Ideas for extending the flexibility of BIM

The following explores some ideas for extensions to BIM based on a blog post from Dave Cormier.

Dave’s post

My summary of the post is that it describes the evolution of Dave’s approach to teaching/learning through a variety of attempts to build systems to support learning through to the eventual realisation that the system he wants to use is just the Internet.

The end realisation of this is in a recent course Dave led. The students did their work “in the wild”. In online tools like twitter and WordPress.com. So, how did Dave evaluate the work, in his words

I told them that they would need to keep track of each and everything that they wanted me to evaluate and put it in a googledoc. I said “I”m not going to look for it, I want you to interact with people, keep track of it, and tell me why it was important.”

Connection with BIM

BIM is a Moodle activity Module I wrote. It’s aimed to allow students to have their own blog and do their work on that blog, but still provide a way that teaching staff can easily track, comment, mark, and manage that work. i.e. students do their work where they want, staff get the support/integration they need. BIM arguably stands somewhere between Dave’s “phase 4” and “the internet is my PLE”.

However, there’s some significant limitations in BIM. Dave’s post has given me some ideas for extending BIM.

Ideas for extending BIM

In Dave’s model, the students identify what is important and gather it together. The model in BIM at the moment, is that the teacher who creates the BIM activity specifies a set of questions or posts for the student. For example, the teacher wants 5 reflective posts from the student, so they create 5 questions in BIM with the titles “Reflective post #1”, “Reflective post #2” etc. After registering their blog with BIM, the students eventually create posts with the necessary fixed titles.

What if BIM allowed the students to specify what was interesting? This could be as simple as the existing idea of allowing them to allocate blog posts to specific BIM questions. But perhaps it might be necessary to allow the students to submit as many, or as few, items as they want. Not necessarily submit some pre-defined number.

Mmm, I wonder if this could be achieved by the student using a specific tag in del.icio.us to identify and comment on what they thought was important and then registering the del.ico.us RSS feed for that tag? This would work, however, BIM probably wouldn’t be able able keep a complete copy of the original artifact. Thought it would allow you to aggregate resources from a range of different places, just not a blog.

Which raises the idea of a student being able to register multiple feeds, not just the one. But this brings up the requirement for the student to be able to curate what BIM takes from these feeds. This could be done through the use of certain tags or keywords in the source, or through an interface in BIM.

Mm, is this becoming a e-portfolio? If I argued no, the distinction would be that BIM serves a single purpose, supporting evaluation/assessment of student work. BIM has nothing to do with sharing that work with others. That’s up to the student to do, where they chose to do it (e.g. on the social media they used to create what’s been put into BIM).

Of course, this will have to wait until post thesis and also post production of BIM v2.0

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