Harvard Referencing

30 04 2012

Great little referencing tool a colleague passed on to me. Yet to use it but it looks great for L3 learners who do not engage with or use the referencing training given.


Facebook/Twitter for studies

11 04 2012

I personally do not use Facebook for my studies; I like to keep Facebook for personal and soical expression and relaxation. . I do however use Linkedin to connect with people professionally and join professional and educational discussion and I have also found Twitter useful for connecting professionally and sharing resources. It is the greatest networking tool to date.


I have come across an educational networking site called Edmodo.com that appears interesting but also looks to be in its early stages of development and I need to explore this further.

I do not use Twitter on a personal level to tweet about myself but I do like the idea of following others and sharing information and retweeting. I do feel though that even though I joined Twitter about 3 months ago I have not got the hang of it yet and I need to try to engage with it more to make it work for me.

12 02 2012


Further to my previous post on Digital Natives, I think this about sums it up

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Verbal/Visual assessment feedback vs written assessment feedback

10 02 2012

Verbal/Visual assessment feedback vs written assessment feedback


Julie Beaumont


The setting is a FE Tertiary College within Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The learner group are typically 16-18 with a small number of 19+ learners. They are studying either level 2 or level 3 business vocational courses.  The action research will focus on a second year level 3 cohort of learners studying an accounting unit which consists of two groups. The course is assessed by achievement of assignments and learners can achieve ‘Pass’, ‘Merit’ or ‘Distinction’.



The aim of the action research project will show that the use of electronic verbal and visual feedback (using screencast) outperforms written assessment feedback and results in higher grades and an improved learner experience. Learners currently receive feedback in a written format, with tutors providing comments within their work and with formative and summative feedback on an assessment sheet. This cohort  of learners have all previously submitted their second assignment for the accounting unit using Moodle electronic assignment submission. This has resulted in some successes and some areas for development. Overall learners enjoyed the process finding it quicker and the feedback more detailed. 

However, there have been some teething problems with the software for both the learners and the tutor which needs to be investigated further. The college has just invested in Turnitin UK Software. This will also be used as part of the project for learners to submit their work. Assignment three will be issued to learners with clear guidelines for the submission to be electronic so that the work can be marked using Screencast to record feedback whilst visually seeing what the tutor is referring to. This will then be uploaded back to Moodle where the learner submitted the work. From there they will know if they have achieved at their first submission or they need to submit and by when.


Research Methods

Firstly, it is proposed that learners in both groups complete a questionnaire regarding how they prefer to receive feedback and how they prefer to submit their work. This information will be used at the end of the study to compare with another questionnaire asking for feedback on the verbal/visual assessment feedback that they have been subjected to.  The results of the first questionnaire may dictate the group that is chosen to receive feedback via visual/verbal methods whereas the other group will receive feedback using the traditional written method. There will also be a focus group involving learners from both cohorts giving their direct views on the process and their experiences. Learner’s marks from one cohort to another will be compared to see if the style of feedback impacts on the quality of learners work and the grade they receive for the assignment alongside the learners perceived assessment experience.



This should be improved / resolved through Turnitin UK software.


Some learners might lack faith of the online submission though Moodle due to previous experiences. Learners will need to provide their own earphones to listen to the feedback and cannot access their feedback if they do not have a computer at home.


From current research it has been found that learners prefer verbal feedback, (Crews & Wilkinson, 2010), however, there is not enough time to give each learner 121 feedback on every assignment.  The aim of the project is to confirm that verbal feedback is more effective than written feedback and this can be achieved through electronic methods improving the learner’s assessment experience as the learner can replay the recording.


The same feedback will be given to a learner no matter whether it is written or verbal. However, there could be a tendency to give more detailed feedback when recording the feedback. An aim could be to try to spend a similar amount of time per learner when composing no matter what the mode of feedback is. However, the time spent on feedback can vary due to some learners work needing more feedback or due to technical software issues of recording, saving and uploading feedback.


The method of choosing which group is subject to the verbal/visual assessment method needs to be done on a fair and consistent basis. Learners need to be made aware they are part of a study and their consent obtained.


The time it takes to mark and upload the recordings could be lengthy.


Crews, T. B., & Wilkinson, K. (2010). Students peceived preference for visual and auditory

assessment with e-handwritten feedback. Business Communication Quarterly, 399-412.



Don’t repeat Ronnie

25 11 2011

Tomorrow I am presenting Don’t repeat Ronnie, a macro enabled PowerPoint at the MSc Multimedia and E-learning Saturday school. I am no techno wiz and I have not even designed or created this, but I am aware of it’s use and benefits.

This is a PPt that you can enter your own key words into in relation to your subject/topic of studying. This can be used as a lesson starter to recap previous lesson or prior learning for a range of previous lessons on a generic but fun scale or used at the end of lesson with the same effect. I have even had this in reserve when lessons appear they might finish early or if the class need energising. All learnesrs from my own experience have been actively engaged and competitive with this activity.

How it works?

You split your class into two groups (can do more depending on the size of your class) and they have to nominate someone to sit in front of the projector so they can not see the word that Ronnie produces. The rest of that persons team has to try to get this person to say the word without actually saying the word or part of it and only using subject terminology (hence formative assessment). The aim is for a group to get the most correct words and becoming the winning team. Learners are not allowed the correct guess if they cheat or do not follow the rules stated above (also in the PPt).

I have attached the PPt for use, but you might need further instructions on how to change the words to your own.MathsKeyTermsDon’t repeat Ronnie v2

Salmons 5 stage model

19 11 2011

Task 9 of the Multimedia and E-learning MSc is to reflect on the previous 8 blogging tasks using Salmons 5 stage model. Firstly, I will outline which stages of the model I believe each task covered. Secondly I will suggest any areas for improvement. And thirdly I will highlight any benefits of using this model can deliver in e-learning.   

Task 1 – setting up your wordpress blog

This is aligned with the first step of access and motivation. Technical support was provided for the moderator in terms of guidance on how to do certain tasks, or where to find the information to enable activation.

Task 2 – posting a picture and or video to the blog

This is still stage 1, encouraging further utilisation and development of the blogging software.

Task 3 – Your skills

Task 3 builds on the previous tasks but allows for the learner to share information about themselves for other to read if they so wish. I believe this is still access and motivation due to the newness still of blogging but jumps into stage 3 of information exchange of Salmons 5 stage model but at the level of technical support . At this stage no sending or receiving of messages have taken place, however they could have done.

Task 4 – Your blogroll

This is where you add other people’s blogs on the course or other useful links to external blogs or websites to your blogging page. During this task online socialisation (stage 2) can take place as learners are encouraged by the moderator to look at other blogs (of learners on the same course) and add them to their blogroll. Learners start to read others blogs and can provide comments.

Task 5 – Reflecting on blogging.

Now the moderator has moved on in the development of online learning. Learners are not only exchanging information (if they so desire), but they are now encouraged to research and engage in discussion about a topic (blogging). Interactivity with blogging has increased and the learner is more engaged with subject material pertinent to the course and their own learning. Stage 4 – knowledge construction is taking place during this task.

Task 6 – Design project ideas.

The learner is building knowledge again being having to research and provide rationale for the design project at a low level (ideas only). Knowledge construction is taking place from doing research and ideas generation.

Task 7 – Design project ideas comments

The learner is actively encouraged to comment on at least 3 others design project ideas. This encourages cross fertilisation of ideas but allows for peer review and assessment and interactivity between learners is now heightened. Stage 5 – development has now been reached as learners can respond to each other and provide support. It is no longer just the moderators responsibility to do this.

Task 8 – Harvard referencing

This allows for links outside of the blogging environment and encourages further research and they presentation of information on the blogging. Stages 3, 4 and 5 are being utilised as learners can read other learners comments for ideas, but also post their own research using the correct Harvard referencing techniques.


What I have found from looking at other learners blogs is that some learners are not using them, which goes back to the idea of what you get out of something is directly correlated to what you put in. I have actually found that sticking as close as I can to the schedule of tasks has really helped to maintain the discipline of blogging on a regular basis and keeping up to date with the blog entries required for the MSc.  How to engage learners that are not engaging with the blogging is a challenge and I am not sure if I have the answers for at this stage. I believe from my own experiences that if learners know that something is not being formally assessed or does not go towards their final assessment they can lack engagement with the demands of certain tasks.

I can see though that the stages of the model have been used initially in sequence and rightly so allowing learners to get to grips with the technicalities of the blogging software and shift in learning paradigm. From doing this process I can see that when doing something new and especially utilising new tools online, learners need an approach that scaffolds them to get past the technical issues and become comfortable with the online tool to then increase learning and interactivity between learning and learners.  



Task 8 – Harvard Referencing (Constructivist Approach)

19 11 2011

Constructivist approach

Constructivist approach to learning is based on the idea that learners construct their own models of reality based on their prior learning and knowledge of the world, (Mayes & de Freitas, 2004). Learners should be allowed to construct knowledge rather than being given knowledge through instructions. This view originated from Piaget (1970) who said that learners must construct their own concepts through their own active experimentation. This view discredits the behaviourist approach of learning by memorising. The constructivist approach allows learners to have their own personal interpretation of a learning event as opposed to rope learning.

Works Cited

Mayes, T., & de Freitas, S. (2004). JISC E-learning Models Desk Study. Stage 2: Review of e-learning theories, frameworks and models. Retrieved November 17, 2011, from http://www.jisc.ac.uk: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearningpedagogy/outcomes.aspx

Piaget, J. (1970). Science of edcuation and the psycology of the child. New York: Orion Press.