eLearningWatch August2014

well the boss is expecting some august activity as lots of projects are raising their heads. Time is of the essence. Isn’t it always? July was wet so no way on earth was I doing any gardening. Learning outcomes for a Thai delegation needed to be tidied up and matched to assessment along with the creation of 30 sessions for professional development. Not a lot really. Comes under two common syndromes of academia: It will only take a minute syndrome and can’t see why it can’t be done syndrome.Great fun was had by all(well at least me) and not long before it’s all put to the test and me to the sword methinks. Hi Ho.
The world of Mooc’s may well be be milked for pecuniary advantage in the future, so bottle your aspirations, get down to the farm and purchase a few cash cows, whilst there’s still time to board the float and carve up the proceeds:-) [N.B. MAD syndrome (Mooc’s Attention Deficit) affects all users, resulting in a high drop out].Lastly, I wish that authors (not you of course) would review the structure of an abstract for a conference paper before they submit it; the quality and standard are highly variable in the papers I have recently reviewed. I reach for the red pen:-)
The links for this month include: reflective practice, teaching implications, online resources for presenters,opinions on Mooc’s, using media to engage and teach,innovative instruction,Internet research skills,OER repository, education resources, video and Mooc’s, conferences and the odd one out.
I’ll be mooning around in September for the next edition. Until then. That’s it
1.The Innovative Instructor, from the John Hopkins University.
Extract from the site: ‘The Innovative Instructor is a forum for articles on teaching excellence at Johns Hopkins University. Written by Hopkins faculty or campus instructional technology experts, the goal is to increase communication about effective teaching solutions and how to achieve them’. There some very useful articles here under three forums: Pedagogy, Technology ad Best practice.Some topical and others eternal. Well worth perusing.


2. BrainBoxx. I came a cross this site when I was looking for material on reflective practice.It’s another one of those sites with links to vast amounts of information. This one is focused on teaching and learning. Guides, games, ideas suggestions , theories, opinions are all included. Worth having a womble around to pick up the odd gem.Click on the icons on the left hand side for a few diversions, like corny jokes.


3.From Prezi:The #PreziTop100 Online Resources Every Presenter Should See.Maybe. Lots of different approaches to presenting material and improving presentation, in a variety of forums


4.The Virtual Training Suite: Provides a set of free Internet tutorials to help develop Internet research skills. There are 60 available, must be one for your students or yourself.


5.eLearning Guild eBook:Using Media to Engage and teach. A free e-book. You will need to register to download your copy. A number of contributors provide a range of tips, many are common sense others might give you some inspiration. Punctuated with ads for various courses and conferences.


6. George William College runs this Website. It is full of interesting and useful articles, opinions and guides relating to education in general. I thought the section on ‘Curriculum theory and practice’, provided some useful information, ideas and suggestions. For some this would be revision, for others something new to digest maybe. Have a trawl around the rest of the site.


7.HumBOX: An OER repository which is well worth exploring and contributing to. Easy to register for a free account.
Extract from the site:
‘The HumBox is a new way of storing, managing and publishing your Humanities teaching resources on the web. Share handouts, exercises, podcasts, videos and anything else you can imagine!’


8.How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos.
An interesting and topical paper examining how video production decisions affect student engagement in online educational videos. It uses data from the edX MOOC platform. Some useful recommendations at the end.


9.International Journal of ePortfolio 2014, Volume 4, Number 1, 21-48
Unlocking ePortfolio Practice: Teaching Beliefs.
Not often that I put a link to a particular paper, but this one I found quite fascinating and interesting. I thought it would be all about e-portfolios (one of the things I have been researching) but it isn’t. A very comprehensive, well constructed and readable paper with some strong implications for teaching practice.


10.University World News: Which problems could MOOCs solve, and how?An interesting opinion piece by Diana Laurillard. Always focused and to the point, Diana’s article are well worth reading and contribute much to the topical debates in higher education and beyond. This article raises some interesting questions about MOOC’s and a few answers about their efficacy in certain quarters.


Have a look at another article by Diana:’Five myths about Mooc’s and read the interesting and diverse range of comments


11. Conferences
11.1 altc2014: Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave.
The 21st annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology 1 to 3 September 2014, Warwick, UK
Put the date in your diary.
For more information about the conference go to:


11.2 The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
(ascilite) warmly invites everyone with an interest in educational
technologies in tertiary education to join us at the 31st ascilite
conference (23-26 Nov 2014, Dunedin, New Zealand).


THE PLACE TO BE in November!
12. NZ happenings: 7th annual NZ Shar-E-Fest will take place in Hamilton at the end of September followed by the regional symposia. Theme for this year is ‘E-learning in practice: How are learning technologies and social media being used effectively to enhance student learning and achievement?
We are very pleased that Alan Levine from Strawberry, Arizona has accepted our invitation to be our international keynote speaker and workshop presenter for this year:


Alan, a pioneer of using the Internet and technologies in education, blogs about his activities at http://cogdogblog.com.
We are delighted that

Ako Aotearoa, New Zealand’s National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence

is a GOLD sponsor of the event
Full details on:


SECOND call for submissions:


Registration will be available around Mid August.
13. The odd one out: Maybe on the fringe of the odd one out, this website is for anyone who wants to improve their maths skills in a variety of ways. It can be a lot of fun as well as a learning experience. Give it a go. Start with Darts to loosen up the neurones.You might like to give the developers some feedback as it is still in Beta.
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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