Category: Uncategorized

Mail merge


Its all about the mail merge


practice for PBL

I am looking at which blog platform is the most appropriate for our PBL students. This interface has changed yet again.


This is the link to the elluminate session about facebook with Ross and Herve. It was very informative and well worth listening to. I am sorry that there wasn’t more participants to have a greater discussion.

Facilitating online Effective use of Facebook

Effective use of Facebook

I have often had conversations with colleagues about the use of facebook in the classroom not by the lecturers but the students who appear to be addicted to it. Have a look at this list about those who could be addicted to social networking .   I have looked on the internet for some information about facebook and of course there is an enormous amount. There is articles about using facebook in the classroom and why that is a good idea and reasons why it isn’t.  For older students and for  school classrom   Blogs and statistics about who uses facebook and why.    Articles about the dangers of social networking which includes facebook and how they can be used to introduce spyware and malware. Of course there is the ever present danger of predators using social networking sites for malicious purposes. Also there is  currently a new movie about Mark Zuckerberg the creator of facebook very interesting reading  

Finally something about twitter

There is a lot of information to read but hopefully this will add to the discussions so have a look at some of it if you can.

I have asked Herve Carpentier from Manukau Institute of Technology who lectures in Network security and Network engineering, he will talk about the negative aspects of Facebook. While Ross Buchan from Otago Polytechnic CLC’s (Community Learning Centre) who works with students showing them computing skills using MS Office uses Facebook and twitter for social networking and as part of the marketing for the CLC.  Once they have finished talking we can have a discussion on how or if it can be used for our gain as businesses and educators.

 The Elluminate meeting is on the 18 November 4pm for all those who can join us. 















I have had a great break and now I am trying to decide what would be a good topic for a mini conference and whether to use asynchronous or elluminate.

I have a few ideas one being the pros and cons of using facebook in a learning environment. Personally I would like to have facebook locked here on the Otago Polytechnic campus simply because I teach computing and I spend a large portion of my time encouraging the students to get off it and onto their actual course work. Some actually appear to be addicted they can’ t help themselves. There must be  something about the dangers of too much online social networking. Honestly some have being facebooking each other in class 2 or 3 computers away.  All in all a good topic what do you think?

Facilitating Online course

Starting again to use the blog. Its been a while since I have used this blog, I have others but this one is for any courses that I am participating in.  Please ignore the previous posts they belong to a past course I did in 2008,I didn’t want to create another blog. Sorry I’m a bit late joining Sarah but I am keen to get up to speed.

I work for the Otago Polytechnic as a lecturer in the School of Business for computing. There are usually large class numbers and a variety of skill levels, sometimes the more skilled students become disengaged with the learning because of this. So I have decided to use a more blended delivery allowing the more competent students to work online and to attend class for tutorials and assessments only. I haven’t worked out the finer details yet but I’m sure that as I think  through the process there may be some difficulties. Having completed online courses myself as a student it can be fraught with issues but Hopefully not.

I am hoping that the Facilitating online course will give me some of the tools I can use to make this transition easier for me and students.

I have used online tools before blogs etc and I have found that you need a relatively good skills to navigate around all the technical, (how to do things part of the online digital world). I like to be able to do something immediately and have full control over the process but sometimes the digital world can interfere with that. I find that repetition of these functions is the key, the more often I do it the easier it is to remember.

Looking forward to engaging in a learning environment that exists online.

DIL goals

I was going reaaly well at home because at last I had a new laptop and broadband this did make  working from home so easy but the new laptop is broken and has been taken away to be fixed who knows for how long, very frustrating. This slows down my progress.

For this week I am still trying to work out how to edit a video using moviemaker. I did some editing or so I thought but it disappeared so maybe I forgot to save the changes.

Uploading pictures and videos from file onto a blog is something else I need to learn how to do as well.

Lastly I also need to set up a goolegroup for a discussion. I am really not sure how to go about this one. 

Developing ideas for a course

This is part of my Constructing courses to Enhance Learning you can see more about this course.Theory:           

  • The learner needs to have basic computing skills. They are required to use more than one application for this unit so knowledge of word processing and use of the Internet are necessary.  These skills are learnt by a structured approach set tasks then practice exercises. They retrieve knowledge needed then build on this knowledge to learn the next skill. As the student moves through using different applications they learn new skills and by experimenting with toolbars and menus applying techniques that worked before they gather the skills and at the same time confidence.                                   


  • Students already at the Otago Polytechnic, University, and Teachers College who need presentation skills.
  • Otago Polytechnic students who need Level 2 credits as a component for their existing courses.
  • People who are already in the work force and need presentation skills.
  • The course being online is an option for those students who have a limited timeframe.
  • The course is in addition to an already existing course made available Online through Blackboard for students.
  • The course for some of the Polytechnic students is part of a level 2 course component creating an online course will be an option for them.
  • Students will enroll through the CLCs who will give them access to the course on Blackboard. The format will be in Microsoft Office 2003. There may need to be an online option using 2007 which is different from 2003 or further training available for the toolbars and menus.

Learner Content:       Learning Outcomes:

  • Level 2 – 3 Credits Unit Standard 5946: Generic Computing: Use computer technology to present a topic. The Unit standard consists of 4 Elements and is a 30 hour course.
  • Element 1: Design a presentation about a topic.
  • Element 2: Gather information for a presentation of a topic using computer applications
  • Element 3: Create a presentation of a topic using computer applications
  • Element 4: Present a topic using computer applications.
  • I will structure the learning starting with Element 2, how to gather information, the following elements can all be included by the planning, creating and presenting of the topic.

Teaching Strategies 

  • Initially the student would come into the suite for a F2F session where they would enroll and be given access to the course. They would also have an orientation around the site and explanation of the toolbars and menus. Questions would be asked at this point. A contact address would be given for questions. Ideally a small group of students could go through at the same time to try to create peer tutoring or a learner support group. Because we would be using Blackboard there could be a discussion board set up for questions.
  • There would be another session F2F to go over the Performance Criteria checklists this is Formative assessment
  • Finally they  would come into the suite for the Assessment
  • I would track their progress by contacting them within a month of their starting to monitor their progress

Learning Activities:

  • The course will be an online workbook with interactive exercises. These exercises would be created using Camstudio and they would be uploaded to Blackboard. I would need some training to do this or I would need a technician. I could create a PowerPoint presentation but this wouldn’t allow for interactive exercises.
  • The material will cover the skills required initially for the researching of the topic. A practice topic with where the information is located within files located in the course material. The student would need to find key points, consistent with the topic, purpose and the targeted audience. This information then needs to organised for the presentation.
  • This section would cover the design process how many slides, formatting fonts, colour, layout
  • The next section would cover the features of PowerPoint specifically the Task pane and the options available there. Slide Layout, transitions animations, custom animations, inserting clipart pictures, movies, and audio.
  • They would create a slide show using a topic given to them using the skills they have learnt in the above sections.
  • Ideally they would use some of the knowledge to experiment with the toolbars and menus, colours slide layout slide animations, custom animations.


  • I would have Formative assessment using Performance Criteria checks.
  • The assessment will be in the suite. This will ensure a fair, and valid assessment.
  • Before the assessment they would have there topic chosen with some information, graphics, images that they have collected before they come into the suite to sit the assessment.
  • During the assessment they will design the presentation then create it.



CLC, students and Otago Polytechnic and the wider business community.

  • I have spoken to the supervisor at CLC Forth St we already have approval for the National Certificate in Computing Level 2 online. I am changing the mode of delivery to an existing course and this course is part of our Programme Document. Level 2 it has been approved to go online.

The finished course will be moderated through the CLC and through our contact at the Business School Anne MacLeod if necessary.

The course Unit 5946 Use computer technology to present a topic is not currently available online through INTUTO.

  Technical Support:     

  • Training for use of Camstudio, YouTube, Course Genie
  • How to put the course on Blackboard


  • The existing resources and courses are too complicated for a Level 2 course the skills can be explained more simply.
  • The creating of this course will take some time. Ideally I would like to have it up and running by the beginning of next year to be available for the students starting 2008.
  • Using Free Open Source software Open Office  Open Office as some students may not have Microsoft software or they may prefer to use this.
  • Skills needed to gather information for the topic. May need to add the option of  Level 2 2987 as part of Foundation Learning.
  • The idea is to make this more flexible for those who have difficulty in fitting this in their day but there still amy be a lot of tracking and time going into follow up.

Next will be the implementation plan.

Working out Wikis

I’m looking at Wiki for the course Constructing Courses to enhance learning.  Rachel has set up the Wiki and now I am are trying to work out how to edit it. It does appear to be quite simple. I have read the tutorials I am using the blog so I can send Jacquie the link and practice how to set up links,  I thought I had forgotten, all it takes is repetition.

I have used  this link too 


Finally I was able to use Camstudio to record my teaching resource . Relatively easy to use I am impressed by the quality of the recording.

Camstudio tutorial.

I watched the tutorial and it was very long this was on how to download the program I tried to do this at home on dial up and I think I would probably still there waiting for it to complete the download. Luckily we have good computers here and with some assistance from the Bronwyn and Leigh I was able to use the program.