Author Archives: Barbara Conde-Gafaro

Talk 25th March: Building your own map: academic careers in digital education

On Thursday 25th March, Dr Louise Drumm, Lecturer in the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at Edinburgh Napier University, will present a CALRG session on the value in reflecting on an academic career.

When academic careers are discussed, the pathway of a career or its trajectory are seldom considered. Academic careers are not always as systematic as they may seem, and lived experiences can be varied, divergent and uncontrolled.

Though digital education has stumbled into a wide-reaching limelight due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the field of digital education is poorly understood as an area for research and academic endeavour.

As Dr Louise Drumm describes, this can be a freedom but also a barrier to legitimising your career. Dr Drumm added further:

“Academic careers are increasingly managed within institutional systems which can be obscure to those who may be starting out. Turning these experiences into personal stories can help us demystify and underline that there is no ‘right way’ to ‘do’ an academic career and success can look like many different things and is entirely dependent on the individual to define”.

Discussing the value of considering an academic career in the round, Dr Drumm shared: “We live societies and times where we are encouraged to see divides as naturally occurring, e.g. work/life, professional/personal etc. Yet these are artificial and often impossible to maintain.”

“I believe seeing our ‘whole selves’ and others’ ‘whole selves’ as valuable and relevant, whatever the situation, is important. This is not about over-sharing or being self-indulgent, but moving beyond closed thinking about roles, titles or metrics to measure our worth or success”.

In this CALRG session, Dr Drumm will explore what can be learned from our own and others’ experiences to help move ourselves forward; to build our own maps into territories where no one has been before?

Discussing what Dr Drumm was most looking forward to sharing with the CALRG community, they stated: “I’m most looking to meeting the participants and learning about their contexts and experiences”.

This interactive seminar will incorporate moments for reflection thought sharing using digital tools, in order to trace back over the weird and overlapping pathways of one career (so far), emphasising the value in seeing ourselves and others in-the-round, where we value the whole self.

​To attend the session, email for an invitation.

About our speaker:
Dr Louise Drumm is a Lecturer in the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at Edinburgh Napier University. She is the programme leader for the MSc in Blended and Online Education and also teaches and supervises on the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning Teaching and Academic Practice in Higher Education.​ She has worked in a number of universities in the UK as a learning technologist, academic developer, lecturer and software developer. She is also an experienced theatre director and practitioner and likes to explore creative approaches to academic development. Her PhD, from Glasgow Caledonian University, was on the role of theory in teaching with technology in higher education. Her research interests include the relationship between digital teaching and theory, critical digital pedagogy, open education practices, creative methods, digital literacies and academic development.

CALRG 2020 Evaluation Report

The Computers and Learning Research Group (CALRG) held its 41st annual conference solely online for the first time in 2020. With some funding from OpenTEL, CALRG were able to collect extended feedback on the experiences of organisers, presenters and participants about attending an online conference. The findings have been compiled into a short report with practical recommendations that you can find here CALRG 2020 Evaluation Report!

Recommendations include:

  • For organisers: Take accessibility into consideration when selecting the platform for your conference and in the options given to presenters (e.g., some may prefer to send in a recording of the presentation and just take live questions)
  • For presenters: Set a timer next to your screen as it is hard for the facilitator to give you a discrete reminder about reaching your time limit.
  • For participants: Mute your mic when not speaking.

The ongoing pandemic will mean that CALRG2021 is likely to be held at least partly online. This report will inform the planning and running of the event, and the organisers will use this report’s evaluation methods as a starting point for an upstream evaluation approach to understanding the benefits and challenges of CALRG2021 (scheduled for 15-16 June 2020).