Learning & Teaching in a Digital Landscape

April 30, 2017 Leave a comment

A presentation as part of a Seminar Series run by London South Bank University’s Centre for Research Informed Teaching.

I was really pleased to be asked to deliver this session at South Bank. Many thanks to LSBU’s Marc Griffith, Head of Digitally Enhanced Education for the invitation.

In the talk I asked participants to briefly look back to 2007 (the year the first iPhone was released) but mainly we concentrated on the current picture of the use of TEL in UK Higher Education.

Finally we looked ahead to four areas for the future. No futurology, all areas that are already established but likely to expand further in the coming years:

  1. Blended Learning
  2. Learning Analytics
  3. Virtual Reality
  4. Artificial Intelligence

My overview slides with various links are available: Learning & Teaching in a Digital Landscape.

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Show me the data. Sorry I can’t.

April 30, 2017 Leave a comment

I gave a presentation about the development of UWL’s Learning Analytics policy at the Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference 2017, held at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy in March 2017.

Learning Analytics systems

In the presentation I outlined the 10 Principles that form the foundation of our policy and the steps we took to develop and implement the policy last year. I also gave an overview of our project that initiated the need for a policy: a predictive learning analytics project aimed at maximising the continued success and retention of UWL’s students.

My slides are available: Show me the data. Sorry I can’t and I have also written a related article on the #ALTC Blog: 7 Tips for Developing a Learning Analytics Project.

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Competitive Ice-breaker

March 1, 2017 Leave a comment

I kicked off our second meeting of the UK Poll Everywhere User Group at City University, London with a competitive quiz using Poll Everywhere’s segmentation feature.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a close run battle, ending in a fair 3-1/2 to 3-1/2 draw. The day as a whole went really well and I particularly enjoyed the team-based learning session expertly facilitated by Rebecca McCarter from the University of Bradford.

I have posted a full report from the day on the user group site, see 2017 User Group Meeting Resources.

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Co-design (Part 2)

November 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Further thoughts on the Jisc co-design consultation. Running short of time, so will keep this brief. The strand currently of most interest to me is ‘next generation digital learning environments’ 

Background: Co-design (Part 1)

I’ll look ahead to the 2020s tomorrow but briefly it’s useful (for me at least) to consider the last 10-years or so.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly a lot of the consultation discussion has focused on the VLE. A student’s digital learning environment is, of course, much broader than institutionally provided systems (and today our institutional systems extend way beyond the VLE).

Looking back 10-years or so… could we ever have imagined today’s digital learning environment?

Err, yes. And no.

Little change

Ten-years ago I was at the LSE and for the majority there I’d say the institutionally provided digital learning environment was very much the VLE, some library e-resources and desktop-based software. From 2005-8 we investigated, piloted and implemented Moodle (replacing WebCT). Alongside that we dabbled with blogs, elgg (remember that??) and a little later I think, Second Life.

Ten years later and the 2016 VLE is little changed. Overall usage has grown, and the VLE’s use for e-assessment in particular, but what the systems actually do, look-like and enable… not so much. They are certainly recognisable. One area of change, in terms of systems, has been the arrival of new online tools and services, which have extended the institutional digital learning environment. I’m thinking of lecture recording and e-portfolios in particular.

Why not? It’s easy to blame the systems shortcomings and they could be better. But innovative practitioners who want to try new things, can do, even if it requires some clunky work-arounds. The inertia and lack of change ultimately comes down to people and the approach to teaching and learning at our institutions.

Two big changes

The big change we (certainly I) didn’t foresee in the mid-2000s was the social media (aka web2.0) explosion and the participatory nature of the Internet we have today. It was September 2006 when UK universities first got access to Facebook and not until 2008 that Twitter really took off. The bigger digital learning environment has changed dramatically in contrast to university provided tools.

A change we knew was coming, which is central to digital learning environments today was mobile. (Although personally in 2010 I suggested the iPad would never catch-on).

That will have to do for today. Tomorrow I’ll finally get to the #ngdle questions that Jisc are asking, the overarching one being:

What should the next generation of digital learning environments do?

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Co-design (part 1)

November 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Some thoughts on the Jisc co-design consultation. Hopefully I’ll get beyond part 1 before the initial consultation closes on Friday.

There’s a lot of social media chatter about #codesign16 at the moment which is the Jisc Co-design consultation. So first things first… what are Jisc asking and why…

Essentially they are trying to decide what their future R&D project focus should be and which might be turned into technology services for their ‘members’ (aka subscribers).

co-design-consultation-pipeline

Jisc “innovation pipeline”

Jisc are currently focused on three research and development projects:

  1. digital capability
  2. learning analytics
  3. research data shared service

They are looking for the next set of projects and the co-design consulation is part of this process. It aims to produce:

Ideas for technology services that we could deliver to Jisc members to help them improve education and research

Jisc have proposed 6 areas for the community to discuss, some of which (three?) will be taken forward when the winners are announced in February 2017, followed by projects from March onwards. The 6, in no particular order, are:

  1. What does the imminent arrival of the intelligent campus mean for universities and colleges?
  2. What should the next generation of digital learning environments do?
  3. What should a next-generation research environment look like?
  4. Which skills do people need to prepare for research practice now and in the future?
  5. What would truly digital apprenticeships look like?
  6. How can we use data to improve teaching and learning?

That’s it for now. In part 2 (hopefully tomorrow) I hope to share some thoughts on the one that interests me most – number 2 or #ngdle

For now, having read up on the ultimate purpose of #codesign16 – ideas for technology services – one wonders would Jisc considering entering the VLE, sorry DLE market.

Facilitating HeLF Meeting

June 10, 2016 Leave a comment

The 38th Heads of E-Learning Forum (HeLF) meeting was held at the University of Birmingham on 9th June, 2016. It was the first HeLF event I have organised as a new member of the HeLF Steering Group.

strategy

The focus of the meeting was Enabling Strategic Change and it included a panel discussion on TEL strategies, groups discussions on policies and frameworks, as well as 5 short presentations. There are resources from the meeting on the HeLF  website.  I was really pleased with how it went on the day and particularly with the large number of people I managed to encourage to present and facilitate sessions – 14 in total. So many thanks to Mark Gamble, Fiona Strawbridge, Chris Turnock, Peter Bryant, Stella Ekebuisi, Catherine Naamani, Sue Gill, Brian Irwin, Uwe Richter, Alicia Mcconnell, Sarah Hayes, Sarah Davies, Rob Howe, and Amber Thomas, for making it a successful day.

At the end of the meeting we started looking forward to next year with a brainstorming session for 2016-17.

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Introduction to Learning Analytics

March 27, 2016 Leave a comment

Dashboards, metrics and interventions, my overview of Learning Analytics presented at UWL’s Academic Partnerships Conference.

I presented this on March 17th 2016 at the annual UWL conference for staff from our Partner institutions. As expected there was a lively discussion when we got on to the issues and challenges section of the presentation.

An Overview of Learning Analytics

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Click image to view presentation (new window)

I ended my presentation with a summary of the recommendations from the Higher Education Commission’s January 2016 From Bricks to Clicks report. There are 12 recommendations in total. These are the  five I highlighted:

  • Consider introducing LAs driven by improvement of L&T processes & student engagement
  • Support LAs with clear codes of practice including fully informed consent
  • Review internal data management. Ensure data is fit-for-purpose
  • Ensure digital literacy, capability and data management are integral to overall strategic plan
  • Consider use of LAs in TEF submissions