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Brainstorming on transparency- My views and answers Junho 3, 2010

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who are you?

Who are you?

For unit 3, activity four  of PPEL,  Professor Morten suggested we did a cooperative essay on the topic TRANSPARENCY, starting by a brainstorm on our views and opinions on the subject that were posted on the discussion forum for this activity.

So here are my contributions to the discussion that took place in the forum to answer to the questions of the group and the teacher.

Post 1 – Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Hi, veryone

In answering to the question:

“What data and statistics would it be interesting to see based on the information UA has about their students”

 I asked myself why would I want to know peoples’ personal information ( age, sex, adresssocial security number, addresses, telephone numbers, grades, course enrollments, previous education, exams, payments, number of forum contributions, log in frequencies …) from the point of view of the student. Personally I don’t think that’s important at all, because we relate to each other and we will slowly get to know each other by our work, our attitudes and the way we communicate.  However, I think that investigators could have  access to this information depending on the nature of investigation they are doing and the importance of these data for their work. I personally don’t mind at all  my personal date be available. But I mind and worry about the use people might do with these data.

From the student’s point of view I think it could be interesting to share knowledge and other perspectives with ” sister ” fields of knowledge, such as education and multimedia por example, because we could learn a few interesting things that way. If we could also enroll on the discussion foruns as a visitor or in some other capacity that allow the teacher and the other students to identify who is classmate and who isn’t, would be great and make the course design more transparent because people could interchange their knowledge and points of view.

But, if foruns are of free access to everyone , how does the teacher follow students devellopment, how does it work for evaluation and feedback? How does he/she know who’s who? Is this person a student, a vistor ?…

Just reading foruns is no fun at all, though it might be interesting. But foruns are communicative by nature . So it’s natural that we want to participate too in discussions we are interested in. Once again this raises a question- what to do with these participations? – they are contributions to develop the topics. that is good. But only to share information. In this way I think open foruns would be very nice.

Still there is another issue- the load of information in these open foruns. How to deal with it?

Using moodle it is possible to have access to other foruns, but the teacher responsable for the subject must allow access. I think that is the way moodles are working in most institutions. To allow free access to everyone who wants to enter, a subject must be free.



post 2 – Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Transparency from the teacher and the institution’s point of view.

From the teacher’s point of view there are procedures regarding assessment, guiding lines to help students improve on their performance, feedback and grades that can be made more transparent, making everyone profit from other people’s experience and suggestions. Also this evaluation system can help everyone share this knowledge and learn from better models because other students’ work can function as models to improve our own and this is a benefit in the learning process.

As for having all this information made public, I realize that there are people that do not want to share this information. From my point of view I don’t mind at all. However, since this is a sensitive issue, everyone involved should make a choice of making or not their assessment and progress visible.

From the institution point of view, it’s common to publish final grades for everyone to see. So why don’t publish it online? Why make a secret out of it?

When we enroll, we entrust the institution with personal information regarding private aspects such as phone numbers, mail address, social security numbers and eventually even our bank account numbers. Information that we trust not to be made public for reasons of security.

What personal information can be made public without putting in risk people’s privacy and security? What personal information is interesting to share with others in this context?

We eventually end up sharing personal information with our colleagues the same way as we share in face to face learning environments.

I think it is important to understand the function of sharing personal data first and then decide what information is interesting or important to make known or share with the other people and what are we suppose to do with that information.

It could be interesting to approach the matter from this perspective. What is interesting and helpful to know about other people that might help me in my learning process, in socializing, or integrating in groups….? What kind of knowledge would I need or want to know in advance about my colleagues?  Can  institutional data help in this process?



LO 2 When students become teachers Fevereiro 9, 2010

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When searching for another tool to produce a learning object for this unit, I came across glogster, and since then I’ve been telling everyone about it. I find this tool really interesting and funny to use. It is also very flexible and we can adjust the presentation to suit a more funny style or to a more clean and professional look. It is also possible to use it for Portuguese. I’ve tried because some one in the forum said that it didn’t work in Portuguese. Well I found out that the teacher version does. And you can see another experience in Portuguese
[gigya width=”650″ height=”880″ src=”http://edu.glogster.com/flash/flash_loader.swf?ver=1265635534″ quality=”high” flashvars=”sl=http://edu.glogster.com/flash/glog.swf?ver=1265635534&gi=4893200&ui=2348683&li=3&fu=http://edu.glogster.com/flash/&su=http://edu.glogster.com/connector/&fn=http://edu.glogster.com/fonty/&embed=true&pu=http://edu.glogster.com/blog-thumbs/2/4/89/32/4893200_2.jpg?u=ae24ed24f941b0419f618466c8239203&si=13&gw=6,5,0&gh=8,8,0″ wmode=”window” ]


Review on an annoted bibliography Janeiro 22, 2010

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 8:19 pm
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Teresa Fernandes’ annotated bibliography is very well structured considering the items suggested for evaluation by Mónica and Sandra on their Learning Object on assessment, that are as follows:

1. The sites in the annotated bibliography are relevant
2. The webgraphy is written correctly (mentioning author, date, site and date when it was seen)
3. The design of the blog entries helps the reading process
4. Mentions the important aspects of the sites/articles read
5. Adds personal comments to the annotated bibliography

In her annotated bibliography at http://teresanauniv.blogspot.com/ Teresa starts by explaining clearly the purpose of this bibliographic research in the introduction part.

Her work is structured with an entry for each article with the correct way of indicating the items needed – author, date of publishing, title of the article, the date of access followed by the indication of the site where the article was found.

She briefly summarizes the main ideas of each article, organizing it in short texts following the entry for each article. And she keeps the same structure through out the her post.

Since from the summaries she wrote for each article any reader can draw some interesting conclusions and clarify some key concepts regarding cooperation and transparency, this annotated bibliography ( or webgraphy since all articles included are available on the internet) is a valuable reference resource for other students and researches looking for information on these topics.

To make it more interactive I would suggest to insert active links directly to the places where the topics are stored on the net. This would make it easier any reader to follow the links easier without having to make copy and past of the links to a search motor.
In this way her annoted bibliography become a open resource.

The design of the blog entries helps the reading process.

On a whole I think it is a practical good example on how to structure this kind of assignment.

Perhaps at the end , as a kind of conclusion, she could add some comments of her own.



Review on the LO – Transparency in Online education by J. Carlos and P. Simões Janeiro 20, 2010

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I absolutely loved J. Carlos and Paulo Simões learning object on Transparency in Learning, made with goanimate.com/movie. A video animation intitled Transparency in online education
Personally because I love cartoons and animation, I felt very curious about this tool and the way you’ve worked to present your point of view regarding transparency in learning – here seen as showing to other what you are doing and being open to other people suggestions, insights and cooperation, making open source resources. In a word creating knowledge.
By presenting the advantages of online learning you specifically point out how being connected through a multitude of social networks can help improve learning from a personal point of view, especially because you also have assessment from other sources than your teacher.
You have also presented the advantages of online learning in a very nice and straightforward way by contrasting two typical learning situations. I also noted that you’ve put a great emphasis in showing how people on online learning environments have more freedom of time and space and implicitly of pace.
Showing other people what you do is very important in our society , nowadays. So the old ways of teaching are becoming very boring and out of date. This boringness is clearly shown in the film, by the routine school life Peter has. Also the fact that the face to face environment you created doesn’t have anything technological shows the typical situation of our schoolrooms. Only a blackboard and sometimes a teacher that talks all the time, like a radio, old books and old statues are not very motivating. The scene portrays a school facing the past and not the future.
You also point out, perhaps implicitly, that the lessons on face to face are not very interesting or interactive. Assessment only comes from one source, the teacher. Is that why Peter looks so lost? Even with assessment once a month, he feels that something is missing. These kinds of lessons are not enough, nor very promising or motivating either.
On the other hand, Mary seems more pleased with her learning. She is learning in a total different way – in an online learning environment which can be accessed anywhere, anytime through a simple personal and portable computer, allowing her more freedom of time, space and pace. These are obvious advantages comparing to Peter’s learning environment. It is obvious that Peter doesn’t have any of these freedoms. He has a strict routine timetable.
Another great advantage is getting connected to other people . She shows her work to other people because she publishes it somewhere on the internet and she gets valuable feedback from other sources than her teacher. In fact her colleagues and friends can see her work and help her improve on it. This is an advantage, because she has insights from many different sources and sources that are perhaps on the same level of knowledge or share similar cognitive structures. Another obvious advantage is that by making her work public she is implicitly making open resources that other people might use. Eventually she creates her own learning community.

This is what it means to live in a knowledge and information society- creating knowledge by sharing ideas, thoughts, insights with others and making everyone contribute to the process of passing on information.

Personally I would put some colour on the ballons of the end. Colour catches people’s attention and would make this animation more lively. It also helps to more cohesion beteween the colourful pictures of the first part with the second part ( your conclusions).


LO 3 : Transparency – When students become teachers Janeiro 17, 2010

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 7:08 pm
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This learning object called “When students become teachers” was an experience using glogster. I’ve found the reference to this web 2.0 tool when I was searching for tools in the you tube. I also found some tutorials which I watched carefully. I thought this tool would be nice to try and see what would come out of it. It is fun to make a poster in this way. And to present information in a more funny way. Hope you like it and try it on too. Have fun.



Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 5:05 pm
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Would you like to use this cool tool?  It is called glogster and is free. Check it out at http://edu.glogster.com/.

Here is a video to explain briefly how this tool works.


Annotated bibliography (3)-Transparency for a better cooperation and learning gains Janeiro 8, 2010

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Cooperation is best achieved through transparency. The information that people in a learning network share among themselves in different levels ( personal, social and in learning itself)  is vital to promote insights of the students and for the other students. This information whether put forward through personal presentations or through the work ( writings, blogs,films…) people produce, helps foster cooperation and better understanding of other people’s interests and learning processes along with their skills, frustrations and developments.  There for, transparency means exposure – making yourself  known to other people. So how much information and what kind of information should a student or teacher expose?


In the article Students and social networking: Should you “friend” your students ? Kathryn Linder, M.A discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of interacting through networks to creat learning communities. She also points out some boundaries and guiding lines to follow in order to protect yourself from too much exposure.

George Siemens in his blog Connectivism, published an article ” Teaching as transparent learning”   where he argues that transparency is a building process – a sort of work in progress – . Using blogs for instance some known theorists and teachers put to debate some ideas and thoughts which will develop through the multiple contributions of other people.

Here are some key sentences :

Making thoughts and ideas visible and sharing developments makes learning more transparent.

By seeing others learning we can also learn.

When we are making learning transparent we become teachers ourselves.

Another interesting concept related to transparency in learning is that people with similar cognitive architectures tend to understand each other better and learn from each other better because they can relate better.

Assuming that this is true, learning from learning partners is a plus in the personal development of everyone involved . People can learn a lot from more skilled and knowledgeable partners but they can also learn by sharing thoughts ideas, doubts, frustrations with their peers – people on the same level of knowledge as them.

In Learning partner opportunities for cooperation in distance learning by Torhild Slaato and Morten Flate Paulsen , the term learning partners is defined and a practical approach how we can be and have a learning partner is explained clearly.The article explains how a system of finding suitable learning partners is built and put to work and the gains it represents to online students in terms of learning and socializing. This article is also an account of a successful experience put forward at NKI
In creating a learning networks a personal presentation is key. Many personal presentations come together to make an open web catalogue  for NKI which is the cornerstone of the process of finding, inviting, accepting ( or not) learning partners.
How much information and what sort of information should there be on these personal presentations? That is left for the students to decide. Students are responsible for the amount and type of information they wish to show about themselves and they also invite other students to become learning partners. The invitation can be accepted or refused. Having a learning partner is not mandatory. Be or having a learning partner is volunteer and it’s student’s personal choice.
Creating a learning network based on personal presentations has been an important step towards adding an effective and efficient social dimension to the online learning process where learning is supported by other students. It is a learning experience in which both parts profit by sharing knowledge, thoughts and ideas .

The article by Christian Dalsgaard entitled Social networking sites: Transparency in online Education  , explains how personalization and socialization , central characteristics of social networking  sites can facilitate transparency between students giving them insights into each other’s work. He points out that the starting point is individual or personal.

People don’t necessarily have to dialogue or collaborate with others. But by updating their profile, adding pictures or texts to their own page they actually engage in an indirect or passive form of communication and sharing in the social network to each they belong.
But still the question remains- what kind of social relations support learning?
Awareness entails a kind of relation that supports transparency but not necessarily collaboration or discussion. There are two different relations: Collaboration (when people work together with the same aim ) and cooperation ( when people work by themselves but connected to others, sharing their work ). The article aims to highlight pedagogical potentials of social network in relation to transparency. In online education this is particularly important.

 The author distinguishes between networks ( individually focused) and communities (spaces shared by groups) and argues that to foster transparency networks are more suitable because personal pages provide opportunity for personalization – a person can choose the content and the look of the page and is always present through his/her page. Socialization begins when the personal page is connected to other personal pages. Students can also establish a group of friends through the use of personal tools.These personal tools are used to organize work, collect literature, write notes, brainstorm, develop thoughts and ideas, write assignments. Sharing these tools with other students supports transparency and awareness – other students are a source of knowledge and information.

In the article Minds on Fire , Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0,   by  Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler , published at Educase Review, vol. 43, no. 1 (January/February 2008) a new concept is put forward – open participatory learning ecosystems -. What is this and how is it related to transparency in learning?

Open participatory learning ecosystems are learning web based communities where learning takes place in  very active and open( transparent) ways . Both the content and  the ways by which the content is created is visible to everyone and everyone is invited to join in  actively, sharing their knowledge, ideas , insights, making improvements, innovating and producing  free open valid resources. Full legitimate participation is encoraged both between peers and between learners and experts ( scientists or scholars).  In these communities learning also takes place both in formal or less formal environments. examples to illustrate these good practises are presented – Wikipedia strategies of article writing and reviewing, The Faulkes Telescope Project, the Decameron web , Terra Incognita on Second Life among others- and regarding as harbingers of Learning 2.0. You can also access this article here

All articles were last accessed in february 7th