Monday, August 30, 2021
Thursday, August 26, 2021
|Presenting proposal in Colombo, 2018|
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Hand holding the phone makes for wobbly video and a phone on a desk is too low to give a good angle. A tripod with clamp holds the phone securely at a good height. It is still possible to pick up the whole unit, if necessary, and move it to another location.
When WebEx started, it offered to call me for the sound, so I accepted this option. One bonus of this is that if you receive a phone call, the conference audio is put on hold, so there is no risk of the conference participants listening in on my phone call.
Monday, August 23, 2021
My first Keep Calm and Carry Online Webinar, presented "Some tips and tricks for e-learning" (7 September, see the slideshow video and slides). The second in the series "Creating an X-factor Experience for Students" is 1pm Wednesday 20 October, Canberra Time, Via Zoom (draft slides). This will look to the future to see how individual university academics and unviersites can better deliver learning for students through the use of technology on campus and online. This will be key to learning into the future, and will decide if Australian universities have a future.
|Poster generated using Keep Calms.|
"Keep Calm and Carry Online" a sign on the wall behind me, during webinars from my lounge room for the last eighteen months. So that as the working title for this series of talks. Contributions, corrections and offers of where to present would be welcome.
Keep Calm and Carry Online: Creating an X-factor Experience for Students
Tom Worthington, Honorary Senior Lecturer, ANU School of Computing
Abstract: Award winning online educator, Tom Worthington, has been learning about, and teaching, online at ANU for ten years. He will provide some tips and tricks to survive teaching in these uncertain times, in a classroom, online, or both at the same time. Bring along your problems for a masterclass solution.
About the speaker: Tom Worthington is an Honorary Senior Lecturer, at the ANU School of Computing, an independent computer consultant and educational technology designer. He previously wrote IT policy for the Australian Department of Defence. Tom is a Fellow, Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Computer Society. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Tom has a Masters of Education in Open, Digital and Distance Education from Athabasca University and blogs as the highereducationwhisperer.com
Creating an X-factor Experience for Students
- X-factor for Student Satisfaction
- Sage on the Stage & Many Guides On the Side
- Tool Up
- Global Design
- Team Teaching in ANU TechLauncher
- Design Courses Like Luxury Cars
The X-factor for Student Satisfaction
|Gary Martin, CEO, AIMWA|
Gary Martin, chief executive officer of the Australian Institute of Management WA, recently asked what gave a quality experience for Australian university students ("Creating an X-factor Experience", Business News, 22 August 2021). After scrambling to quickly deliver online courses, universities around the world are asking: what next? Do they return to pre-COVID campus based teaching, provide online courses alongside campus ones, blended learning which has some online and some face to face elements, or hybrid with classroom linked online.
While academics and university executives may think online delivery is still an open question, students now expect courses to be available online as a matter of routine. However, they also want the option of face to face classes, where they can work with others, under the guidance of experts. What will distinguish a course is the quality of interaction provided, with students and staff.
As an online student for seven years I found I could manage to study by following the materials provided, doing the readings and exercises. However, it was a very lonely, frustrating experience. What stood out were the occasions when I met and worked virtually with my fellow students. Events live with instructors were a highlight. The very rare occasions when I met my instructors were a bonus, as they were on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, 17,000 km away.
The Sage on the Stage
|Prof. Steve Blackburn teaching Structured Programming |
with interactive live-streamed lectures
from ANU Manning Clark Hall.
Guide on the side
|Prof. Steve Blackburn & tutor Leopold Zhou|
In the video, Steve mentions the role of tutors. Called Teaching Assistants (TAs) in North America, they are critical. While the professor takes center stage, the tutors work with smaller groups of students, assisting in lectures, in tutorials, workshops and laboratories, to investigate topics and practice skills. Here again, tutoring is a skill which takes training and practice, with a extra layer of complexity when carried out online.
Support CrewDr Kim Blackmore, Director,
ANU Centre for Learning and Teaching
Backing up the professor and tutors are many other staff. Producing courses, especially online courses, requires educational designers, video makers, and other specialists. Ed designers work with the subject matter experts to structure the learning and assessment, video makers and others polish the materials.
The Australian National University has a Centre for Learning and Teaching, headed by Dr Kim Blackmore, as well as staff in the colleges. These staff have been busy during the pandemic, with a crash program to move courses online. But they are always busy, so if you need help, give them plenty of notice.
Both classroom based and online learning also require technical support personnel to keep the audio visual systems, software and networks working. The last decade has seen new software to delivery learning developed. When working properly, and used as intended, these systems lighten the burden for students and teachers.
|Holly Hapke, |
University of Kentucky.
Dogfood: Be an online student of teaching
|Tom Worthington receiving an MEd |
in Open, Digital and Distance Education,
from Athabasca University, Canada
- If you find study frustrating, conflicting with family and work commitments, then you know what it is like for your students.
Alpo Dog Food Commercial, 1980
'Back in the 1980s when actor Lorne Greene served as the pitchman for Alpo dog food, the TV commercials were careful to point out that he indeed fed Alpo to his dogs. Consequently, the idea that someone would use the products they were making became known as "eating your own dog food.'
From Harrison, W. (2006). Eating your own dog food. IEEE Software, 23(3), 5-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MS.2006.72
|ANU EFS, Information Sessions |
from 14 September
Build the course around the assessment
Students worry about assessment, so tell them what it is, and how each learning activity supports it. Delete activities, readings and materials which don't relate to assessment. Have small assessment tasks every week, to keep the students engaged (1% or 2% a week will do). Have a best of assessment scheme, so students can have multiple attempts. Provide results with feedback each week.
Make time for contact with students
Use video sparingly- Reuse old videos
- Generate slideshows
- Provide video to supplement the text
High production quality video is not needed for education (in fact video is not needed, text works just as well). If you already have video, use it. If you have slide decks, turn them into videos. Link the videos from your text notes. Instead of an hour long video lecture, create a ten minute summary. Focus your efforts on getting students to do things, not just watch videos.
Get help- Ask for advice from the educational technology & learning design staff: they are trained experts.
- Have a colleague, or assistant, to help you with the course.
- Team teach live: one person presents, the other works the tech and helps the students
Team Teaching in ANU TechLauncher
- Course convener: Dr Charles Gretton, sets the context
- Subject matter expert: Tempe Archer, delivers the workshop.
- Instructor: Tom Worthington, manages the students
- 200 Students: Peer review.
- 13 Tutors: Assess their student’s portfolios.
The Lexus and The Learner: Engineering Quality Education
Universities across the world are now struggling to come up with a post-COVID education strategy. On the one hand online learning has shown education can be provided efficiently anywhere, on the other there is a desire to provide a personal experience. Thomas L. Friedman explored a similar dilemma in "The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization" (1999). Lexus motor vehicles represented the desire for the products of globalization, and the olive tree local tradition. Friedman argued that globalization would win out, but I suggest it is possible to have both.
Engineering a car for global standards takes hundreds of engineers years and billions of dollars. So makers such as Toyota design a common "platform" for a range of models, from low cost to luxury ones. Luxury models are hand finished with some premium components, to give a luxury product.
- Higher Education After COVID-19, six webinars from August 2020, by Tom Worthington, for the Microlearning Series curated by Manisha Khetarpal at Maskwacis Cultural College, Canada
- Engaging students in the online environment, five webinars from February 2021, by Tom Worthington, for the Microlearning Series curated by Manisha Khetarpal at Maskwacis Cultural College, Canada
- Learning to Reflect Module Version 5.0: Hybrid Edition by Tom Worthington, for the module for the ANU TechLauncher program, 2018 to 2021.
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Athabasca University (where I completed my MED in 2016), is offering a special graduate course for next term: "Post-Covid K-12 Online and Blended Teaching and Learning" (MDDE 690). There is not a lot of information provided about the course. For more, contact the ever helpful Leanne Jewell, Graduate Programs Administrator, Athabasca University.
"This is a special offering of MDDE 690 that will be of particular interest to K-12 teachers, administrators, and instructional designers. Participants will co-create their individual learning objectives, activities, and assignments with the instructor, Dr. Susan Bainbridge. They will also have the opportunity for valuable collaborative sessions that will assist them in critical reflection that will support assignment completion. There will be two assignments.
Dr. Susan Bainbridge
Suggested assignments are a short paper due Week 4 worth 20% and a final assignment due Week 13 worth 60%, which may take various forms after discussion with the instructor. Participation will be valued at 20%. This course will be a collaborative effort of participants and the instructor to delve into the past year in K-12 education and assess the challenges, the successes, and the failures, to see if we can learn from these and prepare for K-12 education as we move forward. The format of the course will include synchronous sessions every two weeks and ongoing asynchronous discussions."
"Learning to Reflect" is a module for the ANU TechLauncher program, where students reflect on what they have learned, by writing an application for a real job, as their last assessed task before graduating. This was developed in late 2018 and first run in semester 1, February 2019. It was designed for blended delivery, with the option of easy conversion to full online delivery. That option was needed for Semesters 1 & 2 in 2020, and Semester 1 2021 due to COVID-19. This version 5 is designed for hybrid delivery, with students in a physical classroom linked to those online, using the MidFlex Minimal Hybrid Format. Unfortunately COVID-19 again required a return to pure online delivery, but without any changes required to the material.
Two additional workshops were added from Version 4, at student request, bringing the total to four. The first three have exercises for a 2% mark each (not for the last when a major assignment is due). The optional student logbook has been dropped due to lack of use. The middle two workshops are half the length of the others with the first hour used for the new ANU Computing Showcase, featuring prominent ANU alumni, speaking about their careers.
Please note that the course notes only supply the structure for the module and the assessment. The detailed content for the workshops is provided by Tempe Archer, Careers Consultant at ANU Careers, and the students undertake exercises using the ANU Careers Toolkit.
A paper on the design and blended delivery of the module is available:
- Worthington, T. (2019, December). Blend and Flip for Teaching Communication Skills to Final Year International Computer Science Students. In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Education (TALE) (pp. 1-5). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/TALE48000.2019.9225921
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
- Host applications open – 13 August 2021
- Host project proposals due - 10 September 2021
- Host organisations assess/interview and advise preferred candidate - 4-22 October 2021
- Placements and agreements finalised
- Host applications open – 13 September 2021
- Host project proposals due - 15 October 2021
- Host organisations assess/interview and advise preferred candidate - 8 - 26 November 2021
- Placements and agreements finalised
Placements begin – week beginning 21 February 2022
Monday, August 16, 2021
|Martin Dougiamas, and Tom Worthington |
at EduTech Asia 2018, Singapore
EduTech 2021 Australia starts 17 August. Below are my pics for what looks interesting (I picked these and the system prepared me a schedule). The must see session is 12:30 pm August 18, with Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle.
August 17, 2021
What happens when you keep books o the booklist?
Brisbane South State Secondary College is Queensland's
newest vertical state high school. In collaboration with one of...
Tamara Sullivan · Inner City South State Secondary
Thriving in the digital economy. Are you digitising or
The digital economy has been a signi cant positive trend in
the world and a big headache for many of us who do not...
Prof Marek Kowalkiewicz · Queensland University of
August 17, 2021
Destination Australia - How to rebuild con dence in
the overseas student market post COVID
Higher Ed & Tertiary Education Channel
Hon. Phil Honeywood · International Education Association
Belle W.X. Lim · Council Of International Student Australia9:00 AM
Data Protection for Higher Education
An overview of the data protection issues facing the education
industrySome tips on where to start with protecting your...
Higher Ed & Tertiary Education Channel
Kate Carruthers · University of New South Wales
National VET Datastreamling Initiative
Historical approaches to data collection, data validation and
reporting are changing across the VET landscape with the...
Higher Ed & Tertiary Education Channel
Andrew Liberale · NSW Department of Education
Higher Education Trends 2021 - What’s top of mind
for students and sta ?
As the world continues to battle COVID-19, higher education
institutions continue to face massive disruption as they sprint ...
Higher Ed & Tertiary Education Channel
David Yip · Salesforce.org
Samantha Curtis · Salesforce Australia
What are the real employability skills employers are
saying they need?
This presentation is about taking education and student’s
employability to the next level - how do we prepare them for...
Higher Ed & Tertiary Education Channel
Serryn O'Regan · Evolve College9:50 AM
Mapping our future together: How industries are
helping researchers de ne future innovative space
design and use. (Introducing LEaRN’s ILE+SE Project.)
The large ILETC research project concluded in 2020, a major
nding being the future of innovative learning environment...
Dr Wesley Imms · University of Melbourne - Melbourne
Graduate School of Education
August 18, 2021
Hear from the founder of Moodle, an Australian
EdTech success story.
Moodle is the most popular open source LMS in the world and
has got more than 110+ million users globally. Hear from Marti...
Edtech Summit & Innovation Precinct
Jack Goodman · Studiosity
Martin Dougiamas · Moodle
Sunday, August 15, 2021
As it is not my field I can be entirely sure what Munroe, Moore, Bonnet, Rastorguieva, Mascaro, Craighead, Haack, Quave, and Bergquist (2021) are writing about. But it appears they have designed a course to promoting healthier eating, by teaching how to cook. One section of their paper is "Asynchronous vs Synchronous Delivery", where I get a brief mention (Worthington, 2013). A little worryingly the location of the conference I presented at has been incorrectly given as "Columbia", when it was Colombo (Sri Lanka).
As the authors note, asynchronous delivery depends more on the student. As many students and teachers have found during the pandemic induced lock-downs over the last 18 months, this can be stressful with students feeling lost and alone. My experience of being a student and teaching this way, suggests that students need frequent feedback on how they are doing. It helps to be rewarded with a few marks for completing each small task in the course.
As the authors note, the alternative synchronous mode of teaching, where the students and teacher interact in real time is something many students expect. But one mode is not better than the other and they can be combined in the “flipped classroom”. This has the student studying alone in preparation for a teacher lead class. However, I suggest a small inducement, such as a mark, is still useful for keeping students working.
An emergency move to online teaching has seen many instructors providing long hours of synchronous teaching. This direct translation of the traditional classroom experience, I suggest, is not the best approach. A flipped approach, with shorter synchronous sessions, is a better use of student and staff time, but requires careful design and new skills of everyone. Teachers need to learn to provide quick feedback to students & anticipate their questions, or be overwhelmed with student queries. Students need to learn to plan their study.
Until last week, I was helping teach 200 students in a flipped hybrid mode. Students were provided with text and videos online to study in advance of class. Those who could get to the campus could take part there and others via video. But Canberra was locked down at 5pm last Thursday, due to a COVID-19 outbreak, so this week all students will be attending via video. However, other than the lack of a physical classroom, nothing about the teaching changes: the exercises and interaction are the same, just via a digital medium.
Munroe, D., Moore, M. A., Bonnet, J. P., Rastorguieva, K., Mascaro, J. S., Craighead, L. W., Haack, C. I., Quave, C. L., & Bergquist, S. H. (2021). Development of Culinary and Self-Care Programs in Diverse Settings: Theoretical Considerations and Available Evidence. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1177/15598276211031493
Worthington, T . Synchronizing asynchronous learning. Combining synchronous and asynchronous techniques. 2013 8th International Conference on Computer Science Education; 26-28 April 2013; Columbia, Srilanka, 618-621, doi:10.1109/ICCSE.2013.6553983.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
The ANU Computing School is now providing its monthly Foundations of Computing Seminars online, as well as free on campus in Canberra. All are welcome to attend free.Next is:
The state of “verifiable" online voting: and the ethical problems thereinps: See my own posts on e-voting.
Speaker: Thomas Haines
Abstract: At present the best theoretical solutions for online voting do not meet the requirements. Moreover, the solutions being used in practice are far weaker than the theoretical best solutions. This talk will examine these three areas and discuss the ethical issues they raise for academics working in the area.
When: Wednesday, 18 August, 2021, at 1pm.
Where: ANU Hanna Neumann (Building 145) Room 1.33. Or, via Zoom.
Sunday, August 8, 2021
|ANU Birch kitchen/meeting |
area by Vibe FM
|Structure of ANU Birch |
building by TTW
The two spaces I found most impressive are the kitchen built into the ground floor, and the flat floor space over what was the Chemistry lecture theater. The kitchen has seating and a large flat screen, perfect for informal events. The upstairs space has windows on three sides, large sliding doors and movable flip up tables on wheels.
Friday, August 6, 2021
Open Universities Australia Delivering Online Education Through Australia's Universities Before and During the Pandemic
Much has been written on the need for universities to suddenly move to online education in the last year and a half. What has been largely forgotten, or deliberately ignored, is that many traditional bricks and mortar Australian universities, were already involved in online education for decades through Open Universities Australia (OUA). This consortium of universities has been delivering online degrees since 1993, with a staff of less than 200. OUA are so comfortable with their low key online approach that they seemed to have stopped producing new TV ads for their courses, and are just running the same one with the voice overdubbed.
The course design and delivery for OUA is done through traditional universities, including:
- Australian Catholic University
- Australian National University
- Bond University
- Charles Sturt University
- Curtin University
- Edith Cowan University
- Flinders University
- Griffith University
- James Cook University
- La Trobe University
- Macquarie University
- Murdoch University
- RMIT University
- Southern Cross University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- The University of Adelaide
- The University of Newcastle
- University of New England
- University of New South Wales
- University of South Australia
- University of Tasmania
The Melbourne EdTech Summit is 17 to 20 August. COVID-19 has forced the event online, which not all bad news: it is free and you don;t have to be in Melbourne (Australia) to attend. Here is what caught my attention in the program (if you do nothing else, you must, at least, hear the keynote from Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle, 11:45am Wednesday):