You can't do that in a classroom! July 2, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
What traditional teaching env. canNOT do (Cath Ellis — great post): "I think it’s time we shifted our thinking away from what eLearning can do to what traditional teaching environments can’t do. The simple fact is, however, that such thinking is deeply iconoclastic. The simple suggestion that traditional, face-to-face learning environments have limitations and *gasp* may even be found wanting is unthinkable to many teachers and learners who have never experienced anything else. But that’s precisely the point. It’s vital that we be able to evaluate different teaching and learning environments on their objective relative merits in order to best harness their distinct potentials. As such, it’s vital that we move away from old-fashioned hierarchical thinking that positions face-to-face learning environments at the top of the heap.
To that end, here is a list of 5 things that can’t be (easily) done in a rigidly synchronous learning space (a time-limited physical face-to-face classroom) "delicious links , 1 comment so far
A preview of the findings of the Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience:
"The committee's report, Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World, will also say that universities face a "digital divide" when it comes to the ability of tutors to use social networking in their teaching.
While some academics have embraced the use of websites such as Wikipedia, MySpace, Facebook and Bebo, others lack the technological knowhow or are "hostile to all but the most cursory engagement with ICT".
Use of Web 2.0 technologies in learning and teaching was "considerable but patchy", and driven by the enthusiasm of individuals or small groups.
The inquiry found that students as yet only "dimly perceived" the potential of Web 2.0 as a learning tool, and could be uncomfortable with staff-initiated online discussion."
QAA reports on public concerns about academic standards March 27, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
QAA lines up more work, saying it has found "evidence to support further scrutiny of […] concerns in the following areas:
– the range of contact hours appropriate to the student learning experience
– guidance offered to international students about UK higher education and the support arrangements that international students should expect from higher education institutions
– processes use to identify, train and support external examiners
– the assessment and degree classification practices used by higher education institutions
– effective ways of informing the general public about academic standards and quality in higher education and the ways they are assured."
Is this a first for a UK university? Glasgow has launched a website dedicated to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), punningly called BeSoTLed — and it’s more than just a page with links to some of the (much more plentiful) sites in North America.
This initiative has grown out of a learning community of teaching staff at Glasgow University, particularly Lorna Morrow (psychology), Rob McKerlie (dentistry) and Jane MacKenzie (Learning and Teaching Centre). Congrats to them. These three seem to have an open and encouraging way of describing their involvement with SoTL — for example, I like the way they
do not see themselves as SoTL experts but as SoTL enthusiasts.
Glasgow University seems to have been encouraging SoTL more actively in recent years. It became the only European member of the Building SoTL Communities project, supported by the Carnegie Academy. The six others are all in the USA or Canada. Glasgow also set up a SoTL journal a few years ago — the Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
The BeSoTLed website points to other activities, too — indeed, there’s an accompanying Moodle site, which sadly is accessible only to Glasgow staff.
Good stuff. Which also it makes me wonder why the HEA hasn’t created something like this, as far as I’m aware, as a central resource to encourage SoTL in UK higher education. Of course the HEA has supported initiatives such as this one at City, where we do our bit for SoTL, too, with an international conference almost annually, and schemes for SoTL research and recognition. Among other things.
Universities' millions in Iceland — BBC NEWS | Education October 17, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Demise of Icelandic banks hits some UK universities. Any more to follow? Best not to think about their pension funds at the moment…
"Universities' secretary John Denham said a total of 12 English universities had £77m at stake though none of the institutions was in jeopardy.
Oxford University and its colleges have £30m – or 5% of their overall cash deposits – invested in three of the troubled banks or subsidiaries. Cambridge faces losses of £11m…
On Wednesday it emerged that three Welsh universities had £8.1m at risk…
Manchester Metropolitan University said it was hopeful it would get back the £10m it had invested…
The University of Manchester said it had £5m of its general investments in the banks…
The Open University said it had invested £6.5m in UK subsidiaries with the Icelandic banks."
£5.7m to develop Open Education pilot projects in UK October 15, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : Education, HEA, learning, Teaching resources , add a comment
From the HEFCE press release today:
HEFCE has announced an initial £5.7 million of funding for pilot projects that will open up existing high-quality education resources from higher education institutions to the world.
In plain English, this means making available teaching and related material in digital form — for others in HE (and elsewhere) to reuse and adapt for teaching and learning.
The press notice explains that:
Open educational resources could include full courses, course materials, complete modules, notes, videos, assessments, tests, simulations, worked examples, software, and any other tools or materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge.
Also spotted today: Martin Weller of the Open University writes about SocialLearn, the OU’s project to develop a social network for learning — a few steps on from its Open Education initiative, OpenLearn.
Students assessed on Web2.0 shocker: Times Higher Education October 5, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , 1 comment so far
Web2.0 starts to penetrate more of HE? — but that this makes news might be something to do with the core readership of the Times Higher and their (lack of) familiarity with such newfangled gadgetry:
delicious links , add a comment
Some students are now formally assessed on "wikis" – websites that can be edited by others – or websites they create on their own or with fellow students. Students are also submitting internet podcasts, video diaries and blogs.
The Bologna gap between universities in the UK and much of Europe:
At the heart of the debate is the British one-year masters degree. The accord does not require a two-year masters degree, but most European universities offer a qualification of this type as standard. Across continental Europe, the masters is a research-intensive course aimed at preparing students for a PhD and a career in academia. In the UK, it performs a quite different function – offering the high-level professional skills required by the workplace.
As such, the one-year masters offered by UK universities could be seen as minimalist, even lazy. According to the Hepi report: "If the Bologna brand were to become well established, and if the UK was seen not to be 'Bologna-compliant' – and there are undoubtedly a number of our competitors who would like to create that impression – then that could damage the UK's attractiveness to international students.
Are College Students Techno Idiots? :: Inside Higher Ed :: Higher Education's Source for News, Views and Jobs September 30, 2008Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Large-scale study suggests poor information literacy skills, including evaluating websites and searching online effectively: "For the study, information was gathered from over 6,300 students found at 63 universities, colleges, community colleges, and high schools (seniors). Each institution selected participants to take an information and communication technology literacy assessment. Because the institutions did not make random selections , caution should be taken when evaluating the results. The challenge was to see if students could identify trustworthy information, manage that information, and communicate it effectively. The results do not inspire confidence. […]Results also show that students might even lack the basics on a search engine like Google. When asked to narrow a search that was too broad, only 35 percent of students selected the correct revision. Further, 80 percent of students put irrelevant points into a slide program designed to persuade an audience."