On this very sunny Thursday I am at the IAD in Bristo Square for the elearning@ed forum’s 2015 conference which is focusing on Designing for 21st Century Learning. I’ll be taking notes throughout the day (though there may be a gap due to other meeting commitments). As usual these are live notes so any corrections, updates, etc. are welcomed.
TheÂ speakers for today are:
WelcomeÂ -Â Melissa Highton, Director, Learning Teaching and Web Services, IS.
Thank you all for coming. It’s a full agenda and it’s going to be a great day. Last year Jeff left us with the phrase that it is “exciting times” and that’s reflected by how fast this event filled up, sold out… you are lucky to get a seat! Being part of this community, to this forum, is about a community commitment we will see throughout the day, and we are very lucky and very appreciative of that.
Designing for 21st Century Learning is our theme for today. As someone who did all their formal learning in the 20th century, I started with a bit of Googling for what 21st Century might be – colourful diagrams seems to be the thing! But I also looked for some accounts from the university of what that might mean… some things that came through where that it is about teaching understanding of difficult things in all subjects, do a little to remove the inequalities of life, practical work and making things with one’s hands “the separation of hand and brain is an evil for both”. But these words are from 1905, they are from the University Settlement. But actually many of those remain common values. But there are are also issues of technology, of change…
“It’s not ok not to understand the internet anymore” – Martha Lane-Fox delivering the Dimbleby Lecture at London’s Science Museum, March 2015. That is certainly part of what we are talking about. Most in this room will feel they understand the internet, but we also have to be thinking about the challenges raised, the trends. And I’m going to finish with a graphic from the New Media Consortium (which the university is part of) tracking some of these changes and trends here/coming soon.
Chairs session – Individual short presentations, followed by open panel discussion (chaired by Jessie Paterson)
Designing for 21st Century earning: the view where I sit Prof.Â Judy Hardy,Â Physics Education, (Physics and Astronomy)Â Profile
I was asked to give the view from where I am, in 10 minutes, which is fairly tough! So I will be sharing some of my thoughts, some of what is preoccupying me at the moment.
Like Melissa I saw the concept of 21st Century Learning and thought “gosh, what’s that”. So I tried to think about a student coming here in 2020. That student will probably be just about coming to the end of their first year at secondary school right now. So what will it look like… probably quite a lot like now… lectures, tutorials, workshops etc. But what they will have is even more technology at their fingertips… Whether that is tablets or whatever.
We have been working on a project tracking students use of technology. We didn’t tell them what to use or how. They used cloud based word processor saying it saved times, seeing each others writing styles benefitted the flow of the report they worked on together. They used Facebook and self organised groups to compliment and coordinate activity. They just did it. I think many didn’t mention it as they just took it for granting…
Interactive engagement in learning performs something like double the learning gain (RR Hake 20?). But wht is that? We did research (Hardy et al 2014) on academic staff teaching in UK university physics departments. Many want to teach, many focus as much on teaching as research. So what are the challenges? Well time and time as a proxy for other things… We can’t ignore that if we really want to move from a dedicated few doing great teaching work, to mainsteaming that. Deslauriers, Schelew and Wieman (2011) in Science found that it took 20 hours preparation to teach with a flipped classroom – that reduces after the first run but it is a substantial investment of time. Pedagogically there is also confusion over the best tools or approaches to take..
What is preoccupying me quite a bit at the moment… It is not about the “what” and “how” but about the “why’. There is awareness of what we should or might do. How to do that is very important – you need to know what to do and how to do it. But you also need to understand the principles behind that, why you are doing that, what the purpose is. You need to know what you can modify, and why, and what the consequences of that might be. When we are doing teaching, when we are thinking about teaching, we need to have this in mind. Otherwise we end up using the same formats (e.g. lectures) just surrounded by new technology.
Prof.Â Sian Bayne, Digital Education, (Education)Â Profile
It was a bit of a wide brief for this session, so I thought I would talk about something happening this week. Some of you will be aware that the #rhizo15 MOOC is running again this week, the Rhizomatic Learning “cMOOC” idea. And I saw lots of tweets about a paper I’d written… Which got me thinking about what has been happening… and where things are going…
That paper looked at the Deleuze and Guattari (1988) concept of striated space (closed, hierachichally, structured, etc.) vs smooth space (open ended, non hierachichal, wandering-orientate, amorphous). And that these spaces, these metaphors, intersect… And this paper was using these metaphors in the design of learning itself. So, back in 2004 the VLEs and LMSs was pretty much what there was in terms of online learning – very striated spaces. Emerging at that time in a more smooth space – were ideas like scholarly hypertext, multimodal assessments, anonymous discussion boards (which went, but are kind of back with YikYak), wikis and blogs.
So, what has changed around 10 years later? Well in the striated space we have VLEs and LMSs, Turnitin, e-portfolios, and we have things that may be striating forces including personalisation (flexible but to rules), adaptive learning, learning analytics, gamification (very goal orientated), wearables. Â In terms of the smooth spaces… we have Twitter (though some increasing striation), YikYak, real openness. And we also see augmented realities and flipped cassrooms, maker spaces, and crowd-based learning as smoother spaces.
So, what’s next? The bigger point I want to make is that we have a tendency in this field to be very futures orientated. I was also googling this week for elearning and digital education trends 2015.. huge numbers of reports and trends which are useful but there is also a change acceleration, trends and practices to respond to and keep up with. We need to remember that we are doing those things in the context, to look back a bit, to consider what kind of teaching do we actually want to do, what kind of university do we want to be. And ultimately what is higher education actually for? And those kinds of considerations have to sit alongside that awareness of changes, trends, technologies…
Using Technology to support learners’ goal setting – Prof.Â Judy Robertson, Digital Learning, (Education) “Using technology to support learners’ goal setting”.Â Â Profile
I am also talking about what I am working on this week, which has mainly been data analysis! My work looks at technology use by children (and sometimes university students). I design and evaluate technology for education and behaviour change, often designing learners in the design process. There are aspects of behaviour change and concepts from games that can be particularly useful here, but games tend to have set goals built in (even if you can choose your goals from a set), and I look at learners setting their own goals.
So my research vision is about working with users to develop technology which enables them to set and monitor appropriate goals for themselves in the context or education and healthcare – that could be working with children and teachers to develop software which enavles goal setting around problem solving and physical activity, or to work with new undergraduates to help them to plan and monitor their studying, or even working with older adults to assist them to change their patterns of sedantary behaviour. But there is a risk of becoming like the Microsoft paperclip… How do we actually make technology useful here?
So I have been working on an exergame (a game where physical exertion is the input medium) called Critter Jam (aka FitQuest) which is looking at whether it is possible to motivate children to increase their activity. So the game might have you collecting virtual coins, or being chased by a virtual wolf… It is all about encouraging mainly running activities, with mainly playground game type activities. Within the game children can pick from different goals… For those with intrinsic motivation tendencies you can aim for your personal best… For some children you might set a custom points target – and how children (or indeed university students) pick that target is interesting. Some children may want to top the leader board Â - that motivates some, but competition can be negative too…
So, we are also looking at fine grained log file data from around 70 kids over 5 weeks as part of a wider RCT data set. I’ve been looking on the sort of goals kids set and how they achieve them. And also looking at how self-efficacy relates to goal setting. And as you look at the data you can look at the high performing kids and see where there are patterns in their goal settings.
It turns out that kids achieved their goals around 50% of the time, which is a bit of a disappointment. And those who expect to do well, tend to set more ambitious goals – which raises some questions for us. And in terms of how goal setting relates to high performance gains we have some interesting qualitative data. We interviewed some students – all of our kids here were 10 years old – and they reported that if they had set too hard a goal, they would reset to a lower goal, but then aim to keep improving it. This seems reasonable and thoughtful for a 10 year old. At 10 that’s not what all students will do though (even for undergraduates that doesn’t even work). Speaking to another child they aimed fairly low, to avoid the risk of failure… again something we need to bear in mind with university students and how ambitiously they set their own goals.
Prof.Â Dave Reay,Â Carbon Management and Education, (Geosciences)Â Profile
- Prof.Â Jonathan Silvertown, Technology Enhanced Science Education, (Biological Sciences) “VirtualÂ Edinburgh: Turning the City into a pervasive learning environment”.
- Prof.Â Dragan Gasevic,Â Learning Analytics, (Informatics and Education.)Â Profile
â€œCo-Creation: Student Ownership of Curriculumâ€� (Workshop) – Dash Sekhar, VPAA, EUSA and TanyaÂ Lubicz-Nawrocka, EUSA
“Using e-Portfolios to recognise our student and graduate attributes” -Â Simon Riley (CMVM) and Prof. Ian Pirie, Asst Principal Learning Developments
Designing for Open- Open Educational Resources and new media for learning -Â Melissa HightonÂ Director, Learning Teaching and Web Services, IS.
Lunch (where there’ll be some posters to explore) thenÂ Labs/practicals chaired by Marshall Dozier (this is where I may be at meetings and you may wish to switch to watching #elearninged) including:
Â “Designing teaching spaces for the 21st century learner: The story of theÂ nostalgic Dad and the horrified Son” -Â Victoria Dishon (School of Engineering), Stephen Dishon (IS LearningÂ Spaces Technology)
DYNAMED: Student Led Development of a Dynamic Media Library for the R(D)SVS – Brian Mather and Rob WardÂ - (CMVM)
Experience with Cogbooks pilot on personalised learning. – Eduardo Serafin (Geosciences) and Mark Wetton (IS)
Offshoots and Outputs session chaired by Marshall Dozier:
CMC Vellore India partnership – online MSc in Family Medicine -Â LizÂ Grant (CMVM) and Jo Spiller (IS)
â€œDigital tools for lighting educationâ€� – Ola Uduku and Gillian Treacy,Â (ECA)
â€œResearch, Teaching and Learningâ€� – Michael BeggÂ (IS)
“Developing the Vision for 21st century learning” – Prof. Sue Rigby, VP Learning and Teaching
Conference closing – Wilma Alexander, Convenor, eLearning@ed Forum