Tag Archives: INF530 Assessment

The personalized puzzle of INF530

Personal baggage Image by Kolobsek http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/851769
Personal baggage
Image by Kolobsek
# 851769
http://www.morguefile.com

INF530 Critical Review

I came to INF530 with a very different perspective, as I had already completed three other units and this semester saw me working my way through a further two units, almost an information overload! In the past I have seen my previous knowledge almost as unwanted baggage, but in INF530 I think I have now checked my baggage into the plane’s cargo hold for the rest of the trip.

This subject has helped revisit and consolidate a great deal of learning that I’ve already completed. I was challenged and able to delve into topics that were of interest to me and my work such as the impact of the Internet of Things, Big Data, Personal Learning Environments and Blended Delivery.

Personal learning jigsaw cc-BY-NC license Yvette Drager
Personal learning jigsaw
cc-BY-NC license Yvette Drager

Throughout this course I have often felt that we are looking at a giant personalized jigsaw puzzle and we have to search to find the meaning and thus all the pieces will click into place.

The only way to discover what the personalized puzzle looks like is by engaging with the content and peers. Knowing how you learn and working to your strengths along with your peers is the way forward to successfully grapple the content into a manageable and meaningful form. This is why our tasks are designed to be authentic, active learning activities (Buzzard, Crittenden, Crittenden & McCarty, 2011; D’Aloisio, 2006; Day & Kumar, 2010; Herrington & Parker, 2013; Herrington, Reeves, Oliver, & Woo, 2010).
Learning by doing is almost the mantra of the whole of this course, and because of this fits with the makerspaces movement ethos well (O’Connell, 2015). In keeping with this philosophy of active learning and makerspaces to I try to challenge myself to create something different every unit with a new technology as part of my ongoing professional learning. The digital essay enabled me to trial Sway (Microsoft, 2015), so simple and I will be showcasing this again. I also created collage images using Adobe Photoshop and a nice simple jigsaw puzzle creation online software (BigHugeLabs, 2015). All of this means that I take away from this unit a new set of skills and a solid understanding of how these skills can supplement a VET practitioner’s bag-of-tricks in creating a satisfying digital experience for students.

I’m always happy to share snippets with others of information, such as around Digital Preservation – Snow Byte and the Seven Formats.

I featured this video in an INF443 assessment. Reviewing the Digital Preservation content from both INF530 and INF443 bought to light some serious issues in preservation of student’s digital content for audit purposes in the VET sector. This content has formed the basis of a webinar presentation I have created for the Department of Training and Workforce Development to inform organisations of their ongoing obligations.

The Big data topic really made me stop, think, research and reflect on the Unique Student Identifier code that has been rolled out for the VET sector. There is such an impact of big data and how we deal with it that this will be an ongoing issue into the future especially in relation to personal data which of course linked into the Internet of Things (IoT). I specifically chose a book about IoT for my scholarly review, to challenge and enlighten my throughs around this topic so I can inform others.

My journey is far from complete, and my puzzle still has more than a few pieces missing, (I may have to look under the table for them). The final destination of course is not where you learn. The journey and the people you meet and work with along the way will always be where you grow and learn. I look forward to moving onto the next step of my journey and finding the next set of puzzle pieces to help me finally complete my personal jigsaw.

References

BigHugeLabs. (2015). Jigsaw: Create jigsaw puzzles from your photos [Computer software].retrieved from http://bighugelabs.com/jigsaw.php

Buzzard, C., Crittenden, V., Crittenden, W., & McCarty, P. (2011). The Use of Digital Technologies in the Classroom A Teaching and Learning Perspective. Journal of Marketing Education, 33(2), 131-139. doi:10.1177/0273475311410845

D’Aloisio, A. (2006). Motivating students through awareness of the natural correlation between college learning and corporate work settings. College Teaching, 54(2), 225-230. doi:10.3200/CTCH.54.2.225-230

Day, J., & Kumar, M. (2010). Using SMS Text Messaging to Create Individualized and Interactive Experiences in Large Classes: A Beer Game Example. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 8(1), 129-136. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4609.2009.00247.x

Herrington, J., & Parker, J. (2013). Emerging technologies as cognitive tools for authentic learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(4), 607-615. doi:10.1111/bjet.12048

Herrington, J., Reeves, T., Oliver, R., & Woo, Y. (2004). Designing authentic activities in web-based courses. Journal of Computing In Higher Education, 16(1), 3-29. doi:10.1007/bf02960280 Retrieved from http://link.springer.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/article/10.1007/BF02960280

Microsoft. (2015). Sway [Computer software]. Retrieved from https://sway.com/

O’Connell, J. (2015). Hackerspaces and makerspaces [INF530 Module 5.4]. Retrieved 20 May, 2015, from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-249314-dt-content-rid-635373_1/courses/S-INF530_201530_W_D/module5/5_4_Hackerspaces_makerspaces.html

 

Less screen more green – an adventure in blended delivery and games

Less screen more green flickr photo shared by CMIMMJYT under a Creative Commons (BY) licence
flickr photo shared by CMIMMJYT under a Creative Commons (BY) licence

I am fortunate enough to work with VET professionals to develop and implement methods for using elearning as part of a blended delivery program. It’s always a challenge when putting together a professional development session to ensure that there is a good blend of theory and hands on work to ensure that the participants go away with a solid understanding of the content of the session and how to use that content in their specific context.

I was asked recently to put together a blended delivery session that would engage TAFE lecturers from a variety of portfolios for Polytechnic West lecturers from Balga and Thornlie campuses. I really wanted to build a blended delivery session that made participants use personal learning networks, technology and had a game based element to it. What evolved was a very interesting and well received session that was engaging and really made the participants understand that technology can support all training packages.

The brief outline of the session was “So you are keen to engage your online students but do not like the thought of just getting them to sit at a computer. This face-to-face session will work through ways to motivate your online students to ‘experience’ the real world and not to rely just on spoon fed online information.” Being held on two campuses I made sure that sessions ran as close to concurrent as possible as my co-presenter and I wanted to split the participants into small groups with the groups being a mix of representatives from both campuses. The participants were placed in teams prior to the session commencing – based on the roll, however the groups mix was  tweaked in the session when it became apparent on the Thornlie campus that we had a mix from a third campus.

Participants began the session in a computer lab at both campuses with a short presentation and briefing from me and my co-presenter about what we were going to do in the session and the key learning objectives. The participants were then given a physical live task to perform at each campus, and needed to work as a group across both sites to achieve the end goal. Participants were given access to a virtual meeting room space in Blackboard Collaborate and could also use mobile devices to communicate with the other site. The workshop ended back at each “basecamp” for debrief and to un-pack the learning from the activity.

It was important to make the physical activity an authentic learning activity which was a learner centric learning design that supports a higher level of learning by participants. I used a mix of both synchronous – Blackboard Collaborate and asynchronous – sms messaging and Google documents, which enabled collaborative learning (Laurillard, 2008). This supported a dynamic learner centric learning process for the participants (Herrington & Parker, 2013), which is essential for adult learners.

As the professional development was for adult learners who benefit from real-world relevance (Herrington, Reeves, Oliver and Woo, 2004) the live physical activity linked to the Employability Skills Occupational Health and Safety area of training packages as well as a ‘get to know the campuses’ orientation. This ensured that the participants were not doing an activity just for the sake of it and could see the context in that related to training packages and their training.

The activity was a Scavenger Hunt around the two campuses with focus questions that the groups had to work together to answer, within a 40 minute time frame. Cunningly the Scavenger Hunt was designed so that general knowledge would take them so far and they actually had to physically move around the two campuses to get the information to complete the questions.

The teams firstly had access in the physical classroom to Blackboard Collaborate and worked through as much as they could together and formulated a plan of action; they identified what questions might relate to each campus and then worked out a way to chat to each other outside the class. Some of the mobile technologies teams used were: sms messages, Facebook instant messages, Twitter and one team setup a Google document live to add findings to. During the session I acted as an instructor, a guide and an evaluator (Hanghøj, 2013) to enable to participants success in game play and facilitated groups through to a successful conclusion of the activity.

Once they had collated the answers they nominated a team member to fill out a survey monkey quiz that replicated the scavenger hunt questions, which enabled the two presenters live to demonstrate how the answers and statistics show in this system. The team then had to email the presenters that they had finished. Two prizes were awarded:

  1. First team finished
  2. Team with most correct answers

The participants thoroughly enjoyed the game element to the session and as part of the session debrief unpacked how this type of activity could inform their future training. The blended element of the delivery, though technically challenging having two big groups online working at the same time, it was extremely rewarding for the participants.

Participant guide – Less screen more green

 

References

Hanghøj, T. (2013). Game-based teaching: Practices, roles, and pedagogies. In S. de Freitas, M. Ott, M. Popescu, & I. Stanescu (Eds.) New pedagogical approaches in game enhanced learning: Curriculum integration (pp. 81-101). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-3950-8.ch005

Herrington, J., & Parker, J. (2013). Emerging technologies as cognitive tools for authentic learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(4), 607-615. doi:10.1111/bjet.12048

Herrington, J., Reeves, T., Oliver, R., & Woo, Y. (2004). Designing authentic activities in web-based courses. Journal of Computing In Higher Education, 16(1), 3-29. doi:10.1007/bf02960280 Retrieved from http://link.springer.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/article/10.1007/BF02960280

Laurillard, D. (2009). The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(1), 5-20. doi:10.1007/s11412-008-9056-2

Unique Student Identifier (USI) and Big Data (the highs and lows)

A personal viewpoint

As of the 1st January 2014 all students, in the Australian VET sector, have been allocated a Unique Student Identifier. This code follows the student through their life and enables registered training organizations (RTOs) easier access to a student’s VET records and provides a simpler way for students to provide evidence for credit transfer makes it easier for students to transfer between training institutions (Mills, 2013).

But this got me thinking about Big Data and the relationship that this USI could offer in the future for RTOs. On the positive side there is the possibility of responsive training based on the needs of the client making it a system that can contextualize a learning journey through skill sets for the student to eventually achieve a desired goal, but it could also have a darker side the side where direct marketing and disreputable RTOs denying students training based purely on past performances in previous qualifications. Currently the USI does not store informal comments regarding student’s performance currently, but you have to ask yourself does that mean that the system will always stay like this, especially if K-12 students are eventually linked into it.

Education providers, if engaging in digital learning, have the ability to garner information about their clients easily through the technology that we use.  Every click a student does within a Learning Management System is recorded in the back end database, which will be archived along with the course in the VET sector for audit purposes. If utilizing social media every mention or micro-blog post can be saved to build a picture of the learners and their capabilities and needs. Now imagine this big picture that one RTO is able to build through, careful and critical analysis of the underlying data, an explicit picture of the student’s choices and make accurate predictions on the same students future study choices. If this data becomes part of public record then one bad grade somewhere in your past could in the future severely impact on what you are able to study in a dystopian world.

When you delve closer into USI there are some alarm bells that, for me, are set off. In the  Student Indentifiers Registers Privacy Policy (Office of the USI Registrar, 2014) it clearly states that the USI Registrar may disclose personal information to third parties, which is not limited to the list of third parties provided. Once these third parties have the information, then the student’s details are now no longer secure and safe behind the USI, a critical issue. Though there is a caveat on the USI site that it is finally the responsibility of the student to keep their login detail secure so no one can access their academic records if this data is shared with third parties, it begs the question what security measures are put into place by these other organisations and what data is actually being shared?

The Student Indentifiers Registers Privacy Policy (Office of the USI Registrar, 2014) clearly states that the content is held in a cloud computing solution, which adheres to the Australian Government Cloud Computing arrangements (Finance.gov.au, 2014). However, for me, personally there is also a big concern around security having all of the VET student’s qualification history in one place, no matter the security surrounding the system. Recently we have seen that big corporations using cloud computing systems have not been able to keep people’s personal data or content safe  such as Celebgate which saw celebrities iCloud accounts hacked in 2014 (BBC News, 2014). If this can occur to a high end security space then we do need to review this step into keeping the data in one repository held on a cloud based solution.

In all fairness the USI Registry System has been designed to keep training records and results safe, according to their website (Usi.gov.au, 2015) and goes on in subsequent pages to assure students that their information is safe. But the worry about security when it comes to student academic records is not an isolated concern for Australia but was raised in Education Week (Kamisar, 2014) that discussed issues around security for the organization inBloom which was touted as being the organization that would revolutionize personalized learning and target the needs of individuals based by synthesizing  student data. Admittedly there are marked differences between inBloom and the USI Registry System. One stand out difference is that currently the USI is not being managed by a private third party but by a Federal Government agency, however, given recent privatization and the push to consolidate services to reduce Government employment burdens it does beg the question if this will become outsourced in years to come.

Data mining is big business for organisations and more so the art of predictive analytics. Marketing departments in retails stores have been onto this for years as outlined by Duhigg (2012), so why wouldn’t the education industry want to start move into this field especially with a ready made supply of information. This could become a very lucrative market place with the value of this data being almost priceless, and we the consumers may never even realize that our information might have been shared. One must ask the question do students know that the information stored within the registry may be provided to third parties such as regulators, researchers current and former VET RTOs to name a few for a variety of purposes. When a student is enrolling is this ever explained in full to them and all of the ramifications, as in the current system you cannot enrol in a VET qualification without have a USI. I have to say that I could (if I wanted to) create a USI on the website (Usi.gov.au, 2015) and it would have been up to me to have explored all of the sub-pages to dig into what will happen to my results and who has access to my details, but I am not convinced that all of our VET students will do this.

We do not have a perfect VET system, but we are trying to put in place systems that will streamline workloads for organizations. But I do have to wonder who is looking out for the students? This blog post is really the start of my exploration into this very interesting topic and one that could have ramifications in years to come within all sections of the education industry.

References

BBC News,. (2014). Apple confirms accounts compromised but denies security breach – BBC News. Retrieved 1 May 2015, from http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29039294

Duhigg, C. (2012). How Companies Learn Your Secrets. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?_r=2&

Finance.gov.au,. (2014). Cloud Computing | Department of Finance. Retrieved 4 May 2015, from http://www.finance.gov.au/cloud/

Kamisar, B. (2014). InBloom Sputters Amid Concerns About Privacy of Student Data. Education Week, 33(15), 1-13. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/01/08/15inbloom_ep.h33.html

Mills, A. (2013). VET Transparency Agenda – what’s in it for me. Presentation, Training Providers Forum, Perth, Western Australia.

MindCET,. (2014). MindCET Snapshot #2 – Big Data & Education. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MrWQUMgcyk

Office of the USI Registrar,. (2014). Student Indentifiers Registers privacy policy v1.1 (pp. 1-8). Canberra: Department of Education and Training.

Usi.gov.au,. (2015). Skills Unique Student Identifier: Training Records and Results. Retrieved 1 May 2015, from http://www.usi.gov.au/Students/Pages/training-records-and-results.aspx