Monday, December 15, 2014

reviewing 2014

This year has been quieter that some others, but also productive in many ways. I have been able to improve my understanding of a range of topics, notably, in the ways neuroscience may be able to inform us on how humans learn. See here for summary and here for neuroeconomics MOOC notes.

Publishing still moving along with one article published and one published open access and awaiting assignation to a volume/issue next year. My learning is that articles take up to a year or beyond to go through the peer review process and publication. I usually peck at constructing ideas, collating thoughts etc. over the year and then have a concerted writing focus in January / February to ready articles for submission by March / April. This year, I have tried to push things forward so that articles are closer to being complete by Christmas. I hope to get the articles ready for submission by end of February, so articles will be published within the year, rather than carried through into the year beyond.

My educational developer role has centred on project surfacetablet. Some project teams have progressed beyond their planned objectives but several projects have been slow to start due to the need to concentrate on building staff capability before launching the tablets into courses. The need to learn how to operate the tablets windows 8 OS has taken some people time to get to grips with. We have also had major technical challenges incorporating some technology tools into tablets. The main issue has been the slightly different operating system operating on the RT surface tablets and the non-mobile configurations of our existing suite of technology tools. All good learning for the institution, but frustrating for tutors and students if things do not work.

Apart from the above activities, my role has also involved evaluation of some of the technology tools we currently use. The findings have provided a better understanding of the institutions current deployment of web conferencing and learning management systems. Therefore, next year, will need to come to grips with the implications of learning analytics (see workshop notes from Ascilite) and how LA can be deployed to improve learning opportunities for students.

As the year closes, the institute is reviewing the academic division, of which the centre for educational development, is part. We should find out early next year, how the division will be re-structured. Early indications are that the centre will be disbanded and resources distributed to three functional units. Always good to review what works and what doesn’t and will await what transpires when we return to work after the Xmas/new year seasons.

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