Lifelong Learning Online Pedagogy

Innovating education with new technologies? or changing the pedagogy with technology?

The technology has transformed our lives, both at home, at school and at work. In most cases, they have transformed our lives, whether in content, in the speed with which it operates, the effectiveness of the results, and so on.

This is especially true in education. The use of new technologies in education does not reduce the work of teachers. Often leads to increased workload, especially in the initial stage. But one thing is clear: Its use is changing the concept of teaching, the role of teacher, the learning process and the student behaviour.

The tools and technologies considered “traditional”, such as blackboard, paper and pencil, calculators, word processors, etc., meant, in his time, a significant improvements in educational efficiency but did not transform the teaching-learning process.

The integration on the communication an information technologies are transforming the way learning produces.

New tools and digital learning technologies provide great potential for improvements in access, presentation of existing training material and methodology of work.

What are the most important changes?

I will mention a few … (among many)

Traditional media vs. digital media

  • The medium that traditionally dominated the learning and education were the existence of printed books.
  • The digital media (text, audio, video and digital images) add new features. This lets you express an idea in a redundant manner, i.e. the same idea can be expressed as text, image, sound or video, promoting the development of different learning styles.
  • The main beneficiaries of this innovation in education are students who see increased opportunities for access to learning materials traditionally difficult as mathematics, geography, physics, chemistry, to name a few. The use of video games, strategy games, videos, graphics and other media gives the motivation and attractiveness to facilitate interaction and learning outcomes, that is difficult to achieve in the dominant face-to-face sessions and the written text.

A different student?

The increasingly common use of digital technologies can help the different learning styles from students. The technology facilitates the creation of learning materials and learning activities that enable the student to select the most appropriate method and material to his personal style of learning.

New forms of evaluation

The traditional evaluation has privileged learning as stored numbers, recorded facts and verbs and words spelled correctly.

This raises new questions

  • Allow digital media an easy way to measure of expected learning outcomes?
  • Do these digital media strategies allow to incorporate evaluation as an ongoing process (eliminating for example the final exam?)
  • Do it help the teacher track successes and failures?;
  • Do it support the permanent improvement of teaching and learning processes?.

We are in the beginning of a long way

Our teachers need to feel safe integrating new digital technologies to their daily work, they need to acquire pedagogical and technical skills, they need to know how to create didactic materials with web tools (many free to use), and how to integrate existing Open Educational Resources on the Internet, they need to expand their experience in collaborative work and implementation of new forms of assessment, and so on.

Does this mean that we are innovating in pedagogy?

No, but the use of new technologies in education opens the possibility to apply old pedagogical recommendations, which until now were expressed as the incontrovertible theoretical truths but not implemented in the daily work of education.

We are beginning a process that has no return …

Online Pedagogy Web 2.0 Tools

Creating a “slidecast” presentation with Slideshare

I performed an experiment that consists of updating a Web 2.0 presentation posted on “Slideshare” a few months ago into a “slidecast”, in other words a “slideshare” presentation with audio.

I produced the mp3 audio file with The free “text-to-Speech” service “iSpeech”

If I am satisfied?, No, I’m not happy with the result, but as I mentioned at the beginning, it’s an experiment.

Instructional Design Online Pedagogy

… still talking about Syllabus…

教學大綱 (Syllabus)


After week 5, I kept thinking of the syllabus, not only as a descriptive document,
but as a tool to support students in their educational adventure.

A syllabus for courses with an online component (fully online or blended) should be more flexible than the syllabus for traditional face-to-face classes, allowing students by more space for exploration.

The principles remain the same in any syllabus:

  • Specify objectives and outcomes
  • Selection of content and reading material
  • Establish a topic-driven course outline (often weekly)

I think every teacher should feel comfortable with their own proposed syllabus, which incorporates a “personal feeling”-syllabus and the way they communicate with students.

I collected the ideas and proposals of the Susan Ko and Steve Rossen’s book and suggestions for other books and the web, for this draft (described at the end of the table). Your input and views are welcome!

The draft proposal is attached as an Excel file (WordPress does not accept the Open Office .ods extension) OnlineBlendedSyllabus

Instructional Design Online Pedagogy

My conclusions for Week 5: The Online Syllabus

These are my conclusions from reading the Ko and Rossen, Chapter 5: Creating an Effective Online Syllabus.

Some suggestions are obvious, but probably necessary to avoid the traditional static syllabus that no student read. Most of the syllabus that I have met are created to meet institutional standards and serve as a reference to the teacher to structure their content, but are quickly forgotten and almost never updated.

For this reason I think the discussion on the syllabus serves two objectives:

  • As a reflection of course content (the reading gives a clear idea of ​​the course, expectations, requirements and methodology).
  • As a practical guide for the student.

I found particularly important the proposed “perspective” of the three Aspects emphasizing:

  1. The Contract (class participation, grading criteria, student expectations)
  2. The Map, or the diagram to connect the learning outcomes with the course materials and the assessment used in the course.
  3. The Schedule

This is ok for courses that follow a sequential path.

But… which model to use if the course is essentially constructivist?, such as:

  • Oriented to create search skills, critical analysis and construction of content (ie with little or no reference material)?. Naturally, a syllabus is necessary not to display the sequence of content, but to describe the sequence of topics for discussion and research expressed, for example, in forums.
  • Project-based course which evaluates students learning outcomes including problem solving, collaboration, application of Knowledge, analysis and synthesis. In that case, the syllabus is more based on a portfolio.

I found particularly interesting the “Checklist for Online Syllabus” and clear the separate proposal for the online respective blended course syllabus.

The recording of Lisa and Jim gave me good advice to implement a Blackboard course based on a perspective of an Interactive Syllabus, easier to implement in Moodle.

Lifelong Learning OER

An interesting index of OER Resources

This list shows examples of OER, which, as explained: “The Open Educational Resources come in many shapes and sizes”.

This listing is part of the Free to Learn Guide (look in the Table of Contents: Index of OER Resources)

This guide describes Open Educational Resources (OER) as a cost-efficient method of improving the quality of teaching and learning while at the same time reducing costs imposed on students related to the purchase of expensive commercial textbooks and learning materials.