New Zealand appears to be managing the Covid19 pandemic with a fair degree of success, albeit at the risk of turning us all into hermits (almost like Hobbits). However, the country has moved to level 2 which does enable more people to go back to work and for schools and other education institutes to operate; in most cases in a very different way.

It will be interesting to see the plethora of research that is bound to emerge on the efficacy of online/ distance/ home teaching and learning during the period of the crisis.

Will we have learnt anything and what , if anything, will change forever?

At least the opportunity has been there to hone skills for facilitating online learning and for creative presentation of discipline resources. Plenty of advice on how to do it on and off line.

Until yesterday,the weather here has been extremely mild, accompanied by a prolonged drought. Hasn’t stopped the runner beans thinking its summer or the odd rogue potato raising its head. Mowing and hedge clipping is a Forth Bridge experience at this time of the year. Rain,  and heavy at that,has now started.

Kay , the golden retriever is getting crafty and hides as soon as the lead appears, Covid walking is so yesterday; must be a message there.

In the posting this month there are links to  Remote working guide,Universal design for learning,Educational research,Guidelines on distance education,Asking better questions, Inductive lessons, Learning to learn online, Combatting Attrition,Remote teaching, Blended and online learning, Conferences, Publications and the Odd one out.

Hope you transition safely to the next lower level of lockdown.

1.A beginner’s guide to applied educational research using thematic analysis. For those embarking on this type of educational research, this paper is worth reading and digesting. Well written and constructed. if you are still in lockdown you will have plenty of time to peruse and contemplate.


2. Learning to Learn Online; An online ebook to help students and staff get to grips with the intricacies, issues and solutions associated with successful online learning.  A very comprehensive and valuable resource, nicely presented and crafted. One of the critical aspects of being successful in online learning is, in my opinion, time management, both by students and staff. There’s a useful chapter in this book on the subject; peruse the other chapters at your leisure.


3.  Guidelines on Distance Education during COVID-19. A useful booklet from the Commonwealth of Learning providing some help with managing distance education during times of crisis. You might find some ideas and suggestions to shape your own endeavours for students and colleagues.
Extract: ‘The new Guidelines provide practical directions for the use of DE tools and practices to support teaching and learning and offer suggestions on the use of appropriate technology to address the social and pedagogical issues of learning in a crisis situation’.


4. Finding Your Campfire: A Remote Working Survival Guide. Julian Stood produces some extremely useful resources; this is one of them. You can buy his book or if you are quick you may be able to download a FREE  digital copy. Well worth the effort. As with most of his work, ‘beautifully’ illustrated throughout the 70+ pages. Sound common sense and valuable insights.

Extract:’ This short book is a survival guide for individuals, teams, and organisations thrust into a new way of remote working by the global coronavirus pandemic.
It is not intended as a set of instructions, or a clear set of answers, but rather as a map with certain landmarks highlighted to indicate that we should take time to visit them on the journey.
It is intended to give you a lens through which to see this challenge, and to take practical action.’


5. Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2: Lots of resources and information. Guidelines are arranged in a tabular format and  are easy to follow and understand with links to more specific information and  guidelines on provision. Guidelines can be download and are in several languages.


6. All About Asking Better Questions. I thought this was a very interesting and useful discussion relating to the nature of questions and how to mange/use certain techniques to enable scaffolding of questions and using them effectively and efficiently for student learning. although the article is focused on younger students the principles and practice have to be applicable to all levels of education. Lots of other useful articles on this site.


7. Seven Ways to Combat Attrition in Online Courses. Attrition is always on the mind of those who manage and run online learning. How to keep the students engaged and motivated is a real concern. This article looks a t ways and means of helping to reduce attrition.


8. Blended and Online Learning. Centre for Teaching, Vanderbilt University USA

Many Universities published there own guides to presenting and managing online learning. This is one that is worth perusing as it provides basic common sense approach to supporting students.


9. Building Inductive Lessons. Useful article on the nature and use of inductive teaching and learning.


10. What do Beatles pop songs and experimental music by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band have to do with remote teaching? Couple of interesting Podcast in challenging times.

The Blog post 1. links to Podcast No.1 of 2 on remote teaching – How do your academic and emotional responses to the Coronavirus chime with those of our guests?

Blog post 2 .links to Podcast No.2 of 2 on remote teaching – The conversation continues to touch on student engagement, technological comfort zones, students’ wellbeing & learning; the pros and cons of a/synchronous interactions and rethinking pedagogy.

Blog post 1: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/centre-for-innovation-in-education/blog/general/remote-teaching-podcast-beatles-beefheart-1/

Blog post 2: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/centre-for-innovation-in-education/blog/general/remote-teaching-podcast-beatles-beefheart-2/

11.Conferences: NOTE: Details are given of various conferences in the pipeline. As a consequence of the Corona Virus , it is highly likely some will be cancelled or move online.

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 is being held from 26-27 August and now will be a virtual conference.  It will still include all that we look forward to from the face to face conference, just now online.

11.3 Mahara event: 15th July 2020. The Mahara Hui UK and Ireland.
It’s a virtual free event,


12. Publications

12.1 Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning:

An issue has been published.


12.2 Australasian Journal of Educational Technology:

An issue has been published.


13. Odd one out:  Google doodles. If you want to spend some fun time in between creating those fabulous lesson plans, you can’t go wrong with Google Doodles. A never ending smorgasbord of light entertainment. Pacman and Cricket are bound to stimulate the competitor in you.


July will herald more changes, what, is hard to predict.

Take care , stay safe

Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
Auckland New Zealand

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