elearningWatch April 2015

there’s no fooling around here and Easter seems to be earlier than normal. Maybe that’s why the boss has been egging me on to lay the foundations to our intro to elearning course. Apart from that, there are a few more important things happening, the cricket for a start.
We (that’s the boss and I) will be entertaining two more groups of Thai Health Professionals in April and May so lots of work to do ensuring our resources are up to date and relevant.
Flipped classrooms and Mooc’s are still vying for centre stage and mobile learning goes up a notch as more Apps are released. Webinars abound and videos improve, so students don’t really need us anymore (maybe they never did, as in most cases they know it all anyway) Still we must keep calm and carry on teaching.
The posting this month includes links to flipped classrooms, responsive design for mobile learning,an education blog with a difference, guide to facilitation, dealing with diversity,education technology,student digital experiences,digital learning resources for the technically inclined,technology adoption by staff,learning space design, conferences and the odd one out.
1.’Enhancing the student digital experience: a strategic approach
Supporting institutions to develop digital environments which meet students’ expectations and help them to prepare for higher study and employment’.
Another of those masterpieces from the JISC stable. An excellent resource with heaps of useful information and guide to effective practice. A shorter version is also available on the site if you don’t have lots of time.


2. I’m not a fan of the headlines and links announcing multiple ways/reasons/ approaches/things/changes etc,. However, from time to time one does resonate and this one I thought threw up some reasonable arguments and suggestions for e and m learning:
6 Reasons Why Responsive Design Makes sense as the Future of e-Learning and m-Learning Design.


3. A Quick Start Guide: Flipped Classroom. A useful overview of the development and adoption of the flipped classroom approach.


In addition, to increase your knowledge and capability: How to Flip a class:


4. Guide to facilitation. Although designed for a specific course , it contains a wealth of information,ideas and links to resources which can be used to guide the operation of similar courses.It includes list of references some of which might be a bit dated. However, it is material within the guide which should be of real interest.


One more from the same stable: Reaching All Students
A Resource for Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Second Edition
This resource examines matters of diversity in the classroom and how to manage it in a way that all students benefit from a teaching session no matter what their background.


Don’t forget to acknowledge copyright
5.Education and Technology from the Blog of David Pollit. One of several interesting and in depth comments on educational matters. The reference list from this article is worth exploring.


You can download free e-books on education and technology by David from:


6. A blog with a difference: James thinks it’s worth a look! Are you a teacher is who is looking for ideas on different web based technology and apps that you can use with your students, then this is the site for you. The posts are categorised so it should be easy to find something different to use with your students.
If it does nothing else it certainly illustrates the continuing proliferation of ‘tools’ and ‘apps’. Worth having a quick explore of something that catches your eye.


7. This one is for the more technically minded out there: Digital Learning Resources: Home to a major collection of free online programs, tools, and resources for teachers and students, including the Automatic Drag and Drop Activity Maker. Lots of useful stuff here.


8.To MOOC or not to MOOC. An infographic with some interesting ‘facts’ and predictions. Is it on track?


9.Meeting the challenge of providing flexible learning opportunities: Considerations for technology adoption amongst academic staff
Negin Mirriahi, Bhuvinder Singh Vaid, David P Burns
This is a useful addition to the literature on technology adoption (or not) by academics.It examines a particular discipline . The majority of those adopting technology indicated that the technology having the capability to allow easy access to information was what they wanted most. Several other reasons are given for adoption; they will probably resonate with some of you. Have a read.


10.Involved in learning space design? This site offers some useful guides and ideas on how to approach and develop your learning spaces.
Extract from the site:
‘North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries and its Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) are partnering with strategic consultants brightspot strategy and AECOM to design, share, and promote an updated model for institutions to plan and support technology-rich informal learning spaces. This Learning Space Toolkit will include a roadmap to guide the process along with tools and techniques for assessing needs, understanding technology, describing spaces, planning and delivering support services, and assembling space, technology, and services to meet needs, even as they change’.


11. Conferences for 2015
11.1 ALT Annual Conference 2015: Shaping the future of learning together
The 22nd annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology, 8–10 September 2015, University of Manchester, UK
Download the Flyer:


The ALT Annual Conference 2015 Call for Proposals has been issued at:


11.3 Ascilite 32nd conference. Perth, Western Australia.
Globally Connected, Digitally Enabled: November 30th to Dec 3rd 2015.


11.4 8th Annual New Zealand Shar-E-fest: 28th and 29th September 2015.
We are very pleased to announced that adjunct Associate Professor Rob Phillips from Murdoch University, Western Australia has accepted our invitation to to be the Keynote speaker and workshop presenter for the 8th Annual NZ Shar-E-Fest. Here is a brief ‘bio’, more will appear on the Website in due course. Mark the dates in your Diary and commit to attend another great opportunity to present, network and learn.
‘Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Phillips has worked in higher education learning and teaching since 1992, working with staff from most discipline areas. His expertise includes educational design, e-learning, distance education, educational policy development and academic staff development. He has provided professional development and mentoring for academic staff in the scholarship of learning and teaching, and has chaired university committees on Awards and Citations, Learning and Teaching Spaces and Open Education.
Rob’s research interests include evaluation research in e-learning; learning analytics; making creative and innovative use of technology; university policy issues; and project management in educational innovations. Rob has over 130 publications, including 60 refereed papers. He has been principal author of two internationally published books ‘Developer’s guide to interactive multimedia’ and ‘Evaluating e-learning: Guiding research and practice’.
Shar-E-Fest 2015 information:


11.5 Advanced notice. DEANZ conference 2016
Bookmark the page so you can be kept up to date on developments for a must attend event next year. Nothing like being prepared.


12.0 The odd out: Ever wondered about the origin of ‘April Fools day’?
This site attempts to answer that question. However, I thought the examples of April Fool pranks over the years were far more interesting. Click on a date year and read what people got up to; some are hilarious, shows how gullible people can be.


That’s it for now until May comes bursting out all over with more resources.
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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