Tuesday, 14 October 2008


My third posting connected with the ALT-C 2008 conference. This presentation caught my eye as it featured the words collaborative learning + teacher training in the title. And that's what we do? Kind of. Anyhoo, the sesson was looking at a community of practice, namely trainee teachers, and how they were supported using technology.

ASSociate Online are a HEFCE funded collective of a number of HE organisations, that also contribute to the Huddersfield Centre for Traineee techers - HUDCETT. This is all quite confusing as our host organisation Wolverhampton Universiy are a part of this group. Surely they should be part of the WMCETT we have started to collaborate with? Can someone please explain?

Anyhoo, back to the plot. HUDCETT have a fantastic Moodle created to allow trainee teachers to collaborate under their subject specialisms. Their Moodle has been set up to allow collaboration and locaton of existing reosurces, etc. There should be one of these in every CETT in my opinion, that all HE and Colleges training teachers send their trainees - to find their study buddy! We were given a quick demo, and it's impressive. They also run an emoderators + ementors scheme, and encourage subject specialist to join on a contractual basis. You can join now.

You can try out a demo site here : http://oursubject.hud.ac.uk/login/index.php

The last part of the presentation involved the Director talking quite candidly about the poor [pedagogic] uptake of VLEs right across academia. She discussed the challenge facing all educators/trainers, attempting to promote the use of VLEs for teaching and learning. We all chipped in with some ideas of our own why this is the case. Here are some quotes;

  • " The staff that embrace technology are racing ahead - the staff that are scared of technology are being left behind. The students suffer as their miss out of the power and opportunities of E-Learning and VLEs."
  • "There is a digital divide between Staff that embrace new technology and Staff that are scared/fear/misunderstand technology."
  • "pedagogic models are primary transmissionist. VLEs = no f2f contact. Students want to socialise @ college, plus a lack of good practice, inlcuding a lack of time to change pedagogy to student centred modes."
  • "getting 'lost' in the system. Fragmented versus holistic approach in design."

This is my favourite

  • Often a sandwich with no filling:
----------Resources (PDF/Word) on the top------------

+++++++++++No learning in the midde! ++++++++++++++

---------- Discusssion forums on the bottom------------

We did discuss benefits of VLEs as well. And I thought it was just me being a little to negative about lack of uptake for VLEs!

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