Wks 8 & 9 A9: Representing designs

What is your experience of using other people’s designs and activities, or sharing yours with other people?
I suppose my role as an elearning advisor requires me to be a conduit for the sharing of designs, activities and mediating artifacts.  I work with colleges around North West England looking out for cases of good practice as well as providing information on the resources available.  As part of this process I record podcast interviews with teaching staff about their use of technology.  These podcasts are similar to the textual mediating artifacts described by Conole “narrative case study describing key features of the LA and perhaps barriers and enablers to its implementation”.  I am also involved in finding and distributing more formal case studies which appear on the Excellence Gateway website from the Learning and skills improvement service (http://excellence.qia.org.uk/page.aspx?o=gpd.goodpracticeexamples).  I am also involved in encouraging workshops, events and forums where staff who have an interest in elearning can share ideas and experiences.

How useful do you think the different forms of representation would be to people in your own working context?

In my experience, elearning managers, staff development managers, curriculum managers and enthusiastic teaching staff are sometimes interested in knowing about what is happening elsewhere and finding out what works and what doesn’t work. Although notnecessarily about the smaller details of the lesson plans.  I think less enthusiastic teaching staff would only take note if they were made to see for themselves these activities in action either through a staff development activity or sitting in on a lesson.

Which forms of representation would you find useful, in terms of taking and adapting other people’s designs?
For me the best way to learn about a learning activity is to experience it as a learner within a training session.  Failing that, I prefer informal accounts of what happened, what worked, what didn’t work and what they would change.  these accounts can be audio, video or text

What are the pros and cons of textual and visual representation?

Althought the visual representations in the form of tables, charts and mindmaps, can be clearer to understand, I dont think they always get the message accross of why things are being done in a certain way.  Textual information may be better for this however too much information can be off putting and tiresome and also relies on the communication skills of the person writting the instruction.

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