Thursday, August 4, 2011

CT2011 Sessions attended part II

Here's the final word, at least from me, on sessions that I attended at CT2011 this past week


The first was the Google talk. You know, for all the hype about the limited audience and such, the talk was really about where Google is going; no specifics, and no marketing talk either, so it was all a bunch of ether as far as I am concerned. Google doesn't confirm or deny that they are working on an LMS, and they want to digitize more of the world's knowledge. Cool! Next!

An interesting session on the last day of CT2011 was Learner Analytics via the Cloud: Sophisticated Statistics Made Easy (by the same person who presented Academic Progress Portal: Catching Students Before They Fail)  The idea was that different data provides around campus pooled their data into one central place (data including grades from the LMS) that instructors could run and statistics and see if there is correlation between class attendance and grades, between entrance exams and exit exams, between first years seminars and job placement and so on.  Quite interesting from an analytics perspective, but it was also at the 10,000 foot level.  I'd be interested in seeing some more analytics at the classroom level :-)


Finally, the low light of the conference, at least for me, was the session titled Leading Change: Course Redesign . Reading the description I thought it would be pretty cool! As an instructional designer, our team at work has talked about helping faculty redesign their courses, so this session naturally interested me. The problem wasn't the concept however, it was the delivery. This session was boring, boring beyond tears. I felt like I was at a lecture where I was being talked to. The powerpoint deck was over-crowded, the speaker was monotonous and behind a podium. It was pretty bad.  I wish for these speakers to present this information again, as I think that it is important and useful, but I really want them to rethink (redesign!) their presentation approach.
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