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Hazel Owen

Website: http://www.netvibes.com/hazelowen#Biography

Personal Statement | ICT Details | Recent Projects | Case Histories | Publications


Personal Statement

I am an Academic Advisor and ICT enhanced learning and teaching Consultant in NZ. I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approaches to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer.

I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures - something that was reinforced by my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment.

I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.

ICT Interests

While working as an Academic Advisor (Learning Technologies Consultant) at Unitec NZ I have been able to trial and pilot a variety of Web 2.0 and multimedia tools with staff, students and faculty (for examples, please see my ePortfolio: http://www.netvibes.com/hazelowen#Biography). Furthermore, I am closely involved with a variety of stakeholders in the adaptation of existing programmes, and development of new ones, to exploit the potential of ICTELT. Faculty, staff, and students are from a variety of backgrounds, with a range of experience with ICTELT, so we are offering ‘tailored’ assistance and flexible support to departments, as opposed to generic workshops. We are also encouraging the formation of ICTELT communities of practice.

Recent Projects

The ICTELT model and framework and associated suite of tools were recently developed (2008), and are currently being piloted in a NZ-wide intervention, as well as with academic faculty, and community organisations. As yet there is no formal data around quantitative improvements, although a formal research study is planned for 2010. There are nevertheless apparent effects on integration into curricula, uptake, and implementation compared with past approaches (such as generic workshops which 'taught' how to use tools). Anecdotal evidence also suggests improvements around attitude and 'buy in', which has resulted in, for instance, formation of Communities of Practice, and 'viral' peer influence and support. So, although there is an intensive initial investment by an institution using the ICTELT approach, the results are long term and observably more effective.

Case Histories

Information, Communication Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) has progressively continued to evolve and mature, embedded in an increasing foundation of research. One key benefit identified in this process is the inclusiveness and fluidity that can be built into ICTELT experiences, especially when they occur within a collaborative community.

In the Foundations programme at Dubai Men’s College (DMC) students find the conventions of academic writing, and the requirement to improve their proficiency, challenging, especially as they are also struggling with the transition from secondary to tertiary education, and their own changing identities. This study explored how blended ICTELT approaches were used to adapt part of an existing ‘problematic’ curriculum in a way that helped address central issues, encouraged collective, engaged learning and empowered learners. The framework of existing Communities of Learning (CoL) was employed to introduce a blended, scaffolded approach that aimed to assist students with academic writing, as well as assisting their transition to more self-directed, confident learning.

Existing research into tertiary level writing is sometimes dated and often not generalisable to the specific circumstances found at DMC. As such, it was proposed that a study be conducted in Higher Diploma Foundations (HDF) which would document the effectiveness of ICTELT framed within a CoL. Two of the research formulated were:
i.    Do students improve their writing proficiency while they are using ICT enhanced learning within a blended learning environment?
ii.    Does ICT enhanced learning used within a blended learning environment increase vocabulary acquisition?

The full body of data that has been collected, collated, analysed and interpreted was substantial. The improvement of writing proficiency and vocabulary acquisition observed during the study was complicated by the complexity of learning a second language, as well as by factors such as culture, academic conventions, and education background. The research study findings suggested that quasi-experimental participants’ cultural and individual needs for learning were largely met, and students were definitely motivated to use the ICTELT resources within the framework of their existing CoL. Students were empowered to select tools and support as required, and the instructor was freed up to answer questions and give guidance when required. The technology in itself, however, did not improve communication, learning skills, writing proficiency or vocabulary acquisition. Rather it offered the provided a catalyst for creative opportunities and the enhancement of collective learning experiences (Warschauer, 1996). Careful and meaningful integration was required, along with professional development and incentives for instructors (Simic, 1994). Furthermore considerable time investment was required to plan and develop the highly scaffolded blended learning resources that provided the support required by learners who have previously been educated in a teacher-centered environment. It is through initiatives such as those described in this study, that students are more likely to be more effective in their immediate programme of study, as well as gaining skills that help them become 'anytime, any place' lifelong learners.

There are relatively few studies that attempt to provide empirical evidence of the effectiveness of ICTELT initiatives within CoLs as an enhancement to writing proficiency (Kramsch et al., 2000), especially with Gulf learners. Additional research will be required to provide empirical support as to whether sustained participation in ICTELT blended learning interventions actually does improve writing proficiency.  The data from this study, nevertheless, appear positive, are informative, and can be used to inform future studies.
 

Publications

Owen, H., & Narayan, V. (In press). Pedagogy, Policing or Preventing Plagiarism? Experiences with facilitating Professional Development and Turnitin. Paper presented at the Teaching excellence - excellence in teaching: Teaching and Learning Conference Meets eFest 2009, Universal College of Learning (UCOL), Palmerston North.


Owen, H. (In press). Portfolios have long been a part of learning, teaching and professional practice, therefore, why use ePortfolios and do Web 2.0 tools have to offer? Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts.


Owen, H. (In press). Houston, we have a problem: ePortfolio initiatives that collide with academic practitioners' perspectives. The Knowledge Tree.


Owen, H. (In press). Intelligent m-Learning frameworks: Information and communication technology applied in a laptop environment. In S. Caballé, F. Xhafa, T. Daradoumis & A. A. Juan (Eds.), Architectures for Distributed and Complex M-Learning Systems: Applying Intelligent Technologies (pp. 1-15). Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global.


Lawrence, G., Compton, T., Owen, H., & Young, C. (In press). Exploring Wiki-based writing to create authentic intercultural English learning communities. In Authenticity in the Classroom and Beyond. New York: TESOL.


Owen, H. (2009, October 16). Web 2.0 ePortfolios that work for both students and educators: Strategies and recommendations. Paper presented at the VET E-portfolios Showcase 09 - learning for life.


Owen, H. (2009, May 13). Librarians and the changing education landscape. Paper presented at the Libraries of the Future Symposium, Unitec NZ.


Owen, H. (2009, June 17-19). The Information Communication Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching process model and conceptual design framework. Paper presented at the MoodleMoot San Francisco 2009, San Francisco, California.


Owen, H. (2009, June 17-19). A model and framework for designing & integrating ICT Enhanced Learning & Teaching. Paper presented at the Sloan-C International Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning, San Francisco, California.


Owen, H., & Narayan, V. (2009, July 15). Podcasting to Enhance Literacy, Language and Numeracy. Paper presented at the Literacy, Language and Numeracy Symposium, Unitec NZ.


Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. (2009, July 6-9). Supporting academic development to enhance the student experience. Paper presented at the HERDSA 2009 International Teaching and Learning conference: The Student Experience, Charles Darwin University, Darwin.


Owen, H. (2009, February 8-10). Portfolios have long been a part of learning, teaching and professional practice, therefore, why use ePortfolios and do Web 2.0 tools have to offer? Paper presented at the Australian ePortfolio Symposium 2009, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


Owen, H., & Narayan, V. (2009, 29 Sept - 01 Oct). Pedagogy, Policing or Preventing Plagiarism? Experiences with facilitating Professional Development and Turnitin. Paper presented at the Teaching excellence - excellence in teaching: Teaching and Learning Conference Meets eFest 2009. from http://www.scribd.com/doc/18077894/Pedagogy-Policing-or-Preventing-Plagiarism-Experiences-with-facilitating-Professional-Development-and-Turnitin.


Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. (2009, 6-9 July). Supporting academic development to enhance the student experience. Paper presented at the The Student Experience: HERDSA 2009, Charles Darwin University, Darwin.


Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. (2009, 1-3 June). Redesigning professional development for literacy, language and numeracy enhancement. Paper presented at the Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference 2009: Designing new learning contexts for a globalising world, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. (2009). Supporting academic development to enhance the student experience. In M. Barrow & K. Sutherland (Eds.), http://www.scribd.com/doc/18077894/Pedagogy-Policing-or-Preventing-Plagiarism-Experiences-with-facilitating-Professional-Development-and-Turnitin. Darwin: The Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA).


Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. (2009). Increasing student success through effective literacy and numeracy support [Electronic Version]. Student Success; A New Era in Ways of Learning from http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/community/recommended-resources-ako-aotearoa/resources/books/increasing-student-success-through-effe.


Owen, H., & Martin, H. (2009). Using online tools to provide relevant, authentic and timely assessment. In L. H. Meyer, S. Davidson, H. Anderson, R. Fletcher, P. M. Johnston & M. Rees (Eds.), Tertiary Assessment and Higher Education Student Outcomes: Policy, Practice, and Research (pp. 296-297). Wellington, New Zealand: Ako Aotearoa.


Owen, H. (2009). Designing Blended Courses: The ICT Enhanced Learning & Teaching Approach [Electronic Version]. View: SloanC from http://www.sloanconsortium.org/effective/index.asp?destination=effective%2Findex.asp.


Owen, H. (2009). Getting stuck in to Web 2.0 with language learners. Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 18(1), 4-6.


Owen, H. (2009). Embrace the new era: integrating ICT enhanced learning into curricula [Electronic Version]. Student Success; A New Era in Ways of Learning from http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/community/recommended-resources-ako-aotearoa/resources/books/embrace-new-era-integrating-ict-enhance.


Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. (2008, September 30). Revisioning professional development approaches. Paper presented at the Re-Vision: Unitec New Zealand Teaching and Learning Symposium 2008, Unitec NZ, Auckland.


Owen, H. (2008, September 26). Designing & Integrating ICT Enhanced Learning & Teaching. Paper presented at the Design School Symposium, Unitec NZ, Auckland.

Owen, H. (2008, September 8-10). Collaborating by Design. Paper presented at the eFest 2008 - Connected Learning Conference, Auckland, NZ.


Owen, H. (2008, October 8-10). Where do I Start? Integration of ICTELT into blended curricula. Paper presented at the MoodleMoot NZ 08, Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.


Owen, H., & Schwenger, B. (2008, October 04). Using literacy tools and strategies as a foundation to enhance students’ learning and study success. Paper presented at the Bridging Education - A Pathway to the Future, Waiariki Institute of Technology, Rotorua, NZ.


Owen, H. (2008, October 1-3,). Embrace the new era: Integrating ICT enhanced learning into curricula. Paper presented at the Student Success; A New Era in Ways of Learning: EIT 2008 Teaching and Learning Conference, EIT, Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.


Owen, H., & Martin, H. (2008, November 27). Using online tools to provide relevant, authentic and timely assessment. Paper presented at the Lunchtime series:  Tertiary Assessment Symposium Revisited, Unitec NZ, Auckland, New Zealand.


Moran, D., & Owen, H. (2008, March 31-April 02). Transforming students' approaches to learning and applying mathematics. Paper presented at the Learning Technologies and Mathematics Middle East Conference, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman.


Mason, C., Cochrane, T., & Owen, H. (2008, March). E-portfolios. Paper presented at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Innovation Lunchtime Series, Unitec New Zealand, Auckland.


Owen, H., & Durham, E. (2008, January 24-26). Policy in Practice: A Blended Learning Approach to ELT. Paper presented at the English Language Teaching: Progress in Practice and Policy Conference, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Durham, E., & Owen, H. (2008, January 24-26). In transit:  Conquering linguistic and cultural changes in education. Paper presented at the English Language Teaching: Progress in Practice and Policy Conference, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Owen, H. (2008, August 17-20,). Programme design that puts the ‘Me’ back into learning experiences and spaces. Paper presented at the My Place, My Space, My Learning - Distance and Virtual Education: DEANZ 2008 Conference, Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand.


Owen, H., & Martin, H. (2008,). Using online tools to provide relevant, authentic and timely assessment [Electronic Version]. Tertiary Assessment Symposium, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand from http://www.victoria.ac.nz/education/SYMPOSIUM/symposium%20presentations%20and%20handouts.aspx.


Owen, H. (2008 , October 2-5). Re-writing conventions: Using CMC to enhance the learning experience for Foundations level EFL students. Paper presented at the Language and identity: Building communities of learning conference, King's College, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand.


Owen, H. (2008 , November 30-December 3). Learners re-shaping learning landscapes: New directions for old challenges? Paper presented at the Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology: ASCILITE 2008, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.


Owen, H., Young, C., Lawrence, G., & Compton, T. (2008). Best Practice: A collaborative intercultural Wiki project. In C. Coombe, A. Jendli & P. Davidson (Eds.), Teaching Writing Skills in EFL: Theory, Research and Pedagogy (pp. 259-282). Dubai, UAE: TESOL Arabia.


Owen, H., Young, C., Lawrence, G., & Compton, T. (2008). Designing and implementing a collaborative writing project within a Wiki. In 7th Annual English Language Teaching Conference Proceedings - Working with ELT Materials: From Design to Implementation (pp. 92-115). Muscat, Sultanate of Oman: Sultan Qaboos University Press.


Owen, H., & Madsen, L. (2008). Literacy issues in the Gulf: Best practices. In Best practice of English language teaching (pp. 207-221). Dubai, UAE: TESOL Arabia Publications.


Owen, H., & Durham, E. (2008). The Research Skills and Projects blended learning course: From design to implementation. In M. Ramsden (Ed.), 7th Annual English Language Teaching Conference Proceedings - Working with ELT Materials: From Design to Implementation (pp. 227-240). Muscat, Sultanate of Oman: Sultan Qaboos University Press.


Owen, H. (2008). Learners re-shaping learning landscapes: New directions for old challenges? [Electronic Version]. Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology: ASCILITE 2008 from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/melbourne08/procs/owen.pdf.


Owen, H. (2008). Embrace the new era: Integrating ICT enhanced learning into curricula. In Student Success; A New Era in Ways of Learning (pp. 1-15). Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: EIT.


Owen, H. (2008). Programme design that puts the ‘Me’ back into learning experiences and spaces [Electronic Version]. My Place, My Space, My Learning - Distance and Virtual Education: DEANZ 2008 Conference. Retrieved September 10 2008 from http://deanz.org.nz/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=52%3Aconference-2008&id=115%3Adeanz-conference-2008-sessions&Itemid=93.


Owen, H. (2008). Promoting Blended Approaches to Teaching and Learning at Unitec: A Proposal. Auckland: Unitec New Zealand.


Owen, H. (2008). Information and communication technology used in a blended learning environment: Enhancing writing and vocabulary acquisition? In ESL writing and computer mediated communication: A help or a hindrance? Dubai, UAE: Higher Colleges of Technology.


Mason, C., Cochrane, T., & Owen, H. (2008). E-portfolios. Paper presented at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Innovation Lunchtime Series.


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