Higher Education

Kickstart: Course Design for Elearning

Take the next step in using learning technologies

A bespoke classroom-based workshop organised on demand for teams of teaching and support staff. Suitable for those who teach, train or support learning in HE, FE, schools, or the work-based learning sector.

Kickstart: Course Design for Elearning is a practical and holistic approach to designing for learning with technology, this workshop starts from your learning outcomes and the needs of your students.

You can work with the technologies you are most familiar with, and also have the opportunity to experience some examples of good practice using the latest technologies for learning, including interactive elements, blogs, wikis, Twitter and other social networking. You'll then be equipped to decide which are most appropriate to the learning outcomes of your course.

Kickstart: Course Design for Elearning:

Contradictions in research into the experiences of learners online

I was intrigued to see that in Canada they are reporting that the use of social networking and other web tools such as Twitter and Facebook is damaging the quality of students' English skills. Apparently academics at Waterloo University, Ontario and Simon Fraser University, British Columbia are finding that many students (a third and a tenth, respectively) are failing at English, i.e. not up to the standard required for academic writing. And they are blaming young people's use of these social networking tools for this problem.

"Emoticons, happy faces, sad faces, cuz, are just some of the writing horrors being handed in, say professors and administrators at Simon Fraser."

At Coventry University in the UK, however, researchers have found the exact opposite, as reported by the BBC a few days ago. In their study of 8-12 year olds they found that children who regularly use the abbreviated language of text messages are actually improving their ability to spell correctly.

Online Identity in Higher Education

So, should lecturers "friend" their students on Facebook? It's just one of the issues around Digital Identity that many are in the education and public sector are grappling with at the moment, especially bearing in mind Digital Britain and recent scares over online privacy. I've been informed of a very relevant online course being held this Wednesday that might be of interest. Online identity - a one-day online workshop is being run by Reach Further clients the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development and provides the opportunity for a timely briefing from experts in the field.  With Josie Fraser, Steven Warburton and George Roberts as speakers anyone in HE should find this essential background information.

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