Learning analytics: the good, the bad and the ugly

How beneficial, realistic and ethical are learning analytics?

Learning Analytics is defined as the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs. (Definition from the 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge). We’ll be discussing how beneficial, realistic and ethical such practices are, drawing on …

What can cognitive psychology and neuroscience tell us about learning?

Answers to this question can be found in the work of Daniel T Willingham

According to Wikipedia Daniel T Willingham: [did] research [in the 1990s and 2000s] focused on the brain mechanisms supporting learning, the question of whether different forms of memory are independent of one another and how these hypothetical systems might interact. Willingham is known as a proponent of the use of scientific knowledge in classroom teaching and in education policy. He …

Computer Non Grata

In 2014 Mueller and Oppenheimer published a paper finding that longhand was better for learning than typing. This year a paper replicated the research, arriving at different findings.

The good news is that keyboards enable students to take a large volume of notes. These function as external storage beyond what students could simply remember, and when students are selective about the notes they make, the act of note-making can be generative, leading to deep, elaborative processing. Which brings us to the bad news. …

Points of Learning Need

When and why do people try to learn something? What are these points of learning need?

Whilst many of us who work in elearning are highly attuned to how people like to learn and what, even, helps them to learn, we often fail to understand when and why they chose to try to learn something in the first instance. In this London eLearning Reading Group session, Toby Harris (Solution Architect at …

Seven myths about education

A book which divides opinion

Apple tree

For this reading group Session, we’re reading Daisy Christodoulou’s Seven Myths About Education. Read the whole book if you can make the time. It’s 130 pages of enjoyably simple, clear prose.  The Guardian describes it as “one of the most talked-about in education in the past 20 years, prompting praise and anger in roughly equal …

Strategic direction and leadership

Where are we? Where are we going?

NIDL Top Ten splash

Where are we? Where are we going? Each year the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University publishes its top ten digital education publications. This month we’ll discuss a selection from that, focusing on strategic direction and leadership. If you only read one thing, make it: Flavin, M., Quintero, V., 2018. UK higher …

Video-conferencing for teaching online

Time may be solved – what about distance?

Video conferencing icon

Description Video-conferencing tools are commonly used for meetings or one-to-one tutorials at universities but less so for teaching. Come and discuss what these tools can offer distance and blended learning contexts, how they can enhance the interaction and collaboration, and what is needed to implement this in online programmes. Main texts Most research on synchronous …

Direct Instruction

An alternative to minimally-guided instruction

Direct instruction (DI) is one of the most empirically well-established instructional methods in education yet one of the least well-known. Championed by leading educational researchers such as John Hattie and Dylan William, DI was vindicated as most successful education program in the largest, most expensive US Department of Education project even run. Indeed, in a …

Audio feedback

How does it sound to you?

Victorian gentleman speaks into a recording device

In this month’s reading group, we’ll look at audio feedback, how it’s used and what the issues might be around its adoption. We’ll start off by discussing the background readings in 1 and 2. Further conversations will be guided by which of the ‘In practice’ texts and topics people have been most interested in (or …

Lecture capture function creep

How a service came under suspicion.

We like to think of lecture capture as primarily a measure towards a more inclusive education, but events of the past year lead us to question this. When read in order, the following pieces tell a story of the function creep of lecture capture, measures taken to limit this, and the consequences for trust between …