it’s been an interesting month especially as the veggies are doing well and the dog doesn’t like radishes. Apart from horticultural activities, I have been enjoying working with a group of Chinese Scholars visiting New Zealand as part of a NZ
China educational initiative. They are undertaking some research to compare and contrast the quality and nature of higher education in China and NZ; all very interesting. We have had lots of discussions and debate on many things educational which they have pursued with fervour (they’ll be checking the dictionary) as we pushed things further and deeper. Learning styles got a good going over as did the concept of ‘delivering’ education as opposed to creating environments and opportunities for students to learn. They are a good group to work with, really committed to purpose and an excellent sense of humour!Only 5 more weeks to go.
[Learning occurs at the interface between knowledge and understanding]
In the post this month there are links to, learning design, changes afoot at the OU,assessment and evaluation in HE,ways to engage students, creating online courses, assessment and feedback with technology,learning space rating system, learning styles,conferences and the odd one out
That’s it until the snow falls
1.From the Jisc stable: A guide to Transforming assessment and feedback with technology. Jisc always seem to produce guides to the relevant and current issues all have to face from time to time. This guide is of the usual high quality and fit for purpose.


2.ICT Passport: This is an interesting site. I came across it when searching for resources which were used to develop and assess student skills, competency and confidence in using learning technologies/ICT. It’s worth exploring as it has some very useful information embedded in its pages. Access to the Passport itself needs a login, however an overview of process, expectations and outcomes is provided, so you can get a few ideas.


3.Deeper elearning and design: Part 1 of a six part series produces by Clark Quinn.
Extract from the first episode:
‘This is the first post in a series of six that covers Deeper eLearning. The goal of this series is to build upon good implementations of instructional design, and go deeper into the nuances of what makes learning that really works. We’l move on to practice, examples, concepts, emotional elements, and putting it together, but to start, we’re talking objectives’


4.Should we be using learning styles? What research has to say to practice from The Learning and Skills Research Centre. This was published a few years ago.Not much has changed. I think this is a well written and balanced document. You might reconsider your stance on learning styles. I’m with the authors 🙂


5. Seven Principles for Classroom Design: The Learning Space Rating System. Learning space design in the modern era of learning supported by technology is a topical subject. This article provides information on a rating system tool which can be used to ascertain whether or not the design of the learning space supports active learning


You can download the rating system and scoresheet from:


6.Using technology to help students engage with their feedback: Nice little guide with some useful ideas and pointers for effective use of feedback


7.From Taylor and Francis online: 40th Anniversary Virtual Special Issue: Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. This a FREE online edition. I found the article ‘A review of rubric use in higher education’particularly interesting and useful:


8.Developing an Effective Online Course. An online course which guides you through the process of developing an online course.
Extract from the site:
‘Developing an Online Course is designed for professionals who want to create courses for the WWW. The class begins with a survey of online courses, reviews learning models and evaluation criteria, then students begin to define and develop their own course outlines and as a culmination, students develop and test a unit of instruction’.


9.Twenty ways to engage your students: Useful zine to remind you students are important and you should always do you best to facilitate their learning


10. Happenings at the Open University. Change happens. Be interesting to see what eventually transpires.


11. Conferences for 2015-2016
11.1 Ascilite 32nd conference. Perth, Western Australia.
Globally Connected, Digitally Enabled: November 30th to Dec 3rd 2015.


11.2 ALT Online Winter Conference, 09-10 December 2015
The call for proposals for this year’s Online Winter Conference in December is open.
Get involved and support the event by submitting a proposal:


Registering for the invent:


Making a financial contribution:


11.3 DEANZ conference 2016
Conference dates: 17th-20th April 2016
Conference Venue: The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
THEME: There and back: Charting flexible pathways in open, mobile and distance education
DEANZ2016 conference website:


Early Bird Registration:


Dinner is a Hobbiton!
If you are interested in taking the opportunity to be a sponsor of the event, please contact me:-)
12. Odd one out: How big , how small. This is a fascinating site which provides a lot of information on the size and relative size of a huge range of objects. Amazing. Zoom to the smallest and then reverse to the largest. A useful tool for education as well.


Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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