Sandbox: making links and developing approaches


I'm fleshing out some ideas about PD workshops. Read more here, that sort of covers my thinking in part.

I'd like to tie this in with a recent post (prompted by SoulSoup's author, Anol) about developing an innovation-friendly environment (goes well with CIT's strategic goal in developing as a learning organisation)! My aim is to try to develop an implementation strategy that goes beyond the rhetoric. We have access to so many models out there, but models of implementation are rare - and when found are not all that informative (often reverting back to the rhetoric from whence they came).

Planning and Reflexions

Semester One 2006

I'm putting together an online course for teachers as a 'taste' of online learning. It's a five-week course and I'm hoping we can cover the experience of learning in geenral as well as what it is like to learn online (and I suppose, to teach online!). I've been working on the structure for the past few days and I'm really conscious of keeping some open spaces and not filling everything! I'm trying to keep the productivity model in mind too, sort of as an 'experiment' to see if it can be validated with developing a course like this. I've also thought about the model as a guide for teachers. The AIM of the course is to have participants be able to address an area/gap/issue in their teaching (or their students learning) and devise an online approach to meet their needs.

On reflection of my outline fo the course, after the first running was that it was too broad for most participants. There were other factors too, like the ever-pressing time issues - and I, tongue-in-cheek, refer to 'What about procrastination?', but with the view to helping faciltiate our ongoing battle to remain focused and motivated when we have so much to deal with on a daily basis in our workplaces!

The resources for the course were received very well. The downside, especially for me, was the lack of ongoing discussion that I had hoped woudl develop over the weeks online and via other means (like people getting otgether, emails, phonecalls, etc), but the time factor and lack of direction in the course didn't help this I think!

One of my colleagues pointed out that as a taster, it's nice to be taken on a 'tour' of what's out there (for e-learning) and play without the pressures of theorising, and so on. See how the Web and its associated tools and processes are being used across the board, so one might begin to make the linkages to how such tools and processes can be used for learning and teaching.

I'm going to keep this in mind for the next iteration of the course.


I'm trying to integrate all manner of resources for our PD workshops, including blogs, podcasts and journals, as well as a couple of key texts. I'm also checking out the strategies and ideas at AFLF website on e-learning design.

I'm also tempted to get workshop participants playing games like Samorost 2, for example, so they can really immerse themselves in some visual and hand-eye problemsolving activities online, because I'm sure it's an experience they'd be unfamilair with!

I've also been pulling together various avenues for PD workshops and teaching - I've got a PD workshop wiki going now. My aim is to link social web tools with current tools (and our LMS) to broaden the scope of what we consider to be online learning and teaching in our institute.


I'm going to begin this section by referring once again to my post about developing an innovation-friendly environment. CIT are reviewing options to implement a mentoring program. This may have some impact on us and the work we do in the near future.


Working on ideas for making designing subjects online a little easier, more straightforward and less 'techie' for teachers.

Wikis and collaboration

Weblogs and reflective processes

RSS and tags for knowledge sharing and connectivity

Integrating social web tools with an LMS...?

Communicating online and engaging students and teachers online

Testing / Using

Trying out some options with some of the above areas (in 'Developing') in mind.

How can teachers make use of the RSS feed options in a wiki? I've been trying out some ideas here.


Evaluating what we do and how we do it is the next step. We currently have an institute-wide survey tool for subject feedback (from students), however, we don't seem to capture the information in such a way so we can reuse the results I think.

I'd like to know more about students' experiences as they study at our institution, and capture these thoughts/comments/reflections in a way that can be reused and remixed in a number of ways for students, managers and teachers.