Tag Archives: Pedagogy

Innovating Pedagogy 2013

Innovating Pedagogy

Innovating  Pedagogy  2013Tagged as a report “exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers” the Innovating Pedagogy 2013 from the Open University is intended for teachers, policy makers, academics and anyone interested in how education may change over the next ten years.

The 2013 report highlights, for the coming 10 years according to timescale and impact:

Impact: High

  • MOOCs
  • badge
  • crowd learning
  • gamification

Impact: Medium/High  Continue reading

Video: Your Digital Impact via @sidneyeve

Following on from my own work on the impact of employability and (y)our online reputation (and the collaboration with Sue Beckingham in 2012) the following video will not come as a surprise. Sidneyeve Matrix, from Queens University Canada, is an Associate Professor and researches the digital environment(s) and their impact on us professionally and personally, as well as how we allow them impact our lives.

This is Sidneyeve’s keynote from the 2013 AACE Educational Media and Technology (EdMedia) conference back in June. What is good here is the flip side of the work I’ve done before – this is about how we as the worker, employee, and employer, view ourselves online, and what we can do to enhance our personal brand and encourage collaboration.

It’s a lengthy video but well worth watching!

YouTube: Your Digital Impact: Online Professional Development Strategies for the Timestarved

MSc Learning Innovation

MSc in Learning Innovation #mscli

MSc Learning Innovation

Regular readers will know I’ve been writing about what I think it is to be a Learning Technologist in a series of posts I’ve been calling ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’. Welcome to part 10 in that series.

Part of my journey is the continuing exploration of the technology and of the role itself, and how it is received and perceived by people I come into contact with (academic, administrative, etc.). I made it clear in 2011, once I completed my PG Cert course, that I wanted to take my learning and teaching more seriously and gain a qualification that would reflect my abilities.

I have considered several Masters level courses since then but have finally settled on the MSc in Learning Innovation from the Institute of Learning Innovation here, at the University of Leicester.

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Book Review: "Using Social Media in the Classroom"

Book Review: “Using Social Media in the Classroom” #edtech

Book Review: "Using Social Media in the Classroom"I’m a Learning Technologist. Regular readers will know I have an interest in using, and understanding how we can use, Social Media and Social Networks with students and learning. It’s not just about helping students understand their ‘digital footprint’, or improving their digital literacy, or how their actions online can affect their employability. It is also about using the different tools and techniques for learning and Social Media and Social Networks are a valuable source of learning materials from many different cultures and backgrounds.

Which is why this book is of interest to me – ‘Using Social Media in the Classroom‘ by Megan Poore. Billed as a book that provides “an overview of different types of digital technologies” it is more important to me and how I work that it also covers more contextual and “constructive guidance on how to safely and intelligently use them as tools for learning”. All good stuff I hope you’ll agree.

This quote from Megan is key to the understanding of the benefits for communication, collaboration, participation and socialisation of, and in, education:

“One of the most exciting features of social media for education is precisely  their socialness. They allow us to break out of the paradigm of the monolithic learner into the more intricate and complex world of constructivist, active, and situated pedagogies.” (p. 8)

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Reflection on the ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC, Wk.0 #edcmooc

EDCMOOCWe’re off … not quite! The Coursera and University of Edinburgh MOOC on “E-learning and Digital Cultures” starts next week, although with all the chatter surrounding it you’d think it’s well under way already (good publicity?).

The contact we’ve had from the organisers in the run up to the start of the MOOC (and I was able to speak to Jeremy Knox briefly at the Durham Blackbord Users’ Conference) has been really good, via emails and Twitter (my main two channels of contact) and I’ve had the ability to interact with the organisers and fellow students on the various social network platforms that have had areas set up (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Google Maps) – to be honest I’d prefer to choose just one to concentrate on, I already feel like I’m being pulled in different directions.

I will not be joining the Facebook group as I use Facebook  purely for family & friends – I keep work and Ed Tech passion to Google+, Twitter, and here on my blog.

Considering the fact I hear that the MOOC has upwards of 36,000 people signed up for it I think it’s be prudent and very sensible to concentrate on your preferred platform (Twitter, Google+, etc) as well as the Coursera platform, and stick there otherwise it’ll be too difficult to keep up to date with what is going on.

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Academic Excellence in 140 Characters

This video, “Academic Excellence in 140 Characters”, follows the research of Ray Junco (@reyjunco) and his students on the effects of Twitter on student engagement and grades:

“Despite the widespread use of social media by students and its increased use by instructors, very little empirical evidence is available concerning the impact of social media use on student learning and engagement. This study provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.”

YouTube: Academic Excellence in 140 Characters

Thanks to Edutopia for this and many more excellent Twitter / Video resources.

What is ‘Ubiquitous Computing’? #edtech

Amit Singhal, Google VP and Senior Search Engineer said, in an article in The Telegraph this week (“Google develops computer inspired by Star Trek“):

“Why should someone stop their conversation because they’re missing a tiny piece of information that you need to take that conversation further?” said Mr Singhal. “You have to pull out your phone. You have to unlock the phone. You have to type. Already you have lost valuable seconds and the conversation has become unnatural and awkward.”

And this is where Google thinks computing, and the power/operation of ‘searching’ for content, is heading – that the devices in our pockets, lives, even glasses (Google Glasses?) will be able to follow our conversations and be in a position to provide answer to our questions as we ask them, not after we perform the time consuming search.

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Where is reflection in the learning process? (@jackiegerstein)

I found the following post by Jackie Gerstein recently, and wanted to share it with you – “Where is reflection in the learning process?

Why am I sharing it … because it is the student voice, or lack of it, that I found most interesting. Jackie was getting frustrated at their inability to ‘reflect’ until

“a major AHA struck me … They are products of a standardized system where they were asked to memorize standardized information and spit that information out on standardized tests. When finished with one unit of information, they were asked to quickly move onto the next unit.  They were not given the time, skills, and opportunities to extract personalized meanings from their studies.  Reflection was not part of their curriculum as it cannot be measured nor tested.”

Jackie continues to discuss her work as well as that of Stephen Brookfield and the realisation that, in order to encourage reflection in our students, we (educators and/or facilitators) also need to be able to reflect:

“The only way that educators can teach and promote reflective practice by their students (of all ages) in their own classrooms is to engage in, embrace, and fully understand this process themselves.”

I am also in this process of reflection, needed for my PG Cert last year and for the (ongoing) CMALT application. I do not find it easy, especially when critical reflection is needed on something that occurred a while ago, but it is a worthwhile exercise and it does improve how I view and review my role as a Learning Technologist.

Read Jackie’s work on her User Generated Education blog on Twitter (@jackiegerstein), you’ll be better for it.


Presentation to eAssessment Scotland (@eassessscotland) #eas11

Today I confirmed the abstract of my presentation to the eAssessment Scotland Conference, hosted by the  University of Dundee, on August 25/26, 2011 – www.e-assessment-scotland.org.

Here is what I will be delivering to the distinguished delegates:

Title: “24-hour Papers: the Open-Book Alternative to Exams for Online Assessment”

Abstract: “Common unit specifications covering delivery of subject-identical units across different courses, often with different delivery methods, are increasingly being implemented. The inclusion of a ‘coursework’ element of assessment allows for flexibility. This is different when an ‘exam’ is required; with students on a fully-online course, unable to attend an exam centre, due to differences in time zones and/or locations, the concept of an open-book exam is used. The exam paper is released to students through our VLE (Blackboard) at a time that is agreed and broadcast to students in advance. Submission of their work is required within a 24-hour window via an upload of their files to the VLE (using either the standard submission tool or Turnitin).”

“This presentation will draw upon the Bournemouth University’s substantial experience of presenting ‘Time-Constrained Papers’ to students studying at a distance and will consider the issues surrounding this approach. Particular consideration will be given to the importance of question design to limit scope for academic dishonesty and the University’s plans to modify this approach in the forthcoming academic year.”

I will be following Dr. Sharon Flynn on Friday morning (Parallel session A), where I will also talk about the use of Turnitin with distant learners within the scope of Time-Constrained Papers. I hope you can join us there.

David Hopkins

What is a Learning Technologist? (part 3)

David Hopkins, Learning Technologist

Those of you who follow my blog, or follow me on Twitter (@hopkinsdavid), Academia.edu or LinkedIn, will know I continue to explore the role of Learning Technologists, and the discipline that is learning technology. Below are two links to my previous efforts in defining some of my thoughts:

In October 2010 I started studying the PG Cert Education Practice at Bournemouth University with a view to gaining valuable insight into the world in which I inhabit, support, and advise. I will post on the first two assignments at some time, but the final assignment is an ePortfolio of work (at the time of writing, June 2011, the marks are not back yet) and supporting evidence over the past year or so that fits the three themes, which are:

  1. Self-awareness and Self-evaluation: Evaluating Development Needs
  2. Managing Change: Response to Context
  3. Evidence-based Practice in Relation to Discipline Needs

It is not possible to replicate the whole ePortfolio here, nor do I want to (yet), but I wanted to share a few sections that reinforce my ‘journey’ as a Learning Technologist. These come from the final section of ‘evidence-based practice in relation to discipline needs’ (and associated references):

“The discipline of Learning Technology is changing and growing as new ideas for existing tools and systems are developed or as new systems are introduced – the advances in mobile computing and geo-location is introducing a new world of ‘tagging’ yourself and your ‘updates’ (Facebook), your ‘tweets’ (Twitter), and your photos (TwitPic, Flickr, Instagram, etc). Being a Learning Technologist also means we are not limited to just playing a supporting role, but we involved in the “broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching, and assessment” (Browne & Beetham, 2010, p6). This is our discipline and covers all aspects of subject areas from Health Care and Archaeology to Marketing or Computer Systems Designs.”

Browne, T. and Beetham, H. 2010. The positioning of educational technologists in enhancing the student experience. Project Report. Association of Learning Technology and The Higher Education Academy. Available from:http://repository.alt.ac.uk/id/eprint/831. [Accessed May 25, 2011].

“One aspect of my role that I have found invaluable is that I am able to bring my commercial background in web design and Internet technologies, as well as time as an employee and owner/manager of a small business, to the varied subject areas I support in the School; accounting, management, finance, law, contract, marketing, etc. It is this background that has given me the time to develop a professionalism that I pride myself with that has enabled invitations from different teams within the School, and other Schools, to be involved in teaching, research and projects. The concluding statements in the work by Neurmann et all (2002) state that a steady growth in staff development “has typically involved the central provision of short-courses … divorced from the specificities of the everyday academic context” but a “faculty-based [or] departmentally based provision could give promise of enhancing reflective practice, drawing on a recognition of specific cognitive and cultural factors rather than concentrating on generic teaching skills and presentational techniques.” I have found a School (departmentally)-based approach is able to factor a growth of a closer personal relationship with an academic or team and their subject area to be more valuable than a ‘point-and-click’ approach to the introduction of new tools and systems.”

Neumann, R., Parry, S., and Becher, T. 2002 Teaching and Learning in their Disciplinary Contexts: a conceptual analysis. Studies in Higher Education. 27(4). p405-417. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=7362300&site=eds-live&scope=site. [Accessed May 25, 2011].

“Work by Browne & Beetham (2010, p6) highlights the impact technology enhanced learning has as a “major driver for enhancing the student experience”, but they acknowledge that literature is “relatively silent” on the role and impact Learning Technologist’s have on such objectives. Through my own day-to-day experiences I have found myself being invited to be involved in research, projects, presentations, workshops, conferences, etc that I would not normally expect to be asked to; I attribute this to my open and willing attitude and cultural change within the Business School that has improved relationships between myself and framework teams, and the understanding of the role a Learning Technologist. Questions on where a Learning Technologist should be “positioned” is a difficult one, say Browne & Beetham (2010, p13) which received mixed responses when they asked, and one I can see both sides to the argument; are we positioned in the School so we can maximise the relationships and knowledge of the disciplines of those we support, or are we a central resource that are shared among many different subject disciplines and School, but get the benefit of being kept up to date with system changes/updates? In my view there are positives and negatives to both arguments, but a School-based Learning Technologist has the best of the ‘local’ knowledge and the best of the collaborative environment a central position can offer, if working in a collaborative environment. The discipline of learning technology and the individuals who are part of this growing professional ‘group’, according to Peacock et al (2009), can have a valuable influence on all aspects of, for example, eResearch as we can demonstrate the role of support to help researchers “make informed decisions about whether and how to use e-learning tools to conduct qualitative e-research” and that a “more inclusive model of the Learning Technologist’s role in academia could help address the potential polarisation of the profession into researchers and practitioners”.”

Browne, T. and Beetham, H. 2010. The positioning of educational technologists in enhancing the student experience. Project Report. Association of Learning Technology and The Higher Education Academy. Available from:http://repository.alt.ac.uk/id/eprint/831. [Accessed May 25, 2011].

Peacock, S., Robertson, A., Williams, S, and Clausen, M. 2009. The Role of Learning Technologists in Supporting E-Research, ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 17(2). pp115-129. Available from: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&id=doi:10.1080/09687760903033041 [Accessed May 25, 2011].

I conclude the portfolio saying that:

“the opportunity to reflect on the past year(s) has given me greater insight into my role within the Business School and wider Bournemouth University community, but also how I am able to shape the discipline of learning technology from workshops, research, and conversations I am involved in, and by engaging with like-minded professionals through social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. From this reflection I am able to concentrate my work and reading with a view to develop my professional practice.”

My journey
I have been on a journey during this PG Cert course,. Not all of it has been pleasant but I have enjoyed it and realised that I don’t like the ‘getting by’ mentality: when I do something I like to do it properly and see it through to the end. The struggle has been finding a balance between work and home life AND being a student again. There were times when one had to be sacrificed, and it was always my studies and assignments that suffered. I am not sorry for this, just disappointed that, at times, I wasn’t able to put the effort and dedication I know I am capable of into my studies.

What next?
Well, I don’t know where I am going to go now, assuming I get the grades to pass (finger’s crossed) but there are many avenues open to me: further studies, CMALT application and accreditation (definitely), etc. One thing is certain: I have started something here I want to see grow and to see where it can take me, my work, and my job/discipline. As they say “watch this space …  !”

Please feel free to leave a comment about the above or about your experience as a Learning Technologist, or your experience of working with us.