eLearningWatch December2015

well the festive season is almost upon us and semester has reached its end with the usual high tension around exams and the like. The group of Chinese scholars I have had the pleasure of working with, head home next week to continue with the research they started in NZ.All of them gave excellent presentations, based on their research, at a TVET forum held in Hamilton. A great group who will be missed, although they do intend to come back next year to report on the outcomes of their research.
The weather here is a bit warm , but I’m not complaining as the vege plot is ensuring I have lettuces coming out of my ears, so to speak (better than cauliflower ears I suppose).
Preparations for cakes, pies, turkey and the occasional (continuous) enological experience are all in hand.
Until 2016 heralds who knows what!
In the posting this month there are links to Mooc aggregator, student tutor partnerships, facilitation guide, quality online,assessment methods, games for learning, real learning in pictures,learning objects, action research,the return of apps for christmas plus conferences and the odd one out.
1.The Facilitator’s Toolkit: Tools, techniques and tips for effective facilitation. A very helpful guide well worth perusing to get some ideas and maybe hone your own facilitation skills.
(Publish in 2009. Note the copyright clause at the end of the document).
Extract from the site:
‘We have searched through websites and books to find the best exercises you can use to make your sessions more interesting and memorable. You will find exercises on a number of topics from icebreakers and encouraging group discussion to overcoming constraints and reviewing the session. This toolkit will really help you and your participants to get the most out of the day’.


2.From California State University a revamped rubric : Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT, pronounced ‘colt’)Instrument.
A useful guide for assessing the structure and suitability of online courses.


Can be used in conjunction with
Instruction Design Tips for Online Learning:


3. Better Learning in Games: A Balanced Design Lens for a New Generation of Learning Games. The aim of the guide is not to impose a new game development method, but rather to present a learning design approach to be integrated with current best practices in game design.Fascinating reading.


4.REAL LEARNING IN PICTURES. This relates to a new book that was in the process of completion by Jay Cross, who , sadly, passed away on 7th November 2015. It’s worth perusing and buying. Jay was an innovator and motivator with some very clear and sensible ideas about learning. He will be missed on the Web and elsewhere.


Learn all about the project, consider and contemplate:


5.From the JISC stable another very useful guide: Developing successful student and staff partnerships: Supporting you to work with students to develop your institution’s digital environment and create engaging learning experiences:


6.Assessment Methods and Resources from Hong Kong University. Here are a set of pages which provide some useful information on the nature and use of various assessment methods. Reasonably comprehensive and useful as a guide to creating your own assessment regimes.


7.OpenStax College: An extensive, comprehensive and valuable resource for you and your students.
Extract from the site:
‘There are tens of thousands of learning objects, called pages, that are organized into thousands of textbook style books in a host of disciplines, all easily accessible online and downloadable to almost any device, anywhere, anytime.
The best part? Everything is available for free thanks to generous support from Rice University and several philanthropic organizations’.
Well worth exploring to find that useful text; there’s some really great stuff here:


8.Virtual Special Issue:Educational Action Research. This first issue is an ‘Editors Pick’ of articles on the theme of ‘methodological’ issues in action research. Should be something of interest amongst the diverse range of papers:


9. Very topical: 12 Apps of Christmas 2015. A repeat of the very successful open course hosted by Regent’s University London last year but with new Apps and input.Expect guest posts, engaging hands on activities, and a chance to be part of a friendly, enquiring community of educators worldwide.


10.EMMA: Extract from the site says it all.
‘The European Multiple MOOC Aggregator called EMMA for short, is a 30 month pilot action supported by the European Union. It aims to showcase excellence in innovative teaching methodologies and learning approaches through the large scale piloting of MOOCs on different subjects. EMMA provides a system for the delivery of free, open, online courses in multiple languages from different European universities to help preserve Europe’s rich cultural, educational and linguistic heritage and to promote real cross-cultural and multilingual learning.’ Take a look and maybe enrol and experience a Mooc if you haven’t already:


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
17-20th April 2016
The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
The DEANZ2016 conference covers research and practice in open, distance, flexible and mobile learning across the compulsory schooling sectors, vocational, tertiary and professional development settings. The conference draws inspiration from a Hobbiton-based dinner venue and theme, ‘There and back: Charting flexible pathways in open, mobile and distance education’. The conference will feature keynote speakers who are active in the field of online, mobile and flexible learning: Professor Curtis Bonk (University of Indiana), Dr Dianne Forbes (University of Waikato) and Carolyn Alexander Bennett (FarNet).
To date we have received a large number of responses to the initial call for submissions, and some are now closed. Please check the categories that are still open: Refereed, Practice, Postgraduate, and Speed sessions.
Final deadline for submissions: 1st December 2015 (4pm, New Zealand time)
(This applies for the Refereed, Practice, Postgraduate, and Speed session submissions ONLY. Submissions for workshops are now closed)
Review outcome notification: 15th December 2015.
Deadline for Poster session submissions: 20th February 2016.
Early bird Registration: 15th February 2016.
Conference awards:
DEANZ Award for best practice in the field
Best refereed paper
Best paper submitted by postgraduate student. There is a $200 prize for this category sponsored by the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER), University of Waikato, New Zealand.
Best paper published in the The Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning
Conference dinner: Hobbiton Movie Set, New Zealand
Conference Website:


Conference Inquiries: deanz2016@deanz.org.nz
Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in DEANZ2016.
We look forward to welcoming you to Hamilton in April 2016!
12. The odd one out. Ever wondered about the origins of your first or given name ? Enter it and search. You might be surprised to find it has some real meaning and there again maybe not.


That’s it until February 2016. The festive season fortunately is a long one in this neck of the woods. May I wish you all a pleasant season in whatever woods you find yourselves.
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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