Eleanor Moore ~ Learning Designer
With experts across the world sounding alarm bells about the impact of AI (disappearing jobs and widening wealth inequality to name just two issues), how worried should we be about its potential in education?
When ChatGPT burst on the scene in November 2022 with its human-sounding prose and extensive knowledge base, the worried frown in academia suddenly got a lot deeper. With the last bastion of academic excellence – the essay – under threat, learning technologists and academics across the globe are asking: what are we going to do? It will therefore come as no surprise that the recent University of Kent webinars on ChatGPT exceeded the maximum user limit in Teams with 1337 attendees.
Continue reading “Help! A robot wrote my essay!: Reflections on webinars about ChatGPT”
Paul Astles and Catriona Matthews ~ Learning Designers
Scholarship can happen in unexpected ways and an opportunity can present itself when you least expect it. In this instance, a colleague from the Open University Library shared a call for content at a webinar series curated by the University of Kent. The theme of the event was around the role of the ‘learning designer’ in supporting student retention and success. We felt that this provided an excellent opportunity for us to share the role of the Learning Designer at the Open University and to specifically discuss how we support module teams in relation to student retention and success. Continue reading “From email alert to delivering a talk: Unexpected scholarship”
Hayley Johns ~ Learning Designer
Earlier this month, in a world first, the University of Barcelona announced that their students will take a mandatory climate crisis module from 2024. This development came in response to a sit-in by student activists as part of a protest to end fossil fuels and confront the climate emergency. A professor described the new course as a ‘change in the paradigm of university education’.
Similar changes are afoot in the educational technology (ed tech) sector. Back in June, ahead of a summer of record-breaking temperatures across the northern hemisphere, I attended a talk by Professor Neil Selwyn of Monash University, entitled ‘Studying digital education in times of climate crisis: what can we do?’. Sustainability in ed tech is an emerging topic but an important one, and Neil began by posing a key if troubling question – is digital education part of a realistic ‘liveable future’? Continue reading “‘Get engaged and enraged’: imagining sustainable futures for digital education in times of climate crisis”
Hayley Johns ~ Learning Designer
Feedback, according to Professor John Hattie, is ‘one of the most powerful notions we have’ in education – and also one of the most variable.
Earlier this year, I joined an instalment of Phil Anthony’s award-winning Digitally Enhanced Education webinar series to learn more about how institutions around the world are prioritising feedback as a key part of learning. Amid a wide variety of talks on assessment and feedback, a few really stood out. I’m particularly excited to share with you some of the wisdom of Professor Hattie on the power of feedback as a process of constant learning, of asking questions, and of low stakes ‘failure’ in a supportive environment.
Continue reading ““It’s OK not to know!”: Professor John Hattie and the power of feedback”