Showing Worked Examples in Blackboard Quizzes

I’ve been thinking of ways to include worked examples and hints in Blackboard VLE quizzes. Cognitive Load theory has something called the Worked Example effect, whereby learners who receive direct instruction in the form of worked examples perform better than those who don’t. The reason is attributed to providing novice learners with an approach to solving a problem that they can replicate, thus alleviating the working memory load while solving a problem. There’s some more on worked examples here. The question then was how to provide a worked example (or a hint, a slightly less informative way to guide students)…

E-learning (dis)traction

I think the start of my teaching career coincided with the rise of the VLE. Early on, I remember being told about these new learning environments and the array of tools that would help student learning. Encouraged, in the nicest possible way, to upload material and use the institution’s expensive new toy, many lecturers complied and uploaded course materials, support papers, practice questions and so on. In this ideal world, the students couldn’t have had more learning resources at their fingertips. Learning was going to happen. In reality, this has not been the case. The DRHEA e-learning audit (2009) reveals…

Podcasting and screencasting for supporting lectures

Prompted by my visit to Edinburgh next week to the “More Effective Lectures” workshop, I have compiled several blog posts and bits and pieces of other writing into a Resource Pack that I hope might be useful to other practitioners entitled: “Podcasting and screencasting for supporting lectures“. The resource is a PDF file and is available at this link:¬†Podcasting and Screencasting for Supporting Lectures or click on the image below. The resource covers: Introduction to the use of podcasts/screencasts in education Overview of the design of e-resources Tips for preparing podcasts and screencasts Tools of the trade: Audacity, Camtasia and…

Iodine Clock – Pre-Lab Activity

This is an Articulate interaction which incorporates video demonstrations the various aspects of the iodine clock experiment and then has a quiz towards the end. This could be used as a pre-lab activity, where students could print out their response to the quiz and bring it to the lab, or alternatively link the quiz to the VLE by SCORM. Click on the image to access the resource: Funding from NDLR and DIT gratefully acknowledged.

Teaching Fellowship Launch Presentation

The DIT 2010-2011 Teaching Fellowships were launched on 23rd September 2010, and each recipient of a Fellowship gave a presentation on the work they plan to do. It was really nice to see what others plan to do; there was a lot of variety and a lot of overlap at the same time. My presentation – the main thrust of which was summarised in another post – is embedded below. All of the presentations can be viewed from the LTTC website. The video is streamed from the HEAnet server using the Embedded Video plugin (for the information of any WordPress…

Pooling Data in the Chemistry Lab

This article considers the concept of pooling experimental data in the teaching lab. It’s a very simple but effective technique that I have used, both in low-tech and high(er)-tech versions. Some observations from my own experiences as well as some examples from the literature are presented. What is pooling data? Pooling data, in the sense I mean here, is the aggregation of all students lab data on a particular experiment in one lab session. If ten pairs of students are completing an experiment, the pooled data would consist of a table of all individual pairs’ data, together with averaged data….

Class Websites using Google Sites and Podcasting with Audacity

This presentation is a screencast of a presentation to be presented at Chem Ed Ireland 2010. It covers: what uses class websites might have overview of setting up Google Sites Example of a chemistry class website on Google Sites Uses for podcasting in education Overview of Audacity This handout accompanies the presentation. Lots more information on setting up a class website using Google Sites is available at the Becoming an eTeacher Resource. Module 5 of this resource focusses on podcasting using Audacity. Some other links are given below. Links Becoming an eTeacher – Five module resource on setting up and…

VLEs: Are they dead or not?

In our first week of our Trends in E-Learning module, we’ve been looking at the VLE is dead debate. The seed for discussion was Martin Weller’s blog post (now over two years old) which makes the valid point that there are several independent third party (free) applications out there that address most if not all of the needs a VLE does, and do it a lot better because each individual application is that company’s core business. I’ve been thinking about my own relationship with VLEs as a practising lecturer, and a student, and as someone who has, if I may…