Saturday, June 21, 2008

Week 12 DFLIP Flexible Learning in education

I've just finished listening to Otago Polytechnic CEO talk on flexible learning in our institution

I quite enjoyed his way of explaining the continum of flexible learning, how it can vary from 'our way' of learning,structured to time, place ,learning objectives right through to the other end of the spectrum where it is 'the learners' time, place, objectives etc. This helped me understand it more as I admit I am still quite adverse to the far end of the spectrum....I still prefer as the teacher to have at least some control of the drivers seat. Perhaps this is because in the course I teach, the student nurses have very clear competencies they must meet set by the Nursing Council. However I am not adverse to moving along the continum to allow some flexibility although it is quite difficult in the course I teach because students have set times and places they need to be at to gain the clinical experience. It is up to me to get these organised for them and having 95 students doesn't allow for too much choice!

However in my plan I think by using simulation based sceanrio's, this is moving along the continum because the learner will get more choice to decide what assessment techniques and skills they need to focus on and practice. I agree with Leighs comment that Annie will need to be set up and booked by students if I want to offer this flexibility..

The other comments I liked in the presntation was about flexible learning having the ability to develop learner autonomy which I think is essential, if we want students to learn according to their learner style.

A couple of statements from the OP organationsal document in regards to flexible learning that I believe our course already aligns to are:

1) To provide relevant, flexible & accessible learning opportunities which build capability, are stimulating & challenging & foster life long learning.

2)To provide equal opportunities to participate & succeed in relevant learning for all people whatever their age, ethnicity or abilities & with regard for their needs.

I think by building up the repitoires of sceanrio's and loading them into Annie for simulation and making this accessible for students will align our course even more with these 2 statements

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Video of our nursing 'Annie'


Hi there this is my colleagues and I trying to learn simulation.

ere is the link to the Leardal site which is where I can get scensrio's etc from


Please could you give me feeback about this idea by making any comments in reply to this post. The previous post gives more indepth explanations.

flexible learning paln

Flexible Learning Plan Presentation

From: ziggyl, 12 minutes ago

plan to use simulation

SlideShare Link

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Digital Inforamtion Literacy Project Week 5 11th June

I wasn't able to attend the optional workshop this week do to a heavy workload with students. However i have continued during the week to work on my goals. I bought a new camera and did some videoing which I then tried to use movie mkaer and edit it. Well after a few frustrating hours it didn't seem to work. I had difficulty downloading the file into movie maker. I'm wandering if it has anything to do with the type of file it is? Unfortunately I accidently deleted the videing in the process (lucky it waasn't important).

i felt rather frustrated because last week i thought i was doing really well at increasing my digital literacy but again I felt that disappointment that it is never as easy as you think! Anyway I haven't given up on this I've just put that on hold..

I spent a little bit of time setting up some RSS feeds into my google reader site... This went okay fortunately but I was chucked off the computer (by a teenage son) and didn't do as much as I would have be continued..

I then later in the week(thanks to Leighs suggestion following my last weeks reflection) followed through on social bookmarking. This was much more successful and I now have del.ici.ous set up on my desktop and have already found it advantageous already. I have moved sites I was saving into del.ici.ous that I want to use when I make a resource library for my students...I already was able to tell some students during the week about operating theatre site I had found.

I plan to continue on trying to learn how to edit video this next week and may put my flexible learning plan on video jsut so i can increase my digital literacy.

To summarise I continue to emphasis becoming digital literate is very helpful and for me very interesting to do. however time to do all the thinks i want continues to be a struggle. I also feel i would like someone looking over my shoulder when thinks get difficult for a leaning hand...Meeting in groups and receiving other peoples email is very hepful...Until next week...C U...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Digital Information Learning Project Week 4 (June 4th))

Reflective Framework Workshop 4 June 4th

Step 1

In todays session we spent time talking about what people have been doing over the last few weeks. The conversation ended up focusing in on podcasting (a lot of confusion here) and also RSS feeds.I found the video we watched on RSS feeds great and very helpful. Then both Sarah and Sunshine both showed us how they used google reader and blogline. It was helpful to be logged on when Sarah went thorugh google reader so I could follow what she was doing. I actually played around quite a bit with google reader and the igoogle webpage. I found this session very helpful (apart from the confusion about podcasting still leaving me confused). Although todays session didn't help me with my original goals of setting up a library of internet resources for my students it was greatly beneficial in improving my digital literacy skills

Step 3

As I result of this workshop agian it reinforced to me that digital literacy is like opening a can of big (good) worms that is never ending it keeps expanding. Again it reinforced to me I need time to put these things into practice. Also I really enjoyed been with other people who were also learning similar things and others who could offer there advice and help...(although I understand Sarahs response that in the next workshop she needs to focus on her goals). This I think can happen when too many people get together, there is such a variety of needs that your original goals can get lost in the process....because of this rather large can of (good) worms. I think over the next 2 weeks I will try to set up igoogle as my home webpage and sort out some good relevant RSS feeds that will help me organise my everyday life and work. I also want to continue learning how to edit video perhaps using moviemaker so I can do my assignment for DLIP. This hopefully will enhance my skills in mulitmedia for use with my students. My goal of setting up library resources is also there in the background....Wow it will continue to be busy.

Thanks Bronwyn your blog was helpful with the links about podcasting...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cultural Diversity DFLP week 11

In nursing cultural safety is paramount. It is included in our competencies to be a Registered Nurse. Generally I think as a profession we are very aware of these issues and to the best of our ability try and treat our patients as individuals and respects any differences. Sometimes our students think at first it is about nursing Maori clients. However it doesn't take them long to learn culutral safety is a lot broader. It also incorporates such things as gender, disability, race, sexuality, socioeconomic status,age...We quickly teach them to try and unpick the assumptions that we have about these different groups. I.e older people are all deaf so we speak louder and slowly...

It is very difficult in a classroom situation to address cultural sensitivity. This is because we are restriced to room size, multi-media vices available to us certain times that the institution, lecturer or classroom is available. Being culturally senstive may mean we need to give students extra times for assessment because of disabilities or even family committments. What comes to mind here is that I have observed often that in some cultures they place a much higher value on things such as extended family, roles and traditions and this is there priority.Sometimes these priorities can clash with us in education because we want assessments in on time and we think that the students should put a higher priority on there education. Our rigid structures and course outlines sometimes don't bend as easily to address specific needs. It also doesn't always bend to accomadate different learning styles which can be very different for people of different gender, culture, with disability etc. I also think we sometimes are culturally insensitive to people of lower socioeconomic status simply becasue of the cost involved in getting a education. I know scholarships is one way that we have tried to address this issue. I also beleive the learning centre is another excellent way of addressing some of these issues.

Hopefully I try as much as possible to be culturally sensitive to my students to help them meet there learning needs. Allowing students flexibility with head dress (because of religious reasons) when in uniform and helping them when going to theatre with this head dress is just one example. I also try to be considerate when considering requests for extensions because of family committments. However I beleive it will always be difficult as ALI said in her blog to be able to meet everyones different needs although I can certainly try when in one on one sessions with them to ascertain if they have any particular learning needs realted to culture

I think flexible leanring does have the ability to be more able to allow for cultural differences simply because of the 'flexibility' of it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Access and Equity DFLP Week 10

This weeks question was about access and equity in educaton? I read the article by Zondiros and Dimitris (2008).

"distance teaching" + "distance learning" = "distance education".

This article talked about globalisation and its impact on developing countries accessing education. Because of new information and communication technologies and the progression of online education,there is now more opportunity for people to access education because of the ability to network and create educational communities wherever they may be, through networks appropriate to their circumstances.

Although this technology is meant to improve access by bypassing some barriers to learning such as location it has also created an issue of inequality and exclusion. This is because not all people are aware of these developments, many people do not have the digital literacy needed and poorer socioeconomic status means many people do not have the computers, programs and internet access that is required. This has in fact widened the gap in education that IT technologies is hoping to close. Apparently 80% of the earth's population has never heard a dial tone....(Dimitris Zondiros, 2008).

This leads to social exclusion due to a lack of resources, rights and the inability to participate in education which is freely available to the majority of people in a western society... Broadband access is an example of this. In New Zealand, many lower socioeconomic groups do not have this access (also in some rural communities this is not available)

Another problem is people need to demonstrate a wide range of academic literacies and many don't have this..therefore online education tends to be restricted to learners that have certain characteristics... only a small amount of the population.
Changing socioeconomic conditions and technology has created a demand for education but online education may not provide for people who are socially and economically disadvantaged with educational opportunities....rather it tends to provide more for those who are well placed socially and economically with the educational opportunities to develop their professional, technical knowledge and skills.....Inequality...

The article concludes by suggesting some of these issues of inequality need to be addressed when developing online learning which is hoping to improve educational access to more people


Zondiros, Dimitris (2008). Online, distance education and globalisation: Its impact on educational access, inequality and exclusion. The European Journal of Open and Distance Learning (EURODL).

My Observations

I'm going to start first with some concerns...

In our course it sometimes appears we enrol anyone who applies to do nursing. This is very different from when I applied to be a nurse over 20 years ago. We had to have interviews, and a minimum qualification of University Entrance. (You could also apply with mature entry). I've wandered if open access is encouraged as it helps fill numbers to keep our courses economically viable. Nursing is still predominantly a female dominated profession. Once upon a time women didn't have very much career choice with the majority choosing nursing or teaching as a career. Because females have such a wider choice of careers available to them, not as many choose nursing. If they are very academically able, then they are more likely to choose a higher paid career such as medicine, law etc.

However to be a nurse their is certainly a reasonable high level of literacy required. Also you need to be physically able as it is a physically demanding profession as well. The interview process helped selection committees assess the applicants suitability for nursing. Unforunately we have seen students begin nursing who cannot cope with the academic rigour required or even the physical requirements. This means sometimes it has come at a great cost finacially before they realise they are not suited to a nursing career. In the 'old' days there was the option of a shorter course and students were encouraged to take this angle if they thought academically it would be difficult. Pam talked about this as a problem she is addressing in the learning centre. They do have poeple who come to the learning centre with very low literacy levels and this can be quite challenging. I have discovered it certainly can be challenging for teachers as well as it is more time consuming for these students. I totally agree with Pam that we should not discriminate as everyone is entitled to education and many people with disabilitites do succeed...but is it fair to students who come into a course and then find out at personal cost to themselves they aren't going to meet course outcomes?

I know we can sometimes discriminate when we look at photo's or parents professions, diability...we make culturally insensitve judgements about students which is so unfair...we do need to give everyone the opportunity fairly for education which is why I believe what the diability centre is doing is incredibly important, of great benefit and really needed to imporve access...but I also believe we need to be honest with potential students if we don't beleive they have what is required for a particular course...afterall what matters in nursing is that a nurse can provide safe competent care for patients. If a person has a physical or learning disability that impacts on this, or if they struggle to meet the academic requirements, then possibly they should be discouraged from entering nursing...

What is the solution? That I am not sure about..I do believe education should be available to everyone and we should give all students a fair go. Using the learning centre is encouraged by us as lecturers if students are found to be struggling. However I think the issue goes further back to earlier schooling. The government needs to address some of these inequality issues as a result of socioeconomic status so school students have more access and advantages and literacy levels are improved...they will then be able to consider tertiary education and meet with great success..

Sustainability DFLP Week 9

The pictures of computer wastes piled up left quite an impact on me. I'm sometimes like that rather big percentage of people Mann showed on his power point that are aware of the term been used and want to do something about but don't always know where to start!

I did manage to tune into the illumuniate conference
I'm actually a little ashamed to say I wasn't even aware of the core competency that Polytech has of having every graduate thinking as a sustainable practitioner by semester 2 2009. I then had a look at what we are doing in our department as I wasn't even aware there was a strategy in place! I found this document and even saw a photo of me graduating!

It was good to see this document and realise our school and our Head of Department has been thinking through what is a sustainable nursing practitioner?

I think flexible learning certainly helps in the area of sustainability. If students can study at home they can reduce the impact on the environment through travelling. Using computers to send in assignments and have them marked can also reduce paper...OER also has the ability to allow more sharing of resources and knowledge rather than recreating what is already available...If I think about my plan to put resources on the computer I think it does have the ability to enable social networking and use resources already online for others to share...

I've also been considering another possible plan and that is to use our 'Annie' (Manequin) more efficiently to enable sceanrio based learning...More on this later...

Overall I think the Nursing Council who set and review our competencies will want to consider what they see as a sustainable practitioner in nursing so it can have a downward flow to us who are teaching nursing students to meet these competencies.

For me however just starting by thinking about my ecological footprint and how I can reduce its impact both at home and work is a good and important start...