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Reflexive task 3: Phone conversation with Dafydd

Page history last edited by Anna Gruszczynska 9 years, 2 months ago

Notes from Anna’s phone meeting with Dafydd, 29 March 2011

Cascade framework task

We discussed the mindmap – functioning as a starting point for our discussions on the cascade. Dafydd has confirmed that the priority areas we have identified in our draft of the cascade framework are being reflected when it comes to issues that he is coming up against in his teaching practice. Similarly, concepts mentioned in Richard’s diagram and voicethread keep are borne out by the everyday reality of Dafydd’s teaching practice.


Y Porth as an OER repository

We discussed his conceptualisation of Y Porth as an OER repository– Dafydd mentioned at the start of the project he did not see Y Porth in that way but now he does. He elaborated on the information architecture of Y Porth, where the idea is that there are three different types of resources:

    1. A set of entirely open resources, accessible to everyone
    2. A set of resources available freely to anyone who registers on Y Porth
    3. Resources accessible only to students/staff within Welsh colleges

Dafydd explained that Y Porth has been designed from the very beginning as a repository that incorporates those three different levels of access (though I must add that it is not immediately obvious to visitors to the site unless maybe you speak Welsh). Dafydd would like to see social sciences resources (including ones produced in the context of the OER project) within the second category above, that is, accessible to everyone freely provided they complete the process of registration. Being part of the project has helped Dafydd and Delyth clarify issues around copyright and IPR and ways in which they impact on resources deposited into Y Porth and how open they can be.


OER release

In terms of releasing OERs in the context of the C-SAP project, Dafydd reported that the technical issues (such as students not having access to Y Porth, having to sort out formatting issues with the OpenLearn SPSS resource etc.) have taken more time than he originally planned for, but at the same time this has been common experience for people across different OER projects and part of the learning curve.

We talked about technical issues related to the SPSS resource more in detail – at the moment, given the experiences Delyth and Dafydd had with using the resource with the students on the MA course, Dafydd is thinking about changing the format of the resource so that it is not dependent on students having access to a specific version of SPSS (this turned out to be a problem). This way, the resource would revert to being closer to the original OpenLearn resource where you are clicking through the resource rather than having to load questions directly from SPSS, Dafydd is thinking of using Captivate.

We talked about repurposing the undergraduate research methods module (created as part of C-SAPP project funding). There are a number of issues that need to be addressed in terms of repurposing the resource – first of all, Dafydd mentioned that the resource will need to be extracted from Blackboard and then re-assembled; Anna will mention that to Richard as this is within Richard’s area of expertise.  Secondly, Dafydd believes that the resource will need to be put together in a more dynamic way, the toolkit developed in the pilot phase might be useful here and once again, Richard’s experiences of using the toolkit with colleagues at SHU could be valuable. Overall, Delyth and Dafydd see the development of the resource as a long term project, where following release it remains a dynamic teaching resource where colleagues are contributing to its further development.


Student engagement

We talked about student engagement in the context of the SPSS resource – the major obstacle to that were the technical problems with accessing Y Porth as well as access to relevant version of SPSS, those problems have mostly been solved now. The way that Dafydd and Delyth are approaching student engagement is to focus on the student feedback regarding the resource – students are commenting on elements that maybe need tweaking etc., the resource is further repurposed on the basis of those comments. Dafydd is also planning to undertake in-depth interviews with the students on their use of the resource and then also produce short video clips that would then be incorporated into the future versions of the resource. Other elements to be included within the resource would be sample questionnaires developed by the students – towards the end of the module students will be asked for consent to openly release their contributions.


Introducing students to the concept of open education

While Dafydd and Delyth have not formally introduced the students to the concepts of OERs/open education yet, from the very beginning they have framed student contributions (feedback on the resource, questionnaires submitted by students) as the process of co-producing knowledge and an essential part of educational experience which at the same time is transferable to the workplace. That is, within the workplace, students will have to be able to offer feedback on other people’s work etc. This way, student engagement with the SPSS resource is happening within a conceptual framework of open education (even though at the moment the concept of open education/OERs is merely tacit). Dafydd agreed it would be useful for Anna to put together a set of resources that could be used to introduce the students to OER-related concepts.


Capturing the development of the cascade framework

We talked about the process of capturing the development of the cascade framework/ rationale for OERs – while Dafydd finds the diagrams and maps useful, he prefers to start off with a narrative and then move on to synthesising the issues in a more visual way. Dafydd mentioned that he would appreciate guidance from Anna as to when the reflexive elements would best fit within the timeline of the project and at which stage they should be incorporated, within the next month or so the main focus will be on resolving the technical issues and together with Delyth, they plan to work on the undergraduate research methods module from mid-May onwards.


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