This page updated on 16 February, 2008
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Learning episode 1:


Purpose and use of this learning episode: curriculum overview and concept map

If this learning episode were undertaken by a face-to-face class with students, they were asked to access their intranet portal for the first couple of classes. The portal solution used is myclasses and it is offered by Editure in Australia. This solution has standard features like a calendar, a mail system, display of files needed and text with image blocks. The portal also offers the use of a Forum for discussing points, as well as a Journal for students' self-reflection. Additionally, students can download and upload assessment tasks through the portal from school or home. These assessment tasks are called eLFs by Editure and they are also noted in the general overview notes, seen below.


As can be seen by the notes, below, written to the students, the mySF Project can use the learning episodes and tasks either in a class with computer access to the myclasses portal, or from home or elsewhere. The mySF Project stresses collaboration through the Forum properties, cooperation in project teams for tasks, as well as self-reflection through the Journal.


If a student were away from school due to illness or sporting commitments, he or she can follow all the work and contribute actively through the portal. All files including the podcasts are available through the portal and no other texts are required.


Because the Australian Copyright rules for teachers may allow the use of images from aired broadcasts, segments of sound and even whole programs available on the intranet, these learning episodes always used images from the films under study, as teasers for future content. For instance, in this introductory learning episode the picture at the top was from the wonderful Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, with Mr Hyde looking about as evil as could be, with long curving fingernails. Other images were from Frankenstein and Bladerunner, of course. These titles are covered in later learning episodes so they were designed to entice the students forward, or up the Spiral Elaboration ladder used as the model for this instructional design system. With luck and permissions from title holders I will restore these images in the future.


In this version under Creative Commons and while waiting for permissions from DVD producers for the mySF Project, dull old copyright-free clip art is offered instead. Please imagine all the best stills from Bride of Frankenstein, Bladerunner, and a few others greeting the secondary audience in every learning episode, with sound fragments available in the portal's Files Box.


The content, below, is offered to students in the first learning episode of the 'fate and predestination' theme area of the mySF Project. The Concept map task is usually including in the eLF property but is included here as part of learning episode one.


Image of DNA for learning episode one of the brave new world theme area of the mySF ProjectIndex:

Overview of the mySF Project and the'brave new world' theme area
Negotiating assessment
Tasks and exercises
Journal entries
Concept map task
Actual text from the concept map task
Resource list


Overview of the mySF Project and the Brave New World theme area:


The brave new world theme area is one of the theme areas found online in the myclasses portal system. The brave new world theme area looks at the various uses of genetic engineering in Science Fiction (SF) texts, including short stories, novels and films. Collectively, these are called texts.


The mySF Project has several parts and is broken down into different theme areas and different places to use online services, like a Journal, or to find files, or to chat online with another student or the teacher.


During learning episode one it is very important to have a good look around the myclasses portal that makes up the brave new world theme area.


There are some things found on the brave new world portal that you need. These are:


It is very important to have a good look around and a play with the various parts of the mySF Project. Have a poke around and see what happens! Get used to where everything is and how it works.


Negotiating assessment:


One of the most important things to be done in the first learning episode is to arrange when the assessment tasks will be due.


In the mySF Project it is usual for tasks like a presentation, an in-class test, video reviews, a series of ongoing Journal entries, or even a large Constructivist task to be scheduled. There are several tasks available for the teacher to run for the class to assist the understanding of the use of genetic engineering in SF, the main focus of the brave new world theme area.


It is very important to discuss the assessment with the other students and the teacher. Then the tasks can be scheduled in the eLF property with notices and calendar entries also to remind students when everything is due. Work will be submitted online, through the myclasses system, so it is very important to keep checking the Notices, the Calendars and the eLFs themselves.


Learning episode one is the time to organise assessment, around other demands and other study.


eLF exercises:


Learning episode one organisation will see the teacher uploading tasks to the tasks area in the brave new world  theme portal. These eLFs have details of what is expected, when work is due online, guidelines for submitting work, and also details on how the submitted work will be assessed.


Students can access, download and respond to these tasks in the eLF property from school, home or anywhere that has a compatible internet browser. The eLFs are used used for completing any of the assessment tasks as set in the myclasses eLF area on the brave new world portal page. Please check the descriptions of the assessment tasks and their due dates and submit your responses using the Submit button on the task. Please add a comment about the task as you submit it. This will assist your teacher in improving the brave new world theme area content and associated tasks.


Journal entries:


Throughout the ten weeks of the mySF Project students will be expected to use the Journal property. This Journal property will be used to reflect on the work, discussions and readings. The reflection in your personal Journal area is an important means for your communication to your teachers, and also a great way for you to rethink and restructure your own ideas about time travel narratives in SF, a major part of the brave new world theme area.



Concept Map task:


The brave new world theme area begins work with a concept map of what students know about genetic engineering texts in SF. That is, what knowledge and understanding is brought into the start of the mySF Project. Students will be asked to use Inspiration or Visio to make a graphical representation of understandings about genetic engineering in SF, then submit these online through myclasses to the teacher.


Please check the eLF property on myclasses to see what is required of the first concept map for the brave new world theme area. It should be submitted during week one of the mySF Project.


Please submit a comment about your making of the concept map as this will assist your teacher and others in improving the mySF Project.


Actual text for the first concept map task:


Concept Map Task

Learning Episode 1

mySF Project

Brave New World Theme Portal

Your first task for the First Learning Episode is: 


  1. Open Inspiration or Visio (or any other concept mapping software) on your computers
  2. Select the Rapid Fire icon or the brainstorming toolbar in Visio
  3. Select the main, central icon and put your full name in that central icon
  4. Create another, linked icon with rapid fire and call it 'genetic engineering in SF'
  5. Create linked points and sub-points based on your own ideas of the how time travel might be used in Science Fiction
  6. You may want to consider such things as:


Your task here is to make a coherent concept-map of everything you know now about genetic engineering in SF texts, including books, stories, TV and film. Make it complex and show all your ideas on the concept map. Experiment and discuss the task with your friends online or in class.


This task is due at the end of the period of the first learning episode, and it is worth 5% of your total for the mySF unit, so take it seriously. It is designed as a snapshot of your understanding of this topic at this time. It is used as part of a Constructivist teaching methodology, starting with a Concept Map to obtain a snapshot of existing knowledge in the topic area.


It will be used as a basis to build the unit to suit your needs, so please take it seriously. You may use any of the rich and wonderful icons in Inspiration to assist you with this task, or even images from the Web.


Please be careful with your spelling and expression.


Submit the Concept Map to your teacher at the end of the first learning episode, using the Submit button in myclasses.




Resource List:


At the bottom of each web page linked from the learning episodes will be found a list of resources named in notes for that week. The sources named here might come from Wikipedia articles, from books, or be the details of a film. An example can be seen, below, for the film Jekyll + Hyde (Stilwell, 2006):


Stilwell, N. (Director). (2006). Jekyll + Hyde. Teleplay by David Reilly and Nick Stilwell. GLE Entertainment Mainline Releases.


Students can copy the reference from the resource list and use these in the Journal when talking about a film or story. The order of the citation is: Writer or director, Year, Title, Publisher, and Place published. Please see the teacher-librarian if you are unsure how to use these resources and how to cite them in the Journal or an essay.




Michael Sisley


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