Rich visualizations and costing in SOLE 3.5

As promised this version of the SOLE Toolkit, 3.5, remain a free, unprotected and macro-free Excel workbook with rich functionality to serve the learning designer. Version 3.5 has two significant enhancements.

Rich visualization of the learning spaces and tools: that students are to engage with in their learning. This provides an alternative, fine-grain, view of the students modes of engagement in their learning. It permits the designer to plan not only for a balance of learning engagement but also a balance of environments and tools. This should allow designers to identify where ‘tool-boredom’ or ‘tool-weariness’ is possibly a danger to learner motivation and to ensure that a range of tools and environments allow students to develop based on their own learning preferences.

Faculty-time calculations in design and facilitating: based on the learning spaces and tools to be used there is now a function to allow programme designers and administrators, as well as designers themselves, to calculate the amount of time they are likely to need to design materials and facilitate learning around those materials.

This builds on newly designed functionality release in September 2014 in version 3 of the toolkit, namely;

  • Predicated Workload – the amount of time the designer anticipates students will spend is on activities charted.
  • Sequencing activities – the ability to suggest the order in which activities should be tackled. It remains an open approach and so the numbering system (letters, Roman, multiple instances of the same item) is open. It is considered important in the SOLE Model that students should take responsibility for the learning process as so the sequence should  be suggestive or advised.
  • Completion Record – a column has been added to allow students to record whether an activity has been completed alongside indicating the amount of time was actually spent on any given activity.
  • Objectives Met Record – an area is included to allow students to indicate that they believe they have met the objectives for each individual topic/week.

At its core the toolkit serves to implement a model of learning based on the SOLE Model itself and it is worth reminding yourself how the model is designed to work.

Further Details:

Here are two short videos that detail the significant enhancement made in Version 3.5 of the Tookit.

Visualisation of Learning spaces

Calculating Faculty-Time in Design and Facilitation

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US Interest in the SOLE model & toolkit

SOLE Information Session 4th August 2011

The 45 minute ‘Information Session’ session on Thursday (4th August) at the 27th Annual Distance Education Conference at Madison-Wisconsin produced a tweet from @lookstein “simon atkinson shares his flexible model for student-owned learning engagement – very valuable (and entertaining!)” so at least one person was interested!

The session was attended by some 50-70 people on day two of the conference at the stunning Monona Terrace Convention Centre and consisted of an introduction, this was the first US outing for the SOLE work, to both the conceptual model and the Excel Toolkit. The session was run from this WordPress site using a Resources page (which will remain here for people to access) to contain images and extracts, as well as the latest Excel Workbook file.

The session began with an interesting insight for me of the spread and diversity of people in the room. Representing K-12, Universities, Military Educators and a range of ‘outreach’ organisations. People identified themselves as roughly 75% ‘Faculty’ but a large proportion also identifying themselves as ID or instructional designers. After describing the contextual basis for the model itself, there was a fascinating exchange around the language used in the model, “What is meant by ‘Social’ context?” in distance learning, “What do you take ‘feedback’ to mean without faculty engaged?”. The session ended with a live demonstration of the SOLE toolkit as it currently being used by me to design modules for a Postgraduate Certificate.

A very enjoyable session with some excellent in-session feedback and questions and some provocative questions along the way which is after all what the best conferences are made of.

Simon at Podium