Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wikis as Assignments

I attended a very useful online presentation last week by Mike Orey of the University of Georgia (via the Wimba Distinguished Lecture Series). In one of his graduate courses in education, as an assessment activity, he asks students to contribute to a wiki-book that he and his colleagues have developed: Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching and technology. The reason I am making this posting is two-fold.
  1. The concept of asking students to contribute to a wiki that will remain for future users is very interesting to me. Clearly an assignment of this nature fits into the highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy and could even serve as a capstone assignment in some types of courses. In Mike's example, he created a privately owned wiki for this purpose; however, Wikipedia could be used as well.

  2. Mike's eBook is excellent from a practitioner’s point of view! Have a look it. It has some interesting sections on topics such as Motivation, Adult Learning, Problem-based Instruction and Learning Communities as an Instructional Model. Chock full of case studies and well referenced with supporting literature. If applicable, Mike encourages you to adopt all or part of this eBook as a textbook in your course. He's so nice (*smile*).

Kudos to Mike & friends on more than one level!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Project Management using Google Sites

My office has been playing around with the Google Sites wiki for the last few weeks (I’ve written about Google Sites before.) We’ve been using it to collaboratively author mini-reports as well as staff meeting agendas.

I would like to try to use a wiki site to track an online course development project. It would be a place where the project team could define goals, publish milestones, post files and monitor progress on project activities. I think Google Sites would be perfect for this and it is an easy to use and free online application. I am definately going to use it when I start my next project.

Today I came across someone else who has built a nice Google Sites template for project management activity. Check out the link and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Nursing Simulation in Second Life

If you want to be a nurse then you need to go to school. Many schools and registered nurse programs are using technological tools to delivery nursing education; especially in the area of nursing simulations. I came across one particularly interesting example of this just today. John Miller, a Nursing Professor, at Tacoma Community College in Washington is spearheading a nursing simulation hosted within Second Life. He’s also working in collaboration with the nursing school at nearby Centralia Community College. The simulator allows students to react to a situation, to choose what medications to administer, to chart their actions, to monitor the consequences, and to adjust their treatments accordingly. Scenarios can be simulated which reproduce life-threatening conditions in a safe ‘virtual’ environment. I've written about Second Life before and it seems to me with the work of simulation pioneers like John Miller, the potential of Second Life as a simulator are being slowly unveiled.

I contacted John Miller in Second Life (his avatar's name is JS Vavoom) and he let me view the simulator. Here's a screen shot of my avatar lying down on the operating table. Yikes!

Important Update:

As of late 2008, John has removed his original 5 part series of YouTube videos (listed below) demonstrating his nursing simulation. He now has new videos. I will write about them in this blog here.

Do you want to check out John Miller's nursing simulator but you don't have a Second Life account? No worries! John has made a video tour of the simulator and posted the tour in a 5 part video series on YouTube (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5). What do you think about it? Leave a comment below.

PS: Take the time to check out John Miller's blog too.