2011 Australian LAMS & Learning Design Conference — Sydney

Abstracts and Bios

Barriers that prevent Teachers of Islamic Education participation in Online CPD Programmes in Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Albahiri

King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia

Abstract This article examines the barriers that prevent Islamic education Teachers in Saudi Arabia from participation in online continuing professional development (CPD) programmes. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected to fulfill the aims of this study. Seven-hundred and sixty eight teachers were surveyed and 23 teachers were interviewed among the full time Islamic education teachers working in state schools in Asir region, Saudi Arabia. Data were collected by different instruments involving semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were applied to the collected data. Teachers reported some barriers of implementation online CPD such as lack of good Internet service, incentives, technical support, teachers’ experience in using computers, teacher’s level of English language and the high cost of computer equipment.

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Saudi teachers' experiences of the new design of learning, and the influence of that on their classroom practice.

Dr. Abdulrahman Algarfi

King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia

Abstract This research investigated the development and implementation of cooperative learning in two Saudi classrooms seeking the perspectives of teachers. Research on group work / cooperative learning methods in Arab-speaking nations is in its infancy. This research tried to apply a type of change (bottom-up approach) in Saudi classroom to find out teachers' perception regarding the change in their classroom practice. Two male secondary teachers with 19 and 12 years teaching experience participated in a 10-hour training programme on cooperative learning in the classroom, and then they and their pupils (39 pupils) were tracked over a four-week period to investigate their experiences of this new approach. Individual interviews with teachers took place at four points across the research period: before and after the training programme, in the middle of the implementation stage and at the end of the project. In addition, field note observations of approximately 40 lessons were made and short segments of some lessons were videoed. Teachers kept an audio reflective log to record their experiences. Results indicated that both teachers initially had very limited knowledge of cooperative learning, however, they were very supportive of the training they received. Teachers described a number of benefits of cooperative learning and the opportunity to experience a broader range of educational outcomes. in addition, they described and demonstrated a number of aspects of their practice that illustrated a shift to a more pupil-centred classroom, with their role becoming more of a facilitator of learning.

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Social Sharing of Learning Design: A Tale of Increased Productivity

Emil Badilescu-Buga

Macquarie University

Abstract Sharing leads to productivity increases if those who use shared learning designs spend significantly less effort on preparatory work. This means they have more time to focus on the application of the shared design than they would otherwise have if they had to go through the entire production process by themselves.  This study attempts to demonstrate the role of social structures in obtaining productivity gains with shared learning designs and it explores the characteristics of social structures that encourage effective sharing.  The main finding of this analysis is that networks with long-tail characteristics are more likely to indicate an increase of productivity gains through sharing. Some limitations and potential implications of the findings, such as lack of comprehensive data and difficulties in finding the right shared design, are discussed in the paper.

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Adopting learning design with LAMS: multi-dimensional, synchronous large-scale adoption of innovation

Emil Badilescu-Buga

Macquarie E-Learning Centre of Excellence (MELCOE), Macquarie University

Abstract Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) has been trialled and used by users from many countries around the globe, but despite the positive attitude towards its potential benefits to pedagogical processes its adoption in practice has been uneven, reflecting how difficult it is to makea new technology based concept an integral part of the education system. In order to investigate and determine the elements that block the adoption of learning design tools in general, the study will review research papersthat have been published in recent years on this subject, especially LAMS. The study will discuss patterns of critical aspects related to adoption of learning design tools and derive an inquiry framework that can be used infollow-upstudieswhich will aim to collect relevant empirical data from practitioners toidentify key progress measuresof the adoptionprocess. These measures may be used later to devise strategies that will see increased adoption of online learning design tools such as LAMS in school systems and higher education institutions.

Bio Emil is a PhD student at Macquarie University, in Sydney, Australia. His area of research is focused on diffusion and adoption of innovation in education. Emil has worked for over six years at NSW Department of Education and Communities, Australia working on the implementation of several large scale initiatives aimed at adoption of technology in the school education system. Emil has also worked with many Australian Universities and K-12 educational organisations on exploring collaboration opportunities for the establishment of national research programs.


Emil Badilescu-Buga
Macquarie E-Learning Centre of Excellence, Macquarie University, Sydney
Email: emil.badilescu-buga@mq.edu.au

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PLANE – An overview of a professional learning network

Leanne Cameron

Australian Catholic University, Australia

Abstract 'Pathways for Learning, Anywhere, anytime – a Network for Educators' (PLANE) is an online professional learning network that aspires to bring together different platforms to support pre-service teachers (student teachers currently studying at universities), in-service (practising) teachers and school leaders in the public, Catholic and independent school sectors across New South Wales. PLANE provides these teachers with opportunities to access ICT–focused courses; share resources and ideas; seek advice from each other; become involved in virtual and blended modes of peer coaching; and accumulate evidence of their professional learning. PLANE is focused on building educational communities whose participants exchange ideas and resources and seek help and advice freely across regional and sectoral boundaries. The core product of PLANE is teacher professional learning. This presentation looks at the scope of the PLANE project.

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Using LAMS in vertically streamed curriculum development and renewal in a medical school

Bronwen Dalziel & Glenn Mason

University of Western Sydney, Sydney

Abstract We have previously reported on the use of LAMS to teach the Scientific Basis of Medicine to medical students in Years 3 – 5 of their MBBS degree at the University of Western Sydney, in what students know as ‘The Scientific Streams’. This talk reports on the progress of the ten Scientific Streams four years after the initial set of three streams were rolled out in 2009 to Year 3 students. Lessons learned include:

  • LAMS has been an efficient way to deliver 250 hours of content to students across many different hospital and community placements
  • Students are time poor and strategic in their use of LAMS
  • Student feedback indicated that their preferred learning style was a more didactic approach that includes formative assessment
  • Staff moderators of forums are often time poor, leading to changes in design to reflect these constraints

Renewal of the streams is already needed due to the ongoing curriculum development of this new medical course, and future development will build on lessons learned to date. Due to the vertically integrated curriculum in the course, changes in Years 1 and 2 need to be rapidly reflected in the teaching of science in later years. The flexibility of the LAMS authoring environment will be used to quickly incorporate these changes into the scientific streams. The presentation will conclude with reflections on future use of LAMS in medical education.

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Developing Scenario Learning and its implementation in LAMS

James Dalziel

Macquarie E-Learning Centre Of Excellence (MELCOE), Australia

Abstract Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and role plays are examples of teaching strategies that can foster student engagement and reflection. This paper describes “Developing Scenario Learning” (DSL), which combines elements of PBL and role plays to encourage students to reflect on different possible approaches to scenarios that they may encounter in future work. A distinguishing element of DSL is that the initial scenario allows for multiple interpretations and potential actions, and following a period of discussion, the scenario “develops” through the presentation of new information that changes the dynamics of the scenario in ways that may require different potential actions, as well as reconsideration of assumptions made during earlier discussion. This paper outlines a number of different DSL structures and provides examples of their implementation using LAMS.

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A digital learning template for addressing ethical, societal and legal issues in personalised genetic medicine

Carina Dennis

University of Technology, Australia

AbstractIn the wake of the human genome being sequenced a wealth of educational online content about genetics has been created during the past decade. However, these digital resources are distributed across disparate sites and it requires a level of content and pedagogical knowledge to order the choice and progression of material available to the learner, as well as technical expertise to bundle the resources into a logical and accessible format. A fully integrated digital lesson plan, using the Learning Activity Management System1 software, demonstrates how resources can be aggregated and arranged in a way that facilitates the learner’s understanding of genetic variation and human disease. It also provides a unique digital framework to explore the ethical, societal and legal implications surrounding personalized medicine. Results from a pilot study demonstrated the utility of the system. This lesson template can be readily adapted to other content and e-learning tasks, and provides a powerful example of digital lessons in the understanding of personalised genetic medicine.

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Why use structured controversy pedagogy (in LAMS)?

Eva Dobozy

Curtin University, Australia

Abstract This paper explores the nature, purpose and practice of structured controversy pedagogy (SCP). It begins by examining the philosophical underpinnings of SCP and explains its relationship with transformational learning. A four-step model is introduced, followed by two LAMS-based case examples, illustrating contemporary, technology-based applications of this pedagogical model. This paper argues that SCP may provide a possibility to engage students and lecturers in teaching and learning practices that move beyond transmission education. It is a response to Dalziel’s (2010) call for more specific examples of eTeaching Strategies.

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