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Hi, I am Wendy Kilfoil. I work at The University of South Africa (Unisa). I have worked in distance education for twenty five years now. Before that I was a secondary school teacher of first and second language English for ten years. I started in higher education and distance education as an English lecturer, mainly teacher education for second language English and later in English for Specific Purposes. Since 2004 I have been heading a directorate that assists lecturers to design curricula and learning for distance education students. I believe in the value of education and the role of distance education.

Below are my initial notes as I learn the syntax of the wiki.

First level heading

Use single equal signs.

Second level heading

Use double equal signs.

Third level heading

Use treble equal signs.

  • For bulleted lists use an asterisk.
  • Schema Theory
  1. For numbered lists use the hash key.
  2. Second point
  3. Third point

Internal link from wikieducator: use exact link name between two sets of square brackets; everything that appears after Or put in the name followed by a horizontal line and the wording you want followed by a horizontal line.|

External links: single square bracket with space before name you want displayed The University of South Africa

Now I want to say something about some reading I have found useful in the past year or so.

Understanding by design

A very useful book to which I was referred by colleagues at Athabasca University in 2007 is Understanding by design by Wiggins and McTighe. It is written for lecturers but is useful for instructional designers and learning developers as well. It is too cognitivist for the more post modern learning developers but I believe that cognitive constructivism is particularly useful in distance education where there is limited contact between students.

Knowing knowledge

George Siemens, also a Canadian, has published his book on a wiki. I really like his different types of knowing and the fact that he points out that we need to 'learn to be' not just to know or develop skills. I also enjoy his articles, particularly Learning development, as he acknowledges that different types of learning are valid in different contexts. So, for instance, direct instruction is important in foundational learning. His main thrust is around connectivism. He is currently offering a course on connectivism free on the internet. I also signed up for his weekly newsletter. One of the most interesting links recently has been to an article on multitasking which suggests that it is unhealthy to multitask instead of concentrate on what you are doing and that multitasking reduces cognitive processing drastically.