Open for Learning: Supporting Coach Education and Development

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Introduction

I was hoping to attend the Sport Leadership sportif Conference in Calgary in November.

I was looking forward to presenting a paper with David Legg and Stephen Price. The title of the paper is Open for Learning: Supporting Coach Development Online. Our aim was to combine insights from Australia and Canada to discuss open access to coach education and development resources.

I was very keen to link open learning opportunities with the insights and practices of Canadian connectivist thinkers and practitioners.

I am disappointed that I am unable to go to Calgary.

I have posted my part of the presentation as a SlideCast. I use experience of a Small Open Online Course (SOOC) to introduce Box’Tag as the focus for the paper.

Given the time constraints on an oral presentation, I thought I would provide some background information here as part of the story behind the story.

The story itself is: two remarkable people decide to offer an open, online coach education and development opportunity. They use the OpenLearning platform to host the course.

Mentor, Driver, Steward

I mention Allan Hahn in the presentation.

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I was not sure how to talk about Allan’s role in the course. His wisdom, gentility and guiding hand were omnipresent. Allan is an exemplary mentor and has developed a very close working relationship over a number of years with Paul Perkins, the driver of the course.

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Allan and Paul are passionate about Box’Tag. They welcomed participants to the course in this video.

Whenever I meet Allan and Paul, I am struck by their energy and excitement. Anything seems possible. I admire immensely their work at the Erindale PCYC and their connections with their communities.

I see this mentor/driver relationship as the key to the success of the course. There is a profound Socratic element at play in this relationship. It has been fascinating observing Paul transform his coaching as a result of his mentee experiences.

As the technology steward for the course and had a very privileged opportunity to watch Allan and Paul at work.

OpenLearning and Accredible

We were very fortunate to use the OpenLearning platform for the course. In the SlideCast, I note the role Adam Brimo played in helping us realise our ambitions for the SOOC. Open access needs champions and advocates. I feel very fortunate to have met Adam. I think the functionality offered by OpenLearning was invitational and easy to use.

Technology did not get in the way of the course.

Whilst acting as a steward on the course, I found Accredible. I admire their work in documenting learning journeys. I see this as a remarkable opportunity to develop e-portfolios to share. Jenny Kim writes:

What we realized was that we’re far more interested in documenting educational journeys from their beginning rather than signaling their ends. Instead of a certificate, we needed a symbol of openness, possibility, potential. This is where “slate” came from; a “blank slate,” from the Latin tabula rasa, is meant to be filled with new ideas and experiences.

Paul has developed his own Accredible slate as a result of his SOOC experiences. You can find it here.

Shortly after I completed the SlideCast I shared it with Paul. By coincidence one of the participants in the course, Sabrina, was asking me to endorse her participation in the course to share with her college. This is Sabrina’s Accredible slate.

As part of her work experience, Sabrina, spent some time at the PCYC and at the end of the week made a presentation of her experiences to Allan Hahn.

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I was very pleased to receive a Vocaroo message from Sabrina and Paul. We have used Vocaroo and Audioboo on the SOOC to share messages with these free online recorders.

Their message (included here with their permission):

My reply:

The Kicker?

In sharing this story behind a story, I hope I have given a feel for the richness of being involved in open learning.

There are three Ps involved in this back story: Passion, People, Platforms.

My aim, in presenting this story in Calgary, is to affirm that by sharing openly and fallibly our learning journeys, we can transform coach education and development.

Photo Credit

Calgary, Alberta (Reg Natarajan, CC BY 2.0)

 

 

Accredible: Sharing Learning Experiences

I received an alert from Adam Brimo yesterday about Accredible.

On the Accredible Blog, the founders note:

Here at Accredible, we’ve been working hard to improve the way that credentials and certificates are generated across MOOCs, university courses also as wider learning by using peer-review and
reputational networks to determine and maintain quality.

Accredible propose that “by re-imagining the idea of the certificate to be more than just a statement, we can create a living portfolio of evidence that shows you have certain knowledge or skills. You can also get a much ‘higher resolution’ image of who a student is, what they can do and a list of evidence proving that”.

I am very attracted to the possibilities of “a living portfolio of evidence”. To date I have kept a very dispersed e-portfolio (and will continue to do so) but I see what Accredible has to offer as a game changer.

I think it will be an excellent resource for those who participate in Small or Massive Open Online Courses (particularly cSOOCs and cMOOCs). Some of the tools available to verify certificates in Accredible will help me extend my interest in identity and personal learning journeys.

OpenLearning will be using Accredible with their courses (hence the alert from Adam).

Here is my first attempt at using Accredible using the Introduction to Box’Tag SOOC as an example.

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Small Open Online Communities

slide-1-638I had an opportunity to present some ideas about a cSOOC at the #ucsaffire Festival.

Shortly after presenting, I had a brief conversation with Danny Munnerley about the capital C in SOOC. Danny made the excellent point that C stands for Community rather than Course.

I am going to act on this excellent suggestion and think about longer-term aspects of open online opportunities. A few days earlier, Susan Blum wrote:

If our ultimate goal is to educate human beings, then we must focus not only on knowledge and information, discipline and surveillance as measured by tests, but also on non-academic pleasures, motivations, skills, and the full array of human engagement that sustains attention and meaning.

Whilst I was presenting, Paul Perkins, a friend facilitating the Introduction to Box’Tag cSOOC was welcoming another participant in the community:

On this SOOC: An Introduction to Box’Tag we have a number of experienced and exceptional coaches including, Professor Keith Lyons, Professor Allan Hahn – Keith and Allan have many years of experience working with elite athletes across a range of sports. Losh Mathews and Joe Leahy – Both have a wealth of experience in coaching boxing at the development stage and club level. Lewis Kiddy, who has just started as a coach and is coaching a junior program designed to improve agility, coordination, balance, while introducing young athletes to exploring skills and assisting with their overall personal development.

One of Australia’s best-ever athlete/boxer, Paul Miller – who won numerous National Championships and a Gold Medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games is also on this course and it’s interesting to hear his thoughts on this emerging sport. We have Doctor Jason Berry, who is a skill acquisition specialist, David Briggs, a strength and conditioning coach who has worked in the pre-elite and elite level for a variety of sporting program and Sid Burgees – A fantastic coach with over 20 years of experience in rugby league and rugby union.
As for myself I have been fortunate to coach at every level of the sport of boxing, from club level through to International competition.

Apart from this course there a many other coaches who would like to be connected to learn and share their experiences, all it takes is a coming together of like-minded people who share a similar belief.

There are 103 participants in the online Box’Tag community at the moment. Following a brief conversation with Dean Groom at #ucsaffire, I am hopeful that this community might grow to include new members.

The OpenLearning platform for the cSOOC will continue to be available as a touchstone of and for the community.