Meeting - 20th September 2013


Those Present: Prof. Liz Bacon, Prof. Lachlan MacKinnon, Dr. Cos Ierotheou, Andy Wicks

The names and research interests of others in the e-learning area of CMS at UoG can be found here.  I will need to contact Prof. Koulis Pericleous so that he knows I am a research student.  He will want me to present on my research.

Complete the epigeum which is the skills log book.

Liz has sent me a copy of the dissertation of Cain Kazimoglu.  She warned me about the level of analysis, but Lachlan thought I might cope too.  Dr. Ramesh and Mark Kerrigan (Educational Development Unit) can help with statistical techniques, if necessary.  This is not the time to make decisions, that comes later, now I should be playing with new ideas.

Part of the process of being PhD student is to butterfly and one should then hone later.  If this is a phase space then use the geometric mean, if it is multiplanar an arithmetic mean would be more appropriate.  Modelling of the human brain through perceptrons was something that was started in 1957 by Frank Rosenblatt and has become increasingly popular 20 years ago by Steve Ferber (Manchester University) who is using individual chips as axon cells.

We use Harvard referencing here as most papers do as well.  We may have a local licences for EndNote - I should check whether we do (I have checked we don't).  Docear is also a possibility.  There is no standard here.  Scientist use Latex.  Find a system that works for me and then use the system consistently.  Start the write up now.

They like the idea of the PhD log being on-line, but some of the terminology is not finished.  For example, both andragogy and pedagogy include the relationships between the participants (this update has been made - AW).  Again, I should use whatever works for me.  I should read Design for Multimedia Learning by Tom Boyle which covers a lot of the terminology I will need.

Starting the write up now will generate a lot of stuff which will be discarded, but the nuggets will survive.  This is a Darwinian process.  Keep backup versions of any write-ups.  The PhD shows that you have the research skills, rather win a Nobel Prize.

The Four Key Characteristics of e-Learning chapter has been produced by Liz and Lachlan.

The University does not have any copyright for the website, but it will have free use even if it is commercial.  All knowledge should be free and open access.

The concept of Book-Chapter-Page as the model for O-VL has been discarded in favour of linking (and inter-linking) nodes in a similar way to their use on  Every node will still be an atom, i.e. have text, video, MP3, PDF, self-test and space to complete coursework if appropriate (an adaptive hypermedia web - see Peter Brusilovsky and Paul De Bra).

There was then a discussion around whether a path should be provided through a topic of whether the student should make those choices.  The former is more efficient and is the conventional way of presenting knowledge, whilst the latter give the power to the student.  You can use any discriminatory factor, including student choice (heutagogy).  Students are not metacognitive and therefore cannot handle the freedom of unstructured information.  Maybe they are not metacognitive because information has always been structured for them.  Maybe some are metacognitive and react negatively to the structures imposed?  Progressive versus exploratory.  Exploratory gives the opportunity to "mislearn" a concept.  Where does this leave testing when ready?  An adaptive web would change shape according to the needs and abilities of the student.  The best thing you can learn is something close to what you already know - the proximal zone.  How do we best support the student through the body of knowledge that they are required to demonstrate on a course?

The White Space Environment that Lachlan introduced when he was a Dean at Abertay University was a medieval market place for the 20th centaury.  It allowed the vicarious learning to take place amongst a wide range of interest group.  How can we get this openness into an e-learning product?  The World of Warcraft is an example where users spend 60% in the chat room and 40% in the game.  This shared common experience in which relationships can develop.  These relationships help learning (see Terry Mayes - the Vicar Project).

Citation indexing tools will allow you to search how many times a paper is referenced.  I have not found any tools yet that will allow you to harvest the references from the papers that are of interest and build a profile from those.

Sarah De Fretas and Terry Mayes - Rethinking pedagogy for the digital age.

Terry Mayes publishes as Terry Mayes, T. Mayes and J.T. Mayes - this makes finding his work difficult and is a common problem when searching for the work of any academic.  It would be good for all new researchers to decide on a way they would like to be known and then stick to it.