OpenStudio at the Guardian HE Awards

Sadly OpenStudio didn’t win the Guardian University Award for Digital Innovation – but the winner and other runner up were more than deserving.

In fact it’s great to see that all three runners up had more to do with embedded practice than simply showing off the next technology.

That’s a healthy sign, in my humble opinion, because learning is a very human kind of thing. When we’re showing off the next bit of tech or that nice new online service we can forget that it’s the human side of it that dictates whether or not it will work. And that’s particularly true in OpenStudio, where the social component to it is thing that matters – not the tech.

What the tech allows us to do is create the infrastructure for one of the largest design studios in the world.

But that still relies on people and the activity they bring to bring it to life.

The research we are doing is trying to understand exactly how that works and then contributes to student success when studying design at a distance. And some of the early findings are showing just how important simply looking at other people’s work actually is. In fact, that was the most surprising result we found so far:

What this shows is that students who simply look at other students work are correlated with higher success rates. We can’t quite say that looking at other people’s work directly leads to student success but this is a step in the direction of being able to show that effect.

So there you go – if you’re a student reading this, feel free to keep avoiding that TMA by just being nosy in ODS…

If you’re a learning designer, make sure your activity designs don’t stop once the artefact is uploaded.

If you’re a studio designer, make sure that measure and value the ‘informal’ learning that takes place every second of every day in an online learning environment.



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