TLTS 2016 Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium

I attended three of the lectures at TLTS.

  1. Video Games for Student Engagement, Exploration and Learning by Brad Strong. My takeaways from this lecture were as follows:
    • Use games to augment, not replace your teaching
    • Benefits of games: engagement, competition, immersion, control, group-based problem solving, can be mobile, augmented reality, allows learner to apply the learning
    • Choose your “sweet spot” within 3 parameters: Simulation (avatars), Narration (movies), or Ludology (game play) (Tetris)
    • Sliding scale between purely educational and purely entertainment
    • Students improve their test scores and learn more with games
    • Only games can address these issues: Boring becomes exciting, Dangerous becomes safe way to practice such as flight simulators, and Impossible becomes possible such as a Mars exploration
  2. User Experience (UX), Learner Experience (LX) and Usability in the Online Classroom by Baye Herald and Jennifer Panko. My takeaways from this lecture were as follows:
    • UX is measured in part by the ability of a user to achieve their goal
    • There are differences between Users and Learners. Users have independence, they are using a product/service, and have no monetary investment. Learners collaborate and need support and feedback, they are mastering challenging concepts or skills, and have a large investment.
    • LXD Learner Experience Design: A holistic approach that considers the entire learning experience. The learner’s perception of their learning experience is just as important as content, and includes everything before the class, during, and after the class.
    • Attitudes are shifting, but many learners new to online courses tend to devalue their worth. One way to combat this perception is to reach out to the learner before the course starts. Introduce the learner to the course, set realistic expectations on the time commitment required by the student. You need to make your learners feel connected and supported. Try sending out a survey a couple weeks into the course to take the learners pulse.
    • Test your learning site with students: One way to test is TAP or Think Aloud Protocol. Have your student navigate through the site and talk about their experience as they explore. Can they find the links they need? Is the navigation intuitive? How long do they have to search to find the materials they are looking for?
    • Evaluating LX: Your site should have the following traits: Attractiveness, Efficiency, Clarity, Dependability, Stimulation, and Novelty
    • There is a hierarchy of need for your students. Imagine a pyramid shape. Starting at the apex and moving down: Meaningful, Pleasurable, Convenient, Usable, Reliable, Functional. If there is anything wrong with the base of the pyramid, all the top needs fail. You want your learner to only be focused on the top (meaningful and pleasurable).
  3. E Portfolios as a Teaching and Learning Tool by 6 people (didn’t write all their names down).  My takeaways from this lecture were as follows:
    • Online portfolios are important for the following: capture digital evidence of knowledge and competency, archive progress and work, craft personal narratives, reflect and synthesize, demonstrate academic and professional skills, high impact practice, allows learner to focus on what skills they are building rather than their major
    • Try having a partner do an audit of your site, exchange social profiles with partner to see how you appear, are you oversharing for example?
    • ePortfolios forms a personal library or museum of an individual’s evidence of learning, builds their mission statement
    • An interesting way for a student to re-work their “About Me” page, would be to re-organize into three groups: Professional Experience, Educational Experience, and Life Experience
    • Students have a tendency to go further with their projects when they have a portfolio site. The idea of future sharing drives them to go further with each project.

Here is the link for the symposium: They had a very useful app for the event as well.

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