in the middle of a drought in Auckland. Veges and the lawn(now a nice shade of brown) are a bit stressed. Rain dancers are required!

Apart from the weather things were hotting up for the SoTEL2020 Symposium , which was a great event with a great friendly crowd and according to feedback, was the place to be. Innovative stuff and inspiring presentations from

Stewart Hase [https://heutagogycop.wordpress.com/],

Brendan Wood [https://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles?id=brwood],

Amanda Lees [https://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles?id=amlees]

and the kids from Pt England School [https://www.ptengland.school.nz] who were exceptional!

All presentations I attended were very professional , informative, inclusive and worthwhile. Speakers such as Grant Beevers, Mark Bailye, John Clayton. Hinerangi Eruera Murphy. Kristina Hoeppner and the like are always worth listening too.[google them] Great to see secondary schools involved as well.

Abstracts can be found at: https://ojs.aut.ac.nz/pjtel/index.php/pjtel/issue/view/2

Full papers and presentation files will appear soon in the above space.

Many thanks to the sponsors of SoTEL 2020.

Having been involved with elearning in one form or another since 1992, I was reflecting on what has changed (not much :-)) since then and what were perhaps the most critical aspects of providing a rich and meaningful online learning experience  from both the student and tutor perspective.

There are probably a thousand and one things that can contribute to the success of an online learning experience. If one assumes that there are robust, reliable and sustainable technology systems in place that respond to what the student uses, then in my opinion there are three critical areas that underpin the lot: Time management (student and tutor); Effective communication through feedback (student-student-tutor-tutor-tutor-student and on to developing the curriculum and resources) and communities of practice (student and tutor).Get these right and you are a long way in creating a meaningful learning environment and experience for students and tutors alike.

The rough ‘C’s of online learning will always be effective, communication, collaboration and cooperation. Learners learn better with guidelines not tramlines 🙂

In the posting this month there are links to Heutagogy, Neuroscience and learning, Virtual reality, Feedback, Mindsets, Professional teaching. Self regulated learning, Learning by design. Contextual learning,Conferences, New Zealand Happenings and the odd one out.

Lots to digest until April tries to make a fool of us.

1. Choreography of Learning: Components – Quality – Coherence – Connectedness. Need to read some of the lead-up to this discussion. As always some thought provoking stuff herewith the usual delightful diagrams.

Have a look at: Virtual Reality: A Lens for Learning for more inspiring stuff.

2. 5 Heutagogical Tips to Empower Lifelong Learners Online. Stewart Hase ws one of the pioneers of the Heutagogy movement and was a ‘Trendsetter’ at the recent SoTEL Symposium in Auckland. This article looks at some of the issues  around the andragogy-heutagogy continuum and provides some useful tips for supporting heutagogical approaches in teaching and learning.


3.I’m a Neuroscientist. Here’s How Teachers Change Kids’ Brains.. Read this in conjunction with (5) below.


4. Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: Does It Really Matter?. Interesting article which explores and explains the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. Useful insights.

5. The potential of neuroscience in education. At the recent SoTel Symposium, there was much discussion on the role of neuroscience in the learning process. Many believed that to really understand learning you should understand neuroscience and its impact on the learning process. This is a start.

6.The Ultimate Guide to Feedback for Educators. Well written document with useful information and comment plus links to further ideas, suggestions, outcomes on the use of feedback

7. The Importance of Autonomous, Self-Regulated Learning in Primary Initial Teacher Training. A useful article which explores and examines self regulated learning, its role and importance in developing individual approaches to learning. Worth perusing if you are interested in adopting different approaches in your efforts to enhance student learning and achievement

8.Guide to contextual learning. There’s a lot of talk/discussion around contextual learning in recent months. This guide provides some insights and direction on what it means and how it can contribute to better student learning.


9. Developing a Passion for Professional Teaching:The Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model.

Been around for a while but always worth a revisit as much makes sound common sense and will always be useful when focussed on improving teaching for the benefit of the students.


10. Learning By Design is part of the extensive work by the authors of this website. I have perused several areas and found the information both informative and useful. Probably need a lot more time to peruse the entire site, as what I have seen looks like a good resource.


supports  a number of the authors  books e.g. e-Learning Ecologies.



11.1  HEAd’20: Call for Papers: 6th International Conference on Higher Education Advances

June 2 – 5, 2020. Valencia, Spain


11.2 Annual Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference. The first Asia Pacific conference being held from 25-27 August in Cairns, in conjunction with James Cook University.

11.3 The highly successful International Students as Partners Institute (ISaPI) will be held for the 5th time at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada (approx. 45 min south of Toronto Airport) from 20-22 May 2020.


11.4  Save the date for the ALT Annual Conference 2021! Venue and other details coming soon.

7 Sep 2021 9:00 AM   to   9 Sep 2021 5:00 PM

12.New Zealand happenings

12.1  FLANZ: Join us at the biennial FLANZ conference, 22-23 April 2020, at Victoria University, Kelburn Campus, Wellington.

12. Odd one out: Slow dance by David Weatherford. One of many poems and sayings which are worth reflecting on and perusing.

April will rain I hope

Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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