#ocTEL 1.1 Dimensions that affect teaching and learning

Dimensions that affect teaching and learning

Given the matrix above, I perceive that using blogs as a learning activity would be in different quadrants depending on whether it is a personal or class blog. As I recall from my previous graduate course in educational technology, a syllabus for course design was changed to remove the requirement for personal blogs. If the instructor himself does not maintain a personal blog, he may not appreciate the amount of work that is required for a novice to start a blog and if the technical or navigational difficulties are not resolved in a timely, this creates stress on learners who are novice bloggers. I was really glad the requirement for personal blog was removed from the syllabus by the time I took that course. Subsequently, I enrolled for a course on Emerging Technologies. The instructor maintains a simple personal blog and for the course, he designed it with a class blog. This took the burden off novice bloggers in setup time and allowed them to concentrate on learning, at the same time have the opportunity to experience social learning with blogs.

I find the illustration of dimensions that affect teaching and learning helpful in opening us to doing things differently. Thank you ocTEL!


#ocTEL Week 0 – Be a TEL Explorer

This is my first cMOOC experience. The support system has been very encouraging hence the thought of giving up did not cross my mind. I’m drawn to keep on trying, here and there in Twitter, Google+ Community, blogs, Google+ Map, and added ocTEL to my Diigo. Digital badges is something I did not pay much attention to (i.e. in CourseSite Blackboard Learn course) until now. In a cMOOC environment I find the activities corresponding to the award of badges helpful in moving me forward and not just dabbling all over the place.

Activity 0.3

Google+ Community is a platform I did not use regularly, until now. Upon reflection and comparison to Twitter, I prefer the structure in gplus.to/octel (organization by folders). I think for communications on Twitter, if I learn to storify it I might use that more for this MOOC (a sample that inspired me). Blog is a platform I do not use regularly but will need to for my summer course with Penn State U. So I am now putting more effort in familiarizing myself with WordPress. ocTEL communications in Twitter and Google+ Community saved me from giving up in Week 0 with high responsiveness from the participants and the ocTeL team, Martin, Jim, Phil, Joseph – thank you! This is my first meaningful experience with a connectivist network, as you all helped me overcome each hurdle to move on (relationship forming for learning). For small groups, I haven’t quite decide at this time which I would join.

Activity 0.4

This community has a culture of learning, in which everyone is/will be involved in a collective effort of understanding what is ‘enhanced’ and how do we know. Many are enrolled to experience cMOOC and trying the various social network platform for the first time. I am now finding WordPress a good place for me to ‘listen’ to ocTEL participants in the ‘Blogs I Follow’.

Activity 0.5

An example of TEL I find interesting is Digital Storytelling because I have not been involved in such a project and I just heard that one of my colleague has been supporting our faculty with this strategy for teaching and learning. The mapping of McDrury and Alterio’s (2003) “Learning through storytelling” framework and Moon’s (1999) “Map of learning” is useful for assessing student’s progress in learning with digital storytelling.


I am looking forward to ocTEL Week 1 on Conception — foundational questions — the Who and Why of TEL

Learning Communities

A learning community has a defining quality – it has a culture of learning, in which everyone is involved in a collective effort of understanding (Bielaczyc & Collins, 1999).  The goal of a learning community is to advance the collective knowledge by supporting the growth of individual knowledge (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1994)

Bielaczyc and Collins (1999) identified 4 primary characteristics of learning communities.

  1. diversity of expertise among members
  2. a shared objective of continually advancing the collective knowledge and skills
  3. an emphasis on learning how to learn
  4. mechanisms for sharing what is learned

The need to redesign education around learning communities is based on three arguments: the social-constructivist; learning-to-learn; and multicultural (p.3). The learning-communities approach addresses the need for students to deal with complex issues, figure things out for themselves, communicate and work with people from diverse backgrounds and views, and share what they learn with others.

They provide a framework for viewing learning communities by using these eight dimensions, (1) Goals of the community (2) Learning activities (3) Teacher roles and power relationships (4) Centrality / peripherality and identity (5) Resources (6) Discourse (7) Knowledge (8) Products.

These are the principles drawn by Bielaczyc and Collins, from their analysis of the three different cases. I can see these principles operating in the design of a learning community at gplus.to/octel, #ocTEL


  • Community-Growth
  • Emergent-Goals
  • Articulation-of-Goals
  • Metacognitive
  • Beyond-the-Bounds
  • Respect-for-Others
  • Failure-Safe
  • Structural-Dependence
  • Depth-over-Breadth
  • Diverse-Expertise
  • Multiple-Ways-to Participate
  • Sharing
  • Negotiation
  • Quality-of-Products



Bielaczyc, K. and Collins, A. (1999). Learning communities in classrooms: A reconceptualization of educational practice. In C. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-Design Theories and Models (Volume II). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Scardamalia, M. & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(3), 265-283.

Conferences TeL 2013 and ICTLT 2014

My first experience with a Technology Enhanced Learning conference was at the National University of Singapore

Clearly, the technology revolution triggered by Web 2.0 has begun to have a transformational impact on teaching and learning in our schools and universities.  For me this impact was felt most strongly when I attended the 4th International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology

  • ICTLT 2014 with four Online Learning Communities platforms in Google+ : Enhance Pedagogy; Engage Learners, Enable Action; Empower You

For the longest time, I have resisted blogging because for me writing requires organization and structure and that is stressful. Tension was released with my  first class blog: EDTEC 467 Su’13 course by @ptietjen on Emerging Learning Technologies.

After dabbling with the PSU blog, I am finally writing my first personal blog post in Wordpress, for two reasons: Blogging is a required activity for my LDT 505 Su’14 course with Ast/P Heather Zimmerman, Penn State U, and I think besides Twitter, web-log is required for the Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning that starts 28 Apr’14.