Are you a People Person? Or a Planet Person?

If you’re involved with running a People or Planet unit this year, here’s an opportunity to connect with colleagues doing the same.

Join the People and Planet Knowledge Network to meet up and share thoughts and experiences with colleagues from across the University, whilst reviewing and building teaching and learning skills.

Image courtesy Macquarie University Sustainability

First get-together of the People and Planet Network for the year:
Let’s Reflect: How reflection can enhance skill development
Tuesday, 15 April, 12noon-1pm
More details

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?

 

iLearn Drop-in Clinic back in 2014!

 

Images courtesty of Tony Dwyer, LTC
Teaching staff enjoying 1:1 support at the Drop in Clinic.

Breathe a sigh of relief, the iLearn Drop-in Clinic is back for Session 1, 2014!

Come and get all the help you need with iLearn, iTeach and UNITS for Session 1, 2014.  No need to register, just swing by.

Mark these dates in your calendar:
Monday 17 Feb – Friday 28 Feb, 10am-4pm weekdays, C5A 204
Monday 3 Mar – Friday 7 Mar, 10am-4pm weekdays, E4B 308

 

Panos reflects on MOOCs

panos vlachopoulosIn October 2013 I engaged in a discussion with fellow online learning scholars in the Association of Learning Technology Mail-list (UK). We discussed various issues related to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and their perceived and actual value for enhancing learning in Universities. Perhaps the most well thought out contribution was made by Professor Diana Laurillard  from the Institute of Education, University of London. She wrote: Continue reading Panos reflects on MOOCs

Macquarie University Staff Successful at EdTech Conference

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

DSC_0001
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.

How do I know whether my TEDS results are “good” or not?

It’s difficult to determine a clear “standard” for TEDS results, since we know that they are affected by a range of contextual variables that relate to the learning and teaching environment.

Over the years, analysis of TEDS data has demonstrated persistent and consistent differences according to:
• discipline area (Faculty – this is more a reflection of student cohort differences than variation in teaching or curriculum quality);
• class level (100, 200, 300-500, 800-900-level, with 600- 700 level yet to be examined); and
• class size (this tends to have more impact on teaching than unit evaluation results, but is evident in both).

Interpreting Your TEDS Results – in Context

Without a measure of the variation attributable to each of these factors, it’s hard for an individual teacher or unit
convenor to “place” their own TEDS results in the context of their own teaching environment. However, help is at hand!

Now that we have been running the revised TEDS surveys for several semesters, we have sufficient data to provide descriptive statistics for groups of evaluations within the same context, at least to Faculty by Unit Level refinement in
most Faculties. These statistics, based on the distribution of mean (average) scores rather than individual scores in Faculty/Unit Level category, will enable you to see where your results are placed in relation to others who teach in the same context.

Where to Access

Guidance for interpreting your results in relation to the data summaries, and the summary tables themselves, are available NOW for LEU surveys only at http://staff.mq.edu.au/teaching/evaluation/surveys/compare_leu/.

The TEDS team are working on the LET tables and will inform all staff when these are ready to be accessed.

Meet the Team: David Morgan

What do you do at the LTC?
I am a Systems Administrator and my main focus is supporting the Echo360 platform. A lot of time is spent looking after server and data storage infrastructure and also the 100 odd Echo360 capture devices that create classroom recordings.

What is the most interesting part of your job?
I’ve found interest in the ways that technologies, which may have originated say as a business tool or for entertainment, can be adapted to support education. I enjoy technical challenges and being able to work creatively to find solutions. I’ve always been interested in gadgets with lots of flaDavid Morganhing lights, and our learning systems infrastructure has lots of those. I’m situated within a very supportive and adept team which makes the job seem less like work, and more like shared goals.

What did you do before you joined us?
Having studied to be an audio engineer, I worked at a music studio for several years. A lot of what I did at the studio, such as working with analogue audio systems, troubleshooting faults and pacifying drunken rock stars was surprisingly relevant when I started work at Macquarie in 2003.

How did you come to be working with us?
Through a contact I knew working at Macquarie. My first position at the University was a technical support role within the AV department. Back then, I don’t recall there being a formal interview, but there were a lot of questions asked about the potential value and technical aspects of using the internet to deliver lecture recordings.
By far my greatest challenge in that role was correctly inserting 35mm slides into the slide carousel. Each slide had a 75% chance of being back-to-front, upside-down… or both.

What do you do when you’re not working at the LTC?
I can still be found hanging around music studios and playing in bands.

What’s the most adventurous or dangerous thing you have ever done?
Some years ago a friend and I decided to start a rally racing team. Armed with a 1970’s Mini Clubman, we honed our rally driving skills by weaving amongst the trees in a paddock at my mate’s family property at Kenthurst. Despite what you might think, the actual danger came in the form of several engine modifications, which apparently made the car go faster, but also caused the engine to catch fire.

now at teche.mq.edu.au