Reflections on Bates and Poole

I’m just going to make some comments here about the usefulness of the model ‘SECTIONS’ as a method of analysing an existent, (or in our case, emergent) elearning system.

I’m a fan of acronyms, and this model did provide a convenient structure and pertinent questions to guide analysis. The orientation found on page 77 was a compelling argument for the use of the model. The model presented does respond reasonably effectively to the criteria offered.

Nonetheless, I did find it limiting in some ways. In attempting to be a ‘one size fits all’ model, with the capacity for universal application, there were some questions that were less relevant for school contexts. Equally, some relevant questions were omitted. I found the comments under the title ‘Student Differences with Respect to Learning with Technologies’ to be simplistic at best. Relevance was also at question as the focus of the discussion was on university students. Nonetheless, the comments that learning has to be viewed in context remediate this position to some extent.

In our context, catering for learning styles and differentiation, together with adjustments are factored into the construction of teaching and learning programs – with varying success. This is an area under ongoing review.

I think it would have been helpful to include in the model a separate section, or subsection, devoted to examining issues around assessment design and practices. I also think in a school context, that it would be a good idea to have a section focused on parents and their concerns – which are myriad.

I don’t think any single model provides all the questions, or answers. Using a basic framework, and then applying other models will in most instances result in a more comprehensive analysis. The constraints of the word limit for this task, even given surpassing this, makes this unworkable, but is something I intend to do following submission of the task. One model, provides one way of thinking. One also needs to consider the values and attitudes underlying the model. To a certain extent, I found with this model paradigms associated with economic rationalism. This paradigm is not always suited to educational contexts, although it is too frequently promoted.

Given the pace of change in ICT, the publication date of 2003 dates the model in some respects.

Nonetheless, I found the model provided a useful framework for the purposes of preliminary analysis.

Bates, A.W. & Poole, G 2003,  ‘A Framework for Selecting and Using Technology’. in Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Use by dates?

[I forgot to publish this, wrote it a while ago]

Thinking about the rise and fall of elearning experiences. Again. 

Point of need = good learning (motivation, interest, commitment…)

Immersion = getting acquainted, getting involved, moving out, …

Social learning = moving in and out of groups, participating, lurking, adapting, applying (new ning at school – very excited about its potential. Staff involved in groovy project are geographically dispersed and need discussion, point of sharing etc… hope they like it. Point of need is there. Moving to immersion… The cycle continues.)

What next? I guess all things have their use by date. I imagine ABB will ‘kill’ our ning at the end of the semester. Strange. But it has certainly served its purpose. 

Thinking about the images Robin Fogarty uses in terms of learning. (I haven’t inserted a link as they’re mostly self-promotional). Nonetheless, she uses images of birds – those that replicate, those that recreate. Ultimately, that’s the hoped for outcome of effective learning practices. 

Thinking of myself as a learner. I’m reminded again, from today’s meeting, that I am soooo big picture and synthesise/connect all the time. My strength is not logical skill development – both my own and my students. Some would do better with that. I’ll keep trying to cater for the left brainers. Timely reminders are good. 

I do believe though, there are many paths to learning, and success.