Around the grounds: the eLearning Landscape

Every fortnight in the DVC Education Portfolio here at Monash we get together for a large group meeting known as Around the Grounds to share news from our various departments. This is our Around the Grounds summary of interesting posts and publications in the education and innovation landscape for July 2019.

1. Building a Learning Innovation Network from Inside Higher Ed

Edward J Maloney and Joshua Kim discuss the need for an academic network of learning innovation researchers who might “take up the challenge of researching how the ideas of learning science get translated into the structures, incentives and operations of colleges and universities.”

They believe that this needs to operate separately - or alongside - the many existing professional networks with a focus on this area because, to them, these focus too much on shared professional goals and too much prominence is given in them to for-profit companies. They present a range of problems and few solutions but it’s an interesting discussion starter.

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2.  What makes good feedback good? from Studies in Higher Education

Berry O’Donovan, Birgit den Outer and Margaret Price from Oxford Brookes University and Andy Lloyd from Cardiff University conducted participatory research where they had 32 students bring along examples of good and bad feedback they had received to interviews.

The paper explores the complex set of factors that influence how feedback is received and acted up, that go far beyond timing or medium of delivery. Some of these include the assessors understanding of the student’s effort and resilience, as well as the student’s assessment literacy. Larger questions relating to assessment design, pre-feedback conditions and marker predictability are also discussed.

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3. Discussion about in-person attendance at lectures vs viewing recordings from Twitter

Steve Most, a cognitive psychologist at UNSW started a rich discussion about the relative benefits of in-person attendance at uni lectures vs accessing the recordings in response to a post in InsideHigherEd about lecture capture.

Responses included the value of in-class activities, accessibility, attendance, changing learning behaviours and multi-tasking.

4. Long-read: AI in education from Educate: UCL blog

Dr Carmel Kent, a senior research fellow at the University College of London Institute of Education, takes a fascinating deep dive into the history, impact, logic and potential of using Artificial Intelligence in learning and teaching.

With personalised and adaptive learning still being a fairly hot topic in the Technology Enhanced Learning space, it is handy to understand how we got here and what is possible. The long-standing concern about putting technology before pedagogy is raised - though not necessarily resolved - but it’s a fascinating read overall.

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5. The EdTech Shark tank - Flux with Nathan Sherburn from TELedvisors Network webinar

The TELedvisors Network is a community of practitioners working in learning designer, education technologist, academic developer and similar roles. This group holds monthly webinars and this month’s one focused on the work of Monash’s own Nathan Sherburn and the Flux classroom polling tool.


Colin Simpson, Education Innovation Designer