Bleatings on Block 3

SheeponthehillI am very happy, Block3 and it’s TMA has been dispatched and I have been ruminating in a contented sheep like way.   My team’s Learning Design Studio experiences have been shoehorned into an 800 word summary and I’ve been thinking through what I have learned.

Firstly, I really liked Personas, so much so, that I have created 5 rich student personas who between then have a range of accessibility needs.  They are people I will introduce our developers to, as I would like them to “see” these people when they implement systems and ask themselves “what would Alice need?”, “how would Rory use this system with JAWS?”,  “can Steve tab around it?”,  So much easier than a checklist eg WCAG 2 2.1.2.

Secondly, although we were not innovative, I could see that a “light” version of this design process could help you to really go back to basics, and in so doing, enable you to  think about a challenge with fresh eyes,  instead of addressing it in standard ways.

I realise we missed a real treat by not having enough time to check out what other groups were up to.  The concept was great, but it was difficult to capture those coffee break conversations (that you would have in a real design studio) in an asynchronous form.  As projects progressed I needed increasingly longer to work out where they had been (and where they were heading), and of course we were time poor.  Campus based students are subjected to “crits”. We didn’t manage “crit”, but I really enjoyed a personal briefing on the other two projects in our tutor group from team members in an informal tutor group hangout we arranged.  There is an extra dimension from a live conversation, the enthusiasm and problems are much more apparent.

It’s also been a salient experience for me to be so confused about what I was/we were supposed to be doing.  I managed to work it out in Week 4 (on holiday away from the pressure), but could have saved myself some grief by taking an earlier “time out”,  asking for a bit of help and having a real conversation.

I’m intrigued to have a further think about Frameworks.  Where does Laurillard’s conversational model fit in?  How has Jonassen’s thinking on Constructivist Learning Environments been developed?  Can online CLE’s really work effectively?

So there you go, even though I prefer to be an active sheep moving curiously from one interesting morsel to the next (aka MOOC), I can still learn something when herded from rapidly along a defined path. 

I’m not a big fan of this definition of teaching from John Cowan but it does seem apt:

 “…. the purposeful creation of situations from which motivated learners should not be able to escape”

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