Matt Lingard's blog

Horizon Scanning @ Herts

My keynote & highlights from the 2014 University of Hertfordshire Teaching & Learning Conference.

I was delighted to be invited to speak at Hertfordshire’s conference on Learning & Teaching Innovations. For my keynote I was asked to look forward and outline the likely impact of technology on the HE learning landscape in the next 5-10 years. Crystal Ball stuff. More of that in a moment.

Photo: Crystal Ball
Super Bowl Sunday Crystal Ball by Iris Shreve Garrot on Flickr (BY-NC-SA)

It was an excellent conference, and I have to say (sorry City, sorry LSE) easily the best university Teaching & Learning Conference I have attended. It was well-attended, almost 300 staff I believe, but what really stood out was the enthusiasm for teaching and for TEL. This came out in both the presentations and the discussions.

The day included 4 parallel sessions under the banner “Something to Share…”. I attended the TEL themed one and I think the format worked really well. There were 5 x 5-minute talks followed by 30-mins discussion. We used to run termly ‘show-&-share’ sessions at LSE and I’m a fan of this format but what worked well at Herts was the facilitated discussion afterwards rather than Q&A as we went along. We’re planning to introduce © ‘Show-&-TEL’ here at UWL  and I think we’ll try this format.

In a similar vein my favourite session was one on the use of Pecha Kucha for assessment. I’ve written about Pecha Kucha before but this was the first time I’ve seen it used for summative assessment. In the session we were treated to two PKs – one by the tutor, David Turner and then an excellent (Grade 83%) one on Bill Shankley & Cultural Identity by one of the students. Having tried it before myself I cannot stress enough how good both PKs were as I know how difficult it is. Four of the students then answered questions on their experiences. They had found the assessment tough, more work than other assignments but hugely rewarding and beneficial – not just for their academic studies but also in terms of confidence for forthcoming interviews for example.

Click it. Swipe it. Wink it.

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Click image to view presentation (new window)

My short keynote focused on four topics extracted from a variety of future-gazing reports (including the NMC Horizon Reports, OU Innovating Pedagogy Reports, and an Horizon Scanning Report for LFHE):

  1. Blended – not particularly new nor innovative, but there is a real renaissance in online learning at the moment, in part due to the hype around MOOCs. The next few years will undoubtedly see a significant increase in the online aspect of the face-to-face / online blend.
  2. Gamification – the application of gaming mechanics & psychology to education, such as ‘rewards’ as a motivating factor. Digital Badges are an example of this.
  3. Learning Analytics – the collection, analysis & reporting of data about learners and learning contexts. Student (progress) dashboards are one aspect of this but there are many applications, for example the use of analytics to inform curriculum re-design.
  4. Students as Producers – variously interpreted but essentially learning activities involving the creation of digital resources (beyond text) by students that are shared with peers; usually collaboratively and with some autonomy/student choice.

Brief Overview of MOOCs

Visuals from a recent MOOC talk I did at SMUC

I gave a short ‘intro to MOOCs’ talk at the St Mary’s University College E-Learning Staff Development day on 17th July, organised by friend & ex-colleague Hervé Didiot-Cook. The slides don’t tell the whole story of course but they will give you a good idea of what I covered. More about the event in Easy Tools Please on TED team blog.

No Talking at the Back

A Twitter Backchannel pre-conference workshop for the Learning @ City Conference

I don’t usually ‘write-up’ or share my work workshops here, but this was a little different because 1) it was the first for a long time (my first at City!) 2) It was using iPads (for my first time) 3) it had the best set of feedback I’ve ever had.

No Talking at the Back was a pre-conference workshop for the Learning @ City 2013 conference. The workshop ran 3 times – once for edtech staff and then twice with conference delegates. It’s an introduction to using Twitter to participate in ‘backchannel communication’ during live events such as conferences. There were some pre-workshop activities (including creating an account) and the session itself was a lot of hands-on practical stuff with some discussion around topics such as is it OK to tweet photos of fellow delegates.

Myself and the attendees all used iPads in the workshop which worked really well. I used Prezi to structure the session but much of my presentation was demonstration. It was a slightly strange situation (as it always is) to have participants communicating and interacting with each other online when sitting a few feet from each other but it seemed to work.

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I had some great individual comments in the feedback and 100% chose Very Good for the workshop overall. More importantly everyone said they might change their practice as a result of the workshop – Yes (4 people), Probably (5) & Possibly (3). Summary of Feedback

Social Media Presentation for CLL

Social Media in Engineering & Maths presentation as part of the HEA Changing the Learning Landscape programme

I gave this talk as part of a full day on the use of social media in teaching Maths & Engineering. It was Academic Professional Development in Learning Technology strand of the Changing the Learning Landscape programme. The event was held at the University of Manchester and attended by around 40 staff from institutions across the UK.

My talk was essentially highlighting the work of others so I can’t take too much credit. It featured polleverywhere and a collaborative editing experiment with a Google Doc involving 20 or so participants, most of whom weren’t in the room.

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Improving the Everyday #pelc13

Presentation at PELeCON #pelc2013 on our user testing work at City to improve the VLE interface

At the 8th Plymouth Enhanced learning Conference this year I gave a short talk on our User Testing project involving the City Interaction Lab. In the same session Emily Allbon, the Law Librarian at City, presented Lawbore – her excellent law portal for undergraduate Law students.

Sadly this was the last time PELeCON to be held in Plymouth. I’ve really enjoyed the four I have attended and although the organisers plan to relocate next year it will never be quite the same.

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Social Media for Engineers

Talk for the Greenwich branch of IEEE on use of social media for for students, teachers, researchers & job-hunters

I gave this talk to the University of Greenwich IEEE student branch down at Greenwich’s Medway campus.

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