With more and more information coming my way, I decided to rationalise how I manage all that chatter and keep track of what needs doing and when. Now, being a software developer, I need to concentrate on designing systems and writing code, as well as keeping up to date with several fields and managing the development infrastructure such as Jira for issue tracking, Bamboo for continuous integration and Fisheye/Crucible for code reviews. So before I even go near the endless stream of bytes flowing from the net, most of my time is already taken up with things related to what I do. So I don’t really have time to work out how best to use various productivity applications, other than download, install and crudely filter the flow, usually to some local application where I keep notes. (more…)
It’s a time of year I look forward to, when my student feedback for M887 comes in. Being a postgraduate course, it’s quite intensive but the students get a lot out of it and I always anticipate what they say in their feedback. Almost 50% responded this time and I’m very pleased with the results and there are some comments that are very constructive and I always use the feedback to improve on next year’s intake. It’s a side of software that surprised me really, teaching integration techniques with the OU and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far. I always look forward to the next presentation as I always learn something new from the students. Some are frighteningly clever and it’s a pleasure to see them advance in this field with my tutoring.
The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) standard is designed to allow reusable units of learning material to be used in different Learning Management Systems (LMS). The following diagram gives an outline of what’s involved in getting a Shareable Content Object (SCO) hierarchy from an LMS into a user’s web browser.
A long time ago, during the early days of the Bodington collaboration, those that know about these things reckoned the LMS, or as it was termed in those days, VLE, would become an aggregator of learning services, rather than a monolithic blob of press ganged functionality and at the time, when open source was doing well in education, albeit quietly, that seemed a reasonable outlook. Indeed, we’ve seen the slow eduPunky rise of the PLE, although I’ve seen this transmogrify from meaning basically an offline VLE, sorry, LMS, to what it’s known as today, namely a loose and not very well connected collection of “MyStuff”. That I use for, learning like, well, you know what I mean. I keep all my bookmarks in Delicious, my feeds in Google Reader and my mates in Facebook and I ignore all institutional content or attempts to contact me to make me do stuff. Stuff that’s to do with my learning, like, you know what I mean. Coz learning’s just about reading a load of Stuff then turning up for the exam, innit? (more…)
For a long time now, users of e-resources that offer Shibboleth access have been confronted with the discovery problem. That first hurdle one must jump to get anywhere near the resource. The supplier must ask you, “Where Are You From?” but because you can’t speak to a web site and say “University of Blah”, you’re presented with the WAYF service, where you get to scroll endlessly through hundreds or thousands of institutional identity providers, if you don’t know the exact name of your institution as it is known to, for example, the UK Federation.
I’ve been a great fan of WAYFless URLs and probably a bit of a zealot in this area as there really is no need to force a user through a WAYF if the supplier supports WAYFless URLs. Such a URL takes the user directly to their institutional identity provider’s login page, otherwise known as their Identity Provider (IdP). Two click access. One on the link, one on the login button. Voila, discovery problem solved. However, not all suppliers have WAYFless URLs and they mostly all have their own versions of a WAYF service, which is confusing to the user and more than a bit annoying. The supplier has a resource the users wants, the user knows where they’re from and yet the supplier insists the user must trawl their awful WAYF. (more…)
I was reading about Connectivism a while ago as I’m interested in how people learn and I know fine well how I learn and I thought it would be fun to apply the theory to my own learning experiences. I also thought it would be interesting to look at both sides of the argument for connectivism, as I’m an associate lecturer and software engineer. I both design and build connected systems and also use them for educating my students.
I’m no eLearning expert, in fact I’m barely a Novice on the Dreyfus Model although I’d prolly put myself in the Expert category in a lot of software development categories, so it’ll be interesting to plod along and try to see it from “the other side of the fence”, although I’m in the position of being on both sides at once! (more…)
I’ve just started studying a module with UHI, Theory and Practice of eLearning, so I thought I’d start by gathering together some posts I made a while ago in relation to eLearning. It’ll be interesting to see how the course progresses and opens my eyes to the other side of the fence.
The three levels of learning
Aristotelian software engineering
Eremitic software development
and the book I’m reading:
Pragmatic Thinking and Learning
Today was recording day for the practitioner podcast for M887, the OU course on which I’m tutoring. It’s one of a series of podcasts the course team are recording and this time it was my turn to talk about what I do when I’m not tutoring and how what I do relates to the course content. There’s a lot of overlap in the course and what I do during the day.
There’s been talk here of using software simulations, plonked in Blackboard, to teach things. Maybe I should dust off my physics honours project, a Semiconductor Simulation, that models the Fermi Level based on various initial conditions. It would certainly be interesting porting it from the original Fortran. I wrote it on an Amstrad something or other and stored it on a 5.25 inch floppy but I also had to print it out to bind it into the project submission so at least I have an archive of it. I envisage some light reading ahead.
I was browsing through links to blogs the other day and came across Janey Clarey’s blog, with this interesting post. The content was very interesting but even more so, the soundtrack on the second movie is superb! I must find out who it is and get the sheet music. Best soundtrack I’ve heard in ages.