What was I trying to do in my talk to the Solstice conference 2016?
What kicked me off on this audio exploration of academic multimedia? Two things.
First and proximal cause: when I reported that my colleagues and I had been asked if we could give workshops on technology enhanced learning (TEL) the suggestion was scoffed. Why give workshops when you could do a series of three minute talking heads?
But the deeper underlying cause has been my interest in academic multimedia and dialogue – even dialogism – in learning. Continue reading
Week one has flown by like a simile. There are 58 participants on the course of whom 22 are doing the module for academic credit (10 credits, level 7) towards a PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PCTHE). Sixteen (16) of the assessed participants are from Brookes and six are from other places. So far 20 people have claimed the “Scholar” badge for contributing to the collaborative annotated bibliography. The most distant participant is in Central America, but this year the participants are largely based in the UK.
I am not sure what these numbers tell us. In many ways FSLT is now quite an “ordinary” online course. That doesn’t mean it isn’t engaging. It might mean the mooc buzz, such as it was five years ago has vanished into the maw of Coursera and Future Learn. FSLT justifies itself because of the internal members of staff who take it as part of their mandatory PCTHE. We used to run our introductory module twice a year, once in each semester. No we run “Learning and Teaching in Higher Education” (P70405) face to face in the first semester and offer people the opportunity of taking 20 credits online in the second semester. Opening the course up to the world for free allows us to widen our audience and expose ourselves to a wider community of teachers in the expanding tertiary education sector. That is, as well as being good for what it teaches, it should be beneficial to our teachers because of the wider community they might meet. And for those from beyond Brookes, we trust it isn’t too bound up with local jargon.
It has been a lot of work this year getting FSLT ready to go. Partly this is because as ever, I start too late. We also pulled the starting date forward from last year by two weeks so not only am I late the course is early. There were several reasons to do this, but mainly we hoped to be able to engage with teachers before (most of) their own teaching started.
But the main reason for the load of work was because the course had become over complicated and a lot of the internal links had broken or degraded. It needed a lot of patching up and this led me to do a root and branch overhaul. We have simplified the assessment scheme, tidied up the activities and are rebuilding the resources. We hope to stay at least a week ahead of the timetable! It is still not perfect, but it is a lot better than it was (in my eyes).
I hope you who are participating agree.
First Steps into Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (#fslt16)
20 January – 26 February 2016
Thank you for your interest in First Steps into Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (#fslt16). Welcome to the course.
These “Joining instructions” should help you to get started. Continue reading
There have been and still are some challenges in getting FSLT16 ready to run. The course has grown in complexity since it was first run in early 2012. I have spent a lot of time trying to recover some of the earlier simplicity. Continue reading
Transcendence – transgression – is the modality of human being in the world… The urge to transcend is the most stubbornly present … attribute of human existence (Bauman 2002, 222-23).
Last August I discussed a symposium to be held at the Australian Philosophy of Education Society with David Aldridge. That never happened but this note is what I was thinking of at the time.
Is transcendence as transgression a usurpation? We expect it is and is and is to be celebrated.
Reviving Tealab: Tealab is explicitly a Teaching Laboratory and discussion “space”. There are a number of excellent initiatives across the university that lap over the territory. When Tealab was set up it was intended to replace the Learning and Teaching Forum (LTF), with a focus on people (possibly “younger” whatever that might mean) interested in new or innovative teaching practices. These practices did not need to make use of learning technologies, but given the zeitgeist and interests of the proponents of Tealab there was a strong learning technology focus.
The institutional learning and teaching focus is currently on the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Framework with its participatory underpinning. The aim of the framework is expressed in four domains: Learning, Identity, Community and Place and is intended to enable the creative appropriation of tools, transformative academic practice, inclusive communities and safe spaces for learning.
Tealab can do two things.
One is serve as a clearing house and notice board of all the extra and co-curricular learning opportunities for teachers at Brookes, pulling from many sources: OBIS training, Library training courses, Digital Services training and various Guides, and OCSLD teaching courses.
And second Tealab can serve as a forum for collaborative discussion and development of the aspirations of the TEL framework. With this in mind, I am planning a series of Lunch-time sessions (and I know that time is troublesome so forgive me if these sessions are not accessible for you; we will simulcast and record for later review). I am proposing three this semester:
- Monday 19 October 1200-1330 – Participation in learning, aspirations for teaching: introducing the TEL Framework
- Monday 09 November 1200-1330 – Creative appropriation and appropriate technology for teaching
- Monday 30 November 1200-1330 – Academic Identity today
And three next semester (dates to be announced)
- Learning Communities
- Holding space
- Frameworks for learning and teaching
Semi-live blogging from the Oxford Brookes University School of Education Research Conference at Harcourt Hill, Glasgow Room, Friday 26 June 2015.
Mandy Winter: Pupils conceptions and practices of composing.
Mandy Winter launches the proceedings: the Clangers travel in a boat powered by music. She reports on 3 Studies
- Revisioning compositional pedagogy for adolescents
- use co-creative partnerships as methodology for professional development
- develop deeper cultural engagement
- Young Adults reflecting on music education: cultural disjuncts (why are we in school?)
- Adolescent learning: Year 9 composing in class: 2 classes smart phone voice composing, recording, observatins and reflections. The head was tolerant of kids with “small powerful computers”. Pedagogy (motivational)
- Teachers interviews discussion results of study 1 and 2 Life beyond formal education deeper cultural engagement
Young adults reflecting on music education. Terminology is problematic when making meaning: composing, composition or making stuff up. Routes into music. Reverse engineering. Importance of control and co-creation. Technology is time (context) dependent.
Adolescents learn social learning skills, achieve success as cultural creators, make meaning through movement and address consequences of interrupted flow: what do you get from the occasional lesson (e.g. 45 min once a fortnight). Winter calls for more extensive music lessons, especially if they are infrequent.
Teachers observe that adult modelling cultural engagement is important. The traditional conservatoire model remains dominant. Performing is more important than composing. Teaching composing is more difficult. Belief that you can’t “teach” composing.
Deb McGregor: Teaching creatively or teaching for creativity
What is creativity? There is a range of views:
- Traditional: Einstein, Newton
- Teachers’ view: novelty but not part of “science”; domain of the humanities, art, literature
- Children: performance, gifted expertise in writing, art or music.
Divergent and convergent thinking; originality; cognitive processing. Generating possibilities is at the heart of creativity. Cites various contemporary writers on creativity: deBono, Facione, Swartz, Sternberg, NACCCE, Robinson, Lipman, Stylianidou (any females?) Ken Robinson suggests we all can be creative, that we can plan for creativity and therefore it can be taught. So what do creative teachers do?
- use imagination, develop material, capture attention
- create dynamic active ethos, experience delight
The objective-subjective split remains a problem. Is there a spectrum of creativity little c to big Middle c?
Features of teaching creativity include make the ordinary fascinating, develop a sense of wonder, see things diferently, use metaphors, connect with experience, use unusual approaches and integrate it
Teaching creatively (TC) and teaching creativity (T4C) are different things.
Mary Wild, connecting home and educational play
drawing on Evangelou and Wild, 2014, “Connecting Home and Educational Play: interventions that support children;s learning”, in Brookes, Blaise and Edwards, 2014, Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood. Sage
Linet Arthur & Ian Summerscales, Troubling Knowledge:
In media res. Are Professional Doctorates a result of midlife crises? Doctoral journeys are redolent of mythic journeys. Background of the student is critical. Identity is distributed in multiple selves and contexts, multiple locations and interactions. We contribute as a part of a web of multiple connections. However the academy trumps the profession in the end. Linet argues that identity formation is necessarily part of the EdD journey. EdD helps some to cope with or mediate the solitary experience of traditional PhD study. I am pleased to see that the journey is not presented as a smooth trajectory. Mythic journey again: marginalisation and return.
David Aldridge: Phenomenological description of student engagement
The phenomenon is that which allows itself to be seen. Not trying to effect an outcome. What happens beyond willing and doing.There is a rich phenomenology of experience. Gadamer recapitulated Dewey. The Phenomenological nod: statement of the bleeding obvious that wasn’t bleeding obvious until it was said. There is a tendency to instrumentalise engagement.
Engagement is transformative and transcendent… can it be? Location is engagement in-between. Links mutual understanding with learning.
George Roberts: Teaching into the third space: inclusive learning, active citizenship
Claire Fenwick Legacy of a MOOC
Wow, what a great account of an ooc in the wild.
Gillian Lake, RCT of language acquisition
Randomised Controlled Trial of an intervention involving planned pretend play and group shared storybook on language acquisition.
There was a significant effect of the intervention, but findings are interesting in some areas.
Carolyn Murphy: Physical Education
Teaches us how to do a cartwheel. Competency, autonomy, relatedness. Reports on PCTHE Learning Set project. Observes that low motivation emerges across disciplines. Uses Self Determination Theory
I would like to know how to test a belief that I am forming.
I suggest that some people – perhaps especially mature learners returning to education – enter higher education with an unstated and often unconscious aim of becoming better at arguing for their prejudices. I do not mean to use the term “prejudice” pejoratively to suggest that these beliefs are racist, sexist or otherwise narrow-minded or exclusive but that people often have opinions based on long established beliefs that appear correct to them and wish to become better advocates for this position.
Problematically for educators, among these beliefs are some that suppose higher education will make a person more articulate and better able to argue one’s position without testing that position; and that possession of higher education qualification will lend authority to any argument for any position regardless of its quality.
I suggest that in line with Brookfield (1995) in Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, these beliefs are “hegemonising” and obscures behaviours that are actually counter to the benefits that higher education might offer.
But how could I test this?
Because, of course I find myself in the position of having formed a belief but do not know how I know what I am asserting. In part this may have to do with my own journey as a mature learner, late returner to education and relatively late arrival in the Academy. I got my PhD at 55. My prejudices were (and are?) largely shaped around a critical-theoretical perspective, which I have long sought to become a better advocate for. While I might like to think that this is not simply a prejudice but an actual true representation of the world as it is, I have to admit that I can only laugh at myself when I write something like that.
In a recent conversation with an academic Psychologist friend…..