Monday, 19 January 2009

Practice based research in educational technology (H809)

In good news, I have managed to get myself some part-time work! I'm quite excited about it not just because it's a chance to gain some useful experience and earn some extra cash but I think the post is going to be a bit of an experiment in and of itself. I'm going to be helping out on a 20 week OU course called "Practice based research in educational technology" (H809), which ran for the first time last year. The course aims to help students locate, understand and evaluate empirical research within the area of technology enhanced learning in order to answer questions such as "How strong is the evidence for claims made about the use of ICT in edcuation?", and "How can we use theory to improve things?". It can be taken as part of a masters program or seen as a stepping stone to further study (e.g. PhD) and is aimed at teachers, lecturers, and education professional who have an interest how ICT is being used and evaluated within education. You can find out the details and register here, though be quick as there are only a couple of weeks before registration for 2009 ends.

What is it I'll be doing exactly? Well, I'm going to be a course blogger. Uh huh, I hear you say, and that means...? The H809 blog has a pretty good description of my main tasks and responsibilites, but the gist of it is that I will be keeping an eye on students' blogs (and elsewhere on the web), leaving comments and encouraging participation in order to coordinate the discussions and keep track of the main points that come up during the course. I'm also going to be thinking about how the course readings relate to my own research so I expect you will be seeing something about that here, as I will probably end up using my own blog to do so. The post is really quite an innovative idea which fits in very nicely with the course itself, so I think it's going to be really interesting to see how it develops. We're not sure exactly what to expect, but at the very least we might get some ideas about how to do it in future! If anyone has come across anything similar, I'd love to hear about it.


Justin Pickard said...

Sounds like a brilliant gig - best of luck!

Jo Iacovides said...

Cheers Justin!

Juliette Culver said...

Sounds like a great idea - looking forward to it!

Mich said...

What a good idea? I am going to be taking the course, s I look forward to reading it!

Jo Iacovides said...

I'm glad you guys think so, I guess we'll find out how it's going to go soon enough!

Virtually Scholastic said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks for clarifying the role of the course blogger. I'm registered on the current delivery and just going through the H809 resources now. I initially assumed that this person would actually be a current student on H809 or someone who just completed the course. Was there specific motivation to engage someone in this role who wasn't an H809 student at some stage?

So, is your role as the course blogger to essentially stimulate students' use of blogs in general? From my perspective, I will likely publish some entries on my blog related to the course over the next 6 months, but, to be honest, I anticipate publishing most of my course-related reflection in the FirstClass forums. I suppose I see my blog as more of a personal representation of my overall elearning interests and wonder if specific entries related to practice-based research would even fit into the overall feel of my blog.

Any predictions on how you see your role evolving as the course blogger?

All the best,
Katherine (current H809er)

Jo Iacovides said...

Hi Katherine

Thanks for getting in touch with your queries. First off, the idea was to get someone for the role that wasn't a H809 student in order to provide a different persepctive to the course. While part of my job is to encourage student blogging, I'm also supposed to think about how the readings and discussions relate to my own research - to give an example of some of the practical implications. It is perfectly fine to post course reflections in the forums but maybe your current blog is a good space for thinking how the course relates to your elearning interests?

I am really looking forward to seeing how things are going to evolve but at the moment I'm not sure I have any specific predictions. We will be evaluating the role as we go along so it's going to be interesting to see what works and what doesn't.

I hope I've managed to answer your questions. Good luck with starting H809 and I look forward to hearing from you soon!