Sunday, 26 January 2014

Yerevan - More Images

More images from various sources (including IADT's Tara Ryan and Vladimir Zaslavskiy from Taras Shevchenko in Kiev)...

Yerevan - Street - Jan 2014

Tempus ALIGN kickoff - Day 2 - YSLU


DQ and Tara Ryan - WP 1 presentation

DQ talks through some NFQ comparisons

DQ on the moon - Yerevan Jan 2014

Vlodimyr in Paradjanov House Museum

Paradjanov's prison bottletop coins

Paradjanov House Museum - guide and collages

Armenian Animations! The Cartoon

Thanks to Ruzanna Sarukhanyan for directing me to this Youtube channel of Armenian animations! I'll trawl through them over the next few weeks, but Ruzanna was recommending the charming 'Gtnvats eraz', about a girl who enters a dream world to find the dream her grandfather has lost...

Thanks to Ruzan! Հայկական Մուլտեր

Friday, 24 January 2014

Tara Ryan's ALIGN thought for the week...

Your Align Learning Outcomes Thought for the Week – Happy New Week, January 27th, 2014.


And for those of you who like words – here are some other thoughts: 

Learning Outcomes, Qualifications Frameworks and Quality Assurance
“It is almost a truism to say that the absorption and application of the concept of learning outcomes is the most recognisable feature of the recent Europe-wide growth in qualifications frameworks. The notion of what a qualification now represents has been fundamentally reoriented in this process – the EQF Recommendation, for example, defines a qualification as the ‘formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards’. The architecture of qualification frameworks (level descriptors, individual qualifications descriptors etc.), at the national and European levels, are also invariably constructed as generic or specific statements of learning outcomes (knowledge, skill and competence).

And yet learning outcomes are not the preserve of qualifications frameworks alone.  The use of learning outcomes to define the expectations of learners and workers predates the recent growth in European NQFs by many years; In the context of the development of the Bologna Process, it is noteworthy that it was a group of quality assurance agencies, known collectively as the Joint Quality Initiative, who undertook much of the groundwork in specifying learning outcomes for higher education qualifications. The group’s key output, the so-called ‘Dublin Descriptors’ – generic learning outcomes descriptors for Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral Qualifications – would eventually become the centrepiece of the QF-EHEA.

In tandem with this work, quality assurance agencies also played a key role, through the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education’s (ENQA) development of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), which provided for the development, publication and assessment of explicit intended learning outcomes, as a key element of the internal quality assurance of higher education institutions.

Since the adoption of the ESG and QF-EHEA some countries, including for example, Denmark  and Sweden, have introduced formal implementation systems for their higher education qualification frameworks, in which national quality assurance agencies play a central role in evaluating and assessing the outcomes of study programmes. Reflecting a growing awareness of the increasing role of quality agencies as key contributors to NQF implementation, ENQA has also taken the step of organising a number of seminars on the theme of qualifications frameworks and their relationship to quality assurance.  These points are well made in Referencing National Qualifications Levels to the EQF - European Qualifications Framework Series Note 3 (2nd edn., forthcoming 2013).” (Murray, J. 2013)

Quality Assurance in Qualifications Frameworks An issues paper to support the Dublin Conference, organised by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), on behalf of the Irish Presidency of the European Council, with the support of the European Commission Authored by Dr Jim Murray (Ireland) March 2013

My New Film is Started!

This morning, after 6 months of tortuous procrastination, I finally recorded the voice guide track for my new film 'The King and the Princess'. The late late (€50) deadline for Fastnet Film Festival submissions is 16th February (23 days away)... Deadline for Yerevan Film Festival is April 15th. Might not quite be ready for Fastnet!

Monday, 20 January 2014

5 myths about MOOCs - The Times

Wow - the effortlessly scathing attacks on MOOC models continue, this time from Diana Laurilliard in timeshighereducation...

Mooc students spend the majority of their study time watching videos and reading. To aid understanding they join discussion groups with other students, and they take computer-marked tests that direct them back to material they have not understood. For feedback they exchange assignments with a partner and peer grade them against a set of criteria.

Not all MOOCs work in such an inflexible, behaviourist model. Sure, many MOOCs are overloaded with incessant (and very boring) lecture material (much of it delivered through internet video). These MOOCs are just badly designed and yes, many of them ARE American... The reality is that there's a lot of very very unprogressive learning and teaching being offered in the world, and now, unfortunately, some of this unprogressive lecturing is becoming globalised, migrating to the internet through the power of MOOC technology. Transferring bad lecturing to the web is not progressive education, it's just bad lecturing on the internet.

The so-called 'myth' of OER Open Educational Resources is also attacked in the article...

But the idea that “content is free” in education is one of several myths that have helped to inflate the bubble of hype. Yes, there is a mass of free material on the web. But for educational purposes, web content has to be curated by someone who knows how it relates to an intended learning outcome, and their work does not come free.

Absolutely! I agree! OER's do need to be carefully selected and it really helps when students are 'guided' through their learning project, with constant focus on Learning Outcomes. There's a cost (time, money, expertise) in terms of generating or creating the OERs as well. But there are other models for funding expert pedagogical curation and direction of direction. The potential of the MOOC model is that, used correctly, an expert lecturer can effectively reach, teach and guide a large cohort of interested learners.

Students can support themselves and each other through their learning journeys. The 25:1 student to tutor model mentioned in the article is, of course the optimum but... There are other models. The learning, teaching, assessment and feedback just need to be rethought, with a pedagogical shift away from behaviourist theoretical models and passive learning. Diana Laurilliard's arguments around MOOC participant dropout are the usual crazy, tired complacencies... A Duke MOOC, starting at 12,000, reaching 500 at halfway point. So what? Giving 500 students some teaching and learning benefit is still an incredible educational opportunity! Focus on the potential benefits, not on the downsides!

The model has value for professional development, providing a forum for the dissemination, discussion and development of up-to-date ideas. It could even be used to help academics, teachers and policymakers make technology work in education, and develop effective ways of tackling that huge unmet demand for higher education.

Absolutely! And I agree with the article's assertion that MOOCs can be problematic as an undergraduate learning and teaching model. I disagree with the rather snide end line...

But I have had many opportunities to observe that very intelligent people leave their brains behind when it comes to technology. The Mooc phenomenon is just further confirmation of that simple truth.

It's not about the technology! It's about the education! Technology is a tool, not a phenomenon.

MOOCs have great potential - they are NOT the solution for everything in education and they will not 'replace' conventional higher education. MOOCs can provide great learning for certain students, in certain discipline areas. I'm tired of people across education telling us that we can't do things!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Yerevan - Sergey Paradjanov

Sergey Paradjanov - the highlights of my entire trip to Yerevan were walking around town for an hour with my 'terrible guide' Ruzanna from YSAFA and the trip to the Sergey Paradjanov 'house museum'. I've been stuck with three film ideas over the past six months, unable to work into the projects, static. Paradjanov's museum, his life and his work have reminded me what this is all about. 'I don't make films, I make collages'. (the actual Paradjanov quote is... 'I was not allowed to make movies and I started to make collages. Collage is a compressed film'). I must now start to make my compressed films...

Tarkovsky and Fellini both got honourable mentions in the Paradjanov museum. I was home! Now in CDG Paris on the return trip. Great trip, great people, Teaching and Learning! Exhausted.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Yerevan - Tempus ALIGN kick off meeting

Yerevan! It was great to meet many of the ALIGN partners, as IADT leads the first Work Programme (WP) of the Tempus ALIGN project “Achieving and checking the alignment between academic programmes and qualification frameworks”. A joy to talk Teaching and Learning with some new international friends - especially with our Armenian friends from Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts! Great presentations - and we survived minus 10 and almost 48 hours with one hour of sleep! All good.Today, I might try to locate the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema...