Posts

Introducing our learning experience design model

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Over the last few months, we have been reflecting on and started to describe our learning experience design model we developed in our work with academics at CPUT. We have adapted the design thinking process to include learning design elements, such as Gilly Salmon's storyboarding exercise and the six ways of learning concept by Diana Laurillard. However, we have been struggling to find a learning design model that represents the iterative nature of learning design and also that emphasises the centrality of the learner, the persona with are developing with and for. Most learning design models are still using a linear presentation, although they talk about iterative steps. One of the most well-known models is the d.school thinking process: Figure 1: d.school design thinking process Others, do try and represent as the design thinking process as a cycle, such as Sarah Gibbon's design thinking process: Figure 2: Sarah Gibbon's Design Thinking process However, none of these repre

The power of (online) communities of practice

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I have just come across this blog post W hat’s next for faculty development?   by Alexandra Mihai and it has strongly resonated with the journey we have gone through over the last few months: from offering webinars and training sessions on using Blackboard and other tools for remote teaching and learning, curating resources and finally creating guidelines / rubrics for lecturers to benchmark their online courses and organising good practice sharing sessions.  Image by Tim Marshall from www.unsplash.com  What caught my attention though is her suggestion around the importance of informal communities of practice to support academics in times of crisis. One of my roles as academic staff developer has been to create networks across the institution of colleagues with a passion for eLearning. We call these our eLearning champions and we have written before about their shared characteristics, what we called an eLearning mindset , very closely related to the design thinking mindset. When lockd

Designing learning in unsettling times

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Post originally published on http://heltasa.org.za/designing-learning-in-unsettling-times/ by Daniela Gachago and Xena Cupido Responding to COVID-19 As the world braces for an onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have taken drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus.  These measures have included government-mandated lockdowns, which requires citizens to stay at home in an effort to quell the spread of the disease. Currently, in South Africa, we find ourselves in a state of suspension. The country has literally come to a “stand-still” with only essential services in operation. This has resulted in school and university closures as part of the effort to contain this global pandemic.  According to Unesco (2020) monitoring, approximately 14 612 546 South African learners have been impacted by this nation-wide closure, of which 1 116 017 are university students. In an effort to continue with the academic project, universities across the globe are considerin

Teaching in times of disruption and the ethics of care

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I follow with huge interest how universities worldwide are moving their teaching and learning online. I am fascinated by how fast they move, how well prepared they seem (at least from afar) and mostly, how uncritical they are about issues of access and social justice when it comes to online learning. Here at in South Africa, and in particular at CPUT, any attempt to introduce online or even blended learning has to be mindful of our learners, often not able to access digital resources from home, or not necessarily digitally literate enough to follow this kind of learning. I see very little critical engagement at the moment from around the world, with the exception of articles such as shared a few days ago on Facebook: Please do a bad job of putting your courses online , by Rebecca Barett-Fox. So far she is the one of the few who considers how students might be differently positioned, as she writes: "They will be accessing the internet on their phones. They have limited data. They

Towards an ethical pratice of digital storytelling in Higher Education

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Lecturers at CPUT have been using digital storytelling (DST) since 2010 across all faculties and many disciplines: for teaching and learning, in community engagement projects but also more and more as a research methodology. In our context we define digital storytelling as the process of creating a (personal) narrative that documents a wide range of culturally and historically embedded lived experiences, by combining voice, sound and images into a short video, developed by non-professionals with non-professional tools within the context of a digital storytelling workshop (Lambert, 2010; Reed & Hill, 2012). 
 Introducing DST at our institution has improved digital literacies and student engagement, provided a space for critical reflection and enhanced multicultural learning and engagement across difference. However, adopting this sometimes emotional and process-oriented practice into an educational context, with its constraints of course objectives, assessment regimes, ti

10 days in Toronto...

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I am sitting at the Toronto International Airport gathering my thoughts on the last 10 days in Toronto. I attended two conferences: the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies  conference ( AAACS ) organised by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and AERA.  What are my thoughts so far: AERA was amazing this. Big as usual, but somehow I was better at choosing sessions. Rather than by  streams or SIGs I mainly went by names of people I wanted to hear speak. I didn't do any key notes, but lots of sessions by the people I follow. This seemed to have worked well. I focused on critical media literacy, decolonisation, whiteness, emotions/empathy, post-qualitative inquiry and narrative research. I really got back into feminist affect theorists - vowed to read Sara Ahmed and Lauren Berlant again. Discovered Sara Ahmed's Phenomenology on Whiteness , which I need to read and re-read. Went to a fantastic session on Dis-Orienting Whitene

First full learning design workshop done and dusted

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Last week we offered our first full learning design workshop to staff members across all Faculties. We had 20 participants - way more than we expected for 2,5 days at our beautiful campus in Granger Bay. The workshop was a result of work we have been doing in collaboration between the Centre for Innovative Educational Technology and the Fundani Curriculum Development Unit. We have been drawing from our experiences of our blended learning design short course , in which we tried to promote a Design Thinking mindset. We characterise a design thinking mindset as a mindset that promotes problem orientation, focus on practice, exploration and play, learner empathy, reflection and resilience, becoming change agents and collaboration and generosity (see more here ). eLearning champion mindset ( Gachago et al 2017 ) Our workshop (see outline and notes here ) last week was a combination of a number of exercises / activities we designed over the last few years. The persona activit