Friday, 30 May 2008

Project plan

Project Name: Fundamental Mathematics Skills Revision and Development
Date: 2009
Organisation: Otgao Polytechnic Mathematics Team

  • Executive summary
    The purpose of developing such a project is to facilitate/improve the fundamental mathematics skills that can be utilized for some courses but unable to develop themselves due to lack of time and recourses. The project provides stepwise learning directions that can also be used for students, if they felt their mathematics are not up to the standard with the course.
  • Project background
    We (as the maths team at polytechnic) have been contacted by other departments numerous times before or during the course showing their frustration with their student’s lack of mathematics skill competency. But with the open entry policy and the limitation of the course arrangement, adequate mathematical skills of individual students are normally neglected (assumptions are made that all students are competent in Maths). Schools are not be able to remodel the course content to satisfy everyone’s need and with those students who are lacking the required mathematical skills may find it is difficult to keep up with the designed study pace.
  • Aims, objectives, outcomes
    Provides the mathematics services that can be supportive to students, help them to refresh/upgrade the maths skills they need and also facilitate the school making teaching of the courses less problematic.
  • Flexible learning analysis

  • What are the perceived flexible learning needs of the people that your plan is targeting?
    Give students the flexibility on “when, where, what and how” to learn maths.
  • What type of flexible learning services will you provide?
    Blended teaching style, some face-to-face help sessions, rest can be delivered via on-line.
  • enrollment;
    No enrollment necessary. The course is open to all Polytechnic students. who would like to improve their maths skills.
  • assessment;
    1. On-line quizzes;
    2. Blog writing, sharing thoughts and arise problems;
    3. Apply their maths knowledge to their related area, a research project on how important maths is in their area of study (e.g. carpentry students need to show competent skills on measurement and planning lumber purchases, eliminate as much material waste as possible etc.).

  • Indicate the type of services which already exist that compliment and/or compete with your plan.
    Develop a website that is dedicated to Mathematics Learning:
    1. Mathematical skills will be presented categorically on line. (Selecting the relevant categories in Maths that students can utilize in their area of study)
    2. Revision and exercises are also available on-line for students.

With support being provided from:
1. ”Blackboard” for discussion board, E-mail and announcement.
2. Group conferencing through MSN, Skype or Elluminate.
3. Web messenger provides an instant Q&A for urgent matters

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Wk 11: Issues with flexible learning – Cultural diversity

I have read Alli’s posting on this topic. I think she has done wonderful research. Just want to make an insignificant correction here, in Chinese “giving clock” is pronounced as “Song4 Zhong1” and it means “attend a burial ceremony”. Apart from deciding what to give to your Chinese friend for a gift, the quantity of the gift is also needed to be considered. Number “4” is regarded as the “unlucky number”, because it shares the same pronunciation as “death”, so try not to give a gift of four items.

Brought up in a completely different culture, but have spent the past 8 years studying in NZ, I don’t think I have ever felt offended from any learning material (maybe I wouldn’t say the same thing if I studied the “Political study” or “Environmental study”).

I found a website on The Penn State University named “Working with Diverse Students including Adult Learners”. It clearly defined “Diversity” and lists a few strategies on how to work with “Diverse Students”. In my Certificate in Health course, gender discrimination is obvious, so is the diversity in age. I sometimes have to protect male students from being “targeted” by their fellow the female students. Some of the older female students like to play the “Mother Hen” role in the classroom, their dominance behavior and enthusiasm of learning can be used to set as a positive example, but can be irritating for the rest of the class too.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Week 10 Access and Equity

I did a bit of research; unfortunately there is not much out there. So I am just going to talk about my own point of view on “Access and Equity”. Bronwyn, Leigh and whoever is reading my blog, feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

When I first saw those two words, I thought they are the two advantages of being a flexible learner. Variable accessibility gives learners the freedom of “when, where and how” to learn. Equity gives everyone an equal chance to be educated, especially when people have other commitments that occupy most of their time and energy.

Then by looking at Australian Flexible Learning Framework on the "Access & Equity in Online Learning" project. I realized, equity can be also applied to those learners who have literacy needs or with disabilities. It makes me rethink about my project. My project design is to give the support for those tutors and students who think they need to improve/consolidate their maths knowledge. But due to the scarcity of the resources, the support weren’t always there for them. If I/we can develop this open space for these students, using a discussion board, messenger, online quizzes with answers and some animated demonstrations for problem solving. All students from Polytechnic have the access to this space and all contents will be in plain English, so will be straight forward even for ESOL students. Maybe we can develop the software that produce sound while playing the animation or read out the quiz questions for some of the students who have difficulty reading.