Example E-Tivities from the University of Limerick (Various Disciplines)
Example E-tivities from the University of Limerick (Various Disciplines)
This collection of e-tivities is a work-in-progress. Please use the links below to view e-tivities for specific modules/ disciplines at the University of Limerick.
Content Development and Information Management (Darina Slattery)
E-Learning Theories and Practices (Darina Slattery)
Instructional Design (Darina Slattery)
Public Administration (Bernadette Connaughton)
Project Management (John F. Kelly)
Supply Chain Management (Ingrid Hunt)
E-tivities about Content Development and Information Management (Darina Slattery)
E-tivity 1: Forming a Team and Proposing a Topic
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to introduce you to project management and how to work effectively in teams. Some of the articles cited in this e-tivity should make you more aware of the challenges you might face as you work to produce a unified product (the e-learning course) with virtual team members, in a relatively short time-frame. The assignment specification has been posted on Sulis (see 'Lessons Builder > Week 2').
Task: Due Sunday week 3 (14th February @ 21h00)
- Reflect on your own time management strategies as you read this overview article about Covey's seven habits of highly effective people.
- Reflect on how teams form and work together by taking a look at this overview of Tuckman's team formation model. If you have ever worked in a team before, how did you deal with the various challenges? Did you develop any strategies that might help you in this project? Hopefully you can take some pointers from these articles also.
- Before your group decides on tools to use for collaboration, take a look at my list of tools and resources for teaching and learning online. In particular, take a look at the tools listed under 'Project Management' and 'Wikis and Collaborative Authoring'. In prior years, many students found Basecamp useful for coordinating their project activities. Gantt charts are frequently used in industry to manage the schedule and project plan so some of you might already have access to Gantt software. Very recently, I was introduced to Slack 'channels' for online collaboration, so Slack is also an option to help you manage your project. Other tools that might prove useful for coordinating ideas and tasks are listed under 'Mindmapping/ Post-Its/ Brainstorming'.
- Using the separate 'Find Group Members' thread, express your interest in forming a team (four students is ideal; five is the maximum permitted). You should also use the 'Find Group Members' thread to explore possible topics for your e-learning course. The sample topics document attached to the assignment specification might also help you. Once you have formed a group, one person should upload the list of group members, and the proposed topic, as a reply to this forum thread.
E-tivity 2: Identifying Team Roles and Possible Sources of Content
The purpose of this e-tivity is threefold:
- To introduce students to the different roles typically undertaken in multimedia/ content development projects.
- To require each student to commit to a second role (in addition to the role of Content Developer for his/ her unit).
- To encourage each student to start identifying possible sources of content that he/she will consult for his/her unit.
Task: Due Sunday week 5 (28th February @ 21h00)
- Review the attached notes on team roles to get a feel for the typical duties undertaken by team members involved in multimedia/ content development projects. As the title of specific roles will differ from company to company (e.g. Instructional Designers might also be called Content Developers, Interaction Designers, or Information Architects), and sometimes employees have to assume multiple roles (especially in smaller organisations), the most important thing is that everyone is aware of the kinds of activities that might be undertaken by other team members. For this project, each of you will work as Content Developers but you will each assume an additional role also e.g. as Editor, Project Manager (also the designated Sulis uploader), the Graphic/ UI designer, and Overall QA/ Tester.
- In discussions with your teammates, each team member must agree to assume one additional role, as outlined in step 1 above.
- Each team member should identify two sources of extant (existing) course materials that will be consulted when writing the content for his/her unit. These materials may take the form of existing instruction manuals, online courses, videos, help files, or any other appropriate sources of content, but they must relate to the topic of your course (i.e. resources about instructional design/ e-learning in general are not appropriate for this e-tivity).
- The project manager should collate the team information for steps 2 and 3 above and upload the roles and content sources as a reply to this forum thread by the due date (only one posting per team).
This e-tivity is worth 2.5%.
E-tivity 3: Drafting a Team Style Guide
The purpose of this e-tivity is to:
- Introduce you to the concept of style guides and why they should be used by writers.
- Require your team to start preparing a draft style guide for use by all the writers on the team. For the purposes of this e-tivity, you are not expected to prepare a complete style guide; rather, your team is expected to upload a draft style guide by the due date, comprising the sections outlined in step 3 below. Teams are expected to apply the proposed style guide conventions in the final e-learning course development.
Task: Due Sunday week 7 (13th March @ 21h00)
- Review the attached overview about style guides.
- Identify an online collaborative writing tool (e.g. Google Docs) that can be use to house your style guide. Every member of the team should be able to access and edit the document online and it should be a live/working document (you may need to update it even after you complete this e-tivity). Your instructors should also be able to view the document; in Google Docs, for example, it is possible to share a link and give everyone with the link ‘read only’ access (useful for step 5 below).
- For the purposes of this e-tivity, your task is to draft a style guide so that everyone on the team knows the preliminaryconventions agreed by the team. The draft style guide should comprise a table of contents outlining the sections that are in the style guide as well as the agreed styles for each of the following: a statement referring to the version of English and tone that should be adopted; capitalisation style for module/unit/lesson headings (and sub-headings); when to use highlighting, bold type, and italics; preferred referencing system (e.g. Harvard or APA) when citing other content sources; conventions for cross-referencing other lessons/ units; format of graphic and table captions; number formats (e.g. for measurements, dates, and currency); acceptable jargon and technical terms (and formatting of same); bullet/ numbering style; and punctuation preferences. Items in the style guide should be categorised with suitable headings and sub-headings, where applicable.
- After the draft style guide has been submitted, team members should update the style guide whenever they wish to propose a new style/convention that has not already been included in the style guide. The style guide can also include comments, if individuals wish to seek the opinion of other team members. However, only the draft style guide (based on the requirements of this e-tivity) will be graded.
- The project manager for each team should upload a link to the draft style guide as a reply to this forum thread by the due date (only one posting per team).
Other resources that may give you some ideas:
- The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White: http://www.bartleby.com/141/index.html (book comprising writing style guidelines).
- Web Style Guide, by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton: http://www.webstyleguide.com/wsg3/index.html (includes style guidelines for interface design, information design, page design, typography, editorial style, etc.).
- Harvard ‘Cite it Right’ guide: https://www2.ul.ie/pdf/467372218.pdf (conventions for citing using the Harvard referencing style).
- Purdue Online Writing Lab APA Formatting Style Guide: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/(conventions for citing using the APA referencing style).
- Most journals also insist on certain stylistic preferences (e.g. see the ReCALL conventions on p.3 of http://assets.cambridge.org/REC/REC_ifc.pdf).
This e-tivity is worth 5%.
E-tivity 4: Propose your Interface Design
The purpose of this e-tivity is to agree a design for the interface, which adheres to best practice guidelines for information and graphic design.
Task: Due Sunday 27th March @ 21h00 [note this is the week between weeks 8 and 9, as there are no classes in UL the week commencing 21st March]
- Using a tool of your choice (e.g. Photoshop, Word, PowerPoint, or Dreamweaver), propose the interface design you plan to use for your final e-learning course.
- The design should relate to a typical lesson content screen, rather than any other type of lesson screen.
- The design should be aesthetically pleasing and adhere to best practice guidelines for information and graphic design.
- The design should be appropriate for the target audience and subject matter.
- The design should include samples of on-screen text, graphics, menus, and buttons
- .The design should clearly outline the text design standards (e.g. font styles, sizes, and colours) that will be used for the various text items on the screen (e.g. headings, sub-headings, lesson content, popups, and navigation menus).
- Callouts/ labels should be used to highlight the various text design standards, if this information cannot be provided on the interface itself.
- The project manager for each team should upload the sample design (in PDF, Word, PPT, or JPG format) as a reply to this forum thread by the due date (only one posting per team).
Other resources that may give you some ideas:
*Web Style Guide, by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton: http://www.webstyleguide.com/wsg3/index.html (includes style guidelines for interface design, information design, page design, typography, editorial style, etc.).
*Links to various sample e-learning courses, demos, and checklists: http://www.staff.ul.ie/slatteryd/resources.html#elearning
*Various lecture notes and resources from TW5211 Principles of Technical and Professional Communication and Information Design.
*Week 6 lecture slides and podcast for TW5222 Content Development and Information Management.
This e-tivity is worth 5%.
E-tivities about E-Learning Theories and Practices (Darina Slattery)
E-tivity 5: Should Third-Level Fees be Re-Introduced?
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to discuss and debate your personal opinion on whether or not fees should be reintroduced at third level, and the implications and issues associated with such a move.
Spark: The reintroduction of fees will be good in the long-run, as it will ensure that only those who genuinely want to learn will attend higher education institutions.
Task: Debate/ discuss this statement. Refer to personal experiences and/or research studies whenever feasible. Feel free to make multiple contributions between now and the due date.
Due date: Tuesday 17th February 2015 at 1pm.
E-tivity 6: To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question!
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to introduce students to a social media tool that can also be used for pedagogical purposes. Through using Twitter, students will also stay abreast of emerging trends in e-learning and related disciplines.
Note: Your new Twitter username will only be used for e-learning related discussions on the MA programme, so please only use it for that purpose (you can setup another Twitter profile if you want to discuss other topics, if you haven't already done so).
Part a) - Due Monday 8th February at 21h00
- Go to the Twitter homepage.
- Follow the instructions here, which explain how to create a Twitter account. Make sure you provide your full name when setting up the account; however, you can choose whatever username you like (mine is @pmrdms). You can also upload a photo of yourself, or your favourite online avatar if you prefer.
- If you haven't already signed in to Twitter using your username and password, do so now.
- Read the useful 'getting started' tips here, to familiarise yourself with concepts such as tweets, mentions, and so on.
- View my YouTube screencast to get an overview of the main features you might need to use for this module.
- In Twitter, search for my username (@pmrdms) and then 'follow' me (see the YouTube video for guidance).
- Post your first original tweet using the blue 'Tweet’ icon (usually in the top right corner) by tweeting the following: @pmrdms just joining the #el6052 discussion (replace @pmrdms with the username you created in step 2 above).
- Using any other tweet that particularly interests you, retweet the tweet using the second icon under the interesting tweet (it looks like two arrows in a square formation). You will then be given the option to edit the tweet or to retweet it exactly the same way (the choice is yours).
- In the Twitter search box in the top right corner, type #el6052. You should see the following tweet by me (@pmrdms just joining the #el6052 discussion) as well as tweets by any other classmates who have already completed step 7 above. From now on, your goal should be to include #el6052 in all tweets that might be of interest to EL6052 classmates (don’t worry if you forget, from time-to-time).
- If some of your classmates have completed step 7 above, 'follow' them also (you should see them listed if you search for #el6052).
- Go back to your Twitter homepage and note how it now says you have posted at least two tweets (the original tweet from step 7 and the retweet from step 8 above).
Part b) - Due Wednesday 10th February at 21h00
- Follow all your classmates who have posted to the #el6052 hashtag.
Part c) - Ongoing from Monday 8th February to the end of week 12 (Friday, 22nd April)
- Aim to post at least two tweets each week (aim for one 'original' tweet per week, if you can). Include #el6052 in your tweet whenever you remember, so everyone in the class can follow that hashtag/ discussion (and so future EL6052 students can read your tweets even if they are not following you). You can post as many tweets as you like, provided they are all related to e-learning, technical communication, and/or instructional design.
- 'Follow' new people on Twitter as you come across their interesting tweets. As time goes by, and your volume of tweets increase, you will also start to build your own followers.
- Introduction to Twitter
- Signing up with Twitter
- The Twitter glossary (most important terms: @username, hashtags, followers, list, mentions, retweet, trends, who to follow)
- Using hashtags on Twitter
- Best practices on using hashtags
E-tivity 7: Web 2.0 for technology-enhanced learning
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to discuss the possible uses of Web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning.
Introduction: Due to the ever-increasing number of Web 2.0 tools that are freely available, it can be difficult and time-consuming for teachers to investigate each tool and consider its possible uses in teaching and learning. Nonetheless, preliminary research evidence seems to suggest that some tools can have pedagogical uses.
Individual contribution: Pick any two Web 2.0 tools that you are somewhat familiar with. If you have used these tools for teaching or learning before, say how, when, and for what purpose. If you have never used them for teaching or learning, but believe they could have some pedagogical value, provide two or more practical suggestions regarding how those tools could be used (e.g. when teaching topic X, tool Y could be used to...).
You should assume that other forum users are not really familiar with the tools but are considering adopting them for teaching and learning purposes. Be as specific as possible in your examples so they can make informed decisions. Students can refer to the same tools as other students, but only if they provide their own practical suggestions regarding how the tools might be used. If you allude to any research studies, provide full reference details at the end of your posting.
Respond: You should also reply to the postings made by two or more students. If you can think of additional pedagogical uses for their tools, post those uses in your reply to their postings, even if your suggestions relate to teaching a different topic. If you can think of any issues that may arise using those tools, post them in your reply also.
Resource: As a starting point, you might find the following resources helpful (note: these lists contain Web 2.0 tools as well as other tools):
Due date: Please post your two suggestions and comments by Friday week 7 (13th March 2015). You do not have to post the two suggestions or comments at the same time. You can spread the postings out over the coming weeks if you wish.
E-tivities about Instructional Design (Darina Slattery)
E-tivity 8: How do you learn?
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to introduce you to different learning styles and to familiarise you with one well-known survey instrument (the Felder & Soloman Learning Styles Questionnaire).
Undertake the learning styles survey on https://www.webtools.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/. Provide your name (or initials) just so the report will be customised to you. Try not to spend too long on each question—just pick the answer that best relates to you. The survey should not take longer than 5-10 minutes. The report will be generated online as soon as you submit the survey and will not be available to the public.
Once you receive your 'results', make a note of them (or keep the page open in the background, as they will not be available once you close the window).
Read https://www.engr.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/drive/1WPAfj3j5o5OuJMiHorJ-lv6fON1C8kCN/styles.pdf to interpret the findings. Please note that there is no right answer and people have very different learning styles and preferences. These results are not definitive and you might not even agree with some of them! However, this survey should at the very least make you more aware of the importance of thinking about learners' various preferences when designing instruction. If you interested in reading some debates about the validity of learning styles, you could read this 2004 critique and Felder's 2010 defense of learning styles.
To complete the e-tivity, click on 'Start a New Conversation' (above this forum topic), provide your full name in the 'Title' box, and then outline your own survey results in the body of the message (for EACH of the four scales, say whether you are fairly well-balanced, have a moderate preference, or a strong preference for one dimension). You should also say whether or not you agree with that interpretation of your learning preferences and why. Can you cite some personal examples that suggest that you have/ do not have the various preferences outlined in the survey? For example, do you prefer to attend lectures, engage in group work, or study alone? Do you prefer visuals to text? Are you surprised by any of the findings? If so, say why.
Approx. word count: 200-300 words.
Weighting: 0% (but there will be a penalty of up to 4% for non-completion or unsatisfactory completion)
Due: Sunday 15th September 2019 at 21h00
E-tivity 9: Needs assessment: So, why do you need it?
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to identify a topic for an e-learning course that could potentially be developed, and to provide some evidence that there really is a need for that course. This e-tivity, which is worth 5% of your final grade, will feed into the remaining e-tivities in this module, and will also inform your final EL6041 report (worth 60% of your final grade).
NOTE 1: Even if you subsequently decide to take the ‘dissertation’ route for your summer project, you need to be able to perform a needs assessment for a new course (it is one of the learning outcomes for EL6041).
NOTE 2: Students who decide to take the ‘development’ route for the summer project are not obliged to stay with this topic after they complete this module, but they may wish to do so.
NOTE 3: If students have any questions about this e-tivity, they should post them elsewhere in the discussion forum (not as a reply to this e-tivity). Please use a suitable posting title e.g. ‘Query about e-tivity 2’.
Task (two parts):
Part a) Pick a topic that interests you personally or professionally (e.g. a hobby or other topic*) and explain to your peers and instructor (as a REPLY to this forum thread), why you believe there is a need for an e-learning course on that topic. Is there any evidence of this need? Are people actively expressing a need? Do some people have training in this area and others don’t (i.e. has this training become the norm)? Are there other (e-learning) courses on that topic? If so, why do you think there is a need for a new e-learning course? What can an e-learning solution offer learners that is not currently available in existing course materials? Justify why you think an e-learning course is required for this particular topic. You should consult the slides and readings on needs assessment and backup your comments with references to literature, whenever possible.
*A list of some former e-learning projects developed by MA students can be found on Sulis in the Resources area.
Approx. word count: 200 words.
Due: Tuesday 13th October 2015 at 21h00
Part b) As a REPLY to any one posting made by another student, provide some advice/feedback/suggestions about the course topic. Do you know something about the topic? Are there specific content sources you find particularly helpful? Are you aware of similar online courses? Do you know anything about the target audience or any constraints/issues that the student might encounter when developing the course further?
Approx. word count: 100 words.
Due: Sunday 18th October 2015 at 21h00
E-tivity 10: Front end analysis: So, who are they?
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to analyse your audience of learners (based on the e-learning course proposed in e-tivity 5.1). This e-tivity, which is also worth 5% of your final grade, will feed into the remaining e-tivities in this module, and will also inform your final EL6041 report (worth 60% of your final grade).
NOTE: If students have any questions about this e-tivity, they should post them elsewhere in the discussion forum (not as a reply to this e-tivity). Please use a suitable posting title e.g. ‘Query about e-tivity 3’.
Task: As a REPLY to this forum thread, provide some details about the audience for your proposed e-learning course. Whilst it will not be possible to employ traditional audience analysis methods (e.g. interviews and surveys) within the timeframe of this e-tivity, you should at the very least be able to define the main characteristics of your audience. For example, do you think they are computer literate, are they predominantly of one gender, or do they belong to a particular age group? Could they bring specific interests or biases to the course content that might (positively/negatively) impact the success of your proposed course? You should consult the slides and readings on audience analysis and backup your comments with references to literature, whenever possible.
Approx. word count: 200 words.
Due: Sunday 18th October 2015 at 21h00
E-tivity 11: Front-end analysis: So, what do they need to be able to do?
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to identify some tasks that might be taught in your proposed e-learning course. This e-tivity, which is worth 5% of your final grade, builds on earlier e-tivities and will feed into the remaining e-tivities in this module. This e-tivity will also inform your final EL6041 report (worth 60% of your final grade).
NOTE: If students have any questions about this e-tivity, they should post them elsewhere in the discussion forum (not as a reply to this e-tivity). Please use a suitable posting title e.g. ‘Query about e-tivity 4’.
Task: As a REPLY to this forum thread, identify any five tasks that would need to be taught in your proposed course (the tasks need not be sequential). In one sentence, also remind your peers and instructor what your proposed course is about. For each task, you must provide the following information:
*A breakdown of the KSAs required for each task.
*A list of the prerequisite task(s) that may need to be taught. Also state whether they are essential or supportive prerequisites. A breakdown of KSAs is not required for prerequisites tasks.
Due: Sunday 25 October 2015 at 21h00
E-tivity 12: Front end analysis: So, how should they do it?
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to write some objectives for your proposed e-learning course. This e-tivity, which is worth 5% of your final grade, builds on earlier e-tivities and will feed into the remaining e-tivities in this module. This e-tivity will also inform your final EL6041 report (worth 60% of your final grade).
NOTE: If students have any questions about this e-tivity, they should post them elsewhere in the discussion forum (not as a reply to this e-tivity). Please use a suitable posting title e.g. ‘Query about e-tivity 5’.
Task: As a REPLY to this forum thread, and for each of the five tasks identified in e-tivity 6.1, write the following types of objectives:
*Performance objective (should comprise the five components, including an indication of the learning outcome/capability that is expected).
*Target/terminal objective (typically appear in the outline/overview at the start of the course).
*Lesson objective (typically appear at the start of lessons/lectures and comprise four of the five components, as per the Lee & Owens (2004) method).
Due: Sunday 25th October 2015 at 21h00
E-tivity 13: Front-end analysis: So, how will you deliver it?
Purpose: The purpose of this e-tivity is to identify the most appropriate media to use in your e-learning course. This e-tivity, which is worth 5% of your final grade, builds on earlier e-tivities and will feed into the remaining e-tivities in this module. This e-tivity will also inform your final EL6041 report (worth 60% of your final grade).
NOTE: If students have any questions about this e-tivity, they should post them elsewhere in the discussion forum (not as a reply to this e-tivity). Please use a suitable posting title e.g. ‘Query about e-tivity 6’.
Task: As a REPLY to this forum thread, identify the most appropriate media for your particular learning outcomes. Will it be instructor-led (with some e-learning i.e. blended) or will it be entirely computer- or web- based? Will there be a need for some live distance broadcast sessions and/or will you need to use podcasts or vodcasts?
When discussing your choice of media, outline the advantages and disadvantages of using that media. Also outline which of these advantages and disadvantages are particularly important for your particular learning situation. Were there certain disadvantages to other media that helped you make your decision? Justify your choices, with references to literature (and your findings from the other phases of front-end analysis) wherever possible.
In one sentence, at the start of your posting, also remind your peers and instructor what your proposed course is about.
Due: Tuesday 3rd November 2015 at 21h00
E-tivity 14: Course design: So, how will you design it?
Purpose: The purpose of this final e-tivity is to propose interface designs for the proposed course. Some sample interface designs are available on Sulis and also in the Gergle et al e-book that is referenced at the end of the week 8 lecture slides.
This e-tivity, which is worth 10% of your final grade, builds on earlier e-tivities. This e-tivity will also inform your final EL6041 report (worth 60% of your final grade).
NOTE: If students have any questions about this e-tivity, they should post them elsewhere in the discussion forum (not as a reply to this e-tivity). Please use a suitable posting title e.g. ‘Query about e-tivity 7’.
Task: As a REPLY to this forum thread, upload three sample interface designs—one each for the lesson objectives screen, the lesson content screen, and the lesson quiz screen.
The three designs should have a consistent look-and-feel and should be appropriate for the subject matter.
Students are free to choose a software tool to present these preliminary designs (e.g. Photoshop, Word, or PowerPoint). JPG, DOC, or PDF file formats are preferable as they are accessible to most users.
The designs should provide clear placeholders for on-screen text, graphics, and any other on-screen objects (e.g. navigation menus and buttons). Callouts/ labels should be used to highlight the purpose and format/ layout of each of the placeholders.
The designs should also clearly outline the text design standards (e.g. font styles, sizes, and colours) that will be used for the various text items on the screen (e.g. headings, sub-headings, lesson content, popups, and navigation menus). Callouts/ labels should be used to highlight the various text design standards.
NOTE: Students are not required to include specific instructional text or graphics in the screens (placeholders will suffice), although relevant samples are encouraged.
In one sentence, at the start of your posting, also remind your peers and instructor what your proposed course is about.
Due: Sunday 15th November 2015 at 21h00
E-tivities about Knowledge and Information Management in Project Environments (John Lannon)
These e-tivities relate to Dr. John Lannon's module on Knowledge and Information Management in Project Environments (Centre for Project Management, Kemmy Business School, UL). Many thanks to John for making these e-tivities available.
E-tivity 15: Knowledge Creation Processes
Introduction: Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi's seminal model of the knowledge creating process is intended to help us understand the dynamic nature of knowledge creation and the effective management of that process. The model is based on the assumption that knowledge is created through social interaction between tacit and explicit knowledge. However Nonaka and Takeuchi's conceptual framework is challenged by some commentators on the basis that it is linked to specific embedded cultural values, that it is highly collectivist in its approach, and that different kinds of knowledge may be created by different kinds of behavior.
Purpose: To explore and critique perspectives on knowledge creation, particularly the SECI model.
Task: To what extent do you think Nonaka's knowledge creation framework/SECI model adequately describes knowledge creation and movement between individual, group/team and organisational levels in your organisation (or an organisation you are familiar with)? Use a practical example to support your view, and explain why you feel the model is or is not a good fit.
Post your example in the E-tivity 2.1 Discussion Forum.
To be done by Wednesday of this week.
E-tivity 16: Communities of Practice
Introduction: A Community of Practice is defined as a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. It can evolve naturally because of the members' common interest in a particular domain or area, or it can be created specifically with the goal of gaining knowledge related to their field. In terms of knowledge management they can be particularly beneficial at many levels.
Purpose: To recognise the benefits of communities of practice.
Task: Give an example of a community of practice (online or offline) that you feel is or was of benefit. Was the benefit at individual, project or organisational level? Was it a company-based community of practice or was the membership wider than that?
If you have not had experience of a community of practice you could look at sites like the PMI's Communities of Practice.
Post your example in the E-tivity 2.2 Discussion Forum.
To be done by Friday of this week.
Respond: Identify a potential limitation of a community of practice example posted by a peer.
To be done by Sunday of this week.
Resources: See the PMI's Communities of Practice. You have to be a member to access these pages. However, you can also use this link [explore the current communities] to access the home page of each Community of Practice and to see a summary, recent activities etc.
E-tivities about Public Administration (Bernadette Connaughton)
These e-tivities relate to Dr. Connaughton's module on Public Administration Theory & Practice (Department of Politics and Public Administration, UL). Many thanks to Bernadette for making these e-tivities available.
E-tivity 17: Your Reaction as a Public Administrator to a Selection of Themed TED Talks
The purpose of this e-tivity is to inform and encourage students to think about how local, national, European and global governance challenges relate to the practice of public administration. Several TED talks have been selected for students to view in their own time and, subject to time constraints, we will view selected talks in class in the early weeks of term. Each student will be assigned one TED talks (details available on sulis at TED talks PA6011). This e-tivity is worth 20% of the overall grade.
In completing this assignment students will:
Become more informed about the public administration issues addressed in a selection of TED talks;
Develop an awareness of a variety of opinions and beliefs in reactions to governance challenges;
Share their reflections with their peers and tutor in a short written reaction.
- Consult the TED talks document on sulis and watch the TED talk that you have been assigned.
Post a written reaction to the TED talk in approx. 1000 words (exclusive of references).
A reaction is a response towards the subject and opinions expressed. Use relevant information and critique. Support your statements. Your reaction should comprise an introduction, body, conclusion, references. Here are-
Some guidance points (note: these are not headings):
- Context of topic and details of the TED talk: Who and what is the talk about?
- How do you think this topic relates to public administration? What should public administrators be aware of?
- Which module concepts under discussion in the module are being addressed?
Due: Part a) to be completed by Tuesday 16th October (Week 6) at 21.00
- After you have posted your own reaction (part a), your lecturer will assign you a reaction posted by a peer (see document TED talks PA6011). After viewing your peer’s TED talk, react to his/her reaction piece, in 500 words maximum. Explain whether you agree or not with the commentary provided and what additional insights you have to offer about the TED talk.
Due: Part b) to be completed by Tuesday 23rd October (Week 7) at 21.00.
E-tivity 18: Public Administration Ideas and Concepts in 1000 words
The purpose of this e-tivity is to attempt to communicate and condense areas of public administration theory into short overview pieces that serve as an introduction to the issue. This e-tivity is worth 20% of the overall grade.
In completing this assignment students will:
- Become more knowledgeable about ideas and concepts in public administration and how they inform its practice;
- Use this knowledge to explore a selected concept and communicate its meaning in their own words;
- Share their findings with their peers and tutor in a written post.
This e-tivity takes inspiration from the excellent blog by Professor Paul Cairney at the University of Stirling. See: https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/cv/
Professor Cairney has produced a series called policy concepts in 1000 words (both blogs and written entries) which introduces and summarises policy theories and concepts. This is a great way to communicate how complex theories and ideas relate to policy making.
There are two parts to this e-tivity.
Select one of the following concepts and outline the meaning and interpretation of the concept in a 1000 word summary (excluding references), for the benefit of the class. You have flexibility in how you format and present the summary e.g. you may include sub-headings, questions, diagrams, cartoons, etc.-
- Strategic management
- Public value
- Representative bureaucracy
- Performance measurement
- Politics-administration dichotomy
- Public leadership
Due: Part a) to be completed by Monday 26th November (Week 12) at 21.00.
- Choose a contribution by a member of the class to whichno-one has responded to. Comment on their interpretation of the concept and how it aids your understanding of the concept (maximum 150-200 words).
Due: Part b) to be completed by Friday 30th November (Week 12).
E-tivity 19: The impact of Covid-19 and its implications for public policy
Purpose: This e-tivity is introduced as part of our adaptation to online delivery. The purpose of this e-tivity is to explore the impact of Covid-19 on a range of public policy issues. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis we are currently faced with major changes to way we live our lives, hopefully for the short term. Terms like ‘social distancing’, ‘self isolation’ and ‘contact tracing’ have become part of the lexicon. Students will reflect on the public policy implications of Covid-19 for a range of issues.
In completing this e-tivity students will:
· Develop an understanding of the implications of a crisis/crisis management on public policy issues;
· Become more informed about public policy issues in Ireland and the impact of Covid 19 on the delivery of public services;
· Share their reflections with their peers and tutor in a short written reaction.
Part (a) Select 2 of the following issues:
· Digital and connectivity
· Health and disability or underlying illness
· Child protection
· Mental health
Comment (one paragraph) on how each of your selected public policy issues is impacted by Covid-19 and offer your observations about the delivery of public service in these areas. Offer a statistic to illustrate your point.
Dialogue: Give a short reaction (i.e. ‘reply’ to one of your tutorial group members’ post) as to whether you agree/disagree with their observation, and offer your own view.
Note: Instructions on how to post and respond on forums are in the attachment.
E-tivities about Project Management (John F. Kelly)
These e-tivities relate to Mr. John F. Kelly's module on Project Management (Centre for Project Management, Kemmy Business School, UL). Many thanks to John for making these e-tivities available.
E-tivity 20: Financing Projects
Taking any of the case examples we have discussed so far in this module:
Dublin Waste to Energy Project
Luas Cross City Project
Creganna Medical Devices (Projects 1-6)
Provide a brief overview of where you think the financial resources for that project may have originated.
How might these investors get a return on their investment?
Post your response in a reply to this thread.
Do this by Fri Week 8
Read the other posts in this forum. Reply to your own initial post and explain the difference between the finance model that might apply to your own case study selected and one of the other cases above.
Do this by Sun Week 8
E-tivity 21: Stakeholder Management
Read the following short notice about a proposed incinerator in Dublin, that appeared in the Irish Times (Sept 10th 2014) http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/the-wrong-incinerator-for-dublin-1.1923110
Make a list of all the stakeholders you can think of for this project and position them on a power/interest matrix like we discussed in class.
Identify the key players and provide a brief statement of their needs and expectations from this project. Include any comments about how you might manage these expectations if you were the project manager on this project.
Post your findings in a reply to this thread.
Do this by Fri - Week 4
Read the other posts in the discussion forum and reply to one of your colleagues - commenting on their analysis and/or asking a question seeking clarification you feel might help you understand stakeholders influences on this project.
Do this by Sun - Week 4
E-tivities about Supply Chain Management (Ingrid Hunt)
These e-tivities relate to Dr. Ingrid Hunt's module on Frameworks for Supply Chain Management (led by the Enterprise Research Centre, Department of Design and Manufacturing Technology, UL). Many thanks to Ingrid for making these e-tivities available.
E-tivity 22: Understanding your SCM experience
Purpose: To understand the SCM experience in your organisation and compare it to current thinking on SCM.
Part 1: In no more than 200 words and a supporting diagram, can you identify at a high level an organisations supply chain? This can be your own organisation or an organisation of your choosing. Make sure you reference any material that is not your own. Be sure to include if your organisation concentrates on products or services. Post your answer to E-tivity 1 Discussion Forum (link to the Moodle forum here). Please ensure you have posted your diagram also. To insert your diagram into the discussion forum, please save it as an image first and insert the image using the 'insert/edit image' icon on the Moodle editor. You can also look at a short video here (link).
Part 2: "It is becoming important for organisations to harmonise their physical products with digital services". Comment on this statement and give an example of relevance or irrelevance to your organisation/industry or another organisation/industry of interest in no more than 200 words. Remember you do not have to agree with the statement. Don't forget to support your comments with an example.
Post your answers to part 2 to the E-tivity 1 Discussion Forum (link to the Moodle forum here).
To be done by Friday of Week 1.
Reflections and Feedback: Comment by replying to a contribution by one or more of your peers to Part 1 or Part 2 on the E-tivity 1 Discussion Forum (link to Moodle forum here), making links between what they have noted and your own scenario. Make sure your response to them is focused and adds value to their contribution.
To be done by Sunday of Week 1.
E-tivity 23: SCM Frameworks
To prepare for this E-tivity take a look at 2020 Future Value Chain: Building Strategies for the New Decade
Purpose: To understand the business reasons for a supply chain improvement framework and establish a framework for improving a functional area within an organisation of your choice.
Part 1: You are assigned a group (link to Moodle group listing) for this task. Working in your assigned group, click your group name and you are directed to your E-tivity 2 SCM Frameworks wiki where you are required to individually populate Table 1 Business Reasons to determine firstly the business reasons for establishing a framework for improving supply chain operations at your organisation or an organisation of choice.
Once you have populated the business reasons table you are required to summarise in no more than 300 words the business reasons for establishing a supply chain improvement framework at your organisation. Your summary should be posted in Table 2 Summary & Comment of the same wiki.
Each learner should make their own individual contribution in responding to one of the other group members submissions in Table 2.
To be completed by Wednesday of this Week.
Concentrating on one functional area within an organisation such as logistics, purchasing, product design, customer services, production etc. Explore as a group this functional area in an effort to design the ideal supply chain operations framework used to address, improve and communicate supply chain management decisions within organisations.
The framework should describe the business processes required to satisfy the functional area. Taking into consideration also the management processes and practices around the functional area. This framework will not only provide a story detailing what the functional area is all about but it will also set up the basis for measurement which will be explored in e-tivity 3.
Each group must then post their framework in E-tivity 2: Discussion Forum (link to Moodle forum here). There is no word limit on this submission but you can support your group submission with diagrams and tables, slides etc. The idea behind this submission is that your information is clear, pleasing to the eye and details the supply chain framework of the chosen functional area. Remember also that "in real life" you may have only 10 minutes to present this information to your senior manager so ensure your submission captures your audiences attention.
To be completed by Sunday of this Week.
Reflections and feedback: When all of the groups have posted their frameworks, each individual must read one other group's contribution for part 2 on the discussion forum and reflect on how an organisation could learn from the experiences/findings noted.
To be completed by Sunday of this Week.
E-tivity 24: SCM Key Performance Indicators
To prepare for this E-tivity you should look at the DHL Consumers Capabilities video
Purpose: To understand Key Performance Indicators used at organisations and provide an insight into how they impact SCM.
In order to improve supply chain performance in the functional area you have explored in E-tivity 2. You must understand how it is currently performing. Therefore you are required to identify 3 key performance indicators (KPIs) that are used to measure the success of the function at your OWN organisation.
In the WIKI (link to Moodle wiki), post the 3 KPIs for measuring performance of the functional area. Populate the table to provide an insight into how they impact your organisations supply chain activities.
To be completed by Friday of this Week.
Reflections and feedback: Review all the KPIs that have been noted in the WIKI (link to Moodle wiki here). Reflect on another KPI that you haven't referred too and is of interest to you. In response to the person who originally provided that KPI post a comment on how this KPI might or does enhance SCM at your organisation or an organisation of choice.
To be completed by Sunday of this Week.