Monday, August 3, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This week, I am delighted to be able to report that I have been offered and have accepted a new position as Professional Nurse Advisor for New Zealand Blood Service. It has been a lengthy process, but finally the news is in!! So, as well as completing the work for this paper, it is also a time for reflecting on and evaluating my contribution to an organisation I have loved to work for….
We had our accreditation process over the last week. Sometimes scared, as I guess we all feel when the auditors whoever they are come to town….it was in fact a really positive process. The lady that undertook to evaluate clinical education (my bit of the big picture) was really helpful. We talked a lot about closing the loop for quality initiatives and demonstrating the worth of education to the bean counters. (I feel she has been walking with me these last few weeks!). What surprised me most though were the things she chose to single out and recognise about our team achievement. The ordinary things that we do each day and how we rarely value them for what they are truly worth. I suspect we are all guilty of that….always on to the next project as the organisation moves onward. I will be grateful to her more than she will ever know, because of the focus she brought to giving a mandate to evaluate. For my team now, this will be the next part of their development and, in the light of her report; it will be something they can focus on.
What I am going to be sad about is the extra time it is going to take for e-learning to become a reality for my colleagues: it may be another year before my replacement gets to this stage……but for me the prospects are wonderful….I am going to an organisation who have already got a brand spanking new LMS and the will to go with that……YAY!! The time on the battlefield with CFO hasn’t been wasted: I learned a lot from his questions about value and seeking other opinions from outside of the choir stalls and coming as it has with this paper too, I will go better equipped and ready to talk in outcomes…..
And one other thing from accreditation…... As she left, the auditor said….always just ask yourself one question….What was your original purpose…and start your evaluation from there. I think pretty reasonable advice.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Here it is on google.....
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Evaluation plan is the only file upload from me
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Hughes, G., Hay, D. (2001) Use of concept mapping to integrate the different perspectives of designers and other stakeholders in the development of e-learning materials British Journal of Educational Technology 32(5): 557-569
I chose this method of data collection after reading the evaluation cook book and chapter 6 from the course reading. It appeals because as you will know from my earlier blogs, I am struggling to understand all of the requirements that my CFO has in terms of e-learning as part of the on-going strategy for education within my organisation. I liked the analogy of ‘slice’ offered in chapter 6, meaning that the design team could see the whole from the different perspectives. My question to myself was, ‘if I am struggling to understand him, what assumptions have I made in order to understand the others….?”
Hughes and Hay (2001) come from the perspective that no one person on the design team could provide all of the expertise required to develop the e-learning material. Thus, they concluded that in order to expedite the needs analysis phase of development, they could use ‘concept mapping’. Concept mapping enables all stakeholders to write down their unique perspective on priorities and expectations for deliverables in the final work. In the AlaaDIN project used as the exemplar in this paper, concept maps were sought and received from a number of stakeholders including the marketing team, potential students, web designers and SMEs. The ALaaDIN project had external sponsors and partnerships and was part of government aided promotion of e-learning. Clearly, there was the potential for individual interests to dominate the final work. However, using this technique, similarities and differences became apparent as the concept mapping interviews took place. Hughes and Hay (2001) suggest that right from the outset, the ‘values’ embedded in the project were explicit and as a consequence there was ‘buy-in’ to the product from the outset from all parties. For example, this methodology helped to avoid what the authors describe as ‘technological determinism’ meaning that the programmer understood from the outset what was to be achieved enabling product development throughout.
As I have chosen an e-learning guideline that directs mapping of good process for developing e-learning units, review of the article by Hughes and Hay (2001) indicates that concept mapping is an obvious way to quickly gather required information from stakeholders. It also reminds me that in F2F learning, I do little in the way of consultation about material to be covered, and for all my constructivist persuasions, I choose the starting point! Furthermore, if I continue to adopt this attitude with e-learning, I will provide a dominant influence on the learning material which may not be useful to others wishing to gauge the importance of the wider LMS project.......food for thought!
The article is available via EBSCO on the MIT library site if you want to read it it all.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Back from holidays having had the pleasure of catching up with friends who were over from Australia. Nice to have new, but always great to catch up with the old.....!
On the subject of new....I have been experimenting with facebook. A one time anathema for me, I now find I quite enjoy the e-catch ups especially with our overseas friends and family....how their kids grow! I was invited to take part in a couple of questionnaires......what nationality are you really; what grade and subject should you teach; where in australia should you live and what was you occupation in a former life......? The results were interesting.....I should really be a French, kindergarten teacher living in Tasmania who once was an accountant......now there's an irony!!
I was invited to pitch up to the CFOs office (again) to have the same conversation about imaginery budgets and capex (I really can't believe this was my previous occupation!!).......I finally got my feet out of his in-tray an hour later, still having to 'demonstrate' how much hardware we will need for the LMS pilot. I am not one to throw my hands up in despair (tho can I tell you that this is sooooooooo draining, I am getting close!!). So, my thinking has changed again and as Bronwyn rightly highlighted, I was probably going to need to think in a more compact way anyway!!!.....I am not going to be able to have anything other than a moodle sandpit if I can't answer the hardware question, so........I will back up the bus a little and look at our organisational readiness and accessibility in relation to the development of an on-line waterlow scale learning resource in the LMS pilot setting.
Front-end (needs) analysis in relation to my chosen e-learning guidelines which were:
Students/Learning Design SD7Is there a defined process to follow that identifies the feasibility of and appropriate delivery modes for the course and
Managers/Other support MO1 Can staff and students easily use the learning technologies and online resources
Mixed methods approach (to allow for the alternate perspectives!)
using an adapted ADDIE (because of the depth and it includes the performance space which is essential for nursing) by catherine lombardozzi (2008)....I will discuss this model another time to include some of the reasons I like it and the thoughts I have had about it.....
retrieved April 14 2008
with the collection methods as follows:
confidence logs for using technology to learn (what can they do now/ where would they choose to be when they are learning on-line for example. This part will also inform later parts of the process and whether to include getting used to the technology and help desk etc etc...)
Mapping technique for determining computer usage in the pilot area (it will look like a 24 hour graph and show use/no use) to determine when computers are free and for how long. This may help with demonstraing the level of investment in new hardware required in the areas when couple with individual intentions indicated in the confidence log.
I would also like to talk with the nurses in the LMS pilot site about their experiences of using our on-line library as I think there will be some valuable lessons here about accessibility...and trust the responses these will steer us wisely.
....and hopefully not into teaching French to 6 year olds over the ditch!!
Evaluation Cookbook.....Did veryone else know this was available via PDF in a far more readable format than the website?Accessed 21 April 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
A couple of things happened this week as I reviewed data collection methods and the role of key stakeholders…….The first thing was watching Stephen Fry in America, principally because he was in San Francisco (I soooo love that city!). Fry was talking with the boy who practically re-invented Apple with ipod, who said that one of the reasons he loved being in America was that people listened to the ideas of others……Take home message number 1 from the week. The other was when I was verbally abused in the warehouse by a woman whose kid was standing up in a supermarket trolley. I dared to share my experience about the time when one of mine stood on the side of a trolley and bowled the whole thing over….8 month old baby strapped in the baby seat as well……to say I get a little freaked when I see unsteady babies standing in trolleys now is a little understated. However, she was not in a receptive mood, and I was listening to what she said….(some of the time…the rest of the time I was trying to escape!)…..anyway, she said that she had had four kids and none of them had anything more serious than tonsillitis so she wasn’t about to spoil her record. MMMMMMM I thought, success by another man’s measure. Take home point number 2 for the week (shut your mouth in the warehouse)…..and sensitivity to others’ parameters for success.
So, how does this fit with evaluation? Well, interestingly I was (F2F) teaching about clinical assessment this week, and the subject of how we measure ‘expertness’ came up. As a result of listening carefully to the ideas presented, we are now considering another measure that is clinically based for evaluating that. If you like, a ‘showcase’ or ‘master class’ given by those who do not enjoy or fear writing, but can ‘show and tell’. There are follow-throughs here to the Waterlow Scale e-learning unit. Rather than say questionnaires which would be my questions, or focus groups which could be difficult to arrange because of shift patterns, it may be better to look at the place of the ‘showcase’ approach for determining application of the Waterlow risk assessment to practice. The demons and dragons may be time for gathering the evidence, but the quality of the evidence is likely to be enriched. Coupled with other measures like completion rates (quantitative rather than qualitative) there is likely to be the ability to triangulate as well and to describe ‘success’ of the work in others’ paradigms.
I am also mindful that advice from Bronwyn has been to keep the evaluation small…..To this end, my decisions this week have been around tools that could be used in conjunction with my original choices about guidelines which were defining process to identify the feasibility and appropriate delivery methods and can staff and students easily use learning technologies and on-line resources. The material I have located here from Sage, directs consideration of factors important in accessibility and, would also be a good process to follow to ensure that best practices in development have been met (I will attempt to post the document, or URL to the group later today). This document will help to gather perspective of everyone and to ‘listen’ to the good ideas that sometimes come very quietly!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
My first encounter with e-learning evaluation paradigms left me wondering if I am indeed as critically social as I think I am.......because actually in an e-learning context, I find my persuasion toward the eclectic-mixed methods-pragmatic paradigm.....no suprise there I guess as a nurse who is dominated by the pragmatic in both work, learning and teaching style! The bit that got me was from the Reeves' (2006) paper. Here, he suggests that there is a suggestion of ignoring what makes good instruction, and that models of instructional design can be followed yet still not acheive the goals........Oh yeah been there, I thought!! Cut through a couple of days and an email from articulate marketing........Here, Kuhlman (2009) talks about taking the perspective of the learner and avoiding being stuck in quiz hell, or limited navigation and over informing (as opposed to providing opportunities for learning).......Pullen (2006) also adds to the debate arguing that health professionals learn better when they are able to apply their work to their practice using clinical tools.
So where's the universe collision?.....Well, you may have seen my post to Michelle's blog...I was interested to praise the way in which she was was being responsive to learners needs. My quick trip into pedagogy vs androgogy also reminded me that as a precursor to evaluation, I need to be clear about my intentions: am I engaging adults...and moreover, am I engaging qualified health professionals who want to improve their work by the application of clinically relevant tools and information. It is easy to slip into information providing, rather than providing opportunities from which to learn.....So when Reeves (2006), Kuhlman (2009) and Pullen (2006) make their respective points, the truth I can find there is that I need to reflect from a learners perspective what the applicability of the learning material actually is, rather than as the F2F teacher who gives great background, empirical evidence and whole lot more introduction (because we have the time to reflect, ponder, discuss etc). My e-learning context requires of me that I should consider the previous professional experience as a done deal, or at least offer a chance to revisit relavant sources IF REQUIRED...not presume that erveyone needs everything...they are adult learners and can decide that for themselves...or go back to supplementary material if needs be. The outcome of this has been to re-do my story board for the evaluation project, and to remember that I am intending to achieve adult learner engagement; with healthcare professionals who like to apply to practice quickly and easily, and at the same time attend to Reeves' (2006) point of avoiding the meeting of goals....
I'd like to include this is the first of my formative evaluations of the project because from it has come a different way of viewing presentation of the material, with key stakeholders in mind, a relevant philosophical perspective as well as the potential to actually answer any evaluation questions in a more meaningful way.
Happy to hear your thoughts!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I work in an environment where the patients are having elective or planned surgery. Usually, the patients are really well, have uneventful procedures and go home quickly to recuperate. Whilst we have a very high standard of nursing care and our nurses almost always get things just right, there are unfortunately occaisions where a problem develops..... as was the case when a patient made a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner about an aspect of care. Such action results in an investigation and the outcome often indicates that a change in practice is desirable or, at least a way of ensuring that the loop is closed for the future. The problem in my scenario related to the ongoing assessment of pressure areas...In general terms, you probably feel the need to wriggle every now and then or your bottom goes numb when you are on the computer too long......it's your body telling you to move.....now, in some circumstances the normal pathways telling you to move aren't working and it's our job to make sure we make you wriggle.....one way or the other!!!
Feedback from the HDC lead us down the path of auditing current practice, recommending some changes, implementing these and here's the biggie....we changed the tool we used to assess pressure areas. We implemented this change mainly by F2F sessions and did really well......however, we are a 24/7 service and there are a number of staff who haven't yet managed to get to a F2F session, and therefore haven't been taught how to use the new tool. So, (and here come the quality issues.....)
1. Is the topic suitable for an e-learning context?
2. Will that learning be applied in a practice environment in order to improve patient pressure area assessments?
We are also at the very beginning of our organisation's journey through the development of e-learning as an additional strategy for offering teaching and learning, so mindful of that, I am looking for a topic rather than a course that will act as the demonstration site for 'showing' how e-learning can be useful for us.......
How the guidelines may help:
3.1 Students/Learning Design SD7
Is there a defined process to follow that identifies the feasibility of and appropriate delivery modes for the course
2.3 Managers/Other support MO1
Can staff and students easily use the learning technologies and online resources
The short answer is 'no'.
So in this case, I would have to say that these guidelines remind me that I should go to the drawing board and look at all of the delivery options available here because whilst I might be a little gung-ho to get going on a project, this could well not be the right one. If I look at the characteristics of my remaining population for example, they are night staff and I would be asking them to use a new technology to learn a new assessment tool. Am I being realistic? There would be little or no helpdesk support over the night time. Is this fair or appropriate....sensible? However, rather than rule the project out at this stage, I also know that night staff have been great early adopters of our on-line library system. The way we rolled this out was by training the trainers....the duty managers learned how and supervised the others overnight.....this could also work here......
Furthermore, I am reminded of previous papers we have accomplished......and the fact that Salmon's (2002) model of on-line learning could be used to address the implementation of the e-version which ensures that the ability to use the technologies is addressed. Certainly, the topic would lend itself well to interactivity (believe me!) and this is supported by Mason and Rennie (2006) who suggest that interactivity has the potential to motivate and engage....the reason I suspect why the on-line library was so well received........
These guidlines are going to be very helpful in actually articulating the process that should/could be followed....as well as indicating the kinds of questions I would like to ask during formative evaluation stages.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Let me give you a comparison...
You should find 9 characteristics of quality e-learning from the Concord Consortium who, have been researching teaching and experiencing e-learning for 15 years and are certainly in a position then to suggest elements of quality in this context. I like their thoughts. Some of these characteristics I identify with fom the perspective of an e-learner and would agree that yes, they do make the experience e.g.....expert facilitation, explicit schedules, high quality materials....and from my (brief) e-learning teaching experience I would also agree with other aspects like ongoing assessment, limited enrolment etc..
Compare then, with the application, articulate (available at articulate.com and there is a 30 day free trial) who say that you can create e-learning in 10 minutes. Well it took me 5 hours (please don't laugh!) and it's still not right, but I do like to think I aspired to creating a quality product for subsequent evaluation....... I even found myself a willing volunteer for that part when I get there (my office mate)....anyway....
I just really got the feeling that the goals of these two were different, but strangely somehow similar. Articulate do aspire to quality in e-learning in many ways......they want your product to look good (and for US$1800 for the software, it ought to!!) and for individuals to engage...they want your company to be able to deliver on time, in time education. They offer a means to have ongoing assessment, explcit schedules and high quality (looking) materials.....and they will even give you some webspace to start your own (VERY basic) LMS. So what's wrong?
We are careering through an e-learning revolution where people are making a great deal of money selling ( heck I really want to say exploiting) on-line learning. Using software like articulate you can set yourself up in a heartbeat. Take nursing for example......Nursing Council requires that all nurses can demonstrate 60 hours of professional development every three years.It doesn't seem to matter much how you achieve that either.......so on-line material is fair game. If i'd had a spare few grand I could have been in business by now potentially earning well off the back of professional knowledge and a bit of IT nounce......so why wouldn't you? ......back in a minute, just off to the bank....
Nah, only kidding!!!
I have come across the term rapid e-learning and I can only think that being able to throw up on-line material is what this means ( I am happy to be dis-abused of this notion however!) But what's missing is the pedagogy to start and run with and the evaluation that you have actually done what Gagne begged of us all those years ago, 'a change in behaviour' and that you do it as Ausubel would entreat us...in a meaningful way. So for me, quality in e-learning is about the strength of your systems and processes...yes the Dunkin and Biddle process-product, but taking account of all of those really important things that contribute to the whole meaningful learning experience and ultimately, positively impacting where it counts for you. This is the difference and, I guess the point that the Concord Consortium are making. Quality e-learning is a thoughtful, proactive process, leading to learners who reap the benefits developmentally and intellectually. This way they will keep coming back not desert for the next cool thing that superficially meets a need. I hope......
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
So that said. Evaluation is important to me, because I want to know that the teaching and learning encounters in which the nurses engage, directly impact on the quality of care being delivered to the patients. I want to know that the knowledge they have is incorporated into the decisions that they make and is useful in helping them get to the source of the problem quicker or helps them to prevent or head off potential problems at the pass.....
I read with interest the link to the posting on project evaluation toolkit (thank-you), and was really reassured by the stattement on page 4 that the evaluators perspective influences the questions asked and strategies used. In a meeting this week for L&D, I was forced to talk evaluation in numbers to the CFO because that's what he understands....but it is alien to me to try to talk ROI in numbers. Somehow, it feels 'soft' (in a qualitative sense) to say, "well we saved lives today you know"........So evaluation is also important to me because I want to learn how I can focus on the right questions rather than the scatter gun approach and look at everything (because it IS ALL important you know!) I am interested to look at different approaches to evaluation because it may be a strategic win to evaluate in someone elses frame of reference...numbers rather than 'care'..........because at the end of the day, evaluation is a tool for me to not only to check whether I am getting the right things right, but I also think that my learning here could help me to be able to talk to those other perspectives in ways that mean something to them.....if that assists the ongoing development of appropriate patient care....it' s all good!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Having finished it, I felt a little underwhelmed....that OK so what? feeling That wow what a lot of effort in the thinking about how to present a lecture when I see my students regularly recording lectures for review at a later date (or for the students who aren't there!).....It bothered me....We don't usually get articles sent to us for no good reason....so I have been reflecting on what learning I can take from it.
Ostensibly, there's the evaluation: looking at different options, trialing them together which surely saves time. The reaslisation that what was originally thought to be a great solution in fact, turned out to be best in a different format. But I am still not really 'getting' this. After all, for most of us the choice between broadcasting a lecture would be F2F or audio....(+/-) powerpoint for a number of reasons including webspace; technical hardware and an editing suite.........so what has been bugging me...all week....
An then..the universe collides! An 'Aha!' moment that Gagne would have wept for.......I had a conversation today with someone who wants to 'do' e-learning. By 'doing' e-learning the development goes that they want to make available some informational material in an electronic format. Hardly e-learning to me as a half way through graduate student.....and then later....(much later......sometime between wringing out wet children and putting them in warm pyjamas it dawned on me......(i love how e-learning is such a leveller of learning)..... whilst both the article and my conversation partner are thinking of e-learning in a very broad sense...using an form of electronic media to present an idea...for me e-learning has become something much more than a slop and drop of an old lesson plan.....I value it's contribution, and I want to see that it has changed behaviour and (for me) had an impact of patient care delivery. And that's what neither of these have...they are one offs.....so how does this fit with evaluation? Well, it's back to the old learning objectives...how do you measure that they have been achieved. What should you see, do you intend that you should see as a result of student engagement......The difference between 'doing' e-learning and real e-learning is indeed evaluation. Thanks Bron. Nice article!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Feeling a lot like Friday on a Monday.....!
We had 3 courses in today and the laptops weren't playing at all!! If anythign could send me screeching faster toward e-learning it would be a day like today: when you spend more time trying to get a presentation/network connection for your resources going than actually getting participants to engage with the material....
Anyway, technology rocks in major way when it works....one of the things I have been exploring is itunes. I read in one of the (on-line) American nursing journals about some of the sites that have some real 'value addedness' from the perspective that there were eminent professors podcasting their lectures...... And here i was thinking itunes was about building your music collection! Well, I am a fan: I did indeed find some very suitable material for my teaching practise and whatsmore, found a whole bunch of stuff related to e-learning. I have listened to 4 podcasts so far. One of them was from Dr Michael Allen and was in parts offering a critique about ADDIE (which I will post on the group website after the introductions week). The other 3 were from the UK about the big poject in central south NHS and national e-learning initiatives. I got a a great deal out of these........why?
Well interestingly they are much farther on in terms of their e-learning development for nursing and health. They are going to have a national library of knowledge objects (as opposed to a LOR). This will give users the opportunity to harvest a range of products related to their search topic which will include e-learning and learning objects as well as articles, URLs etc.... Sounds great! The other thing I got from the lectures was very reassuring. Their experience with consumers of elearning is that in nursing and some allied healthcare professional groups at least, they know that in a continuing professional development (CPD) sense learners prefer blended approaches. This fits nicely with my earlier concern that I need to be able to evaluate behavioural change as a result of the e-learning course/resource. I am taking behaviour here to mean a psychomotor, observable skill. One of the talkers made a great point of reminding me that we are not filling empty vessels at the level of CPD. What these learners value of themselves is their wealth of knowledge and experience. Our role as e-teachers then, is to offer material that adds on to this. Subsequently, they are interested to demonstrate in practice what they have learned. They also discussed the nature of quality monitoring in e-learning. It seems that evaluation is an international hot topic!!
The other thing I think I need to do on reflection, is learn how to reference a podcast....and remember who I am listening to!! MMMMMMMMMM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I love Fridays because.......I get to play with moodle for most of the day. I know now what my father meant when he said work should be like a hobby!! It was practically 3pm before I came up for air!!
Anyway, as I think I said on the email group, I am happily enagaed in a moodle sandpit at present. Today, I have been trying to transfer a face to face session into moodle. Well, it all works terribly well......until......the visual and verbal cues I would use to gauge understanding ina F2F environment aren't there. I can certainly say that my question in my previous blog was a goodie. How do you know they know it.....how do you evaluate that? Today, I tried my hand at a few quiz questions by way of trying to get at that. As many of you will know there are some great facilities on moodle for writing these. Though I managed 5, I would certainly not claim that they are the best of ....! But what I want to know that the particpants understand the assessment tool (subject of the 'course') meaures level of risk, and in no way claims to be a predictor that the event will occur. On reflection, the best questions were the matched pairs because I could be tricky and write alternates for the usual assumptions that people make. My own assumption here is that if the learning has been effective, the scores ought to be high on this particular question. but how guessable are they......So to trial them next week and see what the report charts show.
Hope you are all going well
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I downloaded skype last night and talked with my parents....very OMG! I haven't seen them for 2 years!. My daughter (aged 6) took to it like a duck to water, tho my son (3) was a little more reserved. sadly they didn't get to see us as the webcam I bought ages ago has been put somewhere 'safe'......real safe.....The e-toys are even cooler whent hey run properly..
Anyway, what am I looking for in the course....
A lot of what I do from an education perspective has implications in a practical sense. Students must turn what they learn into a process, a procedure a way of critically thinking about their patients and/or the circumstances of the admission, but most of all into DOING. So, whilst I can see that e-learning does indeed work for me (but I am a lover of information and finding stuff out)....how might that shape up for those nurses who aren't motivated in the same way I am and how do I know that application to doing has been done..... So I am looking forward to the opportunity to explore how this might pan out. Important as it is when I need also to be able to demonstrate the value of 'new' technology versus the old for the crusties on the exec!!
Also return on investment is something that interests me......we have long struggled in nursing to clearly articulate and demonstrate the value of education although everyone 'knows' it works. The CFO will ask me to demonstrate this in the longer term LMS project, so I am looking forward to enagaing around that too.....
So that's me at the moment!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
That was suprisingly painless....well far more painless than the whole process of getting broadband at home has been....If I said that it had taken at least 4 weeks...you would think I was playing eh? But no......and today, the router was OUT OF STOCK!!!! Oh.....do you remember your days of dial up and how slow it is....I am doing most things at work, but social networking sites are banned (at presnt), so there are some things I can't do here.....right now to post......