Category Archives: eLearning Digest

eLearning Digest No 172 – December 2018

This digest contains:

  • UK conferences & workshops
  • Online learning and adult education MOOCs
  • Short external news items

Professional Development

UK Conferences & Workshops

21-23 Jan Oxford 8th Academic International Conference on Multi-Disciplinary Studies and Education – AICMSE 2019. [CONAL]
30 Jan London 13th International Conference on Language, Education, and Innovation 2019. [CONAL]
30-31 Jan Birmingham STEM Conference 2019: Delivering Next Generation Teaching in STEM. [HEA]
13-14 Feb London Learning Technologies conference. [LearnUpon]
22 Feb Belfast Academics in the digital university: current trends and future challenges. [SRHE]
2-4 Mar Cambridge IEEE–2019 8th International Conference on Educational and Information Technology (ICEIT 2019).  [CONAL]
7-9 Mar London International Conference on Advanced Research in Education. [CONAL]
12 Mar London Next steps for widening participation in higher education.  [Westminster Forum]
16-17 Mar London FEAST Conference on Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Technology (AIT-19). [CONAL]
27-29 Mar London 2019 2nd International Conference on Big Data and Education (ICBDE 2019).  [CONAL]
28 Mar London Technology in HE: the future of learning environments, the use of AI and the impact of online courses. [Westminster Forum]
9-10 Apr London 4th ICRTEL 2019 – International Conference on Research in Teaching, Education & Learning. [CONAL]
30 Apr London Next steps for degree apprenticeships in England – funding, quality assurance and widening participation. [Westminster Forum]
29-30 May Milton Keynes Change Agents’ Network (CAN) 2019.  [Katharine Reedy]
10-11 Apr Galway OER19 Recentering open: critical and global perspectives. [ALT]
18 Jun London EdTechXEurope 2019. [EdTechX]
3-4 Jul Manchester CILIP Conference 2019.  [CILIP]
10-12 Jul Durham 4th International Conference on Information and Education Innovations (ICIEI 2019). [CONAL]
24-26 Jul Belfast Twenty-Sixth International Conference on Learning. [CONAL]
25-26 Jul London Sixth International Conference on eBusiness, eCommerce, eManagement, eLearning and eGovernance (IC5E) 2019.  [CONAL]

Online learning and adult education MOOCs

 

24 Dec (4 wks) Learning, Knowledge, and Human Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Coursera]
31 Dec (5 wks x 5 hrs) Learning to Teach Online, University of New South Wales [Coursera]
31 Dec (5 wks x 4 hrs) Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom, University of California, Irvine [Coursera]
31 Dec (4 wks) New Learning: Principles and Patterns of Pedagogy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Coursera]
6 Jan (4 wks) Teaching Adult Learners, Central Institute of Technology [Open2Study]
7 Jan (2 wks x 2 hrs) Learning online: reflecting and sharing, University of Leeds [FutureLearn]
7 Jan (4 wks) Literacy Teaching and Learning: Aims Approaches and Pedagogies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Coursera]
7 Jan (3 wks x 3 hrs) Understanding Diversity and Inclusion, Purdue University [FutureLearn]
7 Jan (4 wks) e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Coursera]
11 Feb (4 wks x 4 hrs) The Online Educator: People and Pedagogy, The Open University [FutureLearn]
21 Jan (9 wks x 1 hr) (HE) Applying & leading assessment in student affairs, Colorado State University [Canvas]
12 Feb (4 wks x 3 hrs) Qualitative Research Methods: Conversational Interviewing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology [edX]

Self-paced online learning and adult education MOOCs and BOCs

A selection of short courses can be found on the OU Learning Design self-paced learning webpage.  These can be studied at your convenience to fit in with other commitments.


External News

 As everybody is short of time this month, we have a small selection of short news items to share. Normal service will resume in January.


 And Finally…

[BBC]

For those who celebrate, seasons greetings! Just in case you need Christmas dinner inspiration, we’d like to share a selection of unusual options including the ‘three-course Christmas dinner pasty’, a deep-fried Christmas dinner and Christmas dinner pizza.

eLearning Digest No 171 – November 2018

This digest contains:

  • UK conferences & workshops
  • Online learning and adult education MOOCs
  • UK HE news
  • Commercial news
  • Industry news
  • Short news items

Professional Development

UK Conferences & Workshops

4 Dec Huddersfield Physical and digital library spaces: the final frontier. [CILIP]
4 Dec London The future for higher technical education in England – delivery, simplifying pathways and establishing Institutes of Technology. [Westminster Forum]
5 Dec Birmingham Immersive Environments. [eLearn Hub]
6 Dec London Introduction to Higher Education.  [AUA]
10 Dec Online Best Practices in eLearning for the Accidental Instructional Designer. [eLearning Industry]
11 Dec Online 2018 ALT Online Winter Conference. [ALT]
21-23 Jan Oxford 8th Academic International Conference on Multi-Disciplinary Studies and Education – AICMSE 2019. [CONAL]
30 Jan London 13th International Conference on Language, Education, and Innovation 2019. [CONAL]
30-31 Jan Birmingham STEM Conference 2019: Delivering Next Generation Teaching in STEM. [HEA]
13-14 Feb London Learning Technologies conference. [LearnUpon]
22 Feb Belfast Academics in the digital university: current trends and future challenges. [SRHE]
2-4 Mar Cambridge IEEE–2019 8th International Conference on Educational and Information Technology (ICEIT 2019).  [CONAL]
7-9 Mar London International Conference on Advanced Research in Education. [CONAL]
12 Mar London Next steps for widening participation in higher education.  [Westminster Forum]
16-17 Mar London FEAST Conference on Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Technology (AIT-19). [CONAL]
27-29 Mar London 2019 2nd International Conference on Big Data and Education (ICBDE 2019).  [CONAL]
28 Mar London Technology in HE: the future of learning environments, the use of AI and the impact of online courses. [Westminster Forum]
9-10 Apr London 4th ICRTEL 2019 – International Conference on Research in Teaching, Education & Learning. [CONAL]
30 Apr London Next steps for degree apprenticeships in England – funding, quality assurance and widening participation. [Westminster Forum]
29-30 May Milton Keynes Change Agents’ Network (CAN) 2019.  [Katharine Reedy]
10-11 Apr Galway OER19 Recentering open: critical and global perspectives. [ALT]
18 Jun London EdTechXEurope 2019. [EdTechX]
3-4 Jul Manchester CILIP Conference 2019.  [CILIP]
10-12 Jul Durham 4th International Conference on Information and Education Innovations (ICIEI 2019). [CONAL]
24-26 Jul Belfast Twenty-Sixth International Conference on Learning. [CONAL]
25-26 Jul London Sixth International Conference on eBusiness, eCommerce, eManagement, eLearning and eGovernance (IC5E) 2019.  [CONAL]

Online learning and adult education MOOCs

19 Nov 4 wks Teaching Adult Learners, Central Institute of Technology [Open2Study]
19 Nov 5 wks Basics of Inclusive Design for Online Education, University of Colorado Boulder [Coursera]
20 Nov 3 wks x 5 hrs Learning Analytics in Higher Education, uc3m/Universidad Carlos III de Madrid [edX]
26 Nov 4 wks Learning, Knowledge, and Human Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Coursera]
3 Dec 2 wks x 2 hrs Learning online: reflecting and sharing, University of Leeds [FutureLearn]
3 Dec 5 wks x 5 hrs Learning to Teach Online, University of New South Wales [Coursera]
3 Dec 3 wks x 4 hrs Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice, University of Leeds/UCL Institute of Education [FutureLearn]
3 Dec 5 wks x 4 hrs Advanced Instructional Strategies in the Virtual Classroom, University of California, Irvine [Coursera]
11 Feb 4 wks x 4 hrs The Online Educator: People and Pedagogy, The Open University [FutureLearn]

Self-paced online learning and adult education MOOCs and BOCs

A larger selection of short courses can be found on the self-paced learning webpage.  These can be studied at your convenience to fit in with other commitments.


External News

UK HE

[BBC; Wonkhe]

A recent news story that three UK universities are on the verge of bankruptcy is concerning for staff, but risks creating extra stress for students. Among these, young people – in the process of applying for a place – may even be put off committing tens of thousands of pounds because the government can’t write a blank cheque to guarantee a bail-out if the worst happened. What would happen in reality may be a different story, but the risk of sending a shockwave through the sector is a reminder of the banking collapse.

Adding additional uncertainty to the financial stability of universities, a review of tuition fees is underway and may result in a reduction of c.£2,500 for students—bringing fees down to £6,500 p.a. (£13,500 for STEM subjects). Analysing the impact of this is a question of supply and demand, but no doubt there will be winners and losers. However, a decision is not due until early next year so there is still time for some joined-up thinking.

Returning to the rising controversy over university offers this summer, one UK University will no longer make unconditional offers. The aim is to maintain entry standards after they discovered that a number of their newly enrolled students did not get their predicted grades. A spokesperson at the University and College Union talks of: unconditional offers forcing students to make snap decisions, inflated grade predictions and the system making a mockery of exams.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Commercial News

[Campus Technology; Tech Crunch]

YouTube has announced a plan to make an investment of $20 million in educational content called YouTube Learning. The initiative will support education-focused creators by supporting the production of multi-session educational series. Conditions for funding include the requirement to have at least 25k subscribers and an intent to “teach in a factual, informative and trustworthy manner”. This is likely to increase the quality of site content and add to credibility.

Samsung has revealed a prototype of the long-rumoured folding smartphone, the ‘Infinity Flex Display’ also billed as a ‘Phablet’. Despite critique that it’s probably doomed from the start, it’s a technology that would make online study even more portable so it’s definitely one to watch.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hologram Lecturers

[BBC]

Imperial College London has revealed plans for lecturers to teach from afar using hologram-like apparitions. The effect that has previously been used to transmit images of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley will work like video-conferencing, except the technology is expected to give lecturers a greater sense of presence. The real benefit is the ability to invite guest speakers from all over the world without the need for expensive travel. Other advantages include simultaneous presentations to students in more than one location.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trial and error creation of 3D experiences

[Inside Higher Ed]

Since cycling through several approaches to 3D innovation, Yale has started a new project to explore the development and application of 3D experiences for teaching and learning. Their ‘hub model’ partners instructors with technologically capable students and uses a centralised pool of equipment and funding.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The future of podcasting

[Mike Collins; TechCrunch]

After a slow start, initial academic interest in podcasting peaked in 2008 due to low listener numbers. However, in the last ten years listener numbers have quietly risen enough to increase the potential for using podcasting in higher education, helped by the massive growth of smartphone usage and a surge in user-generated content. Listener numbers have increased to such a level that the podcasting industry is potentially headed for a Netflix-like approach to paid streaming services for exclusive content—an approach that, based on TV streaming, is likely to popularise the technology and make it part of everyday life.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Distance learning promotes success

[Audrey Watters]

Distance learning breaks down the barriers caused by life’s complications. There is no ‘typical’ distance learner—everyone has their own reason. When Afghanistan Veteran Jeremy Haynes, a paraplegic following a terrorist attack, told his psychologist he wanted to go back to school he was told to be realistic, he wouldn’t operate mentally like he did before. Happy to prove the psychologist wrong, Jeremy is now studying for a doctorate in business administration and flourishing as an online learner.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is standardisation really more important than excellence?

[Inside Higher Ed]

ExtensionEngine’s Scott Moore puts excellence before anything else. He reports on the number of conferences and workshops he’s attended where excellence has been overlooked in favour of standardisation, adoption rates, faculty impediments and limited budgets. Standardisation hinders innovation, and this doesn’t work in an age of rapid technological change. You can’t meet student needs, now or in the future, if you don’t make the most of what’s available and plan for what’s yet to come. Excellence is continuous improvement and that can’t be standardised.


Shorts


 And Finally…

[Edsurge]

The ‘Edvation x Summit’ in Tokyo has revealed the latest innovations that could be enhancing Japan’s educational future. Among them, two stand out:

  • Robots that look like cute marshmallows and attend school on behalf of students who may be unable to attend in person.
  • Headsets with cat ears that measure brainwaves to gauge the wearer’s state of attention—alerting teachers at a glance when attention wanders. The fuzzy feline ears perk up when a student is at full attention and fall flat when they’re not.

eLearning Digest No 170 – October 2018

It’s almost time for the clocks to go back in preparation for what has been forecast to be a very cold winter, so it must also be time for the October edition of the eLearning Digest.  Other recent editions are listed here.

This digest contains:

  • UK conferences & workshops
  • Online learning and adult education MOOCs
  • UK HE and BrHExit news
  • MOOC news
  • Apprenticeship degrees
  • Digital accessibility
  • Commercial news
  • Industry news
  • Short news items

Professional Development

UK Conferences & Workshops

5-6 Nov London Wonkfest 18: two solid days of cutting edge debate and endlessly interesting discussion. [Wonkhe]
7 Nov London An Introduction to Agile Project Management for Publishing. [ALPSP]
8 Nov London The future for the legal education and training framework. [Westminster Forum]
15 Nov London Next steps for improving STEM delivery at university. [Westminster Forum]
22 Nov Online Action Learning Sets: what on earth are they? [CILIP]
23 Nov Loughborough Making Educational Escape Rooms. [CILIP]
29 Nov London Association of University Administrators (AUA) Autumn Conference 2018: Rising to the challenges of change. [Clayton Wright]
29 Nov London Higher Education Data Conference. [HESA]
4 Dec Huddersfield Physical and digital library spaces: the final frontier. [CILIP]
6 Dec London Introduction to Higher Education. [AUA]
11 Dec Online 2018 ALT Online Winter Conference. [ALT]
21-23 Jan Oxford 8th Academic International Conference on Multi-Disciplinary Studies and Education – AICMSE 2019. [CONAL]
30 Jan London 13th International Conference on Language, Education, and Innovation 2019. [CONAL]
30-31 Jan Birmingham STEM Conference 2019: Delivering Next Generation Teaching in STEM. [HEA]
2-4 Mar Cambridge IEEE–2019 8th International Conference on Educational and Information Technology (ICEIT 2019). [CONAL]
12 Mar London Next steps for widening participation in higher education. [Westminster Forum]
16-17 Mar London FEAST Conference on Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Technology (AIT-19). [CONAL]
27-29 Mar London 2019 2nd International Conference on Big Data and Education (ICBDE 2019). [CONAL]
28 Mar London Technology in HE: the future of learning environments, the use of AI and the impact of online courses. [Westminster Forum]
29-30 May Milton Keynes Change Agents’ Network (CAN) 2019. [Katharine Reedy]
10-11 Apr Galway OER19 Recentering open: critical and global perspectives. [ALT]
3-4 Jul Manchester CILIP Conference 2019. [CILIP]
24-26 Jul Belfast Twenty-Sixth International Conference on Learning. [CONAL]
25-26 Jul London Sixth International Conference on eBusiness, eCommerce, eManagement, eLearning and eGovernance (IC5E) 2019. [CONAL]

Online learning and adult education MOOCs

22 Oct (4 wks x 3 hrs) Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching, University of Southampton [FutureLearn]
22 Oct (5 wks) Basics of Inclusive Design for Online Education, University of Colorado Boulder [Coursera]
22 Oct (8 wks x 6 hrs) Instructional Design and Technology: Learning Theories, University of Maryland [edX]
22 Oct (8 wks x 8 hrs) Instructional Design: Digital Media, New Tools and Technology, University of Maryland [edX]
29 Oct (3 wks x 2 Hrs) Using Virtual Scenarios to create Effective Learning, St. George’s University of London [FutureLearn]
29 Oct (5 wks x 4 hrs) Foundations of virtual instruction, University of California, Irvine [Coursera]
29 Oct (4 wks) Learning, Knowledge, and Human Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [Coursera]
30 Oct (6 wks x 5 hrs) Digitizing Higher Education, University of Texas Arlington [edX]
5 Nov (2 wks x 2 hrs) Learning online: reflecting and sharing, University of Leeds [FutureLearn]
5 Nov (2 wks x 3 hrs) Digital Learning: Learning meets service design, Deakin University [FutureLearn]
3 Dec (3 wks x 4 hrs) Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice, University of Leeds/UCL Institute of Education [FutureLearn]

Self-paced online learning and adult education MOOCs and BOCs

A selection of short courses can be found on the OU Learning Design self-paced learning webpage. These can be studied at your convenience to fit in with other commitments.


External News

UK HE and BrHExit

[The Times; THE]

Further to the news over the summer about the massive increase in unconditional offers made by universities for 2018 entry, the headteachers of leading independent schools have raised concerns about the impact on A level performance.  When pupils know they don’t need to pass, a reduction in effort results in poorer grades for students and, according to the umbrella group representing 285 private schools that include Eton, risks damaging schools’ reputations.

Following an announcement in the summer about The University of Glasgow signing a deal to open a European study centre in Germany, further UK—Europe collaborations are planned.  Imperial College London has signed a partnership with the Technical University of Munich to have staff jointly appointed by both institutions.  The aim is to prevent barriers in the European scientific area and to keep access to EU research funding.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M(O)OC News

[Audrey Watters; EdSurge]

Fifth largest MOOC-provider FutureLearn, owned by The Open University, is looking to raise £40M to invest in platform improvements that will provide better support for online degree students.  The platform has previously announced over 20 Masters degree and graduate certificates, and more recently a new Bachelor of Arts Undergraduate degree from the University of Newcastle that starts in February 2019.

In contrast, The University of Michigan is encouraging on-campus students to engage with MOOCs it has previously developed.  The purpose varies from personal enrichment to fulfilment of prerequisites, and it is expected that some professors may use parts of MOOCs as homework or as a background reading exercise to support learning technical subjects.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Commercial News

[Goldie Blumenstyk; Google; TechCrunch]

Four years after setting out to build software to save instructors time with marking, AI-assisted grading company Gradescope has joined the Turnitin family.  Both companies share a similar background story, founded by UC Berkeley graduate students who saw inefficiencies in student feedback.  The combined offering promises to make the lives of instructors and students ‘better and better’.

After seven years of operation, Google has announced that consumer Google+ will close.  The social networking platform was Google’s fourth attempt to break into the market after their earlier attempts with Orkut, Google Friend Connect and Google Buzz.  In the early days, growth looked promising but despite best efforts spam became such a major issue that even in 2017 users complained that the level of spam made the platform unusable.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Apprenticeship degrees

[Wonkhe; OfS]

The Office for Students (OfS) has carried out research to help with improving degree apprenticeship opportunities.  Looking at the profile of apprentices, using a sample of 1,750 enrolments in 2016/17, the OfS found the greatest density of degree apprenticeships in the North East and North West of England, a greater uptake by men than Women, and comprising a lower proportion of students from minority ethnic groups than similar HE courses.  The split of younger and mature entrants is roughly split, with under 21s more likely to opt for STEM-related apprenticeships.  The real advantage seems to come from the higher proportion of students coming from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, demonstrating the benefit of apprenticeships for social mobility.

If learners are to fully benefit from apprenticeships, a clearer strategy is required to offer a full range of opportunities from entry-level to degrees and higher levels.  In order to broaden the scope of apprenticeships and to enable progression, there is a need for credit transfers and a mix of work and study-based modules.  Although not a solution to the HE fees crisis, better designed apprenticeship degrees could play a part tackling the collapse in part-time and adult student numbers, but the quality of what is offered relies heavily on strong partnerships between apprenticeship providers and universities.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Digital accessibility

[ALT; Wonkhe; HEPI]

New UK legislation now requires universities to meet accessibility requirements and to publish an accessibility statement on their websites and apps.  While the Equality Act (2010) protects disabled students from discrimination, this new legislation specifically targets digital accessibility to ensure that content is designed to be compatible with assistive software.  This compatibility requirement is not just technical, but also covers the effectiveness of steps taken to ensure users are not hindered in their interaction with digital content.

Modern technology plays a massive part in supporting disabled students, and this may have contributed to increased participation of dyslexic students in HE over the past twenty years.  Between 1996-7 and 2016-17, the percentage of students with dyslexia increased from 1% of all students to 6%.  The recent Public Sector Bodies Websites and Mobile Applications Accessibility Regulations (2018) will ensure that more institutions support even more students with a range of different needs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Student debt and mental health

[Wonkhe]

World Mental Health Day may have passed but that doesn’t mean issues affecting mental health go away for another year.  For many, the reality of student debt is a source of ongoing distress—not just during their days of study, but well into their future.  Even with staggered repayments for current graduates in the UK, having a figure of up to £57,000 hanging over them is a huge burden.  In some cases, the problem doesn’t end there.  Increased social mobility often leads to the poorest students also turning to commercial finance, or worse, resulting in debt repayments that are not linked to income and cannot be deferred in the same way.  These pressures need to be taken into consideration with timetabling and when planning student workload.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The world’s first ‘blockchain university’

[THE]

There have been whispers of using blockchain in education for a while, and the world’s first blockchain university is due to start teaching early next year.  A team of Oxford academics are working with the pioneers at Woolf University to provide a system that is more affordable for students while paying more for teachers.  However, touted as a ‘borderless university’, there are doubts over how the concept will fit with European data protection laws.  Only time will tell.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Face-to-face versus online

[University World News]

Amid disagreement over what disruptive innovation in education looks like, personalised online learning and meeting individual students’ needs is likened to Swiss cheese, where students are left with holes in their learning.  While it cannot be denied that online education reduces peer contact and the social benefit of campus-based learning, online courses offer something more.  The ability to use real-time revision tools gives students more control, enabling them to identify specific gaps in their learning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Free tuition initiative at Cambridge

[University World News; THE]

Cambridge University plans to offer a year of free tuition to disadvantaged students who fail to meet the required A-level grades to meet their offer.  The ‘Transitional Year’ will be funded by philanthropists and aims to widen access to students who may otherwise be put off applying.  Participation will not guarantee the students an automatic place at Cambridge at the end of the programme, but Cambridge VC, Professor Troope, claims it will get them into a top university.  One Oxford College, Lady Margaret Hall, is set to offer a similar programme.


Shorts


And Finally…

[Wonkhe; BBC]

If you’re considering studying for leisure, you may like to consider one of the niche courses on offer around the world, such as Puppetry and bagpiping, Bruce Springsteen’s theologies or a whole course about Lady Gaga—among others.

Elsewhere in the news, a woman was kicked of a flight in the US because her emotional support squirrel was considered outside the realms of what is considered ‘acceptable’ on an aircraft, unlike the emotional support turkey who had his own special chair, a kangaroo and a miniature horse.

And it’s not just us humans who need emotional support.  Paradise Wildlife Park’s snow leopard had a bit of a shock recently when she woke from her nap to discover a new camera.  Luckily the said captured her reaction—available for you to watch on the BBC news site.

eLearning Digest No 169 – September 2018

Picture of conkers

The summer’s over, it’s back to school and conkers are falling from the trees outside my office window, so it must be time for the September edition of the eLearning Digest. Other recent editions are listed here.

This digest contains:

  • UK conferences & workshops
  • Online learning and adult education MOOCs
  • UK HE news
  • MOOC news
  • Commercial news
  • Industry news
  • Short news items

Professional Development

UK Conferences & Workshops

4
Oct
London Commissioning Content: Working effectively with authors and editors. [ALPSP]
6-7
Oct
London International Conference on Education, Teaching and Learning: Interdisciplinarity in a Knowledge-based Society. [CONAL]
9
Oct
London Higher Education Conference & Exhibition: Enhancing Student Experience in Higher Education. [GOVNET]
9-11
Oct
London Artificial Intelligence Conference: Putting AI to Work. [O’Reilly]
10
Oct
Manchester Curriculum confidence: Designing for digital capabilities in the curriculum. [Jisc]
16-17
Oct
Birmingham World of Learning Conference & Exhibition. [WOLCE]
16-17
Oct
London Internet Librarian International Library Innovation Conference. [Clayton Wright]
19
Oct
Walton Hall Computers & Learning Research Group (CALRG) 40th Anniversary Conference. [Rebecca Galley]
22-25
Oct
Dublin The Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE). [Clayton Wright]
26-28
Oct
London Mozfest: where passionate technologists, educators, and makers come together to explore the future of the open Web. [Mozilla]
30
Oct
Salford Widening Participation in Education Conference: Improving access and social mobility. [University of Salford]
30 Oct – 2 Nov Dublin The Universal Design and Higher Education in Transformation Congress (UDHEIT2018). [Clayton Wright]
31 Oct – 1 Nov Liverpool Advance HE’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference. [ECU]
5-6
Nov
London Wonkfest 18: two solid days of cutting edge debate and endlessly interesting discussion. [Wonkhe]
7
Nov
London An Introduction to Agile Project Management for Publishing. [ALPSP]
8
Nov
London The future for the legal education and training framework. [Westminster Forum]
15
Nov
London Next steps for improving STEM delivery at university. [Westminster Forum]
29
Nov
London Association of University Administrators (AUA) Autumn Conference 2018: Rising to the challenges of change. [Clayton Wright]
6
Dec
London Introduction to Higher Education. [AUA]
11
Dec
Online 2018 ALT Online Winter Conference. [ALT]
21-23
Jan
Oxford 8th Academic International Conference on Multi-Disciplinary Studies and Education – AICMSE 2019. [CONAL]
30-31
Jan
Birmingham STEM Conference 2019: Delivering Next Generation Teaching in STEM. [HEA]
2-4
Mar
Cambridge IEEE–2019 8th International Conference on Educational and Information Technology (ICEIT 2019). [CONAL]
27-29
Mar
London 2019 2nd International Conference on Big Data and Education (ICBDE 2019). [CONAL]
15
Nov
London Technology in HE: the future of learning environments, the use of AI and the impact of online courses. [Westminster Forum]
24-26
Jul
Belfast Twenty-Sixth International Conference on Learning. [CONAL]
10-11
Apr
Galway OER19 Recentering open: critical and global perspectives. [ALT]

Online learning and adult education MOOCs

24
Sept
6 wks x 7 hrs What future for education?, University of London [Coursera]
1
Oct
4 wks x 1 hrs Academic Integrity: Values, Skills, Action, University of Auckland [FutureLearn]
8
Oct
4 wks x 4 hrs The Online Educator: People and Pedagogy, The Open University [FutureLearn]
8
Oct
2 wks x 4 hrs Enhance apprentices’ experience with digital technology, University of Leeds [FutureLearn]
8
Oct
2 wks x 4 hrs Blended Learning Essentials: Digitally-Enriched Apprenticeships, University of Leeds/UCL Institute of Education [FutureLearn]
15
Oct
3 wks x 6 hrs Multimodal Learning Analytics, University of Texas [edX]
22
Oct
4 wks x 3 hrs Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching, University of Southampton [FutureLearn]
22
Oct
8 wks x 6 hrs Instructional Design and Technology: Learning Theories, University of Maryland [edX]
22
Oct
8 wks x 8 hrs Instructional Design: Digital Media, New Tools and Technology, University of Maryland [edX]
22
Oct
3 wks x 2 hrs Using Virtual Scenarios to create Effective Learning, St. George’s University of London [FutureLearn]
22
Oct
6 wks x 5 hrs Digitizing Higher Education, University of Texas Arlington [edX]
3
Dec
3 wks x 4 hrs Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice, University of Leeds/UCL Institute of Education [FutureLearn]

Self-paced online learning and adult education MOOCs and BOCs

A selection of short courses can be found on the OU Learning Design self-paced learning webpage. These can be studied at your convenience to fit in with other commitments.


External News

UK HE

[BBC; Wonkhe]

Scepticism over how student finance is recorded may result in an overhaul of tuition fees. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is to decide if changes are needed in public reporting of student finance costs. Currently, student loans are not shown as a negative figure in public finances, making them seem invisible, even though the outstanding debt to the public purse is standing at £118bn and continues to rise. Even more shockingly, but not really a surprise, it is predicted that as much as 61% of loans for the 2017-18 cohort of students will be written off after 30 years at a cost of £28bn.

On the other side of student loans, students are being disadvantaged by the ‘one shot’ model that requires students to progress between qualification levels without a break of more than one year (less when moving from HNC to HND). This issue impacts the ability for institutions to widen participation. It’s also no surprise that the number of part-time learners over 30 studying Level 4 and 5 declined by 70 per cent between 2009/10 and 2016/17. These students are hit twice as hard by increasing fees and limiting access to student loans, contributing to the UK skills shortage.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M(O)OC News

[Campus Technology; EdSurge]

Unable to keep up with the pace of change, employers seeking to provide staff with quality training on a budget are turning to MOOC provider Coursera for a catalogue of courses that meet their individual needs. Over 1,400 companies are hiring Coursera in this way has contributed to their growth, but what has become clear is that their model can cater for a whole range of individual and corporate needs.

Compared to MOOCs at the start of the decade, in 2018, fewer are massive and fewer are open. The whole face of MOOCs has changed considerably, partly for the better, partly not. The emergence of MOOC-based degrees is offering students more choice, but the availability of free education for the underserved – promised originally – has reduced in favour of monetization.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Commercial News

[EdSurge]

Growth expected for UK-based Perlego, who offer subscriptions to access library content has raised $4.8 million of funding through Venture fund ADV and angel investors. Funds will be used to grow the company across the UK and Europe. Since its launch in January 2017, it has already signed up 650 publishers.

Meanwhile, New York City-based CIP Capital are investing an undisclosed sum in Carnegie learning who, as a result, will merge with New Mountain Learning—another CIP owned EdTech company. The combined operations will use the Carnegie Learning name which began at Carnegie Mellon University, in the 1980s, when researchers developed an adaptive-tutoring math system for use in high schools and colleges.

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Designing e-learning

[Forbes; ATD]

Almost sixty years ago, Donald Bitzer introduced the world’s first computer-based education system. Within ten years, that system could support 1,000 simultaneous users. Yet in 2018, e-learning is everywhere and available to anyone with access to a computer. After reaching a value of $107 Billion in 2015, the global e-learning market is predicted to reach a value of $325 billion by 2025.

While increased availability and future growth provides an incredible opportunity for learners, it creates challenges for providers in a growing competitive market—the key to success lies in design. Designing effective e-learning requires collaboration with subject experts and developers throughout the project, feeding into definition, planning, monitoring, evaluating and feeding into lessons learned. Design needs to take learners into consideration to ensure the end result caters for their needs and provides them with a supportive and engaging experience.

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 Who does online education really serve?

[EdSurge]

Even though online education increases access, the end result varies between learners. In an interview with two learning experts, EdSurge seek to discover who online education really serves. Research has shown that a large number of students engaging in distance online learning are adult learners, often balancing their studies with work and family commitments. It may therefore be somewhat unfair to compare retention and pass rates with younger learners continuing in face-to-face education. However, the real question should be how can educators support online learners better?

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Student performance alert systems

[Inside Higher Ed]

Monitoring individual students’ performance with tech may be of some benefit in certain settings, but it can’t support students with the causes of reducing performance like a tutor can. Trying to interpret data and guess the cause may even distract tutors from the job of teaching and has led to delays in addressing issues in time to help students when they need it. Multiple trials have had mixed results, but more needs to be known about the potential impact on student motivation when student-facing systems predict performance.

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Fear of being marked down?

[Inside Higher Ed]

It’s usually students who worry about their grades, but teachers and institutions feel it too. In an era of constant evaluation, league tables and satisfaction surveys, trying something new is risky and can create a barrier to innovation. It creates a conflict between setting trends and following them.

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The value of part-time study

[Wonkhe]

Part-time study benefits individuals and the economy as a whole. Many part-time students are already in work and looking to advance their current career or reskill and move into a new career. The skills developed through balancing study with work and family commitments are transferable and add to the value of qualifications gained. In monetary terms, completing a part-time degree in your late-thirties is associated with increased lifetime earnings for individuals and, for the Treasury, an increase in tax revenue.

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Students find digital solutions

[Jisc]

Students, as end-users, see different problems to university staff. This puts them in the best place to tackle issues that matter to them. Seven teams toom part in Jisc’s annual student ideas competition, each bringing along their own ideas for technological educational improvement based on experience. Two of the teams produced more than just a prototype, delivering app store-ready solutions including a quiz app that promotes interaction and monitors students’ receptiveness in lectures.

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Transforming HE with immersive technology

[Educause; EdSurge; EdScoop]

Development of immersive tech continues at a rapid pace, helped by the increased availability of inexpensive VR headsets. AR glasses are not so affordable yet, but development of augmented experiences continues. With the latest mixed reality headset delivered to developers last month, this is expected to be the next big breakthrough for education. Immersive projects are already delivering benefits in English classes, nursing, medical and science education, as well as enabling role-play simulations, but the future landscape includes virtual worlds controlled by AI to provide adaptive scenarios and experiences.


Shorts


And Finally…

[BBC]

One for sorrow, two for joy… we all remember that, but who remembers the part about the magpie being befriended by a whippet? Mike the Magpie from the Lancashire village of Sabden has hit the news this week accompanied by best friend Boo. Among many things not expected of magpies, Mike is a real chatterbox and likes to go down to the local pub for a drink.