minutes can impact your state of mind.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me. Learning online can take some time to adjust to, and I hope you find the following to be useful to you:
First of all, feeling overwhelmed is a universal experience for online learners. Part of it stems from the fact that in traditional learning settings, work is gradually assigned and spaced out whereas online, all the work is exposed . Our brains are goal-oriented, so when they see a whole pile of work, they want to tackle it all in one session and we end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
When I started learning online I experienced this too, but talked to friends who shared the following advice: to keep from feeling overwhelmed (which I certainly did at times during the first online course I took), develop a strategy of skimming through the unit for the week and look at the readings and assignments, then break up the work into smaller chunks and create mini-assignments spaced throughout the week. As well, doing this at the start of the week helped me to identify any questions I needed to ask the course facilitator or to ensure I had time to learn any new tools I needed to use.
For instance – for me, Mondays were scoping day, Tuesdays and Thursdays major reading days, Wednesdays were my night to cook, Fridays were social nights, Saturdays I did minor assignments and outlined the major assignment between housework chores and Sundays I’d tackle the major assignment for the week in the morning or afternoon and the other half of the day was free. That way I’d spread 9 hours or so hours of work over multiple days and give my brain a chance to absorb and reflect between sessions. (I’d like to add here that this also worked for courses taking 20 hours per week. I just had less free days…)Some weeks were easier than others due to my schedule and the nature of the work, but the “scoping” exercise at the start of each new week helped me feel more in control than when I would try to do an entire unit in a day.
The research I found this morning is Australian I’m happy to report. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Joel Pearson (UNSW) has published research findings saying that learners who give their brains a break during the course of learning allow for “wakeful consolidation”. While there are many studies that look at learning consolidation while sleeping, this study found that once you’ve done a certain amount of study, your brain goes into consolidation mode – so trying to push it to do more is not helpful. One hour seemed to be enough.
The study is available for download from the Royal Society of Biological Sciences web site in PDF form or you can download it here: When more equals less -overtraining
Photo “Overflow by Paul Quinn Photography CC (by)
I’m now soaking up the last of the afternoon sun on our little hotel balcony and listening to James Taylor as I overlook the lovely mountains and many buildings of Broadbeach.
This was my first Moodle Moot, but not my first e-learning conference. As with all conferences, the more I learn, the more I find that the best learning happens between sessions.
Sessions are more about information delivery than they are interactive and I can get information from so many different sources.
But I can’t get the time out of context to find out what the people in my network are exploring, learning and doing. And it’s more than that.
Sometimes it’s just nice to be around people who don’t think you’re more or less than what you are when you talk about the issues, trends and technologies that are of interest to you. They ‘get’ where you are and give you the right balance of reality check and affirmation you need to dive back in again. There’s some friendly rivalry as you share your latest tech toys, challenges to your newly forming opinions or deep-rooted suspicions, corrections of your thinking, sharing of yourself and your discoveries.
In the past I’ve taken copious notes, Tweeted a bushel of mini-revelations and favourite quotes, live blogged without being asked to and as a result, was able to put together a decent synopsis I could reference back to and share with others – and probably irritated a few people in the bargain.
This year I started out live blogging and then stopped. It’s not where my head or my heart is at right now. I am at a crossroad to some extent. I have SO much I need to do better, to learn how to do at all and am longing to go down some paths that aren’t what my organisation needs but I’d like to explore.
So this time, I Tweeted in bursts, took some screen shots of screens I will digest later and let it wash over me.
What has remained so far is:
- From Sarah Thorneycraft (@sthcrft on Twitter) session on creating games with Moodle: Adults don’t always have that sense of adventure, that what’ll happen when I click this?
- What am I going to do with this and what I learned in her session on using conditional activities? To ponder ways to make clicking things less scary and even fun. Whether I do that with graphics, a game, an intro video – that’s what I need to experiment with in the 90 minutes per week I allot for PD in work hours (and the time outside work I do this). Also – consider that Angry Birds has NO TEXT INSTRUCTIONS. Text isn’t evil – it’s just that there are other clues you can use to guide people to what they need to do.
- From ANU’s presentation on “course sophistication metrics”: Setting out objective criteria for course content basics (description, outline, forums and response times, etc) can help you identify baseline standards.
- What am I going to do about this? Work it into some guidelines I’m writing for our facilitators, for myself and get input from facilitators and peers.
- From a presentation on delivering a reasonable simulacrum of e-learning to prisoners with no access to the internet: an e-book reader can offer opportunities for people to practice search and research skills so don’t despair if your learners don’t have you-beaut, gee whiz internet connections. Consider that there are teachers who promote interaction, collaboration, inquiry, information literacy, etc. with NO INTERNET WHATSOEVER.
- What I want to do with this: observe our experienced face to face facilitators in action and learn from them.
- From learners in my workshop on course formats: Consider that navigation needs to have consistency, that the visual gives two pathways to the content but if it cuts off good stuff around it like blocks – maybe it’s not the best way, that some scrolling is inevitable.
- What am I going to do about this? Consider what the various formats do – grid, one topic, collapsed topics and now flexipages – and how to best apply them. Ensure that I ask learners what THEY think. Maybe do some in-house focus groups.
- From my friends: patience, patience, patience. Walk a line between wanting to create courses that try to incorporate great practice and courses that facilitators can and will want to use with learners. Get buy-in but don’t be an order taker.
- From my own gut: decisions need to have an evidence base. Objective criteria is essential to decision making – but guts have wisdom too. Write up a list of where I want to improve and do a little bit every day and week to get there.
I am so very grateful that I met so many lovely people and strengthened connections with others, shared laughs and ideas.
The sun is setting and the air is cooling, so I’m going to pack up my laptop and move back inside. Cheers and farewell for now from the 27th floor in a hotel somewhere in Broadbeach.