Archive for category EnquiryBlogger

LASI: Panel on analytics for 21st-century skills

Twitter comment about the presentationsScreenshot of the panel in progressWhile at the Learning Analytics Summer Institute at Stanford, I participated in a panel on Analytics for 21st-century Skills. The panel was chaired by Caroline Haythornthwaite and my fellow panellists were Ruth Deakin-Crick (University of Bristol) and Peter Foltz (Pearson).

My section of the panel focused on our work with EnquiryBlogger. This tool, built on the WordPress blogging platform, can be used to help structure knowledge construction, and to reflect on the emotions and dispositions that form part of the learning process.

You can read Doug Clow’s liveblog of the panel – one of a series of posts covering the whole of LASI13 – or watch a replay of the event.

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EnquiryBlogger

Together with Simon Buckingham Shum, I presented a Technology Coffee Morning on EnquiryBlogger at The Open University, which also formed part of the annual Computers and Learning Research Group (CALRG) conference.

We covered the rationale for EnquiryBlogger, its links with Authentic Inquiry and with learning dispositions, and reported on initial trials with Masters students at Bristol University and with primary school pupils at Bushfield School, Milton Keynes.

http://podcast-api.open.ac.uk/play/0KZvm8VxVLmSv_j4TWF2ew

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Widgets to support awareness and reflection

Workshop activityAt the 1st Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Personal Learning Environments, run in conjunction with the PLE Conference 2011, I presented our work on EnquiryBlogger.

Ferguson, Rebecca; Buckingham Shum, Simon and Deakin Crick, Ruth (2011). EnquiryBlogger: using widgets to support awareness and reflection in a PLE Setting. In: 1st Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Personal Learning Environments. In conjunction with the PLE Conference 2011, 11-13 July 2011, Southampton, UK.

Abstract

Blogs provide environments within which people can articulate, refine and reflect on practice. These characteristics make them useful for learners who are developing the practical skills and learning dispositions that are associated with authentic enquiry. The EnquiryBlogger tool is being developed to extend the core features of a robust, open source blogging platform in order to support awareness and reflection for enquiry-based learners. The first phase of the project developed blog plug-ins, together with associated teacher dashboards, and piloted their use. Feedback and use data show that the tools support reflection and are valued by learners. The pilot study has informed the development of a second phase of the project, which will support customization of these tools and increase learners’ opportunities to develop awareness of the experiences of others.

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Designing an online mentoring system

In July 2011, I attended the 1st Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Personal Learning Environments, run in conjunction with the PLE Conference 2011. This included two presentations on which I was named as author.

The first was presented by the lead author, Thomas Ullmann.

Ullmann, Thomas Daniel; Ferguson, Rebecca; Buckingham Shum, Simon and Deakin Crick, Ruth (2011). Designing an online mentoring system for self-awareness and reflection on lifelong learning skills. In: 1st Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Personal Learning Environments. In conjunction with the PLE Conference 2011., 11-13 July 2011, Southampton, UK.

Abstract

Mentoring supports the processes of becoming self-aware of personal beliefs and engaging with a topic of concern in a reflective manner. With new media, new opportunities and new means for mentoring have arisen. In this contribution, we outline how an established face-to-face mentoring process has been ‘translated’ into an online mentoring system. The paper outlines the design decisions made for an initial online mentoring system supporting mentees to gain self-awareness of and to reflect about life-long learning skills. The purpose of the development process was to detect the essential and the suitable elements for an online version of a face-to-face mentoring practice.

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EnquiryBlogger – First steps

Prototype gadgets Working with Simon Buckingham Shum (OU) and Ruth Deakin Crick (University of Bristol), I took part in workshop that was, in part, intended to explore the possibilities for a blogging tool to support enquiry-based learning. Progress during the workshop was recorded in a blog set up for the occasion.

This work led to the development of EnquiryBlogger. This project, funded by the Learning Futures programme in 2010-2011, tuned a blogging tool to scaffold authentic enquiry-based learning. Run jointly by the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, and University of Bristol’s Centre for Systems Learning & Leadership, EnquiryBlogger provides a set of plug-ins which extend one of the world’s most popular, robust, open source blogging platforms, WordPress (multisite edition, enabling admin of many child blogs under a parent blog).

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