Monday, November 30, 2015
Not the Academic Book of the Future
My suggestion is that salvation for the campus bookstore will come with more students living on campus. Bookstores will turn into department stores, which also sell books. The UBC bookstore in Vancouver is a good example of this. When I was there last year I noticed that most space was taken over for selling clothing, bedding, small appliances and electronics (all things students need), along with textbooks.
More exciting than the content are the formats Lyons and Rayner's book is offered in. As well as the usual PDF, it is also in ePub version, which is impressive for a free book. The Kindle version mentioned is not really a Kindle version, just the PDF converted.
The ePub is only 683Kbytes, whereas the PDF is 7.2 MBytes. About 5 Mbytes is taken up by the cover image of the book being incorrectly formatted for PDF and the rest seems to be from incorrect encoding of fonts.
The book has the most open "by" license, so it would be very simple to produce your own version from the HTML in the ePub edition.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Improving Professional IT Doctorate Completion Rates
submit it to a conference or journal" in each of these two years. Other masters programs might benefit from this approach.
In the Masters of Education I have been undertaking I have been producing a conference paper each year, as a byproduct of assignments. However, I have not mentioned this to my tutors, for fear of it being seen as overly ambitious for a coursework student. This caused a problem when one conference paper was published before the assignment I had based it on had been marked and so was flagged as possible plagiarism.
Burmeister suggests that flexible delivery can
improve work-life-study balance and so improve retention of students. However, this suggestion seems almost redundant. Pye, Holt, Salzman, Bellucci and Lombardi (2015) found that students expect an on-line environment to be used. I suggest that it is time for Australian universities to assume their students, particularly post-graduate students, will be on-line and off-campus for most of their studies. Programs should be designed for on-line delivery, and then adaption made for on-campus components, rather than the reverse.
Burmeister suggests that student engagement with
supervisors should be enhanced with weekly or fortnightly contact. This would result in a high workload for staff if done using conventional techniques, such as face-to-face meetings. I suggest it could be done using on-line asynchronous communication. Students don't need a supervisor taking at then for half an hour each week, then just need a couple of lines of pertinent text.
Burmeister, O. (2015). Improving professional IT doctorate completion rates. Australasian Journal Of Information Systems, 19. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v19i0.1073
Masters Level Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Issues in Design and Delivery
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
How do you evaluate an educational app?
Weng, and Taber-Doughty (p. 56, 2015) prepared a three page rubric for evaluating iPad apps for students with disabilities. Eight practitioners at schools in the US Midwest evaluated nine commercially available iPad apps designed for students with disabilities.
The criteria were rated on a three point scale: Disagree, Neutral, Agree (or not applicable, uncertain).
The rubric produced mixed results with some criteria producing consistent results between evaluators and others not.
Quality of Feedback/Correction
- Feedback is accurate and clear
- Correction is accurate and clear
- Feedback doesn’t reinforce behavior or distract students
Quality of Design
- Layout is simple and clear
- Layout is consistent
- Easy to navigate
- No distracting features
- Speech is clear and easy to understand
- Various levels of content difficulty are available
- Appropriate for the target developmental level
- Content is appropriate for the target area
- No unnecessary or unrelated information
- Students can use independently after set up
- Only minimal adult supervision is needed after training
- Constant adult supervision is needed
Ability to be individualized
- Able to individualize levels of difficulty
- Able to individualize content to meet a student’s need
- Able to individualize speed of speech
- Able to adjust size of pictures, fonts, etc.
- Multiple voices available for selection
- Able to choose modalities
Campbell, Gunter and Braga (2015) used the Relevance Embedding Translation Adaptation Immersion & Naturalization (RETAIN) model to evaluate educational games. The RETAIN rubric was developed by Gunter, Kenny, and Vick (p. 524, 2008). The model has six criteria, each with four levels (0 to 3). The criteria are:
- relevance: to the learner’s life,
- embedding: the educational content is integrated with the game content,
- transfer: what is learned is applicable outside the game,
- adaptation: encourages active learning beyond the game scenario,
- immersion: player becomes involved in the game,
- naturalization:players learn to learn.
Green, Hechter, Tysinger and Chassereau (2014) developed the Mobile App Selection for Science (MASS) rubric for mobile apps for 5th to 12th grade science, valuated with 24 Canadian teachers. One thing I have learned so far is that your mobile App evaluation rubric needs a snappy acronym, like MASS or RETAIN. ;-)
More seriously, MASS is based on the m-learning framework by Kearney, Schuck, Burden and Aubusson (2012). This framework has three characteristics: Personalisation, Authenticity and Collaboration (further divided into sub-scales).
The MASS rubric has six criteria assessed at three levels (Green, Hechter, Tysinger & Chassereau, p. 70, 2014) :
- Accuracy of the content,
- Relevance of Content,
- Sharing Findings (Student’s work can be exported as a document),
- Feedback to student,
- Scientific Inquiry and Practices: Allows for information gathering through observation,
- Navigation of application (interface design).
Apps are a subset of software applications, but curiously none of the authors of these Apps rubrics appear to have looked to work on the evaluation of desktop educational applications to draw inspiration from. Given the size of the market for educational software and that it has been in existence for decades, there must be an extensive literature on this topic.
ReferencesCampbell, L. O., Gunter, G., & Braga, J. (2015, March). Utilizing the RETAIN Model to Evaluate Mobile Learning Applications. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (Vol. 2015, No. 1, pp. 8242-8246). Retrieved from http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:lS7EOK9SQa8J:www.editlib.org/p/150079/proceeding_150079.pdf+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au
Turning Educational Web Pages into an App
To build an App, I took the same minimalist approach. I saved a copy of my Wordpress blog post, zipped the resulting files, uploaded them to Adobe PhoneGap and generated an Android App called "Mobilize Education". The only tricky part was that I had to rename the web page "index.html". Phonegap asks for a
config.xmlfile, as per the W3C widget specification, but this is not essential in this case, as the "App" is just a web page.
The files for the web pages are 194 kbytes when Zipped (654 kbytes uncompressed). The App is considerably larger at 1.1 Mbytes, but I expect this is for programs and as more content was added the overhead would be a smaller proportion.
It looks to me that it would be very easy to take content from a Moodle eBook, ePub, Kindle, SCORM or any of the other web based content formats and turn it into an App (these all consist of zipped web pages). Of course if you wanted a more interactive App, that would take more work.
ps: The App is also available for Windows Mobile, but who has that?
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Teachers Need to Set a New Direction for Australian Education
The book argues that national NAPLAN testing is having a detrimental effect on the quality of education in Australian schools, with teachers being forced to teach to the test. Lynne argues that teachers are undervalued, underpaid and overworked. She looks to the Finnish system for possible solutions.
This is a book which students contemplating a career in teaching should read, along with parents and politicians dabbling with education policy. There are no easy answers, but I suggest that teachers should look at how nurses have improved their professional status (and pay). Perhaps rather than all that unpaid overtime teachers do, marking work and preparing lessons, teachers should enroll in part-time postgraduate studies and demand better pay (or leave the profession for a job where they will be better paid).
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Mobile Moodle Creates Expectations it Can't Satisfy
The question of Moodle being available on mobile devices is not so much a technical one, as what the user's expectations are. An institution can switch on access via the Moodle App, provided they have a later version of Moodle. Also they can provide a responsive Moodle theme. But institutions have invested years of work in the classic Moodle look and are understandably cautious in making a change
Users will have expectations with an App or a Mobile interface that everything will be different, but underneath it is the same Moodle and same course content. The result can be frustration and so I understand why institutions are moving slowly.
As a result of being a student in a course on mobile educational design I have been confident enough to volunteer to be a pilot user for a responsive Moodle theme for my course ICT Sustainability, starting February 2016 at ANU.
In a way Moodle's success is a problem for transition to mobile devices. Hu, Lei, Li, Iseli-Chan, Siu and Chu (p. 5, 2015) report that students with two or more years experience with Moodle were less likely to try the mobile version, than those with less experience. Also students who considered themselves as having limited IT competency used the mobile version more.
Hu, Lei, Li, Iseli-Chan, Siu and Chu (p. 9, 2015) conclude that students did not prefer Moodle on a mobile phone, but would use it when necessary. I suspect the same would apply to the Moodle App (although that was not tested). Institutions are therefore right to be cautious about introducing the mobile interface, as it is likely to create expectations it can't satisfy. Just adding a mobile interface doesn't make for mobile learning.
ReferenceHu, X., Lei, L., Li, J. B., Iseli-Chan, N. C., Siu, F. L. C., & Chu, S. (2015). Mobile access to moodle activities: student usage and perceptions. International Mobile Learning Festival 2015. Retrieved from http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Ms9o3aVB1n0J:hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/213704/1/Content.pdf%3Faccept%3D1+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au
Friday, November 20, 2015
Avoiding Innovation Changes Naive
“It’s short sighted and naive to think we can change the direction of the academic world. Publications are critically important for driving citations and citations are critically important for driving rankings which are critically important for the health of the international education sector, which is worth $18bn this year alone,” From Innovation changes “naive”: Glover, Julie Hare, The Australian, November 18, 2015It may seem shocking to some academics to look on university research and publications as a business, but this is a significant export earner for Australia. However, I suggest a change is needed to the metrics used to quantify research output. International student enrollments are not going to increase if Australian universities produce research which is of no practical value. Students want to enroll in a course which makes a difference to the world. Universities should also produce research which gets used and is of practical value. However, measuring usefulness is difficult.
One simple change I suggest to make Australian universities more attuned to innovation and commercialization, is to teach this to students, particularly research students. Australian research students have been discouraged from considering commercialization of their work, by official government and university policies. As an example, if research student wanted to study how to commercialize their research, they had to suspend their research and stop receiving research scholarship while they did so. This should be reversed and research students instead be expected to undertake innovation and entrepreneurial courses as a routine part of their education. This will require a change to the thinking, and the procedures, at our leading universities, which regard formal courses for research students as an anathema.
In his book "Online Gravity: The Unseen Force Driving the Way You Live, Earn and Learn", Paul X. McCarthy points out that "A surprising number of the founders and leaders of many of today's technology giants share one little-known fact in common: they attended Montessori schools."* The Montessori approach emphasizes long blocks of time on one topic, a constructivist approach and trained teachers. While Montessori is thought of as a school teaching technique, a similar approach is applied to some university programs. McCarthy points out Montessori school students are over-represented in computer science university programs and it is perhaps no coincidence that there are similarities between the two in terms of teaching approaches.
World leading universities, not only produce academic publications based on their research, but also encourage their researchers to apply their results, including by setting up companies. A few months ago I visited Cambridge University (UK). After talking at a roundtable discussion for library staff on how to teach graduates using the Internet, I dropped in on the Cambridge University Center for Entrepreneurial Learning, where students (and staff) learn to commercialize. Cambridge has a problem convincing its elite researchers to worry about commercialization, despite decades (in some cases centuries), of successful commercialization of research.
The Australian National University, along with other universities in Canberra, set up the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) and run competitions, such as Innovation ACT and integrates with degree programs with ANU TechLauncher. With this students work in teams to build a computer application for a real client, or they can opt to do their own company start-up. The students build the computer software and then, as part of Innovation ACT, prepare a business plan and pitch to investors for a company to sell the product. This model could be emulated by other Australian cities and universities. Perhaps only one in one hundred of the student start-ups will be become a successful business, but the students will learn how to speak to business people about their ideas.
* Note: Thanks to Suneeta Peres da Costa (Author of Homework), for pointing out the quote from McCarthy.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Mobile Devices Causing a Drop in Student ICT Literacy
"The assessment in 2014 has revealed that although the mean performance of students in Year 6 increased steadily from 2005 to 2011, it decreased between 2011 and 2014. The performance of Year 10 students had not changed across the three previous NAP – ICT Literacy cycles from 2005 to 2011, though it declined substantially between 2011 and 2014. Most of the relationships between ICT literacy and student characteristics have remained similar over time, so it does not appear that the overall decline is associated with particular groups of students. The decreases also appear to be similar in each of the jurisdictions.
The decline does not appear to be a result of changes in the test content, in the way the test was administered or sample obtained. One of the possible interpretations of the decline in ICT literacy is that the increased use of mobile technology devices has resulted in less emphasis on skills associated with information management and processing but more emphasis on communication applications. It is also possible that there has been less emphasis placed in schools on the teaching of skills associated with ICT literacy, with the development of young people’s ICT literacy competencies increasingly being taken for granted. Such a shift in emphasis may have contributed to changes in ICT literacy
achievement between 2011 and 2014. The reasons for the decrease in Year 6 and Year 10 students’ ICT literacy levels remain issues for further investigation." From NationalAssessment Program – ICT Literacy Years 6 & 10, Report 2014, p. xxvi, 2015.
Webinar Via Blackboard Connect on Mobile Device
SBS Learn Website for Schools
Also available are Go Back To Where You Came From, The Boat, First Contact, What's the Catch, and Once Upon A Time In Cabramatta.
This is a useful initiative, but SBS needs to provide an index to the materials, based on the Australian curriculum topics and student levels. Also it would be useful to have the materials available in low resolution versions for regional students on low bandwidth Internet connections and with the website formatted to be more mobile-friendly.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Digital Disrupting for a Better World
IT Vendor Certification and Vocational Qualification Bundles
Monday, November 16, 2015
Future of the Australian Technology Park
The minister stated “Our aspiration for this site is to continue the transformation from dilapidated railway buildings to a growing technology hub,” ("Technology future secured at ATP", Government Release, 12 November, 2015). This is misleading, as the ATP has been in operation in the refurbished railway buildings, for two decades. I took part in numerous technology events at the ATP in the 1990s and in 1998 I used the ATP at a conference in Canberra, as an example of how to promote Australian technology. Recently I drew on this work in designing an innovation course for university students.
The problem has not been with the physical infrastructure of the ATP (which has been skillfully transformed), but that the NSW neglected this resource on its doorstep, the universities did not integrate innovation into their degree programs and the federal government did not have effective policies to support this.
Scott Farquhar of Atlassian, part of a rival Walker bid for the ATP, has been critical of the Mirvac/CBA win a "tragic missed opportunity for Australia". However, while Atlassian is a successful Australian tech company, it is difficult to see how their proposal would be materially different from that of Mirvac. The key to making the ATP a success is to use the current empty space (used for surface car parking) for modern high-rise office space. The existing low railway workshops can then be given over to exhibition, conference space and start-up support.
The Commonwealth Bank has integrated innovation into its Sydney CBD headquarters. I was one of the judges for the weekend long Randon Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) held in the roof-top meeting room of the Bank's building (there is also an innovation centre downstairs). This atmosphere should able to be replicated at ATP.
The reborn ATP will likely be a success with long term commercial tenants to fund it, universities now starting to teach innovation to their students and with NSW and federal government taking an interest in supporting innovation in effective ways.
Declaration of Interest: I own shares in the Commonwealth Bank and have been previously paid by ATP to arrange tech-events at the Park.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Australian VET Funding System Failing Students
NCVER have carried out an analysis of the completion rates of students. These are consistent with conventional wisdom for education. Students most likely to complete are on-campus or blended mode, employed and undertaking a diploma level course, with a 43% completion rate. Students least likely to complete are studying on-line, unemployed and undertaking an advanced diploma, with a 8% completion rate.
What should be causing concern for government policy makers is that the fastest increase in new enrollment is in unemployed student studying on-line and who are least likely to complete. The result is likely to be at a cost of billions of dollars to the taxpayer with minimal improvement of the education of the workforce.
Another worrying finding is that the likelihood of a student completing their course varies between providers from 1% to 96%. The nature of VET is such that the completion rate will vary widely and the average of 21% is not unexpected, but providers with a completion rate of less than 10% should be of concern.
The Australian Government is considering reforms to the scheme, but these will likely only apply a cap to the fees providers can charge and curb pressure selling tactics. The government does not appear to be addressing changes such modular qualifications (where the student only commits to a short course, as a step to a diploma) and techniques to address the low completion rates of on-line courses.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Not-for-profit Private Australian University
Universities do cater to the vocational needs of their students, which I suggest is not all together a bad thing. There should be scope for non-vocational studies, but someone has to be willing to pay for these. If the students are not willing to pay, because such studies will not get them a job, and the state will not pay, because their is no perceived social benefit, then who will pay?
Calls for a non-corporate approach to universities, such as that by Beljac, are not new. These are documented in Hannah Forsyth's "A History of the Modern Australian University". We do not need to look to Paris students riots and have our own history of learning experiments:
On Thursday, July 12th, a meeting was held of some of those interested in the concept of a Learning Exchange in Canberra. Laura Turnbull, of the World Education Fellowship, was present and was able to suggest several possible contacts potentially influential in getting an exchange underway.
The meeting learned that there are several, Community Service Centres already becoming established in Canberra. These are at private addresses where people can ring for information on various things - such as, clubs and societies, legal advice, etc. Obviously, this is similar in concept to a learning exchange and any exchange set up should logically work with theses groups. ..." From "LEARNING EXCHANGE", Woroni , Thursday 2 August 1973
A radical dawn in the corporatization of Australian universities happened, almost unnoticed, in July 2012, when Torrens University Australia was admitted to the Australian National Register of higher education providers as an "Australian University" and authorized to self-accredit courses. Torrens is part of the private for-profit, Laureate International Universities, which provides education online to 800,000 students around the world.
Professor Jim Barber, while UNE Vice-Chancellor, advocated changes to government regulations to allow on-line universities to be established in Australia. He failed in this, however Laureate's example with Torrens shows it is possible to establish a new institution with a different way of working. This approach could be applied for new non-government, not-for-profit higher eduction institutions which have social goals.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
UK Teaching Excellence Framework
- "drive up teaching standards and give students more information through a new Teaching Excellence Framework that will encourage a greater focus on high quality teaching and graduate employment prospects
- widen participation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and encourage providers to increase focus on supporting all students through their course and into employment or further study. A new Social Mobility Advisory Group would report to the Universities Minister with a plan to meet the Prime Minister’s ambitions to increase the proportion of disadvantaged students entering higher education and increase the number of BME students by 20% by 2020
- enable students to choose from a wider range of high-quality higher education providers by making it less bureaucratic to establish a new university through faster access to Degree Awarding Powers and University Title
- establish a new Office for Students to promote the student interest and value for money, and reduce the regulatory burden on the sector ...
Through the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) there will be stronger incentives for excellent teaching and students will have more information about the type of teaching they can expect and their likely career paths after graduation. The TEF will use measures such as student satisfaction, student retention rates and graduate job prospects. Higher education institutions providing high quality teaching would be able to increase tuition fees in line with inflation. Those that fail to meet expectations would risk losing additional fee income."
From: Student choice at the heart of new higher education reforms, Press release, Jo Johnson MP, UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills,
Friday, November 6, 2015
Trans-Pacific Partnership Applies to Educaiton
This will become increasingly important as e-learning is applied for vocational qualifications. As an example, will Australia be required to recognize qualifications which Australian students obtain on-line from US universities? Will the Australian government be required to provide the same student loans for US university courses as they provide for Australian courses?
There is currently concern in Australia over unscrupulous Registered Training Organizations (RTOs) signing up students to unsuitable courses to obtain government subsidized fees. However this is minor compared to the problems with student loans in the USA.
"The Development chapter includes three specific areas to be considered for collaborative work once TPP enters into force for each Party: ... (3) education, science and technology, research, and innovation."
"Peru ... Increased services trade in education and tourism is expected along with growth in tourism related investment."
"Canadian educational requirements for professionals shall be deemed to be met for the purpose of entry whenever an Australian professional has met Australian educational requirements ..".
"All health, education, and social services occupations and related occupations
All professional occupations related to Cultural Industries
Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program and Service Directors
Managers in Telecommunications Carriers
Managers in Postal and Courier Services
Judges and Notaries"
(a) Explore potential for collaborative work in curriculum development including curriculum materials;
(b) Share experiences on the use of information technology in education, including education portals;
(c) Share opportunities for professional/executive training encourage possible joint programmes between institutions; and
(d) Share experiences on language training and encourage collaborative programmes for professional development and training of language teachers, including exchanges of language teachers (English/Spanish/Chinese);
(e) Share information on opportunities available to post graduate students in each other’s countries in areas of mutual interest to each of the Parties.
From "Implementing Arrangement: Strategic Partnership", TPP Draft
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Responsive Web Designs for Mobile Learning
The figure of 768 pixels is commonly used for what is called in web design a "breakpoint", where the layout is changed from desktop to mobile format (Natda, 2013).
You can try this with the Moodle Demo using the Mobile Browser Emulator extension for Google Chrome, or simply by making the width of your web browser window smaller until the columns disappear. Try your own installation of Moodle and see if you get the same result (there are many non-responsive Moodle themes still in use).
The Mahara e-Portfolio has a similar responsive design by default, you can try this with the Mahara Demonstration.
Queensland Distance Education Schools Not Catering to Remote Students?
It has been suggested that the problem only really exists in Queensland, as other states have school distance education programs which specifically cater for the limitations of satellite communications, for example using IP multicast. The suggestion is that most of the "distance" students in Queensland are actually in Brisbane (where there is good broadband access) and so catering for remote student in not a priority.
The Queensland DE schools cater to students who are unable to attend a campus due to a remote location, medical condition, itinerant lifestyle, have been suspended from a school, are mature age or home-based by choice.
Looking at the Education Queensland website, the department provides schools of distance education for geographically isolated areas (Cairns, Rockhampton, Emerald, Charleville, Charters Towers, Longreach, Mount Isa) and one in Brisbane. They also provide for "... other home based students with limited educational choice... mainstream school students and providing a service for by choice home based learners and students in a range of alternative education centres". Given that most of the DE schools are in regional areas, it would be surprising if they were not specifically catering for the needs of distance students.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
How Students Use Their Mobile Devices to Support Learning at an Australian Regional University
Use of Google Drive or DropBox is identified as an alternative for students to access course materials on mobile devices, optionally with shortened urls or QR codes.
Private self organized student Facebook groups were identified by Farley, Murphy, Johnson, Carter, Lane, Midgley, and Koronios (2015) in focus groups. YouTube and Vimeo, were also identified as resources used by students.
ps: I am a former student (of education) at USQ and one of the authors is a colleague at ANU.
Learning to Improve
Australia has a state based, nationally funded, school system. It seemed to me that Professor Bryk should be giving this talk in the USA, where they do not have a coordinated education system, not in Australia where we do. I suggest Professor Bryk should first look to the education systems of other countries not manufacturing or health care in the USA.
In contrast Australia needs to look at the US education system to work out what not to do. One example is the problems with student loans in the USA, a problem which now occurring in Australia with VET diplomas.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Previously I looked at using the Moodle Interests Tag Cloud for a Team Building Exercise, as part of an innovation course. Here are some more thoughts on mobile learning strategies, methods, and technologies for innovation.
Menkhoff and Bengtsson (p. 229, 2012) suggest that mobile learning can be applied in an entrepreneurship course at two levels:
- discursive level: "between instructor and students as well as students themselves with the help of productions, concepts, ideas, questions and comments"
- experiential level: "based on the respective task goals, trial actions, actions, feedback, and revisions."
Suoand Niu (2014) describe the modification of a university computer science course on mobile technology to incorporate entrepreneurship. In this case classes of 15 to 18 students spend eight-weeks in the elective. Curiously, given the subject matter is mobile devices, the course appears to have used conventional lectures assignments and examinations. Student feedback questioned the large number of lectures, but the authors do not appear to have considered making use of the mobile devices as part of the teaching.
Joo, Lim, and Lim (p. 436, 2014) found that perception of the advantages of mobile devices had a positive effect on learners use of mobile learning. The reverse may also be the case: the use of mobile devices may be result in students having a more positive outlook. Given that many examples of contemporaneity successful start-ups the students will be familiar with are related to mobile technology, the research by Joo, Lim, and Lim (p. 436, 2014) suggests that the student's perception of an innovation cruse would be more positive if the course uses mobile technology.
Menkhoff and Bengtsson (p. 230, 2012) provide two examples of mobile exercises:
- Photo-sharing: Students were to take photos relevant to the course on a 45 minute walk, share on a website and discuss the results,
- SMS-enabled scavenger hunt: Students explored a specific location to answer questions.
Social Media for Team Building
Mascia, Magnusson and Björk (2015) point to the role of social networks in innovation in organizations. With a course made up of students not previously known to each other, there is a need to quickly form teams and begin the innovation process. It is proposed to use social media techniques through mobile devices to speed this process. Mobile learning can also be used to deliver conventional course content and collect student input for assessment, but this is secondary to the social role of the technology.
Podcasts for Content
Schuck (2015) describes using podcasts as part of a professional learning community using m-learning. Interestingly, Rahimi and Soleymani (2015) found that language learners did better and had less anxiety when using a mobile device for listening to podcasts than those using desktop computers. The authors attributed this to the listeners being under less time pressure when using their own mobile device, than when using a language lab computer.
Mobile Entrepreneurship Games
Antonaci, Dagnino, Ott, Bellotti, Berta, De Gloria and Mayer (2014) describe the use of mobile games for teaching entrepreneurship in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands at the Bachelor, Master and PhD level. The games were played at home, both individually and homework and as competitions against other students. This was preceded by an in-class discussion and post-game debrief. The course had a final "playoff". The concerned finance, marketing and other aspects of a business, relevant to entrepreneurship.
Antonaci, A., Dagnino, F. M., Ott, M., Bellotti, F., Berta, R., De Gloria, A., ... & Mayer, I. (2014). A gamified collaborative course in entrepreneurship: Focus on objectives and tools. Computers in Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.082
Joo, Y. J., Lim, K. Y., & Lim, E. (2014). Investigating the structural relationship among perceived innovation attributes, intention to use and actual use of mobile learning in an online university in South Korea. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(4). Retrieved from http://ajet.org.au/index.php/AJET/article/download/681/1060
Mascia, D., Magnusson, M., & Björk, J. (2015). The Role of Social Networks in Organizing Ideation, Creativity and Innovation: An Introduction. Creativity and Innovation Management, 24(1), 102-108.
Menkhoff, T., & Bengtsson, M. L. (2012). Engaging students in higher education through mobile learning: lessons learnt in a Chinese entrepreneurship course. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 11(3), 225-242. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10671-011-9123-8.pdf Rahimi, M., & Soleymani, E. (2015). The Impact of Mobile Learning on Listening Anxiety and Listening Comprehension. English Language Teaching, 8(10), p152. Retrieved from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/elt/article/download/53347/28473
Schuck, S. (2015). Mobile Learning in Higher education: Mobilizing staff to use technologies in their teaching. eLearn, 2015(March), 3. Retrieved from http://elearnmag.acm.org/archive.cfm?aid=2749226
Suo, X., & Niu, T. (2014, October). Incorporating entrepreneurship topic into a mobile computing course. In Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2014 IEEE (pp. 1-6). IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2014.7044483
Monday, November 2, 2015
Boosting Entrepreneurship in Australian Universities
This report studies several universities with impressive track records as breeding grounds for entrepreneurs, and finds the following common attributes:
- Strong engagement between the university and the local startup ecosystem
- Courses delivered by experienced entrepreneurs
- Students given multiple opportunities for engagement— ranging from short courses to immersive programs such as internships and overseas placements
- Programs support multi-disciplinary collaboration that includes STEM
- Emphasis on experiential programs and learning by doing
- Funding arrangements with government drive investment in establishing and delivering student entrepreneurship programs that operate at significant scale
- Recognition and reward for academics who engage in student entrepreneurship activities
- Programs based on modern startup approaches such as Lean Startup."
From “Boosting High-Impact Entrepreneurship in Australia: A role for universities” (for the Office of the Chief Scientist for Australia, by Colin Kinner, 28 October 2015).
Examples of Australian universality start-up centers mentioned by Kinner include the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre (University of New South Wales), iAccelerate (University of Wollongong), New Venture Institute (Flinders University) and Canberra Innovation Network (Australian National University, University of Canberra, UNSW Canberra, NICTA and CSIRO). Kinner also mentioned "Piivot" at University of Technology Sydney, but this appears to be more of a concept than a specific center. UTS has what I call the "UTS Innovation Building" which has their UTS Hatchery Pre-Incubator. Kinner also mentions Ormond College (University of Melbourne), but this appears to just be a residential student college.
On Saturday I attended the Innovation ACT awards, run in conjunction with the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) for Canberra's university students (the team I mentored won an award). This meets Kinner's criteria for entrepreneurial courses (and more), being by entrepreneurs made up of short modules linked to longer formal educational units and supporting multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Unlike the other centres Kinner mentions, CBRIN is multi-institutional, allowing student from different institution to work together. The ANU has also linked Innovation ACT to its degree programs through ANU TechLauncher, with students about to do the technical part of innovation in their degree program and the business part in the Innovation ACT competition.
The report has a chapter on "Best Practice Entrepreneurship Education" (Chapter 4, Page 33). However, I suggest what Australia's universities first need is introductory entrepreneurship education. This is something which takes time to develop and the first step is to tell the students that this is an acceptable activity for them to undertake and will be recognize in formal educational programs. I don't agree with distinction between "high-impact entrepreneurship" and other types: just getting the students to consider this is a useful start. Experiential programs is the worthwhile approach, but before incubators and internships, I suggest that start-up competitions and short courses are a cost effective first step for students.
Teaching entrepreneurship requires entrepreneurs to be involved, however Kinner overlooks the role of educators in the process. Entrepreneurs tend to be good talkers, but not necessarily good teachers. Start-up programs can falter after the initial enthusiasm wears off. I suggest that these programs need to be designed like any other learning experience. In particular I suggest the use of the same e-learning tools and techniques used for university courses. These can now make use of mobile devices for blended learning. In this way the program can avoid being bogged down in mountains of post-it-notes and paperwork.
The Cambridge ModelKinner lists the University of Cambridge as third in the world for its impact on creating and supporting technology innovation and the highest ranking non-US institution, after MIT and Standford University (Figure 8, p. 35, 2015). The Cambridge approach is one which I proposed for Australian universities in 1998. Kinner points to the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) at Cambridge University, which I made a brief visit to in July. However, Kinner fails to mention the decades of work which preceded this, referred to as "The Cambridge Phenomenon".
Boosting Entrepreneurship in Australian Universities with Blended Mobile LearningI will speaking at the Australian Computer Society in Sydney, 6:30pm, 4 November on "Global Green Computing On-line: Evolving Content and Assessment for an International Moodle Course" and will add some comments on entrepreneurship and blended mobile learning.
Scalable Learning Systems
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Team 101 Tutotra Innovation Award Winner
Our value proposition is reducing learning and language barriers for international students. In particular it provides understanding to course content which may not other be achieved. This is achieved through bilingual study guides and support tools, allowing students to absorb knowledge in their native language."