Edcom group work update

Not bad we are 50% of the way there and the submission deadline is the 25th November 2011.  So my colleagues still have time to add their content and give me time to collect their references to produce the required digital submission.

Annotated bibliographies are not as hard as they seem.  Select a source> read it> summarize and evaluate it> critique it if you like> add it to Endnote.  Better still if you can find some that are linked to one another by a reference, I believe it helps you to produce a better piece of work as they work off one another.

Marking Criteria – developed as a tutor group to assess our projects

Educational Computing

This is a different approach to course work marking that I have not come across before.  I found it really interesting to discuss as a group what we thought would be the best way to mark a project that was a ‘Pass‘ and what my sub-group called a ‘Pass +‘.  I suppose it really made us focus on what is important.  The task was completed by creating posters with post-it notes of the group ideas for each criteria.

We began by generating ideas for a minimal pass.

Pass criteria poster created in tutorialMinimum of one paragraph (50 words) when evaluating resources

Website must have a minimum of 3 pages

Clear Navigation for the website – locate content easily

Website must have basic functionality i.e. links work, images display including alt text

Usability and accessibility should be discussed in design documentation

Needs a minimum of 3 sources to external content

Must include a link to your PLN

Show a basic understanding of your chosen subject area

At least a paragraph for your personal evaluation


Then we looked at what criteria we thought would be needed for a ‘Pass Plus

Pass plus poster for group discussionMust achieve all of Pass criteria plus the following:

Include an assessment feature in your website

Offer feedback from assessment – Include a user feedback section for yourself

Use a wide range of resources

Include an extended description of the resources you have used with supporting reason for selection

The visual appearance of the website – appropriate use of images and text with white space to make reading easier – use of sub-categories to make learning more focused and simpler by breaking large ideas into smaller subsets.

Use of appropriate in page referencing were required

Show a higher level of understanding of your chosen subject matter.

Include an extensive personal evaluation of the project, including a critique

A review of these features of the marking scheme for this project will take place in a tutorial today (14/11/2011) and hopefully the final version of the marking scheme will follow this.  As a group we felt it was extremely important that all students achieve  pass even if their web building skills are low.  This can be achieved through the use of project idea discussion in the form of a prototype.  Provided the student can describe clearly with the use of diagrams and text the purpose of the site and the key features then a basic website with links to external resources would be adequate.

It must be stressed that this was a group effort and a second set of posters were created which I will attempt to summarize in due course.

I plan to publish the full marking criteria on this PLN and a copy of my completed design documentation for peer review.

Mark Anderson’s Blog » Introduction to Google Forms

I have been following Mark, via Twitter, who writes the ictevanglist for a few weeks now and this post for Google Forms is excellent, so I thought I would share it with you.


The best bit is the second screencast where he explains how to install Flubaroo, a script to calculate the test scores in a quiz.  It’s really neat and simple to use.

reeds law

The potential for growth in networks and connections between individuals and the possiblity of maximizing your brand identity among many is exciting.  (Substitute brand for concepts or pollitical belief)

I am thinking that if this theory was better used by certain sectors of society the possibility to act as a collective and achieve much with very little capital could offer amazing results.  (The Arab Spring)

My thanks to Howard Rheingold and his videos found here for raising my awareness to the possibilites.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Crap Detection 101 | City Brights: Howard Rheingold | an SFGate.com blog

An interesting read.  Makes some good points concerning credibility.  Check out the blog where he has links to a video log. In particular Reboot Britain where literacy is discussed together with the importance of social media.



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Group work troubles again!!

This topic has raised its ugly head once more.  (see my previous blog post)

I am not going to go into the why’s and where fores, but I am increasingly disturbed by the lack of correspondence between group members.  I wonder how often some people check their University email?  Is this not the agreed method of contact between group members performing a core task of an assessment within the University setting?  Acknowledgement alone would be sufficient even if you are busy with other projects!

This has prompted an email to the Dean of School with my proposal for a Group Work Agreement to be issued alongside coursework documents during tutorials or electronically via Victory(University of Portsmouth elearn feature).

Below is an example of the type of agreement I feel is necessary to make group members more responsible to each other and for it to act as a firm commitment to the assessment.  (copied and pasted from MS Word)

Unit Name


Hand in date

Group work agreement

As a member of the group _____________________  We agree to abide by the terms set out below and will follow the guidelines issued to complete the group work on time.

1.     General

  • Treat the beliefs and opinions of other group members with respect
  • Demonstrate professional organisation skills and timekeeping
  • Respond to emails in a timely fashion (36-48 hours)
  • Meet the deadlines set in group meetings

2.     Meetings

  •  Attend all group meetings and study sessions unless these clash with other lectures.
  • Offer constructive feedback without it becoming a personal attack
  • Attend all meetings with an open mind and a constructive approach, contributing to the group work in a proactive manner
  • Keep a set of minutes for the meetings and agree them with the group.

3.     Project work

  • Agree workloads during meetings and provide updates to other group members via email or other collaboration tools at agreed times.
  • Work of the highest standard should be provided by each group member for critique by the whole group at least 3 days prior to submission to allow for adjustment.
  • All group members to report on time for submission of the coursework.

4.     Breach of agreement

  • Raise the issue of a breach of the above conditions during group meetings and record in the minutes.
  • Agree that in the event of a breach the group will take a decision on the severity of the breach and vote on the required action.
  • Agree that a subsequent breach by the same offender can lead to the other group members voting for exclusion from the group


Name Email address Signature Date


This document should be scanned and a copy distributed via email to each member.

Please add your comments to this idea.

Learning with ‘e’s: 20th Century flops?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful websites to help you learn about computing

The BBC Webwise site contains lots of useful information to help you get started on your journey learning about computers.  A collection of short videos explain the fundamentals of computers and  some of the most common uses with a really good section on online safety.  Unfortunately this site is being closed as part of a stream lining measures at the BBC.


The content is clear and concise with easily read text.  Shame it’s being closed.

BBC bitesize for ICT is designed to help students to achieve a GCSE in ICTIt contains revision exercises to help you get the most out of the site. As well as tasks and a test so you can gauge your level of ability.  The site is suitable for people age 11 to 16 in secondary school but can also be used by other people interested in computing.

Late Night Ramblings Before Bed.

The first semester of this final year of my degree is already ramped up to the max; I have never had so much reading to do. I grant you some of this is my doing. I could have taken slightly different options and made life a little easier for myself.

Back in May 2011 I made my choices and elected to take Educational Computing a 20 Credit unit, Global Political Economy another 20 Credit unit and a core unit of Network Society also 20 credits, together with the Final Year Project being a 40 credit unit but this is split over 2 semesters. This combination gives me only 1 unit after Christmas as well as the second half of my Final Year Project. I am therefore looking forward to A Critical Evaluation of e-commerce as it should give me plenty of time to cover my project and offer an academic distraction at the same time.

Thinking about the Final Year Project, I should really get my questionnaire and survey drafts prepared so that my supervisor can sign them off and I can release them early. (It’s on tomorrows to do list) actually make that today (cursory look at the clock). The Project Initiation Document was signed off on time and I have also developed the main structure of the final report. Some of the literature review has been looked at but I must crack on with this.

Global Political Economy gave me a real headache for a few weeks and I really didn’t do very well for my first effort (least not by my standards). Hopefully I will learn from the mistakes and develop a reasonable project for the end of the semester. (Never studied Politics or Economics before so it’s a steep learning curve) A particular issue that worries me with this unit is the group work we are expected to do which forms 20% of the overall mark. I thought about tackling climate issues as a result of globalisation but I am still not part of a group so I suppose I will see if I can join a group and fit in with what they are doing.

Network Society is moving nicely toward eDemocracy and this section of the unit should develop the FYP a little further. I love it when Peter Millard and I play devil’s advocate to see what reaction we can get within the tutor group. The topics covered so far have been interesting and deserve further reading and debate. This unit has a final exam worth 30% with a course work component at 70% of the overall mark. There are selections of essay’s to write for this and I have chosen to cover eDemocracy. Hopefully some previous work for the FYP will be of benefit here, not sure which side of the agreement to choose at the moment though.

Educational Computing is going well. The website development is proceeding nicely after a few issues with content placement. I have decided to develop a small eLearning site for 11-16 year olds. The site should help them understand the basic components of a desktop computer.

Hot Chocolate over, it must be time for bed.