Tag: learning

last night I dreamt I went to St Cecilia’s again

Actually, I didn’t dream it. I was there to present to Academic Senate. Senate means ‘old men’, in case you didn’t know. It’s from the Latin.

Our Senate at Edinburgh University is actually fairly mixed, and the room was packed for a discussion about ‘The Future of Distance Learning’, and that is my bag.

St Cecilia’s Hall was looking lovely. Much better than the first time I visited.

I have to say though, the AV technology brought in for the event, while lovely, and useful, kinda spoiled the point of the venue. St Cecilia’s is famous for its age and its accoustics. It is set out with amphitheatre steps to sit on around the sides like those Latin-speaking senators might have done in ancient times.  I think we should have spoken from the performance area without ppt slides* and been our own projectors.

St Cecilia’s Hall, University of Edinburgh

In case you are wondering , University of Edinburgh currently has about 2,920  distance learning students studying via online programmes at Masters level. We have 65 programmes – (with about 100 permutations).

In terms of cohort size, 7 out of top 10 are CMVM programmes. Surgical Sciences peaked in 2014/15 (155) and has returned to its previous steady state level (105).  Yes, we do teach surgery online. Most other programmes teach fewer than 35 students per year.

For the demographic fans amongst you we have 62% women studying online masters compared with 57% of all masters students. Our online students are also  older  than our on-campus ones.  88% are over 25. We have students from 134 countries studying online. 60% reside outside the UK; but that is not very different from the domicile of our on campus students. The top 6 countries are all English speaking ( Scotland, England USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland)  and account for 59% of students

A significant difference in the student mix is that there are few Chinese online students, whereas they account for 21% of campus based PGT students. Our MOOC learners come from all over the world… but despite there being 2million of them, only 80 apply for online masters.

Only 1.4 % of our online learners are  our alumni.

Alumnus is also Latin, it means ‘foster-son or pupil’. Alumna is for women.

 

 

*I had lovely slides designed by Yujia in a colour scheme to match the venue as you can see.

 

epic fail

Picture taken by me at Berkeley University. No rights reserved by me.

Failure  is all the rage amongst the ladies of my acquaintance. How much of a failure can you be today?  this week?  Is it time for a wee sit down now? Yes. You deserve it. (1) (2)

I work in a place where people often make declarations about innovation and ‘creating an environment where it is safe to fail’.

I sometimes wonder what that means. What would a workplace in which it is safe to fail look like?

Would it look like a bunch of people  being a bit crap at their jobs and experiencing no consequence as a result?  No! it would look like a place where there was visible sign of recognition that when we learn from our failures we move forward as a result.

It would look like a place that hosts a ‘Fail-a-thon’.

When we start a project, we have a plan or idea how the project will pan out, what the outcomes will be, and the benefits of what is delivered. For various reasons  however, things do not always go to plan and we should learn from those experiences. What and why did something go wrong and with reflection what could have been done differently? One platform to learn from each other is a Failathon. The ISG Innovation programme will hold a Failathon on Wednesday 28th June 2017 between 14:00 – 16:00.

“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise person learns from the mistakes of others”

Our Failathon is an opportunity for learning from each other’s failures outside formal routes. We’re running with the title “Beyond Failure”, sharing personal experiences of failures and setbacks in a supportive atmosphere. The session will focus on what we can do to improve as a community, working in small groups to develop prioritised agendas for change in how we use and create evidence.

This event is open to any Innovation project managers who are willing to share their experience of a project that has not gone as expected or planned.  If you aren’t prepared to share your ‘fail’, you don’t get in. Share your experiences of when things don’t go so well.

You don’t need to do any special preparation, but you do need to be prepared to talk about your own mistakes, and respect the confidentiality of the session. This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule and hosted by ISG Director, Kevin Ashley.

 

Book your place now.

learning technology time

picture taken by me at Gartner conf. No rights reserved by me.

As Professor Sir Tim O’Shea is retiring  I am putting together a timeline of learning technology developments at University of Edinburgh. Are there other things I should include?

busy bees

Picture taken by me in the street in Galsgow. No rights reserved by me.
Picture taken by me in the street in Glasgow. No rights reserved by me.

You may be interested to know what the LTW teams have been doing to support you in the last 6 months.

To support the development of digital skills since January 2016, the Digital Skills Programme has delivered 136 face-to-face courses, to c.1400 attendees, across all Colleges and Support Groups, using 40 tutors from across ISG.

To support capacity building for online learning 25 staff across the University have signed up for the recently launched CMALT programme for learning technologists.

To support online learning at scale we have delivered 8 pilot Learning Design workshops with 21 programmes interested in holding workshops in the future.

To support sharing and use of video MediaHopper now holds more than 5,000 video items uploaded by staff and students. Around 10% using a creative commons license (OER). 200 people have been trained to use the new media tools.

To ensure that users can understand and engage with our University we have published 51,000 published pages on Edweb.

To ensure that our students can gain work experience alongside their studies we’ve employed more than 20 student interns.

To make you more comfortable we’ve upgraded 300 open access PCs  and refurbished 52 rooms and spaces.

To make the world a safer place we have launched MyLungsMyLife and Self-Help for Stroke web projects  at the Scottish Parliament.

And that’s all on top of maintaining, running, patching and upgrading all the major systems and services you use for teaching and learning every day.

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

LARC rise

Chicken analytics © The University of Edinburgh http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/17q3tn
No pictures of larks available so you’ll have to make do with chicken analytics
© The University of Edinburgh http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/17q3tn

I am delighted to be chairing the project steering group for the University of Edinburgh LARC ‘Learning Analytics Report Card’ project.

This project asks: ‘How can University teaching teams develop critical and participatory approaches to educational data analysis?’ It seeks to develop ways of involving students as research partners and active participants in their own data collection and analysis, as well as foster critical understanding of the use of computational analysis in education.

The ‘Learning Analytics Report Card’  captures data from an individual student’s course-related activity, and presents a summary of their academic progress in textual and visual form. However, rather than manifesting through hidden and inaccessible institutional data aggregation and analysis, the LARC offers students an opportunity to play with their data; to choose what is included or excluded, when the report is generated, and how it might be presented.

Rather than simply empowering the individual, this process reveals the functioning of the algorithms that increasingly underpin and govern educational decision-making. A pilot LARC will be developed for the MSc in Digital Education programme at the University of Edinburgh, with a view  to producing a packaged system that might be used in other online provision.

The first draft of the Learning Analytics Report Card interface is now complete, and is ready for testing with Moodle data and the phase 1 analytics. The interface is behind the EASE login, which will restrict access to the identified pilot students, as well as facilitate login information for the data capture from Moodle. At present, the options available to students reflect the 5 categories of analytics constituting the fist phase of development: Attendance, Social Interaction, Engagement, Performance, Personal.

If you want to know more, contact Jeremy in the project team.

an Edinburgh festival of digital education

Picture taken by me from Evolution House. No rights reserved.
Picture of Edinburgh castle taken by me from the balcony of Evolution House. No rights reserved.

Next year in April 2016 University of Edinburgh will host 3 major digital education conferences back to back. The city will provide a stunning back-drop for leading educators, policy makers and learning technologists to meet, share ideas and present their research. The calls for papers for each of the conferences is open now and the lists of keynote speakers and themes offer a tempting menu for anyone interested in open educational resources, learning analytics or the challenges of learning at scale.

The conferences are: the 7th Open Educational Resources: Open Culture. OER16 https://oer16.oerconf.org/, the 6th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference. LAK16 http://lak16.solaresearch.org/ and the 3rd annual meeting of the ACM Conference on Learning at Scale L@S

Where else would you want be?

immersion learning

ilwUniversity of Edinburgh Innovative Learning Week (ILW) 2015 #ILW2015 will take place from 16-20 February. Event booking is now open!

ILW 2015 is our fourth annual festival of creative learning and is a chance for students, staff and alumni to develop skills, meet new people and celebrate innovation in our academic community.

This year’s programme includes a fine spread of events hosted or facilitated by LTW in conjunction with friends and partners across the university.

“Shoot the Uni” – Photography Competition 11:00 – 13:00 Mon 16 Feb

Open Courses with Open Resources 09:30 – 12:30 Tue 17 Feb

Peer-Reviewing Online 13:00 – 14:00 Tue 17 Feb

Driving Seminar Room Technology  Various times Tue – Fri

What no Chalkboard? An Insight into Electronic  Various times Tue – Fri

Extending the Boundaries – Virtual Classroom Spaces 13:00 – 14:00 Wed 18 Feb

Women, Science and Scottish History – Wikipedia Editathon 14:00 – 17:00 Mon – Fri

Smart-data hack with Informatics Various times Mon – Fri

ILW 2015 Fair! 16.30-18.30 Fri 20 Feb

TedX 9.30-18.30 Thurs19 Feb

vision for video

University of Edinburgh Digital Image Collections CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
University of Edinburgh Digital Image Collections CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 ECA Photography Collection

University of Edinburgh is about to embark on a large scale media recording and management project, not unlike those going on at many of our peer universities. We aim to improve our media systems capability to support recording, storing, streaming and managing the increasing collection of audio and video assets used across the collegiate university for learning, teaching, research and public engagement. The existing infrastucture is outmoded and does not offer to the university the service and functionality users currently expect. Failing to refresh the existing systems represents a risk to the university, and to IS, in not being able to respond to business needs of the schools and colleges who wish to make more use of audio and video online for an improved student experience.

We will also explore approaches to the publishing of resources under intellectual property licenses ( eg Creative Commons) that permits use and repurposing ( re-use, revision, remixing, redistribution) by others where appropriate.

The early stages of such a project have the fun bits of finding out who in the University is doing what already in preparation for putting in place a multi-platform broadcast strategy. So far I have discovered You Tute, Research in a Nutshell, dozens of Youtube channels, Edinburgh University on ItunesU, Panopto, CaptureED and of course, our MOOC videos. We are also tracking down a list of all the video and audio recording studios around the place.

Edinburgh University subscribes to the excellent ‘Box of Broadcasts’ service. BoB enables all staff and students  to choose and record any broadcast programme from 60+ TV and radio channels. The recorded programmes are then kept indefinitely (no expiry) and added to a growing media archive (currently at over 1 million programmes), with all content shared by users.  Staff and students can record and catch-up on missed programmes on and off-campus, schedule recordings in advance, edit programmes into clips, create playlists, embed clips into Learn or Moodle, share what they are watching with others and search a growing archive of material. It will be fascinating to discover the ways in which this service is being used.

Edinburgh is also part of BUFVC which offers an amazing Moving Image gateway which includes 1,600 websites relating to moving image and sound materials in over 40 subject areas.

I am confident that Edinburgh must have a hefty collection of film in its own archives. It would be fun to do a project here like Oxford University IT Services have done this summer in Dreaming Spools. The project has engaged with alumni all over the world and discovered a wealth of film and video made by some of the most influential film makers, journalists, artists, writers, actors, activists and technicians during the periods when they were students.