Friday, May 30, 2008

DFLP Wk 8 Issues with flexible learning

I'm back again on this course after having spent quite a bit ot time working on the "creating learning centred environments" course. I have also been busy trying to increase my digital literacy skills which is why videos are now on my blog.

Interesting question posted this week "What are some of the issues that you think are significant in terms of what the modern internet has to offer to flexible learning?"

I have been already considering this question because I've been trying to develop my flexible learning plan and this started some debate as to why I would put it on blackboard and why not on something like Wiki Edcactor which is more open. I responded see my post titled "Digital information learning project" posted about 2 weeks ago. My biggest concern was about cofidentiality and accessing resources such as our course text book and data bases such as Cinahl etc which contains peer reviewed articles which the students need to be able to access.

I am quite interested in this debate. One of the issues health professionals have is that because of the web, patients seeking medical help sometimes arrive after they have practically diagnosed themselves and decided what treatment they need, because of the information they have found on the web. We know that not all information is accurate and this can be a concern. This concern also applies when we ask our students to access information related to patients they have been caring for. This is why we encourage the use of peer reviewed data bases for their searching.

Downes on his video talked a lot aobut the good things web 2 offers. He talked about three principles f online learning...Interaction, Usabilty and relevance. I have just finished reading Alisons blog to do this with week and found it quite interesting as she also talked about these 3 principles.

1)Interaction....yes this is possible on line but face to face still has a lot of advantages...It can be quite lonely at home when you have little kids...the chance to get out of the door for a break is often really needed. however when you don't have a babysitter organised to be able to interact on line is a Godsend. Downes also talked about the advantage is that you can pull out the information you need rather than having all this stuff pushed at you that you may not want as it won't fit your learning need or possibly your learning style. This definitely has to be an advantage of online learning...Just access what you need for your learning..Yeah! There is that challenge of time though. If you go to a class you get it done...With online you need to be self directed and self managed (Downes). However he suggest you just prioritise the time..(This is why I'm spending my Ssaturday of Queens Birthday in the office doing this course)...

2) Usability...2nd point Downes talked about. He talked about creating your own distribution knowledge learning system to simplify the message...The leaner can approach and organise the web to meet there needs...simplistic

3) The third point was about relevence. I found this interesting because I do see the advantages here. Our students often want the knowledge when they are in the clinical setting not weeks before in a classroom. This is the distinct advantage of e learning, they can access the knowledge when and where they want. This has to be better to help them link theory and practical. This is my rationale for developing resources online for my students to access...

But then again the debate Keen vs. Weinberger highlited to me the concerns I already wander about...'the big brother syndrome' Anything you put out there has the potential to create a database about you. Is this always beneficial...How much information about people is good...What about confidentiality? What about information that is not helpful or causing ethical delemnas for our health professionals...For me the debate is not yet settled in my own mind and I am still debating whether to put my resources on blackboard or Wiki Edcuator.

However networking is always good and can be very helpful. This can also help you check out if the stuff you have found on the internet is actually credible...

I found an excellent open website today that would be great for my course. Licensed also under creative commons..Clincal Skills online and also another site
Both of these two sites have excellent resources and videos on you tube showing particular skills...Great...Might use them in my plan

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Digital Information Learning Project Week 3 (May 29)

Well as you probably noted I did get to learn Animoto and like Sarah said it was great. I then becme inspired to see if I could figure out movie maker. That is what I have been doing this week. Thankfully my 11 year old daughter came to the rescue. So I have now attached a video I made using movie maker to see if it comes out okay


My original aims of this project was to create a site where I could put a library of resources together for students when they are working in clinical.However I find I am doing different things then what I originally planned. I think this has happened because as you listen to others you realise there is soooo much to learn. I think what I have chosen to do is incredibly beneficial as I am learning about so many tools out there. Only a few months ago I was really worried about setting up a blog. However I am still wanting to be able to use digital literacy to improve my teaching and courses. I'm hoping as I continue to explore digital resources this will be the case. I attended a workshop on Thursday and learnt the basics of how to set up a course in wikieducator....I think I will continue to explore this avenue...but in the large digital world who knows where I will go next in this project?

I hope these thoughts are not wrong..(I'm waiting for the video to be uploaded so fingers cross it will work and you can look at it if you want)I'm also considering buying a video so I can learn more about video editing


Digital Information Learning Project Week 2 (May 21)

Reflective Framework

Step 1

In todays session Sarah showed us her blog site and talked about how this has opened up her networking. A few people commented that they felt concerned about putting all this information 'out there' for anyone to see. She said she wasn't worried as she screened what went onto her site. She also talked about animoto and her excitement at using this great tool. I really enjoyed her enthusiasim adn thought she is lucky to have time to do this...I wandered if I would find the time to put into digital learning as I am already stretched and my family already aruges over whose turn is it to be on the ocmputer. I was thinking 'how difficult would it be to use Animoto?"

Following this we spent some time in the computer lab starting to work on our aims for our project. I felt a bit lost as I was now unsure where to head or what to do. Bronwyn suggested I look at a bookmarking site called delicious so I could start making a library of resources to use in my project. I did this and had a quick look at how the programme works. I also looked at and registered for slideshare.

Step 2

I felt my reactions were good and bad. It was good to feel enthusied but I also started to feel worried as I may not have the time to do all the things I want....I feel like my original idea for coming into this project of setting up blackboard was defunct...there is too many other things I could learn... I also felt a little nervous wandering if I would be able to master something even as simple as bookmarking

Step 3

As I result of this workshop I learnt that it is very helpful to meet with other poeple with similar frustrations with digital literacy. We can learn and get enthused by sharing with the others in gorup. to overcome my time worry I think I just need to really make the most of the times we meet. I plan to see if I can use animoto this weekend

Sunday, May 25, 2008

creating learning centred environments

Lifelong learning

My teaching philosophy

My Teaching Philosophy


My teaching philosophy centres on the importance of helping students to transfer their surface learning into deep learning. For this to happen, I believe creating a learner centred environment is essential. This environment shifts the balance of power from me as the teacher and changes my role to one more of facilitation. It also puts more responsibility for learning, on to the students (adapted from Weimer 2002). I could partly sum it up by saying my philosophy is ‘knowing the how and why of the that’.
I have identified three main learning concepts that I believe are central to this process of deep learning within my role as a lecturer in the nursing school; task-conscious or acquisition learning; social and situational learning and reflection.

Task-conscious/ acquisition learning

Entwistle (1996) cited in Moon (1999) describes deep learning as a process where the learner aims to gain an understanding of the ideas that have been presented to them. If the learner only does the work to get the task out of the way, then this will only enable surface learning. Another way of looking at this is described by Smith (1999) as the difference between ‘knowing that and knowing how’. Smith describe Ryle’s (1949) example of a Surgeon. Although the Surgeon would have learned by instruction and observations he/her would also need to learn by practice.
I teach in the nursing profession at undergraduate level. We have theory weeks where I impart the knowledge and skills and then clinical weeks where they take their skills and knowledge and practice them in the ‘real world’. Saljo (1979) reported five main categories of learning; the first three involved acquiring information, memorising and acquiring facts and skills. The last two categories were about making sense of the subject matter and understanding reality in a different way (cited in Smith, 1999). What I have discovered is that students quickly learn what they need to know to pass the quizzes or exams but frequently when they are in clinical practice, this knowledge eludes them. The knowledge acquired in theory weeks at Polytechnic in labs and lectures, relates to the first three categories. Clinical visits and tutorials are absolutely essential to help my learners make sense of and understand the knowledge in order for deep learning to occur (the last two categories).

Social and situational learning

When the students work with Registered Nurses (RN) preceptors in clinical practice, task-conscious or acquisition learning described by Smith (1999) is unconsciously occurring. In addition, social and situational learning, one of the four learning theories described by Merriam and Cafella (1991), also occurs. This learning orientation is based on the belief that learners learn by observing and interacting with others. The students observe many different styles of nursing, practiced by different RN preceptors, and they also practice the new nursing skills and tasks they have learnt during theory weeks. This can be both positive and negative as they can also be quickly socialised into the ward ‘norm’ which is not always positive due to many different stresses.
To enable this acquisition, task conscious and situational learning to facilitate deep learning, another concept central to my teaching philosophy is utilised; reflection.


I use refection in both my one on one visit with the student and in my tutorials. In tutorial the first hour is spent allowing a small group of students to share the experiences they have had that week on the ward. As a group and with my facilitation, the students are encouraged to make ‘sense’ of the situations and make connections to their theory. This makes the difference from knowing the theory to knowing the ‘how’ or even more importantly the ‘why’ of what they are doing as a nurse in clinical. I also use this tool in portfolio development. The students are asked to utilise either the DeBono’s six hats model of reflection (Kenny, 2003) or Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988) cited in Bulman (1994) to describe an experience they had while in clinical. This reflection helps the student to understand what they already know, identify what they need to know, make sense of the information and helps to guide them when making choices about further development (accessed from


I want my students to know not only how to do nursing cares but also to understand the ‘why’ of what they are doing. This will enable them to give a much higher standard of care and will make them safer nurses as they will know when to report the abnormal. By creating a learner centred environment with me been a facilitator not just a teacher and encouraging the students to engage in reflection, I believe this will help the students to transfer their surface learning into deep learning.


Bulman, C. (1994) Exemplars of reflection: Other people can do it, why not you too? Reflective practice in Nursing. Blackwell Science: Oxford
Introduction to Reflective Practice
Retrieved from:
Kenny, L. (2003). Using Edward de Bono’s six hats games to aid critical thinking and reflection in palliative care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 9 (3) 105-112
Merriam, S.B. & Caffarella, R.S. (1991). Learning in adulthood. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Moon, J. (1999). Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. London: Kogan Page Limited.
Smith, M.K. (1999). Learning theory. The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved on 26 June 2004 from

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

DIL Learning project

To hlep me meet some of the outcomes for the DFLP course I have also embarked on the action research project to increase my digital literacy skills. I attended to first workshop last week and have included here a brief outline of what happened and my goals. I will use my blog to also reflect on my prgress etc thorughout the 10 weeks.

First Week 14th May 08

The self-directed activity for this week was to:

* Write down the digital information literacy issues I wish to address in the project and the things I would like to work on.

* Write an outline of what happened in the first workshop - what I was shown, what I did, things I knew already, things I learned etc.

* List one or two goals of what I would like to do in the next workshop and in the project overall.

1) I want to set up a blackboard site for students to access that will provide useful links to resources that will be of value to there learning when in a set ward.

2) The first workshop was really interesting because I was in a group of people with diverse learning needs. The introductions were very helpful. This was quite important for me to see because I was unsure if I had enough knowledge to take part in this project. I felt excited about the possibilities to enhance my digital literacy. I also enjoyed the video as it made me think about some of the advantages and disadvantages of the electronic age. I also completed the online survey which will be interesting to see at the end of the project to see the results

3) Next workshop I would like to begin setting up a site on blackboard for my BN 233 course

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My plan!

Hi to everyone who may be interested in commenting. This week i have spent time thinking about my plan so I have included it...Any comments please would be most appreciated
Cheers Raewyn

Project Name: Development of online clinical resources to help nursing students link their theory with practical

Date: 3rd May 2008

Organisation: Nursing School Otago Polytechnic

Auther: Raewyn Lesa lecturer in School of Nursing.

Executive Summary:

While students are in the hospital on clinical placement they are beginning to make a lot of links from their practical experience to the theory they have learnt at Polytechnic. I plan to develop an online resource for each ward that they can access. This resource will have animations, scenario's, quizzes, critical thinking exercises, links to journals and perhaps a discussion page where students can leave examples of what they have learnt while placed on that particular ward.

Project background:I became interested in developing this because of discussions with students when they were in clinical. They often said comments like... I wish I could have that information you gave earlier now, it would make more sense...Also recently I've become more aware of the limitations of lectures...I've noticed more and more they do not retain a lot of the information I have given them. To stimulate their learning I believe it helps if they can relate the theory to something they are experiencing. Having one site they can quickly access good quality resources that relate to the ward they are practising on, will offer supplemental learning for those students who choose to access it. It may suit different styles of learners.

To provide an online supplemental resource for students who choose to access it when they are on clinical.

Objectives: Will use the online resources provided by LWW com, provided for the instructers using their text books (which we do). I have already been provided access and the representive will contact me on Friday to offer some advice on using it. Another lecturer working in the course has had some experience in this and has also offered assistance.

List of performance indicators (outcomes): As this will be a supplemental resource the mian outcome I will be measuring is student feedback about our course which will ask the question, "did they access the site and was it beneficial?"

Flexible learning analysis:
The perceived needs of the students I am targeting relate to a resource that is flexible to access time wise and location wise and meets a need of linking theory to clinical.

The type of flexible learning services I'm providing are mostly learning support strategies to compliment our use of lectures, labs and tutorials which we already offer.

Sustainability at this stage shouldn't be to much of an issue, however lecturer time will be the biggest issue. To address this I am going to develop this resource at a slow pace, starting with just one ward resource and evaluate this by seeking student feedback. Access and equity can be helped by encouraging the students to access the site at Polytechnic on Fridays or if they get some quiet time on the wards they can access online via the library or cafeteria.

This plan aligns with OP's stragtic direction of becoming excellent teachers and using flexible delivery to support this

My time line is to complete one ward resource by beginning of semester 2, so it is ready for my next lot of students. At this stage I shouldn't need to much of a budget but if I want to develop this fully, then next year I will need staff release time. I am unsure if there is any cost involved in using LWW Com but will be talking to the Rep on Friday and I may have more of an idea then. I am aware I may need more training but again until I embark on this journey, I am unsure what I may need

Friday, May 2, 2008


This has been a very interesting few weeks for me as I have become more motivated into thinking about my traditional style of teaching...I tried to access the online resources for our textbooks we use because it said it gives us a lot of resources...Well after a few hassles I now have all this stuff to access and a representive who is contacting me next week to talk me through how to use it...I am feeling quite excited about the possibilities.

It has been interesting in my interactions with my students on clinical this week. They were talking about how they find now they are on clinical they would like the lectures and labs that relate to the clinical setting. However this is impossible to do in the current style of theory weeks and clinical weeks. This led me to thinking...what if I set up a site for each clinical area they may work in, and put all the resources and links into that site that will link there clinical to theory...i.e if they were placed in 5b I could put readings, animations, video's, quizes scenario's, case studies etc on the 5B site about ENT, neuro surgery etc. This is where I think the online resources for textbooks I'm now learning about will be very helpful...(plus helpful in lectures) It oculd be used for students in 3rd year as well!

I would appreciate anyones thoughts on this as it may be what I wish to develop from this course..(would probably only have time to do one ward as a start).

Anyway to answer this weeks questions...Do I think open and networked education threatens or enhances formal education?

My first thought would be it has to be a threat...This is because if people can get things for free or a lot cheaper then they will take it! This may mean people will not enrol in formal education as much which would be very detrimental to the institutions.

I did quite a bit of the extra reading this week and was actually quite stunned about how little I knew...I got quite a buzz learning for free! For example I looked at both Cyber one and MIT and was surprised at the resources available. I actually got quite a lot of information about gender and women studies..(might change my course). However I found this information was purely for interest if I was serious about studying this then I would enrol...Why? because I would want a decent qualification at the end of it and would want the support of onsite lecturers. This could actually be an advantage of open education it stirs peoples interest and may lead to more enrolments.

After reading "Can OER really impact higher education?" I had a little more understanding about possible advantages and disadvantages. One distinct advantage of OER is the potential to open up access and improve the quality of higher education around the world for people who would have difficulty accessing higher education. This may impact equity and quality because OER uses a a network of people and organizations. This is because if you provide more options for learning and cheaper education, more people can access learning and resources. The cost for learning will be cheaper because OER means distribution and creatiion of resources will be cheaper.

However the article also raised concerns that OER might mainly be used by faculty and institutions to increase the quality of what they offer rather than actually help solve the worlds higher education gap. They suggest creative ways are needed to bridge informal and formal learning. This is where I see RPL as absolutey essential and can help bridge this gap. Willie Campbells talk was a good example of how OP is embracing this.

The whole issue of licensing, copyrighting etc is still very confusing to me and I actually got a little lost trying to understand some of the terms on EDC development at OP However I was a little ashamed of how little I knew about what has been happening on this whole front at OP about open learning and licensing and our protection and rights. Thanks for writing that Leigh. I now have a little more understanding and also interest in what we at OP, are doing on this front. I liked the way you presented it to management to get there support.

So to conclude yes there are advantages to open, networked and RPL but we also have to consider how this is been used. Overall I don't OER is a big threat to the institutions, especially if they do as OP has done and consider and develop their IP policies.