Friday, March 14, 2008

Some stuffing for this saggy pillow of a blog!

Hello All,

In this posting I shall 'catch up' with the week one goals of stating who I am, what is my area of expertise, my reasons for doing this course and what I aim to achieve.
Ive added some extra thoughts on experiences with this course also.

I'm Katy Molloy, I work in the Creative Studies course that is based in the Design department at Otago Polytechnic. I have a bachelor of Fine Arts but have always, and still do, enjoy the design process. I am also lecturing a numeracy paper this year to some Creative Studies students. The numeracy teaching is perfect for me as I'm interested in bridging the gap between Art and mathematics.

Aims - I am doing this course to add more tools to my belt, and in turn, use those tools in my teaching.
Hopefully I will understand the width and length and depth (sculptor mentality!) of this e-learning environment, so I can use it and add to it with confidence.

Some extra thought on the width - length - depth thing. I am feeling quite dissatisfied with my progress in this DFLP course. I realize that this is because all the resources/communications have been digital (I missed the Face to Face meeting on the 5th March) so in comparison to the physicality of learning that I am accustomed to, this course feels like a heap of disjointed flying grey matter, that I can't grab or see. It's unpleasant.
So, today, upon realizing the above, I made a 'folder' on the 'desk top' of my laptop and set about putting things related to this course in it - that has made me feel better! And I have 'bookmarked' the Wiki main page for this course, the course blog, and my blog, in my Mozilla Firefox toolbar. It is very basic stuff, but hugely important.
So now I feel like I have somewhat of a grip on these things - or a line connected to them anyway.
It was very nice to recieve the hard copied 'Flexible learning: it's not just about distance' reading and wiki page print-out that Bronwyn sent.
In these first couple of weeks in the DFLP course, it seems as if I've been doing online research on a foreign city that I am planning to visit; Getting the underground train maps/bus timetable, inner city maps, wider city maps, hotels/backpackers info. Then of course when you arrive at the city, its nothing like what you imagined, but you may have some bearings.
I'm wondering now, "when am I gonna SEE it?"
That may be 'to much information', but the crux is that I feel like I could very well be missing out on something. I give a nod to Carolyn's post in the Discussion on the DFLP 'Wiki page - 21:17, 14 March 2008' when she wondered if she was missing something.

Cheers for reading. More later.
Katy Molloy


Carolyn said...

Hi Katy, yes I do feel a bit like I have been wandering a bit and like you have tried to knuckle down to do some work on this. It is good experience for how our students might feel. I little like little red riding hood lost in the wood and waiting for the big bad wolf to jump out.
In truth I do think flexible delivery does require a lot more self motivation from students, which is fine if that is what you have, a self motivated bunch. But what if you don't. Connections are so important I think.

Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Katy, sounds like a typical orientation feeling to me.. I'm wondering what we could do more of to help you. It does sound like you are employing some management strategies yourself though, which is good to see.

Perhaps, given your connection with Carolyn, you would benefit from following the other's blogs. The most efficient way to do this is through the use of an RSS News Reader like - the Forth Street Campus Community Learning Centre can help you with setting that up if you like (see learning support services on the course wiki).

I've just a slight concern with regard to your expectations. You mention that you're hoping to come to grips with "eLearing" when this is a course about Flexible Learning. "eLearning" is a format and method for teaching and learning that is sometimes used in efforts to develop flexible learning opportunities, but it isn't the be all and end all. Maybe you were just using the term "eLearning" as a figure of speech, but having a design background, you would probably appreciate the need for a clear use of words and adjectives :)

Hope to see you up with Wk 2 and 3 soon.

Leigh Blackall said...

btw, the participant blogs are all listed down the right side of the course blog.

Anonymous said...

Hello Katy,

I can relate to the feeling overwhelmed part and trying fingure your e-tools from your F@#* delivery! I am aware as you appear to be that with art some of the most satisfying moments can be in the process part of making, creating with the occasional setback. Often I have found the saddest moments (after a huge sense of relief that it is over) is in the ending. So hang on and enjoy the journey

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Katy you have been busy creating your own personal learning space online - this is great! You are not the only one feeling "floaty" about the course. There are also people who attended the face-to-face workshop who have not progressed as far as you have already.

The intention of the design of this course is to enable self-paced learning as well as to provide a structure for people to follow. If you get lost from the group no matter because the map and the tools are still there for you to refer to at any time.

There are others in the course involved in numeracy (Michelle - and foundation learning (Kristen - I wonder are you also using the OP tool - “Matherzise”:
Student ID number is any single digit (e.g. 0, 1, 2....) and password is "poly"

Let me ask you a question. When you travel - do you learn more when researching for yourself how to get around a city or when a tour takes you and drops you off? which one do you prefer?

Think about the sort of learner you are and how you might equip yourself on this designing for flexible learning practice journey.

Emma Hogg said...

Would have to agree with Carolyn, sometimes we forget that our students are doing the same amount of learning these new e-tools as we are. We encounter this at the CLC's when learners attend wanting to know what a Blog is when they are needing to have one created for their next class - it is a learning curve for all involved, and in some cases a steep one.

Katy Molloy said...

Thanks for your comments.
Emma; yes, I agree completely! It can be a real battle.

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Katy it is great you have got going again. It is a network of winding pathways out there. It will be good to see some of your thoughts about yourself as a flexible teacher and your goals for flexible learning posted on your blog. You explained it very well in person.

Jennifer Hamlin said...

Katy, even though your initial entries were earlier this year, I enjoyed reading them now. No matter how experienced you are, it can be intimidating to get connected in unfamiliar environment. It is good to be able to see learning from a student's eyes again though, don't you think? I look forward to seeing you explore these ideas further as the course progresses.