Back@U DML Competition Mockup

The Digital Media and Learning Competition has reached the stage for authors to revise. I’ve been seeking out projects that fit with our thoughts for Reimagining Learning and saving them here. Now we have a couple interesting comments left by other entrants.

The question in my mind is how to better show what we are proposing to those commentators and perhaps use the demo to self-reflect and make our entry better.

First Attempt – Diigo

Following a brainstorming session with Theron, I created a group “DML Competition”  so that I could begin exploring how to give Back@U type feedback (or at least an approximation of it) to myself and other DML competitors, using the criteria of the competition itself. I wanted to do my exploration in a public way that could become understood by the judges and the audience as well.

I found four criteria in the DML call for submissions and highlighted them in 4 colors with Diigo’s tools. After you install Diigo, check out the Digital Media and Learning/reimagining_learning.php entry in the DML Competition or see screenshot below.

click to enlarge

Based on what I found in their call for proposals, here are four suggested categories for structuring feedback:

Yellow=Rich problems. Diverse, multi-faceted problems. New and emerging problems requiring a collaboration among different disciplines and skills to address.

Blue=habits of mind, including critical thinking, but extending to dispositions leading to innovation: creativity, persistance, curiosity, storytelling, tinkering, improvision, collaboration

Green=Social and collaborative learning; new learning resources, approaches and skills that augment traditional ones

Pink=Learning setting/activity: tangible, creative activities, that are open and discovery-based, involve tinkering and play and are not highly prescriptive.

Next I went to our Back@U entry and attempted to place the 4 colored highlights and some comment about how the criteria is met into our entry. This exercise was very instructive for thinking about our revisions…

click to enlarge

Why do this in Diigo rather than as comments?

1) I’ve found that comments in the DML system have a limited length.
2) The color highlight allows me to point at the relevant place for my comment.

Get a Diigo account. Join DML Competition. Use the colors codes above and begin highlighting and commenting.

Steve Spaeth has jumped on the Diigo idea and is trying it in a project he has going.

Second Attempt – Google Sidewiki

My second attempt was with Google’s Sidewiki. Its an IE and FF plugin. Go to Google to get it. Sidewiki allows comments by multiple authors for the whole page and/or for selections on the page. Sidewiki does not support color coding.

click to enlarge

What’s still missing?

Each of these tools captures some of our thinking, and perhaps enough to help us provide critiques for improvement.

Community agreed dimensions. I started by pointing to (conjectured) dimensions for assessing this work. The tools (Diigo ans Sidewiki) don’t support the posting of the dimensions.

Rating scale. While the tools let us point at parts of a text, we can’t use rubric criteria in the tool to provide a measure.

User control. It would be nice for the author to be able to embed a rating widget, preset with the dimensions and rating scale and invite feedback in more explicit ways.

Here is a hypothetical screen shot with widget embedded.

6 Responses

  1. I realized we were at risk of losing our DML Competition entries as their process progresses. The competition is interesting in that it runs in rounds and accepts crowd-source as well as expert feedback in the process. In January we submitted an initial proposal (below). Then used the opportunity of making a revision to mock-up the tool, and at the same time, to focus our thinking on how to improve our submission. […]

  2. […] paper&pencil, Google Docs Forms/Spreadsheet, Microsoft SharePoint survey, and most recently, Diigo and Google Sidewiki. Production implementations have been done with WSU’s Skylight Matrix Survey System. We keep […]

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  5. Nils:

    I was reviewing this yesterday and will continue to monitor and participate as needed and/or necessary. Very excited about the unfolding possibilities and opportunities this COLLABORATION represents to our mutual alignment to purpose. THANKS for your leadership!



  6. an email dialog about collaborating

    Dear Nils,

    If during the public commenting period you have discovered a partner with whom you would like to work, that is great!

    All applications should represent distinctly different projects. As such, you and partners can NOT submit two applications for the same project, even if the applications represent two separate pieces/components of a single project. If your partnership is for a single project, then you should proceed as you describe in your first option below.

    If you want to collaborate with someone on a project that is distinctly different and not a piece/component of the project that you are submitting as your primary application, that is also acceptable (your option 2 as proposed below). Again, the projects would have to be distinctly different and unrelated and have separate primary applicants.

    Digital Media and Learning Competition

    On Feb 12, 2010, at 2:34 PM, Nils Peterson wrote:


    I can imagine 2 ways that partners might describe their partnership in DML:

    propose a new project, with new budget and new collaborators. DML’s process would eliminate the January proposals and the new submission would describe the new integrated effort (all eggs in one basket)
    projects would each re-submit and reference on another — perhaps one partner is subcontractor to the other for the collaborative part. DML’s process would eliminate the January proposals and the multiple new submissions would describe the new integrated effort (eggs in separate baskets)
    A meta-project that subcontracts and the others and manages the collaborative aspects of the work

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