Past events

How are UK unis staffing?

Understanding recent trends

Between 2005 and 2017, The total number of teaching-only staff in universities rose by more than 50 per cent – increasing at 3x that of teaching and research positions. What drove this change, particularly at research-intensive institutions? Over the same period, the number of senior managers and non-academic professionals increased 60%, numerous non-academic functions were …

The digital disconnect

Who is fully participating in digital technologies?

Digital disconnect book cover

“Some people didn’t have access – they weren’t full citizens. For others, pure access wasn’t enough – you can have the technology but not know how the digital world works.” In this month’s reading group we’ll discuss digital inequality of participation – access, know-how, use, and outcomes. We’ll draw on the work of Ellen Helsper, …

Race and learning technology

Happy, absorbed smartphone users in a row

The appearance of ‘Decolonise the curriculum’ initiatives at many UKHEIs in recent years has prompted discussions around diversity, change and improving racial representation in our institutions. When we as educators work toward an ‘inclusive curriculum’, where does digital learning fit in? Who is responsible for inclusivity within digital learning content? How can we begin to …

Flipping. Where will it land?

Flipping is the practice of introducing concepts before a session and using the session for structured, guided active learning.

Flippers on a diver's feet emerging from the sea

Flipping is the practice of introducing concepts before a session and using the session for structured, guided active learning. In 2020 Strelan and colleagues published a meta-analysis of 198 studies comparing flipped and traditional classrooms, almost all in higher education and with a combined total of 33,678 students. To identify circumstances in which the effects …

Stretched. Hyflex in a pandemic

We’re taking hyflex (hybrid flexible) here as teaching online and campus students at the same seminar at the same time, equivalently.

Against a purple neon and black background with a Cocktail/Tron/Xanadu clubnight vibe, the text: HyFlex is Hybrid / Flexible. No more weird jokes.

For decades we’ve been able to teach campus and online students in live seminars at the same time. Early writing about this sets out a vision of inclusion. Students who would otherwise be unable to join a timetabled seminar – because of caring commitments, being unwell, geographical distance, finances or competing demands – could cut …

Pedagogy and care

In online learning, what role should we give to caring?

A seminar; somebody is making a video of the educator

If you’d like to join us, here’s what we’re discussing (in order of priority). The best place to start we could find were Caring in Education and Maha Bali’s Pedagogy of Care Covid-19 Edition. For a rather denser but rewarding review of research in the pedagogy of care and teacher-student relationships, this literature review, Teacher–student …

Robo-invigilation. Does it work? Is it ethical?

Covid-19 has accelerated a move to online assessment. Where there is a will to hold those assessments as unseen examinations under controlled conditions, online invigilation – also known as remote proctoring – becomes a possibility.

Man surveys football pitch through an array of monitors

What is remote invigilation (aka remote proctoring)? In 2020 SURF (Netherlands organisation to support technologies in education and research) updated its 2016 white paper on remote proctoring. The updates take into account the intensified interest in digital invigilation due to Covid19, the potential and limitations of remote proctoring, and concerns about privacy. SURF white paper …

Seeing is believing – students’ camera streams during live online teaching

A discussion of recent publications about camera use during webinars.

With a large amount of university teaching needing to take place online, webinars are now more popular than ever before. Most webinar platforms enable those participating to stream their videos for all or a part of each session. The option for anonymity or invisibility is new to teachers and students used to in-person teaching environments. …

Digital exams: authentic, accessible, automated, secure and controversial

It’s so hard to escape from the pressures of university exams! We’ll be looking at arguments around whether using technology can reduce or increase this stress for students and staff.

Rows of black ticks against a pink background. Look closely and you notice one solitary cross.

Join us for a discussion of recent publications about digital solutions for high-stakes exams. If you only read one thing – make it The future of assessment: five principles, five targets for 2025, Jisc’s recent report on how to make assessment ‘more authentic, accessible, appropriately automated, continuous and secure.’ Questions to consider How do the …


Where is it and has anything changed?

Person stands with a flaming torch at the mouth of a catacomb

For many learning technologists a major part of the role is communicating research evidence to educators and fund holders. But have you ever searched the literature on something – voting systems, lecture capture, audio feedback, for example – and found yourself caught between a bunch of articles which are hard to synthesise, or a review …