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
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?