Educational Development

Programme Development


The process for developing programmes and courses so that they are more flexible in terms of teaching and learning is becoming clearer to me now. Below is a flow chart depicting that process. Here is a small 1 meg audio file to go with that chart.

A wack of open courses from Japan!


From the EdNA news feed comes a confirmation of a wack of (bi lingual) open course material coming out of Japan.

Now, if Otago Polytechnic decides to go a bit this way, we really must come up with something bigger and better. I suggest multi lingual, multi media wikis, to be truly open and far reaching.

Nagoya University OpenCourseWare (NU OCW)

The site provides free access to teaching materials used in selected courses. Teaching materials from twenty-five courses available, each set of courseware consists of a Course Overview, a Syllabus, a Calendar, Lecture Notes, Assignments, Grading and Evaluation Criteria, Related Resources, and Classroom Insights.

Waseda University OpenCourseWare

Waseda OpenCourseWare is linked to the university's electronic lecture information search system. Included are course materials for: Numerical Computation, Information Technologies, World Englishes and Miscommunications, Reading Simplified Japanese Characters, Circuit Theory, Numerical Computation with Guaranteed Accuracy, Coexistence in Asia.

University of Tokyo OpenCourseWare

A free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners around the world. Global Focus on Knowledge (Science of Matter); Medicine (Instruction to Pathology, Clinical Bioinformatics); Engineering (Applied Acoustics; Fundamental Physics for Electronics; Machine Design Technology; Statistics mathematical principle; Quantum Mechanics); Humanities and Sociology (Sociology of Care); Science (Molecular Computing); Economics (Business Administration); Arts and Sciences (Historical development of Spanish language; Geographical variation of Spanish language; World Model; International Politics); Education (Educational Administration and Finance); Frontier Sciences (Nonlinear Finite-element-method; Physics of Transition Metal Oxides); Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (Information Semiotics; Communication system; Evolutional Ecology Informatics).

Tokyo Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare

The site provides free access to course materials aiming at releasing the Tokyo Tech's high-level educational resources on science and technology as the world's public property. Included are course descriptions and lecture notes from the: Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Graduate School of Innovation Management, and Common Course of Graduate School.

Osaka University Open Courseware

The site offers a collections of Osaka University's educational materials. Included are course materials from the Schools of: Dentistry, Economics, Engineering, Engineering Science, Frontier Biosciences Human Sciences, Information Science and Technology, International Public Policy, Law, Law School, Language and Culture, Letters, Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and

Kyoto University OpenCourseWare

Free access to course materials from Kyoto University. Included are materials from the: Faculty of Integrated Human Studies; Faculty of Letters; Faculty of Education; Faculty of Law; Faculty of Economics; Faculty of Science; Faculty of Medicine; Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Faculty of Engineering; Faculty of Agriculture; Graduate School of Letters; Graduate School of Education; Graduate School of Law; Graduate School of Economics; Graduate School of Science; Graduate School of Medicine; Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Graduate School of Engineering; Graduate School of Agriculture; Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies; Graduate School of Energy Science; Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies; Graduate School of Informatics; Graduate School of Biostudies; Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies; Kyoto University Law School; College of Medical Technology.

International Tourism good to go


Had a third meeting with Hillary about the redevelopment of the international Tourism Course. In previous meetings we discussed ideas about wikis, videos, open courseware.. a range of things. This meeting was a catchup on where Hillary was up to.

Hillary filled me in on some of the situation - mostly details I can't put here. But we ended firming up commitments to prepare an application for programme redevelopment fund with the following ideas included:

  1. Edit and reformat existing workbooks.
  2. Record audio for slide presentations.
  3. Improve visual design over all resources.
  4. Publish at least 1 whole module to the course as open and easy access, ie. content directly on the website.
  5. Prepare Blackboard courses ready for private communications for the courses.
  6. Trial of staff and students recording interviews with public and industry about the state of international tourism in NZ etc - with a view to developing a podcast out from the Department.
  7. Trial of student blogging for purposes of assisting general and multi literacies. Including possible contribution towards a cross department digital networked literacy student support service.
  8. Development of a learning community to support informal learning in the field.

Hillary is to review these notes and extend or correct them in the comments, then we are to begin working on a Programme Development Fund application with a view to start work in mid August.

When we find the limits of print


Ruth from vet nursing popped in today. She was having an issue with the texts that are used as primary handouts to the vet nursing students. They are developed in MS Word and contain many graphics and illustrations and the formating keeps getting lost when edits and updates are made. Everyone in the office testified to having experienced similar issues with MS Word when documents reached a larger size, and for Ruth the situation was serious in that students were receiving emailed attachments of the handouts with faulty layout and miss information.

To start with we discussed what would be need to fix the current handouts as soon as possible. We agreed that a comprehensive edit would need to take place, and recognised that this would be a considerable amount of work. Therefore we further discussed formats for the document, and consideration was given towards getting out of the MS Word doc format and into a more open format. We discussed the pros and cons of using Open Office to conduct the edits and probably decided that it would be the best option considering that OO could open the MS docs to a point, and happened to make very clear where the formatting issues were. Making the edits in OO also means that the document can be easily exported to PDF from any computer, can be imported to other editors more reliably - such as and can be saved in not only the MS word formats, but many other editing formats including cleaner html.

But the formating problems will likely persist if Ruth doesn't improve the images and graphics. At the moment the graphic elements are being achieved through the use of Word's text boxes and drawing tools. It would be best if Ruth were to learn an image editing program so that she can do the graphics separately to the document, compile the graphics in the editor and export them as single images for importation into Open Office. This will simplify the processing of the document, and provided the image/graphic edit files are filed well, will improve efficiency in updating the document.

Ruth and I also discussed the benefits of using a wiki as a electronic and multi media/multi authored learning resource. I showed her the web design resource being developed as a wikibook within wikiversity by staff and students at the Blue Mountains Campus of TAFE NSW. We also looked at YouTube videos on animal dissection and discussed how media such as this can be easily embedded. We discussed the merits of video - and in particular student generated content models.

This lead us onto consideration of the following.

Ruth and I will prepare a Programme Development Fund application for resources to edit and redevelop the Vet Nursing programmes. In that project will include improvement of the current handouts so that they can be distributed more effectively online. Also included will be a more careful consideration of the idea that the handouts be used to initiate the course, but that students be encouraged to write up the texts in their own words and style as a wikibook. At the end of the year, the student's wikibook will be used as the next year's print based handout, and the cycle repeats for the next year and so on. In a 2 - 3 year plan, it should be expected that through significant students and staff engagement the electronic resource will develop into a suitable resource for more and more use across other relatable courses.

Jean and Tony enhance their bogs


Today's been a pretty fun day.

First of all, I caught up on a mountain of email after being away skiing last week.

Then I went to to see Jean in Midwifery. Jean needed some help working out I showed her how to use it to bookmark websites, then she asked me how she could display her new lists on her blog. provides a nice and easy script generator where you click a few boxes and then copy the text and past it in your blog. Check out Jean's work. I use the same trick for my page called links.

After lunch I went to see Tony from cookery and helped him tweak his blog, shot a video interviewing him about his plans, and added it to his blog. Check it out here:

Francesca uses odeo for audio


Francesca has successfully used odeo to publish an audio recording of hereself stating her learning obtectives in the Designing for Flexible Learning Practice. Well done F!

The problem of project management


Here is EDC we have 3 programme developers. Each of us have the responsibility to motivate staff to develop and/or redevelop their courses and programmes so that they reach existing students more efficiently, or new students all together. Flexible learning has been flagged as the most appropriate way to do this - and by that there seems to be an emphasis on online learning.

Now, one of the problems we have is that each of us meet with different people in the Departments and talk about different things, therefore progressing projects differently. We need a way to record and communicate progress effectively so that we can all have a chance to look in on each other's work. Meetings are one way, but we need more. I tried to inspire blogging as a way to record progress - but I think it is felt to be too time consuming. Another team member was quite enthused by the web based office suite writely, but now we are discussing the limitations of office type documents like spread sheets to track project progress.

A colleague in the EDC recommended we use a project management application. Seeing that most of the programme developers have little experience with such applications, and if we do opt to use such a thing, I would rather use a free, open source, or web based tool. That way I won't be learning something that I won't be able to afford access to at home or in another life.

I checked the TALO Tools wikilist and saw BaseCamp and remembered a colleague in another job used this quite a lot. He raved about it in fact. At the time I just couldn't pull myself together for project management software - nothings changed really, but now that I'm working in a project team the need is more pressing.

What is Basecamp?

Basecamp is a unique project collaboration tool. Projects don't fail from a lack of charts, graphs, or reports, they fail from a lack of communication and collaboration. Basecamp makes it simple to communicate and collaborate on projects.

The problem is, as with blogs, wikis, web based office suites, and now project management software, is that they are formats and systems of working that are different to the ways we have grown accustomed to working. For me, office applications are not as good as blogging. For others, blogging is not as useful as spread sheets. Perhaps for all of us, project management software is not as usable as we hope.

But then, we expect the teachers to get their heads around entirely new ways of teaching and learning. Surely we can find a new and effective way to manage projects collaboratively. I'm going to run with my old friend and colleague's recommendation for base camp. Test it out for a bit. If it looks like working for me - I'll put it to the others.

How to set a blog with Blogger


Here's a screenrecording on how to set up a blog using Blogger.

Free and easy audio online


Odeo, one of many ways to get audio online the free and easy way. Here's a screenrecording on how to use odeo.

Tourism Hospitality network


Just met with Jean to talk about the Tourism Hospitality Network. Jean is the regional campus manager for outage Polytechnic. Jean was interested to learn more about the network and discuss way in which Otago Poly Tourism and Hospitality staff can collaborate. Jean seem impressed by the potential of the network and will invite Dunedin staff and myself to visit the Cromwell campus and discuss ideas toward writing a combine proposal for the development of Flexible Learning options.

Jude's BubbleShare


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