I have not been quite sure of the future of this blog. Personal or Work? Business? Personal learning? Probably a mix.
I have moved on from the University of Canterbury. Below is my old bio. (From uctl.canterbury.ac.nz/derek-chirnside which is still there as I write this). I’ll be sorting a new version soon. If I had bothered to update it for 2009, it would have said: “Moodle is in, we now are making the transition to using Moodle. We have a model for the transition: dividing up the faculties, each with a UCTL contact, introductory workshops and specialist follow on workshops. Hundreds of courses making the transition in one way or another.
Now I’m doing a contracting work, mainly around workplace learning, staff development and organisational learning – all with an online aspect, and all involving some form of Learning Management System. (Organisational Learning: there’s a surprise – I’ve been interested in this for a while, but never really had a chance to use any of this except more at a personal level)
(My Old) Profile
I have a background in Physics teaching, having made a switch from Chemistry and Maths. Since 1977 I have taught in a range of schools and settings including intermediate, High School and one year (1998 – at the Department of Physics and Astronomy and CPIT) in Tertiary.
In terms of Educational Design, prior to 2000 I did not even know such a field existed. However I found I had been doing it for years in a range of teacher professional development projects (including Denis Chapman’s wonderful Riccarton Project) and many national science and physics education conferences. in December 2000 I took over from Alan Cutting at the Christchurch College of Education working in quite a remarkable context: the POLO distance education programme.
In the distance education side of my life I am indebted to Prof Mike Wells (now Professor Emeritus, Montana State University-Bozeman) who taught a distance course I was part of in 1998 (“Real World Problem Solving”, via First Class) Here he modeled many of the practices I later adopted as my own. I was ready for 2001 when the courses at the College moved to having a serious online presence with the development of Interact, our home grown learning management system.
In 2002 I was part of the establishment of Learning and Information Services at the College of Education: one of the few institutional restructures I have seen that produced an unequivovably better result than what was left behind. With Maureen, Rosemary, Kerry, Glen, Bruce, Donna, Rob, Fiona, Angie, Des and Tim we sought to integrate services and support around flexible and distance courses. This was conceived over some wine and cheese during an Educause conference in Adelaide.
In 2005 I shifted to the UCTL at the University of Canterbury, first on secondment and later as part of the merger.
My role here at UCTL mainly centres around course design, both online and in flexible or blended courses, with some staff development and policy involvement. My specialty areas are blogs and wikis in knowledge management and learning, communities and e-learning.
I use ICT, but I resist people defining me in this light: I am interested in teaching and learning strategies, particularly those that assist engaged or active learning (both online and not). Learning theory has traditionally been classified in three: behaviourist, cognitivist and constructivist. I see a fourth as significant: social practice and situated learning.
Online learning, using online tools: should help improve learning outcomes, save time and help us feel better about our teaching.
Recently: Moodle trial, podcasting workshops, using video clips in online courses.
December 2008. Currently: I am working with Moodle transition (Gradebook, Groups, Forums and wikis), getting StudentNet set up for another year, helping with some case study approaches to classes and a new project with Massey.
2007 Oporto, Portugal. Workshop with THEKA (midway through a three year professional development project): Communities of Practice: leadership practices and planning. Link to Blog Post on this .
2007 Chuxiong University, China: Teaching Strategies to Support Active Learning
Two days of workshops, mainly physics-teacher oriented, but tons of others came.
October 2008: Podcasting Workshops (Tai Pe Tuni Polytechnic, Greymouth)
November 2008: The use of Web 2.0 tools (Blogs and wikis. tagging and RSS) to support ongoing Professional Learning. Karero Learning Centre, Greymouth.