Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another Student Feedback from a Project - Authentic Learning and Web 2.0

I was a student enrolled in the Certificate of Boat building
program at the Institute of Applied Science, Unitec. One of those exciting
things during the course is the elearning perspective based on Web 2.0
technology and applications, which was introduced and promoted by Vickel.

Despite the concept of Web 2.0 sounds quite complicated or specialized,
this new educational approach actually uses daily computer software and
program, online applications and resources, and other IT technologies we
use everyday, such as 3G network on our mobile, recording video and taking
pictures with camera or smart phone, etc.

Based on this approach, we (tutors and students all together) established a
comprehensive Web2.0 e-learning platform. Everyone got their own Blog. In
the blog, students can write down what they have done today, what are they
thinking, or what kind of help they need. Other students and tutors can read
his blog and make comments on it. Moreover, blog is also used to create
students’ portfolio (now we call it e-portfolio). Students are asked to take
photos and videos during the workshop, and upload them to the blog. Other
internet applications and webs, such as Google Docs, Buzz and YouTube are
used as well as useful tools to improve communications between students
and tutors.

I really liked this Web2.0 concept and I think its application in the CAT program
is quite successful. I think it has following advantages:

1. Improved communication between students and tutors with little or
no limitation of time and place. Compared with face-to-face meeting
and communication, students and tutors now can communicate online.
You can post your ideas, thoughts, suggests or comments at anytime,
anywhere. You do not have to be in the workshop in order to discuss
with your mates and the tutor.
2.  An effective way to record work and study. As pictures and videos are
made during the workshop, students can upload them onto their blog.
This provides a dynamic and expressive source for constructing their e-
portfolio online.
3.  More progress-oriented and better supervision on students’ work
and study. Students are asked to write their blog based on their daily
learning process. Tutors can see how each student is doing all the
way through the course. This gives opportunity for tutors to make more
comprehensive and flexible assessment on the student on the basis of
his learning process, not only on the basis of the final outcome.
4. Students are more motivated. Well, as a student, your assessment
and portfolio will be based on what you have put on your blog. So you
need pay more attention on your daily study. Moreover, you can also
help other students if they post any questions on the blog and make comments on their works. And remember, other students can do the
same to you.
5.  It does not increase the cost of study. Software, applications, websites
and other devices and technologies used in the Web2.0 educational
approach are mostly free. You might need a cellphone that can take
pictures and videos. If you happened to have not got one, do not worry.
You can borrow the camera from the institute.

(Former student in the Boat Building course, Unitec New Zealand)
Creative Commons License this blog post by Vickel Narayan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand License.