moocs scandi-style

Picture taken by me of a plate I have in my house. Yes I realise that Danish is not the same as Swedish.
Picture taken by me of a plate I have in my house. Yes I realise that Danish is not the same as Swedish. No rights reserved by me.

Following my various forays to Brussels for LERUMons for e-moocs and Lillehammer for Norwegian LifelongLearning, I am heading off to the bright nights of  MOOCs in Scandinavia 2016 on June 09-10th.

This is the second conference on MOOCs in Scandinavia , it will take place at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference is organized by a collaboration of Chalmers, Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, Uppsala University and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

You can read about the conference on their website.  You may not know a lot about Scandinavian MOOCs, but you must know they are going to be beautiful, elegant, design-led classics. You should start collecting now.

The conference in Lillehammer featured a TV nightclub and an innovative cheese slice.  The Gothenburg programme features dinner and mingling in an underwater tunnel. I’ll let you know how I get on.

reflecting forward with hindsight

Cover image of BITS magazine. BITS Issue 14, Spring 2016 http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/about/edinburgh-bits
Cover image of BITS magazine. BITS Issue 14, Spring 2016 http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/about/edinburgh-bits

I am impressed that ALT have found my CMALT portfolio in their archives. I will share it as an example with colleagues  engaging with our new CMALT programme.

When I wrote my initial CMALT application in 2008 I was just about to leave University of Leeds to embark on a new adventure in a new role as Head of Learning Technologies at University of Oxford. At that time there were so few CMALT persons in each university that the status of ‘University with the largest number of CMALT’ shifted from Leeds to Oxford when I moved. I stayed in that role at Oxford for 6 years, becoming Director of Academic IT as I expanded the teams, projects, scope and services.

Looking back at my portfolio submission from the time I am reminded of my commitment even then to blogging, learning design, VLEs, OER and my specialist subject: learning technology leadership.

In order to renew my CMALT portflio I am asked to reflect on how my career has developed over the past 3 years and how this relates to my work with learning technology.

I’ve been at Edinburgh for 2 years now. I know this because I’ve just attended my third elearning@ed forum. It’s been a vertiginous learning curve, and  I’ve had to make some serious changes in the leadership of the Division.  Grace Hopper said ‘ the most dangerous phrase in the English language is ‘We’ve always done it this way’. I think that is *especially* dangerous for anyone in an industry like learning technology which requires, demands innovation.

As a woman who arrives from somewhere else to take over the management of a department, I hear it a lot.

The investment of time and effort is paying off though, Senior Vice Principal Charlie Jeffrey described us as ‘gripped in the throws of innovation’. Which is good, I think.   I’ve also just been appointed Assistant Principal for Online Learning.

Having an Assistant Principal as part of the senior management team in ISG will ensure that we can align even more closely the activities of ISG to the mission of the University. This will contribute to the success of our service excellence and digital transformation programmes as well as planning for learning and teaching technology.  My new role will bring added complexity for me as I manage the challenge of keeping my teams on track with these innovations while also giving a renewed focus myself to online and distance learning. Exciting times.

new support for learning technology professionals

Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic - http://www.aliceboreasphotography.com/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48410918
Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic – http://www.aliceboreasphotography.com/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48410918

If you are working in a learning technology role the University of Edinburgh is committed to supporting your professional development. I am delighted to announce a new university wide scheme supporting CPD for staff working with learning technology. Our aim is to support colleagues working in schools, colleges and ISG to become CMALT accredited.

CMALT is Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology – you submit a portfolio describing and reflecting on your work and linking to relevant evidence. The training and support you can access via the CMALT programme will ensure that you stay up to date with best practice and maintain strong links for career progression.

If you join our scheme now you will be supported to complete CMALT by:
*    discounted fees
*    regular meetings of the CMALT applicants group
*    mentoring and support as you put together your portfolio
*    access to organised writing retreats

For more information contact Susan Greig  in LTW now.

I completed my CMALT portfolio a number of years ago. I’m hoping my co-chairing OER16, judging the Learning Technologist of the Year competition and  supporting the roll out this scheme at University of Edinburgh will help me to maintain my good standing.

light reflections on OER16

Interpretation of my #OER16 keynote (c) Beck Pitt CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/40959105@N00/26658563491/in/album-72157667593223021/
Interpretation of my #OER16 keynote (c) Beck Pitt CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/40959105@N00/26658563491/in/album-72157667593223021/

It was lovely to see you all at #OER16 in Edinburgh.  It was a great personal pleasure to host the conference and to listen to the papers and speakers. For me it provided  an excellent excuse to have so many friends and colleagues here.

When Lorna and I passed across to next year’s chairs it was a relief to know that the conference will survive and thrive for another year.

I gave the last keynote, the one usually punctuated by the poorly stifled sound of wheely suitcases escaping from the back of the room. Jim, Catherine, Emma and John are hard acts to follow.

You can watch all the keynotes ( and many of the sessions) on MediaHopper, they are all excellent.

One of the benefits of being the last keynote is that the many flavors of openness had already been rehearsed and debated by other people in the room. And that many of my excellent Edinburgh colleagues had already covered the detail of our services and projects. The keynote offered me a chance to reflect on the themes of the conference and why it made sense to have it in Edinburgh.

I spoke about the Edinburgh vision for OER and the journey that brought us here. I spoke about technical and copyright debt and  the importance of doing your bit when we live in shared space.

If you get a chance to watch all the keynotes, which I hope you will, you will see 5 very different people in very different jobs/contexts taking different approaches to identifying the value proposition for open.  But none of them are doing it alone. That’s the beauty of the thing.

After you watch Emma’s talk know this: as well as her excellent Shakespeare credentials, Emma is also the woman who helped one of Oxford’s oldest colleges to rethink the power of the portraits on its walls -‘Dead white men’ make way for women at Oxford (Guardian, Sept 14)- and as such , one of my inspirations for The Playfair Steps.

big fish at #OER16

ticketMy keynote is mostly written, I know who I’m going to introduce and where I am chair.  I’m looking forward to see you all there. Got your ticket?

My presentation is called ‘Open with Care: contents may have shifted during flight’.  Emma Smith’s is called ‘Free Willy’. Last year Josie brought the dolphins, this year Emma brings the orca.  A whale of a time will be had.

looking, learning, lecturing online

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 09.55.19
Image from the British Library who have generously digitised the archive of Spare Rib. http://www.bl.uk/spare-rib. Some of it even as OER. This is the cover of Issue 72 . Please contact copyright@bl.uk

I find myself writing papers to support the institution-wide roll out of lecture capture again. You’d think I would have nailed this by now.

I always find it interesting to note that on the one hand colleagues are concerned to see evidence that lecture capture will not affect lecture attendance and on the  other that it should be proven to bring about new ways of teaching.  So it should bring no change and yet bring change. Which is a big ask for any tech.

At University of Edinburgh we talk a lot about ‘digital shift’. That the digital should transform and offer new ways of learning rather than just replicate the old ways. So my challenge is to show how students will learn in new ways using the digital version of a lecture while still valuing the analogue lecture above all.

I have been looking for information about how students attend lectures, and about how they use online materials. Recorded lectures are the digital version of the lecture and are available online as resources.

It seems like in general, the universities are on the right track.  59 UK Universities replied to the UCISA TEL survey saying they have lecture capture systems to create digital recordings, and students replied to the Student Lifestyle survey to say that they rarely miss lectures.  They also want even more online materials.

 

61% of students said they never missed a lecture, up from 52% who said the same thing in our 2010 survey. But 38% of respondents admit they do miss the occasional lecture, with students failing to turnup for around one teaching engagement a week on average (0.9). Those doing medicine or a health-related subject are most likely to have a 100% attendance record (74%), despite their relatively high number of lectures. Those doing arts and humanities subjects are also more conscientious than most (68% never missed a lecture), while maths, computing and technology students are most inclined to miss lecture (52% regularly skipped a class). The majority of students (55%) state that they use online resources over traditional text documents (23% favoured these), with 21% stating they use a mix.

Those who most heavily relied on online study resources were, unsurprisingly, those doing maths, computing and technology (48% used online resources for most of their study) compared to 22% of trainee medics and 26% of law students. Men are slightly more likely to rely heavily on online materials (57% said they used more online resources) than women (52% did), while second and third year students (55%) were also greater users of online resources than first-years (52%).

Only 8% of students used standard textbooks, journals and photocopied hand-outs for most of their study, though this rose to 10% for those reading business and management or a social science subject. The survey indicates 43% of students said they would prefer to use online study resources – slightly fewer than the 55% who actually use this method – compared to 26% of respondents who said they wanted to use paper-based resources in general, with 38% stating a preference to use both.

The Sodexo University Lifestyle Survey, 2016

 

 

my week as an international open education woman

Issue 26 p. 1 front cover Illustration of hanging a sheet on a washing line Usage terms: We have been unable to locate the copyright holder for Hanging a sheet on a washing line. Please contact copyright@bl.uk with any information you have regarding this item. - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/spare-rib-magazine-issue-026#sthash.qZnKW0Db.dpuf
Issue 26 p. 1 front cover
Illustration of hanging a sheet on a washing line
Usage terms: We have been unable to locate the copyright holder for Hanging a sheet on a washing line. Please contact copyright@bl.uk with any information you have regarding this item. – See more at: http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/spare-rib-magazine-issue-026#sthash.qZnKW0Db.dpuf

It is a source of great pleasure for me that in recent years the celebrations of International Women’s Day have co-incided nicely with Open Education Week. This makes it easy for me to find authentic and useful things to do as my contribution.

This time last year I was visiting a number of tech partners in California and the theme was #makingithappen  This year the theme is #pledgeforparity and I’ve stayed at home.

I don’t find it difficult to see connections between feminism and open education movements. Both seek to give equality of access, challenge traditional structures and ways of doing things; and involve a diverse community of people in thinking about the greater good. Both also have outspoken advocates with strong opinions and sometimes end up arguing amongst themselves. Nonethless it’s been a fun week.

Saturday: A lovely day doing pleasant writing tasks at the Modern Scottish Women wikipedia editathon #artandfeminism. Working towards parity of coverage and parity of esteem with Jo, Gill, Sara and Mary.

Monday: I ate retro sweets with Charlie and Susie near our #OpenEducationWk display stand and attended the launch of Jo and Peta’s Dangerous Women Project to which I have contributed a blog post to be published later in the year.

Tuesday: On IWD2016 I spent some enjoyable time searching the digital archive of Spare Rib at the British Library to find images to use in my OER16 keynote. I was surprised to find that Spare Rib itself is not particularly well described in Wikipedia, so I spent some time on that too. I added a section on design to continue the #artandfeminism theme.

It seems to me that the big libraries are missing a trick if they are spending time making digitised collections open to the public and not taking a moment more to get a good article on the topic in Wikipedia. They probably need a Wikimedian in Residence.

Wednesday: While my teams were launching our new University of Edinburgh Open Educational Resources policy  to #OEPS in Stirling, I was presenting online in Croatia for Sandra. Our policy is largely based on one crafted by Rebecca for Leeds.

Thursday: I worked with Dominique, our ISG gender equality intern to refine once more our ISG gender equality plan and with Sonia, Yujia, Susan and Lauren to edit the ’embracing openness’ double page spread for our upcoming BITS magazine.

Friday: Today I am working from home, fortified by jam by Anne-Marie and coffee warmed by Maggie’s bespoke knitwear.  I see that all but one of the women artists we were editing on Saturday now have their own wikipedia page, and Lorna, Viv and Catherine are giving it a bit of welly in an ALT OER-SIG webinar to promote our April conference.

A good week’s work all.

learning analytics (LAMARR)

Hedy lamarr - 1940
By MGM / Clarence Bull [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons As well as being a Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr also invented wifi and bluetooth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr

Edinburgh University is investing in the use of learning analytics for course design, attainment, and improving the student experience.

We think learning analytics and  student data analysis hold great potential to address the challenges confronting educational institutions. By merging technical methods for data mining and with educational theory research and practice, learning analytics offer novel and real-time approaches to assessing critical issues such as student progression and retention,  21st century skills acquisition, as well as personalised learning.

The University of Edinburgh has a wide range of activities in the field of learning analytics. As shown in the diagram below, these activities cross many disciplinary, organisational, practice, and research boundaries.

The projects offer a heady mix of acronyms, names and aims. Just to prove that anything worth doing can be mapped across a 2×2 matrix, we have developed one to show the spread of our activity and projects.

Learning Analytics Map of Activities, Research and Roll-out (LAMARR*)

LAMARR
Lamarr matrix offered openly (c) University of Edinburgh, 2016 CC-BY

You can read more about each of them on the IS Learning Analytics Web pages

Led by the Vice-Principal Digital Education, Centre for Research in Digital Education, School of Informatics, Information Services, Student Systems, and the Institute for Academic Development, activities in learning analytics include University leaders, researchers, and practitioners from support, research, and academic units of the University collaborating on a variety of projects funded through both internal and external sources.

*As well as being a Hollywood actress, Hedy Lamarr also invented wifi and bluetooth #womenintech

pledge for parity

Image from the British Library who have generously digitised the archive of Spare Rib. http://www.bl.uk/spare-rib
Image from the British Library who have generously digitised the archive of Spare Rib. http://www.bl.uk/spare-rib. Some of it even as OER. This is the cover of Issue 199. Please contact copyright@bl.uk

March 8th is International Women’s Day. We are encouraged to make a #pledgeforparity.

Without wishing to sound parroty and go on about the same things all the time, the parity I’ll be championing is parity of coverage and parity of esteem in Wikipedia.

Modern Scottish Women is an exhibition of work by Scottish women artists and concentrates on painters and sculptors. It covers the period from 1885, when Fra Newbery became Director of Glasgow School of Art, until 1965, the year of Anne Redpath’s death. The exhibition is on now and will be there until my birthday in June.

In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 15% of its contributors identify as female  and less than 20% of the English language Wikipedia’s biographies are about women. As a result, content is skewed by the lack of female participation.

On Saturday 5 March 2016, 12:00 pm – 4:45 pm there’s an editathon at the Portrait Gallery  to improve and include the information about those artists in Wikipedia.* There’s a follow up event on the 8th at the University to continue the good work.

People are always telling me that the reason women don’t edit wikipedia is because they’ve got better things to do. This seems like a good thing to do. Lets make sure an international audience can find information about our cracking Scottish artists.

 

*we created 6 new articles, and improved 8.