Archive for the ‘What other uni’s are doing’ Category

More assessments should look like this!

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

“Forty-nine students in an animation class at the University of Newcastle drew Taylor Swift’s video for the song “Shake It Off.” They each were assigned to rotoscope 52 frames and give it their own style.”

taylor swift

I’m not sure what the BusEco equivalent would be?

Weekend Reflection – The Economic Threat of Climate Change: ‘Business-as-Usual Is Actually Radical Risk-Taking’

Saturday, June 28th, 2014


Weekend – Take a deep breath

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

It’s exam time for students, marking for academics, and reports for teachers.

Just focus – one last push – then a break.

double rainbow awesome

See the full size, wide screen version here –
A bit of background about the photo –!0jvky

The Art of Teaching – videos

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning at the Vancouver Island University has a series of teaching videos that are worth a look.

They are short, to the point and well produced.

On the downside they are Flash based and have to preload before they play.

Weekend Reflection – Why Adam Hills is a national treasure

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

This it opening monologue from the Adam Hills Show last week (July 24th 2013).

“Before we start the show tonight I want to address a criticism that has been aimed at the abc of late and that is that we are all a bunch of “and I quote” lefty wankers.

Now I can’t speak for everyone at the abc but I tell you right now that I am not a lefty. When I vote I vote for the person who I think is going to do the best job for me and my country. What I do vote for however are policies of compassion, little bit of humanity, little bit of kindness.

And do you know what that makes me, it doesn’t make me a lefty it makes me a softy and I’m proud of it.

A softy is what happens when you combine a hippy with a yuppy by the way. I may not chain myself to a tree to save a rainforest but I will damn well donate to the cause through my paypal account.

And as a card carrying softy when I see two people that want to get married I say go for it regardless of how many breasts or penises are involved. When I see a boat load of persecuted people trying to escape a brutal regime I just want them to be treated with basic human dignity and by the way before we send these new arrivals to Papua New Guinea are we at least asking if any of then can play cricket? Because I don’t eat to see the Australian test team bowled out for 128 by Port Moresby first 11.

And when I hear 97% of the worlds scientists say we’ve got to do something about global warming call me crazy I believe them. Not that I need their opinion mind you because I’ve seen global warming. I’ve been to Edinburgh, i can tell you now there are Scottish people with sun tans, that is not natural.

And according to certain scientific predictions in a hundred years time we’ll all become boat people and the only place in Australia above water then will be Uluru and it will be covered by 200,000 aboriginal people saying “sorry fellas not this time”.

I honestly don’t care if you vote for tony rudd or Kevin Abbott at the next election, all I want is for someone to show a bit of compassion.”

MOOCs in Higher Education – Common sense from Jim Groom

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Jim Groom is the director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.   He’s a well recognised, and well regarded leader in the field.

He recorded an interview in May on the Ohio State University podcast, Writers Talk where he talked about online learning and MOOCs, and what they really mean to teaching in Higher Ed.   If you have any interest in MOOCs in universities I highly recommend you have a listen to it.

Ok, one last 2012 MOOC Review

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

TonyBates gives his summary.

Online learning in 2012: a retrospective –

“Well, 2012 was certainly the year of the MOOC. Audrey Watters provides a comprehensive overview of what happened with MOOCs in 2012, so I won’t repeat what she has done. Instead in this post I will focus mainly on trying to explain with regards to MOOCs what appears to me to be highly irrational organizational behaviour, more akin to lemmings than pillars of higher learning.”

“The media love to focus on the ivy league universities to the almost total neglect of the rest of the system (the cult of the superstar). Here is an appalling irony. The top tier research universities have by and large ignored online learning for the last 15 years. Suddenly though when MIT, Stanford and Harvard jump in, all the rest follow like lemmings. MOOCs are seen as an easy, low risk way for these universities not only to catch up, but to jump into the front line. But they are hugely wrong. Moving from broadcasting to learning is not going to be easy. More importantly, MOOCs are a side issue, a distraction.

The real change for universities is going to come from hybrid learning – a mix of on-campus and online learning. Those top tier research universities though are going to miss out on this, by sidelining their online learning to a peripheral, continuing education activity.”

The definitive MOOC summary – Here is your Summer homework.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I am going to be blunt for a moment.  Until you read this article (and all the links) you don’t know enough to make an informed comment about MOOCs.

I know this is a little harsh (and unfair to a tiny select group of professional educationalists) but let’s set the bar at an appropriate level (about 2 metres above the frothing hype).

Read the entire article and, with the exception of the 30 or so links at the start labelled ‘MOOC’, visit all the links, and read the articles.  This will keep you going for a while but you will come out the other end a more enlighted person.

The Year of the MOOC

Audrey Watters is one the world’s pre-eminent edtech journalists.

Open Source Student Peer Marking Software for Group Assignments – WebPA

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Depending on the work ethic of the academic involved, group assignments can either be a valuable learning opportunity for students or ham fisted (and pedagogicaly unsound) way to reduce marking load.

A major problem for anyone using group assignments is how to assess individual contributions.  Getting some kind of peer review, while not being foolproof, has been found to be a useful solution.  It still requires additional teaching time but a number of software applications have sprung up to streamline the process.

WebPA is a free open source solution coming out of  Loughborough University and the University of Hull, funded by JISC.  It is being used or investigated by 20 or so universities, mainly in the UK.

You’ll still need to load it onto a server and maintain it so it does come with some costs, but based on a quick look I don’t they would be that significant.

WebPA is an online automated tool that facilitates peer moderated marking of group work. Students carry out a group task set by the academic tutor and follow this by an assessment on the performance of the group.

A ‘weighting factor’ is generated for each individual group member which is derived from each student’s input against defined criteria. Based on the total mark given to the group task, assessed and allocated by the academic tutor in the usual way, the weighting factor is then used to moderate marks providing an individual mark for each student.


To get an idea how it works watch the ‘Facilitating peer and  self assessment’ video

OER Universtiy – for those who are serious about low cost, socially responsible university credit.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I have said it before Cours/dacity xMOOCs are businesses who have large debts to repay, they are not social reformers.

There are a few other players such as Edx/Classto Go,  CanvasNet and other who have a different model and are worth looking at.

But surely, if we are serious about a social commitment to education that leads to a real qualification that will help make an actual change to peoples lives we should be looking at the OER University model.

It predates all the xMOOC fluff and is an extension of years of work done by the Commonwealth of Learning.  Unfortunately, no U.S. Ivy League universities or Gates style philanthropists are involved so it has not made the same splash with Forbes and the  New York Times.

The Open Educational Resource (OER) university is a virtual collaboration of like-minded institutions committed to creating flexible pathways for OER learners to gain formal academic credit.

The OER university aims to provide free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials with pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognised education institutions. It is rooted in the community service and outreach mission to develop a parallel learning universe to augment and add value to traditional delivery systems in post-secondary education. Through the community service mission of participating institutions we will open pathways for OER learners to earn formal academic credit and pay reduced fees for assessment and credit.

Directed by the core principles of engagement the OER university collaboration:

  • Will design and implement a parallel learning universe to provide free learning opportunities for all students worldwide with pathways to earn credible post-secondary credentials.
  • Offer courses and programs based solely on OER and open textbooks.
  • Design and implement scalable pedagogies appropriate for the OER university concept.
  • Will implement scalable systems of volunteer student support through community service learning approaches.
  • Coordinate assessment and credentialising services on a cost recovery basis for participating education institutions to ensure credible qualifications and corresponding course articulation among anchor partners.

And before you scoff at OER, what do think is underpinning a lot of the current over hyped xMOOC courses? ( xMOOCs = OCW + Cohorts).

If your institutional agenda is really about social responsibility – not about marketing and Me Too,  Fear 0f Missing Out then this the model to get behind.