Talk:Introduction to Research Methods In Psychology

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interesting overlaps with a Research Methods course we are working on002:03, 15 June 2015
Overall feedback: (As per invitation posted on 12 June 2015 on the OERu list)023:33, 13 June 2015
Feedback300:47, 11 February 2015
No need to use navigation templates001:04, 5 February 2015

interesting overlaps with a Research Methods course we are working on

Hi there Gail and team, It is great to review this course, i really love so much about it, particularly the way you've described the flexible nature of study and how to engage. I just wanted to let you know that UOW has been working on a Research Methods course for use in a new OERu Grad Cert. It's not specifically for Psychology, indeed it is aiming at giving students a leg-up into interdisciplinary studies in law, humanities and the arts with an international studies focus.I have emailed my colleague Irit Alony who is developing our course, and I think there might be some interest in re-use of some components of your course, especially the final module regarding writing up your paper in APA style. Regards, Sarah

Slambert (talk)02:03, 15 June 2015

Overall feedback: (As per invitation posted on 12 June 2015 on the OERu list)

Overall I think the course has a solid structure and assessment design and the development has progressed well. The TRU team can be proud of the work done so far. I provide generic comments and feedback below which relate to the overall design. Comments on individual pages will be posted on the corresponding talk pages.

General feedback

  1. Now that we will be using a course snapshot, this landing page becomes redundant and should be replaced with a planning homepage with links to the blueprint, meeting notes, course outline etc.
  2. I've created a course outline page which will be used to generate the course website.
  3. There are a few instances where the course materials have not adhered to WikiEducator style conventions for example the case conventions for page names and headings (see Tips for beginners.) For now, I wouldn't go to the trouble of moving pages to new pages which apply the case conventions, however for OERu consistency reasons I would recommend adopting these case conventions for headings, subheadings and link labels.
  4. In the future, I recommend that you use the new pedagogical templates for {{IDevices}} - see help page here. I've completed a search and replace and updated all the instances using old templates.
  5. Avoid using "double emphasis", that is applying bold on top of a heading style. See for example this revision instance where the heading uses the heading style and then bold applied on top of the heading style. This generates issues for the CSS style in the target site which defines heading styles. Check through the course pages to fix this issue.
  6. Speaking personally, I would avoid the approach of specifying links to open in new tabs rather than the normal convention of link behaviour. The majority of links on the web open go to the page of the link rather than opening in a new window. Users should learn how to use the back button of their browser ;-).
  7. I have fixed a few pages where tables were used to position image placement. Use the alignment parameter for images rather than tables for manipulating layout.

Thoughts on improving the design

  1. In a number of the units there are sub-pages in the navigation which link back to a previous page where the "topic is adequately covered in the open text book" See for example: Variables; Sampling and Measurement; Statistical Relationships Between Variables from the page on Reading research reports in Unit 1. Suggested fix: In the new outline page I have created sub-pages for each of these instances (currently red links because they don't have content). A short "Reading activity" template could be inserted with a succinct instruction, for instance to read Chapter Two of the text with one or two guidelines or suggestions for tackling the chapter.
  2. The outcomes page for each unit generally comprises three components: Overview, outcomes and resources. When accessing materials using mobile phones, these pages are a bit long. Would it make sense to break these down into separate sub-pages?
  3. On the existing page outcomes page, it appears that the "Resources" heading is actually a "List of resources used in the unit" - if so wouldn't it be better to change the subheading to resources used in this unit. Also if these resource are embedded in the individual pages - what is the advantage of purpose of listing them in the beginning of the unit? As a reader - when I encounter the list, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.
  4. Given that this course is predominantly a wrap-around design based on the open textbook, I would recommend a clearer distinction between the core open textbook readings and other readings. This can be achieved through better use of the pedagogical templates. For example, I would use the "Reading activity" when reading is required (as opposed to other activities.) In the case of readings based on the core text, you could consider using a distinct title parameter, for example: "Open textbook reading activity"
  5. Many of the activities would benefit from additional guidelines as to what learners are expected to do, For example, with reading activities are learners expected to keep notes, summarise key points etc. If so, state these outcomes in the activity instructions.
  6. This is a good course - but it could be a great course if you incorporated more opportunities for peer learning interactions. Embed microblog activities where you prompt learners to share ideas and connect. Consider e-tivities which are designed as building blocks and embedded into the course where learners share invited to share the artefacts of their learning. It wouldn't be hard to do - there are a number of great video resources you've included - prompt learners to share their thoughts and ideas based on the resources.
Mackiwg (talk)03:47, 13 June 2015

Hi Gail, Irwin and the team, It has taken me a whole lot longer than I had hoped to get back to you on this proposal. I'd like to commend you on it - the amount of information you've provided on the learning outcomes and assessments and showing the link between the 2, and the planned flow of topics - it's all very solid. I took a look at the open-text, it also looks really good. My only concern is with the exam component of the assessment - how can an exam be offered for the open, online OER students?

I am currently in the process of developing a course for UOW and was interested to see your thoughts about the links between your Blackboard LMS and the Wiki-educator site. I am facing similar questions and issues. Will look forward to staying in touch and seeing if we might give each other some support on this aspect.

If I could put on my other 'hat' - that of Convenor, OERu Course Approvals and Quality Working Group - and provide feedback from that perspective. We have decided via this workgroup to use the OER Course Blueprint as a key aspect of the quality process - it is to be a bit of a template to be followed in the design process, to make sure all important aspects are considering in planning and to ensure that just enough info can be conveyed to partners to allow them to assess the level and focus of the course with a view to potentially giving credit for it at their institution. So on top of the Learning Outcomes, things like - are you using an OER-wrap around design model, or building course and materials from scratch. And how will you be approaching identify management of the students who submit items for assessment and credit. And are the assessment do-able in the open, online space?

So from this perspective I am keen to create a standard Blueprint template for people to work from. The idea would be to make it as easy as possible for OER reps to scan that info, and provide high-level feedback and get some conversations happenning before the whole Outline is completed. As it stands, the headings/content you have used in your Blueprint look more to me like a fully fleshed out Subject/Course Guide or Course Outline. There is a lot of information and detail there (and as noted, all great). Where as the Blueprints used in the 2012/13 developments were roughly like this: • 1.1 Metadata summary • 1.2 Intended target audience • 1.3 Delivery model • 1.4 Assessment model • 1.5 Interaction strategies

And here are some live ones if you want to see how they looked:

I am wondering if you would consider shifting the "Blueprint" info to an "Course Outline" page, and having another "blueprint" page for the shorter summary info? My reason for asking is partially this: i'm wanting to create a 2014/15 course developments hub page that links through to a standard blueprint page and have it set up in advance so the new members can fill in the blanks, rather than working from scratch. And we can all have the one URL to use as a 'hub' to facilitate communication around the developing subjects.

I note that in Wayne's current diagramatic representation of the OER workflow (to be discussed at the Sprint) the process is nomination to blueprint to audit of resources (which you've done by finding your open text for example) and then 'course outline'. THe flowchart is on this page - what do you think?

Slambert (talk)07:16, 17 October 2014

Sarah thanks for the comments. Here are our responses (Gail and Irwin). You'll notice that we think some of the questions are better answered by other groups working specifically on those issues.

  • Exams – Arrangements can be made for an authenticated and invigilated challenge exam delivered by TRU at credible sites. TRU Open Learning already does this in many distributed locations. Alternatively any partner institutions may be able to deliver the exam (or a credible alternative assessment), assign credit and transcript for transfer credit within the partnership.
  • LMS question – we think it’s best to talk to the Technology group.
  • Identity – this should go to the Assessment group.
  • Assessments (formative) – will vary from course to course. In terms of visibility, some may be presented in the open wiki (WikiEducator) with the student’s work displayed in the site or with the method of their choice. Some assessments may be completed and shared in the open, while others may need to be more privately completed. This needs to be considered course by course.
  • Course blueprints – we’re ok with any templates and nomenclature that you provide. We can reorganize accordingly.
Irwin DeVries (talk)21:13, 17 October 2014

Hi Sarah,

All good questions.

Identity validation[edit | edit source]

The OERu model separates teaching and formative learning activities from summative assessment. This means that identity validation for summative assessment will need to meet the local OERu partner institutional requirements for identity management in order for transcript credit to be awarded. Some partners use proctored challenge examinations with verified photo ID as in the case of TRU and other ODL providers. Some partners who are using an assessment portfolio will incorporate a short remote interview with the student (skype or teleconference) where photo ID can be verified to determine whether the student actually completed the assessments.

LMS integration[edit | edit source]

Technically its a simple process to integrate teaching materials from the course site into an LMS. It can be as simple as an external link, or more sophisticated ways to import the content into the LMS. The issue here is to separate summative assessment components (like quizzes which may contribute to the summative assessment score) from formative assessment where authenticated identity validation is needed. The OERu open courses use a PLE model where interactions are distributed across the Internet (blogs, micro-blog and forum posts.) which are aggregated into a central course feed. It's easy to integrate or mirror a copy of the aggregated feed into the local LMS using a simple iFrame (or even external link).

The local LMS challenge arises when the course designers want students registered in the LMS to post contributions to the aggregated feed via an internal LMS forum designated as a public forum with the understanding that all other support forums remain closed for full-fee students. (Remember that external OERu learners will not be able to read the designated public forum posts in the LMS because they do not have password access. This means that a solution is required to replicate the content of a designated public forum post onto an open server.) They way we do this is to register an OERF account as a student account in the course (as a trusted partner) and this student account monitors the public forum in the LMS. If a post is made, it will be harvested for the aggregated feed and will will mirror a copy of the post on our servers so that the free OERu learners can read the contribution. Of course this requires collaboration with the local IT systems support team. In the event that this is not possible, the only solution is to direct full-fee students to the open web, or to consider hosting an external LMS or other delivery platform.

Blueprinting process[edit | edit source]

At the timing of the blueprint phase, we need to maintain a delicate balance between minimum information needs for the OERu network and freedom of the host institution to develop their own pedagogy. We are adamant not to dictate pedagogical design, a principle we stressed at the 1st meeting of anchor partners. We should allocate some time during the partners meeting to discuss these issues in more detail.

From my perspective, I think we need to develop a solution which is fit for purpose. At the blueprinting phase, I think there are three objectives:

  1. Soliciting open feedback and peer-review from the network to improve the design concept.
  2. Providing sufficient information on the outcomes of the course to identify opportunities for collaborative development and/or future credit transfer potential.
  3. Sharing examples of different design blueprints to assist OERu partners in developing their own courses.

The detail of summative assessment is something which comes later in the process, particularly in future scenarios where partners may choose to reuse the assessment models of the contributing institution for local assessment services.

I think we need to keep our blueprint guidelines simple, with enough flexibility for our partners to do their own thing avoiding the temptation of generating a bureaucratic straight jacket ;-).

The challenge of open design[edit | edit source]

Developing courses for multiple reuse scenarios, as in the case of the OERu is fundamentally a design challenge. Our problem is that few academics and designers within the network have authentic experience in doing this. In time, we will be able to build capability in the network in open design methodologies - but we need to work with what we have where the network is at this juncture in our evolution. We are designing new educational futures!

Mackiwg (talk)23:46, 17 October 2014

Agreed. The templates don't tell you what kind of design model you have to use, but just ask for what you've decided on - it's a communication device and a list of things to think about rolled into one. The tone is attempting to be "please let us know your thoughts on these range of factors that experience tells us are important."

Slambert (talk)00:47, 11 February 2015

No need to use navigation templates

Hi team,

With the new approach which produces a website snapshot from an outline page, it is no longer necessary to insert navigation templates. When the script harvests the pages, it will automatically generate the navigation for the website.

Mackiwg (talk)01:04, 5 February 2015