Category Archives: Learning Innovation

Embedding Reflective Practice in a Distributed Leadership Approach

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– Marina Harvey, Lecturer in Academic Development, Macquariie University

Many learning and teaching projects in Australian higher education are adopting what is known as a “distributed leadership” approach. If you want to learn about this approach – then this recently published article from my colleagues and I might help.

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Student support services in open, distance and flexible education

Latest Articles on Student Support Services from Open Praxis

Open Praxis is a peer-reviewed open access scholarly journal focusing on research and innovation in open, distance and flexible education. It is published by the International Council for Open and Distance Education – ICDE.

OpenPraxisThe latest issue of Open Praxis features an interesting range of papers on student support services including:

  • The move from geographical to pedagogical student support at the Open University, UK;
  • Wellness promotion in online learning with examples from the US and a set of recommendations;
  • Open education resources (OER) in teaching and in learner support;
  • Student drop-out rates at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia;
  • Accessibility improvements for disabled students through cloud services at SUNY Empire State College, US;
  • Course-embedded student support for online english language learners; and
  • The introduction of an online student support platform at Wawasan Open University, Malaysia.

 

What’s on the Horizon? Macquarie connection

NMC and ELI Release the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition

horizon at RhodesThe New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)  jointly released the 11th edition of the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education today. The NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education.

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Shut up and write!

shutup and write

Is it hard to find time to write?

Losing your motivation and getting sidetracked?

Shut up and write! Mondays 3-4.30pm Library cafe, starting 3 February, look for the red sign. Just turn up – at least one person will be there each week.

‘Shut up and write’ is about getting together to simply write. Write anything at all – report, journal article, literature review, blog post. The format is get a beverage (or not) and chat, shut up and write for 25 minutes, short chat, shut up and write for 25 minutes, then say goodbye till next week.

Natalie Spence from the Learning and Teaching Centre is setting up a writing group using this format.  If Monday afternoons don’t work for you, contact natalie.spence@mq.edu.au for an alternative or setup your own group. Go to http://thesiswhisperer.com/shut-up-and-write/ to find out how to get your own writing group up and running.

How is your PhD student doing?

Photo by Mike Catabay, LTC, Macquarie University

The LTC and the Department of Education are conducting research on the role of social support in doctoral education.

PhD candidates at any stage of their study are invited  to participate in focus groups and/or one-on-one interviews. A monetary incentive is provided to each participant for each session.

The findings will propose guidelines for support services and practices in doctoral education, in order to enhance the HDR experience.

Tell your PhD student about this study!

Click for more details and to sign up  or email Lilia Mantai lilia.mantai@mq.edu.au

 

Has online education peaked?

Babson Survey Wordle

Although a recent survey of colleges and universities from the U.S. indicates that the number of students taking at least one online course continued to grow, the rate is the lowest in a decade.

Further, the proportion of institutions that believe that online education is a critical component of their long-term strategy has only shown a small increase.

By contrast, the percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those as in face-to-face instruction, grew from 57% in 2003 to 74% in 2013.

The 2013 Survey on Tracking Online Education in the United States by the Babson Survey Research Group was published in January (2014). Grade Change – Tracking Online Education in the United States is the eleventh annual report in this series and reports on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education. The survey collected responses from more than 2,800 colleges and universities and is aimed at answering fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education.

Click here to download a copy of the survey.

Online Learning Predictions from Tony Bates

blue skyTony Bates, well known thinker and author on distance and online learning has published his 2020 Vision: Outlook for online learning in 2014 and way beyond.

Tony is particularly known for his time as Director of Distance Education and Technology at the University of British Columbia, Canada and through his work as Research Team Leader of MAPLE, the Centre for Research into Managing and Planning Learning Environments in Education at UBC.

In his vision he outlines 9 main points:

  1. The disappearance of online learning as a separate construct
  2. Multi-mode delivery concentrated in fewer institutions – but more diversity
  3. Multi-purpose, open delivery, with multiple levels of service and fees
  4. Goodbye to the lecture-based course
  5. Goodbye to the written exam – and welcome to the final implementation of lifelong learning
  6. New financial models
  7. Systematic faculty development and training
  8. Devolved decision-making and organizational models
  9. Student privacy, data security and student online behaviour will become more difficult

The replacement of lectures has been predicted for many years now. The emergence of the flipped classroom has given us a viable alternative. What do you think? Which predictions do you agree with?

 

Macquarie University Staff Successful at EdTech Conference

Macquarie University recently hosted the 30th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning (ascilite).

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ascilite 2013 conference attendees in Macquarie Theatre

Matt Bower a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education and colleagues were awarded best full paper for Bower, M., Kenney, J., Dalgarno, B., Lee, M.J.W. & Kennedy, G.E. (2013). Blended synchronous learning: Patterns and principles for simultaneously engaging co-located and distributed learners. In H. Carter, M. Gosper and J. Hedberg (Eds.), Electric Dreams. Proceedings ascilite 2013 Sydney. (pp.92-102)

Panos Vlachopoulos a Senior Lecturer in the Learning and Teaching Centre and colleagues were awarded best short paper in the category ‘imagining the future’ for Smyth, K., Vlachopoulos, P., Walker, D., Wheeler, A. (2013). Cross-Institutional development of an online open course for educators: confronting current challenges and imagining future possibilities. In H. Carter, M. Gosper and J. Hedberg (Eds.), Electric Dreams. Proceedings ascilite 2013 Sydney. (pp.826-829)

A new feature at this conference was the introduction of digital poster sessions, which made full use of the active learning space in the newly refurbished Macquarie Theatre. Elaine Huber, Alex Thackray and Rebecca Ritchie from the Learning and Teaching Centre were given the award for the best poster “Practices and perceptions of online assignment submission, marking and feedback: what’s changed?”.

To access these papers and more, go to:
http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/sydney13/program/handbookproceedings.php

Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Conference 2014

HERSDAThe Higher Education Research and Development Society of  Australasia (HERSDA) in collaboration with the Hong Kong Baptist University are hosting the HERSDA 2014 Annual Conference from 7 to 10 of July 2014 in Hong Kong.  The conference theme is ‘Higher Education in a Globalized World’ and the call for contributions is now open.The call for proposals closes on 7 February 2014. More information about the conference can be found on the HERSDA 2014 website.