New research group in ICT

New Research Group has been formed- ICT, Games and Learning.

The new group consists of scholars from Faculty of Social Science, Business School Nord and Faculty of Teacher Education and Culture. The main participants come from the field of ICT, Games and Learning at Campus Steinkjer and Campus Mo i Rana. This main body constitutes Nord University’s contribution to the new Centre of Excellence in ICT Education (ExcITEd).

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Beata Godejord, PhD, informs the new research group on the work beeing done in the ERASMUS + project MILAGE.

20161103_135755.jpgThe new research group

Being a small part of Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics

I think I have been a Social Informatics kind of person since I first started studying Information Science at University of Bergen back in the middle 80-ies.

My thesis at the second degree level was focusing on biometric security systems and personal privacy, and since then I have been lecturing in topics such as ICT and Management, ICT and Ethics, Gaming Culture, and Social Media and Law.
From a background as former Head of, as well as creator of, the administrative ICT-department of Nesna University College in the period from 1993 to 1999, I took with me an intense curiosity of the various ways people reacts to and interacts with ICT. When I came back to NUC in 2001, it was therefore natural that I took care for the Social Informatics course. From 2001 to approx. 2003, Social Informatics was both a 1th year course and a 3de year course, and I was responsible for the 3de year. From 2004, Social Informatics was only a 1th year course, and I took over responsibilities for this course.

My work in Social Informatics was heavily inspired by the work of Tom Jewet and Rob Kling, and their excellent web resource “Teaching Social Issues of Computing”. I was also inspired by the work of Professor Chuck Huff.
It was therefore quite a pleasant surprise when my blog “Social Informatics International Blog” got listed under “Student Opportunities” at the Rob Kling Center For Social Informatics (RKCSI), Indiana University, Bloomington web page, with the text: “Opportunities for student involvement include: ….. Participating in Per Arne Godejord’s Social Informatics Blog”. And I also got my Social Informatics Resources Wiki listed on their page for “Wikis“, from ca. 2008 up until 2012, with the title “Nesna University College”.

Unfortunately not many of the RKCSI students involved themselves in neither my blog nor my wiki, but it is nice to once upon a time to have been a small part of RKCSI’s web page anyway.

Tools of the Trade

In the online course of ICT and Learning the practical use of digital tools by the students are central, but in my various writings on the matter I have not gone into much description of this particular matter. Therefore, to rectify this, here is a list of tools my students in ICT and Learning have been using as part of solving their various obligatory tasks:

Tools within the LMS Moodle:

  • Wiki
  • Forum
  • Embedding of videos
  • Links, folders and information fields
  • Quiz
  • Gallup

These selected tools were part of the task of creating learning space within a LMS, focusing on chosen learning aims and outcomes connected to primary, secondary and upper secondary school curriculum.

Tools outside any LMS:

  • Blog
  • Dvolver Moviemaker

The students created learning resources focusing on a topic and an audience of their own choosing using these tools.  (For instance, English for primary school or ICT for pensioners.)

If I am to continuing with courses for ICT and Learning, I will select tools connected with smart phones and tablets, like QR codes and augmented reality tools, to get the students used to practical and pedagogical use of what is rapidly becoming important tools in Norwegian schools.

As for students from other courses, like the bachelor courses Game culture and collaboration technologies and Gaming Culture, I gave them tasks where they had to use Twitter, Paper.li and SoundCloud in a professional way.

Explaining aims and tasks in a Computer Science course using Walkthrough

First year students, many without any experience in higher education, will not always grasp how to manage their chosen course. As a lecturer you may start with explaining things to them f2f, but there is another way, and it stems from computer games. It is called a Walkthrough.

A Walkthrough is a fan made strategy guide for a specific computer game, which walks you through the game level by level. Since todays commercial games often are quite complex, a Walkthrough can be a helpful tool to find your way through the various levels. In the same way a Walkthrough can guide a bewildered first year student through the various stages of your course.

In the spring of 2015 I was responsible for SPO1510 – Gaming Culture, a course that was part of 1th year bachelor’s degree program in Game and experience technology, at Nord-Trondelag University College. I used flipped classroom and tried to focus on discussions on various topics and the obligatory tasks that the students had to deliver as part of their portfolio. Since the class consisted of quite a number of Icelandic students, all lecturing and lecture resources was in English.

I decided to explain the course and the focus on portfolio work by giving them a written Walkthrough, designed the same way as a computer game Walkthrough. I divided the course, or rather course work, in seven acts and all with one objective.

Here is the Walkthrough:

Scaffolding and building interactions in e-learning

Building a proper set of scaffolding to increase the students ability to learn, as well as making our courses interactive is at the top of the To Do list of those of us who deals with e-learning. Here are two excellent infographics from Elham that explains it all.

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Gathered by Elham from ‘Designing for Deep and Meaningful Student-to-Content Interactions’ journal by Dunlap, Sobel, and Sands.

scaffolds

 

Second Life as classroom for Computer Science students

As teachers, we are engaged in a “full-contact” competition. We are competing for the attention and academic success of our students and it requires our minds, bodies, and our entire heart and soul to be successful. (Ben Johnson, 2012)

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At Nesna University College (HiNe), Social Informatics took another Web 2.0 step in 2008 as its teaching moved from Blogs, Wiki, YouTube and Facebook, into Second Life.
One of my focus areas in my teaching of Social Informatics was how people, both young and old, utilized the Internet as a tool for staying connected in small and large communities. Second Life was therefore a very interesting service, and I felt it was only logical to move some of my lecturing into SL. (See “Second Life“, 2008).

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Here I am with three of my students back in 2008. Being of Scottish descent and frequently using kilts at work, I naturally wore a Scottish jacket and a kilt also in SL 🙂

The students involved in my experimenting with Second Life enjoyed exploring the various possibilities and some even bought their own “house”. As part of their work with Project Getting Involved they were given the task of analysing the possibilities for using Second Life as a place for a Norwegian virtual police station (Faremo, et.al., 2007). But together with the students I was also exploring SL as a virtual learning environment. My conclusion was that it might well be used as part of flipping the classroom in the same way as using Twitter as a lecturing tool, but that SL had a greater value as a tool students might use for creating or exploring as part of a concrete task. And as most other digital tools it works best if it is used as a part of a package of distributed lectures; Blog with topical posts consisting of short video lectures, sound lectures, Slideshare-lectures, text and then short meetings in SL and Twitter to discuss chosen aspects of, for instance, a task.

Some research papers on using SL in education