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The Network of Academic Programs in the Learning Sciences (NAPLeS) are currently finalizing a series of new interview and short presentation videos, uploading today Jim Pellegrino’s interview and talk on “Assessment and Evaluation in the Learning Sciences” at http://isls-naples.psy.lmu.de/intro/all-webinars/pellegrino_all/index.html.

This will be followed by contributions of Gerry Stahl (July 16), Michael Jacobson (July 23), Susan Goldman (July 30) and Baruch Schwarz (August 6).

NAPLeS is part of the educational mission of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, a network of PhD. and master‘s programs in the Learning Sciences founded at the 2012 ICLS meeting hosted here at the University of Sydney. The overall mission of NAPLeS is to foster high quality Learning Sciences programs internationally through several mechanisms that support teaching and learning. More information at their webiste.

Carlos González and Karen Scott completed PhDs at CoCo in the topic area of conceptions of, and approaches to, teaching using elearning. Both were supervised by Prof Peter Goodyear and Dr Mary Jane Mahony; Carlos’ PhD was awarded in 2009 and Karen’s in 2013. Below is a list of their PhD student publications. They have been fortunate that there is sufficient interest in this topic area to have had papers published in high ranking journals in higher education, the learning sciences and elearning:

  • González, C. (2012). The relationship between approaches to teaching, approaches to e-teaching and perceptions of the teaching situation in relation to e-learning among higher education teachers Instructional Science, 40(6), 975-998.

  • González, C. (2011). Extending research on 'conceptions of teaching': commonalities and differences in recent investigations. Teaching in Higher Education. 16(1), 65 - 80. (ISI)

  • González, C. (2010). What do university teachers think eLearning is good for in their teaching? Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), 61-78.

  • González, C. (2009). Conceptions of, and approaches to, teaching online: A study of lecturers teaching postgraduate distance courses. Higher Education, 57(3), 299-314.

  • Scott KM. (2014). Change in university teachers’ elearning beliefs and practices: A longitudinal study. Studies in Higher Education, ahead-of-print, 1-17.

  • Scott KM. (2014). Taking over someone else's elearning design: Challenges trigger change in elearning beliefs and practices. Research in Learning Technology, 22: 23362.

  • Scott KM. (2013). Does a university teacher need to change elearning beliefs and practices when using a social networking site? A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44, 4: 571-580.

MIT has released a report with recommendations and interesting reflections on the future of education there (blended learning, game-based, modularised, with learning communities, etc). While our context is clearly very different, I think this is worth paying attention to: http://web.mit.edu/future-report/TaskForceFinal_July28.pdf (note: the pdf has almost 200 pages of appendix; the actual recommendations and discussion are under 30 pages)

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Congratulations to Dorian Peters, for recently publishing INTERFACE DESIGN FOR LEARNING - Design Strategies for Learning Experiences. The book brings together a range of strategies, heuristics and best practices to help interface designers create engaging and effective environments for learning. For more information about Interface Design for Learning go to http://designerelearning.blogspot.com.au/p/book.html
To order a copy of the book go to: Amazon

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Congratulations to Peter Reimann (CoCo Research Centre, University of Sydney, Australia) and Elena Barbera (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain) who have a new book coming out on the role of time in higher education. This book examines the role of time in teaching and learning across different areas including institutional, pedagogical, management and technological perspectives. It’s called ‘Assessment and Evaluation of Time Factors in Online Teaching and Learning’. You can order a copy here

Comments from Adelaide Uni's Associate Dean Teaching in Engineering/IT after discussions at GaTech at http://katrinafalkner.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/thinking-about-moocs/

From Gergia Tech's own computing education expert (and MOOC skeptic) Mark Guzdial discussing issues not just with CS subjects at http://computinged.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/lessons-learned-from-freshmen-oriented-moocs-at-georgia-tech/

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Judy Kay, Peter Reimann, Elliot Diebold, and Bob Kummerfeld have a new paper on MOOCs coming out in IEEE Intelligent Systems. It's called MOOCs: So Many Learners, So Much Potential and you can get a copy here

There's a very useful collection of annotated links to blog posts about MOOCs on the gas station without pumps website.

Many thanks to STL member Alan Fakete for sharing this.

Advances in Technology Enhanced Learning

Free book from the UK OU on Technology Enhanced Learning

http://bit.ly/tel-advances

The book presents a range of research projects which aim to explore
how to make engagement in learning (and teaching) more passionate.
This interactive and experimental resource discusses innovations which
pave the way to open collaboration at scale. The book introduces
methodological and technological breakthroughs via twelve chapters
to learners, instructors, and decision-makers in schools, universities,
and workplaces.


The Open University's Knowledge Media Institute and the EU TEL-Map
project have brought together the luminaries from the European research
area to showcase their vision of the future of learning with technology
via their recent research project work. The projects discussed range
widely over the Technology Enhanced Learning area from: environments for
responsive open learning, work-based reflection, work-based social
creativity, serious games and many more.

STL researchers are delighted to announce a major new publication, the Handbook of Design in Educational Technology, which will be published on July 30th, 2013 by Routledge.

HBEdTechsml.jpg The book, which features the work of several STL researchers, provides up-to-date, comprehensive summaries and syntheses of recent research pertinent to the design of information and communication technologies to support learning. The book is a compendium of expert advice about each stage in the process of designing systems for use in educational settings; from theoretical foundations to the challenges of implementation, the process of evaluating the impact of the design and the manner in which it might be further developed and disseminated.

The volume is organized into the following four sections: Theory, Design, Implementation, and Evaluation. More than forty chapters reflect the international and interdisciplinary nature of the educational technology design research field. "This book is the result of a huge undertaking by some of the best researchers in educational technology from around the world." Say Peter Goodyear, co-editor of the Handbook. "It is very pleasing to see members of the Sydney STL network feature so strongly in the author list."

The book will be published on July 30th 2013 by Routledge and contains chapters by Peter Reimann, Martin Parisio & Dewa Wardak, Judy Kay & Sabina Kleitman, and Peter Reimann & Kalina Yacef. Among the co-editors are Peter Goodyear and Rose Luckin, one of STL international collaborators.

The book is available for order now, and a 20% discount can be secured by using the code IRK69. (The 20% discount is only available on titles ordered directly from the website, until 31st December 2014, and cannot be combined with any other offer or discount.) More information can be found at Routledge website.

Peter_Sloep.jpgLast year we had the pleasure of meeting another Peter, Peter B. Sloep from the Open University in the Netherlands. This week I came across his blog which lead me to his Scoop.it, via my twitter feed. I’m always on the lookout for interesting commentators and have worked hard to train my Zite feed to keep me in good reading. Whilst this has been informative it leaves me feeling like a consumer of information of varying degrees of quality.

In an attempt to find a way into conversations I have tentatively begun blogging and signed up with twitter. Together they provide me with a space in which to ‘say’ something, a soap box of sorts (WordPress) and a very useful message board (twitter) – but I have yet to learn how to harness them as tools for conversation. I thought this was my shortcoming. That was until I read 'A year of content curation' in which Peter describes the missing link, the ability to go beyond recycling, to add value:

“As a content curator I want to go beyond mere filtering and collecting, I want to explain why something is striking to me, to put it in the context of the Scoop.it topic on networked learning as a whole, and even to take an explicit stance on some issue or other. For academic topics such as mine voicing such an opinion probably adds much value.”

I highly recommend both his blog and his Scoop, not just for their content but for what we can learn from his example.

Guest lecture University Zurich Beat March 4 2013.jpgSTL associate researcher, Beat Schwendimann, was recently invited to give a guest lecture at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. The title of his lecture, presented on March 4th, was “Visualizing central connections in biology – a learning sciences perspective”.

The slides (in German) are available online in slideshare and you can find more information about Beat and his research here. Beat is a postdoctoral research associate in the Laureate team at CoCo. His research interests include science education, technology-supported learning environments, inquiry-based learning, collaborative learning, and knowledge visualizations.

The journal Educational Psychologist released a special issue devoted to current research in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) (Vol 48, Issue 1, 2013).

Sloan-C is pleased to announce that the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) is now an open access journal. All volumes and issues back to the first edition in March 1997 are now freely available at JALN website.

nino.jpgOur first blog post of 2013 starts the year on a happy note; congratulations to Aninditio "Nino" Aditomo who has been awarded a PhD for his thesis, titled The role students' personal epistemologies in inquiry-based learning.

Nino undertook his PhD study at the CoCo Centre and was supervised by Professor Peter Reimann. In his PhD, Nino explores the nature of preservice teachers' science epistemology. More specifically, the project investigates (a) the kinds of ideas that preservice teachers have about scientific knowledge and inquiry; (b) the coherence and stability of those ideas; and (c) the role of those ideas in the planning and evaluation of inquiry-based science lessons. These aims are set in the context of a current theoretical debate about whether epistemic beliefs are best modeled as unitary cognitive structures (and hence should form a coherent theory and be stable across context) or as finer-grained, sub-symbolic elements (and thus should be more fluid and context-dependent). Different pedagogical consequences flow from each of these theorisation.

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Recent research undertaken by Fiona Chatteur (née Kerr), as part of her PhD completed under the supervision of Andy Dong, aimed to make e‐learning design more pedagogically grounded in terms of learning outcomes and experiences. Fiona's thesis is called "Design for Pedagogy Patterns for E-Learning", and she presents some of her findings in this guest blog post.

Designing for e-learning can be a complex task. What often occurs when developing e-learning courseware is that content is written by subject matter experts (SMEs) independently from the user interface, content layout and information architecture design. Written copy is then integrated with the user interface, using content layout design and structured using information architecture and the resulting e-learning courseware is presented to students. The missing link in this process is the designer’s understanding of the pedagogical processes required for optimal learning outcomes.

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Few weeks ago The National Academies Press has released pre-publication of the NRC Committee’s on the Mathematical Sciences in 2025 report called “Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century”. It introduces a nice set of recent advances in applied math domains. It is exactly the math that, I believe, could fascinate even those students who are scared of numbers and it is the math that could make the major difference in many practical fields. Educational research, decision-making, school management and learning are not exceptions. Learning analytics is one of classical examples of applied math on action, but I could predict that we will see much larger variety of social and behavioural research that draw heavily on much broader range of advanced data management, theoretical computer science and data visualisation techniques already in the nearest future. CoCo-Chai-Latte studies that use data mining to analyse collaborative writing, student use of computer models, etc are nice examples of applied math and data visualisation techniques for researching everyday learning. But “literacy in applied math” that underpins “visual learning science” might become one of the greatest learning challenges.

PS: A very simple yet insightful example of thinking broadly about new digital and visual methods in educational research could be Hogrebe and Tate’s paper on geospatial analysis of social dynamic published in the recent special issue on education and democracy of Educational Review of Research in Education. It is difficult to dismiss the value of such inquiry techniques in professional educational research and “citizen scientists” research.

Journal of Educational Data Mining has just published an important special issue closely related to the STL core research areas (an extract from the announcement and link are below):

"Diagnostic Measurement in Complex Learning Environments Using Evidence-centered Design: Snapshots of the current state-of-the-art."

As the title implies, the special issue bridges theoretical approaches and best practices across two disciplines that are critical to educational assessment, modern psychometrics and educational data mining. A prominent role is taken by the evidence-centered design framework - a framework for the principled design, implementation, and analysis of complex assessments - and its advantages for creating evidence-based narratives and decisions about learners.

The Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education has released An Issue Brief on Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics. It has a healthy emphasis on visual data, use of data for making instructional decisions, “smart data consumers,” and research-education-industry co-operations co-designing LA tools.

“Making visible students’ learning and assessment activities opens up the possibility for students to develop skills in monitoring their own learning and to see directly how their effort improves their success. Teachers gain views into students’ performance that help them adapt their teaching or initiate tutoring, tailored assignments, and the like. <…> Combining data about student performance—online tracking, standardized tests, teacher-generated tests—to form one simplified picture of what a student knows can be difficult and must meet acceptable standards for validity. It also requires careful attention to student and teacher privacy and the ethical obligations associated with knowing and acting on student data.”

It also cites our colleague Kalina Yacef's work.

Some interesting OET's initiatives defining "evidence" in education research are at: http://evidenceframework.org/

Moocs.tiff

We're being asked almost every day for an opinion on MOOCs and whether higher education is coming to an end.

A serious, balanced, well-evidenced analysis has been produced by the Observatory for Borderless Education and is available here

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International experts look to the future of education this week with the release of the Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017 report. The report, which includes contributions from Rafael A. Calvo, identifies the technologies to watch, their potential impact and the challenges to be faced in the next five years expressly in a STEM+ context.

STEMreport.jpg In an effort that ran from July through September of this year 46 experts, including Calvo, considered hundreds of relevant articles, news, blog posts, research, and project examples as part of the preparation to ultimately pinpoint the most notable emerging technology topics, trends, and challenges for STEM+ education over the next five years.

The Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017 is the result, a collaborative effort seeking to inform educational leaders about significant developments in technologies supporting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. These fields of study are referred to by the acronym STEM, and the addition of the “+” incorporates communication and digital media technologies in the traditional four areas of study.

In addition to the breakdown of technologies, the report identifies the ten trends they believe will impact most in the next 5 years and the top ten challenges to be faced. The report is available for download from the NMC publications library. The report, and the work and tools that produced it, can also be viewed at the Horizon.STEM wiki page.

The National Academies Press has published a noteworthy report that could inspire those who think about neurons, networks and neighbourhoods

“From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update: Workshop Summary" is based on the original study "From Neurons to Neighborhoods: Early Childhood Development", which was released in October of 2000. Available from The National Academies Press at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13119

I think STL's research contributes to building the “Network” which can connect “Neurons” and “Neighbourhoods” and which is currently missing.


A few selected quotes

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OECD has published quite interesting report based on an international survey of teacher practices: Teaching Practices and Pedagogical Innovations Evidence from TALIS

Summary
"Fortunately, teaching practices help shape the learning experiences and increase motivation and achievement for students. In addition, it has been revealed that when teachers collaborate well together they also tend to work better with students. This new informative publication clearly identifies and arranges profiles in relation to two connected areas of professional teacher practices: classroom teaching practices and participation in professional learning communities."


Some highlights from findings about Australia

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Dr. Beat Schwendimann gave a talk at IISME titled "Why is evolution so hard to understand?" (http://proto-knowledge.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/why-is-evolution-so-hard-to-understand.html).

You can find the slides of the talk here: http://proto-knowledge.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/why-is-evolution-so-hard-to-understand.html

The latest issue (Vol33 No2) of Distance Education has just been published. It's a special issue on Open Educational Resources and Social Inclusion, guest edited by Gráinne Conole (University of Leicester, UK).

Gráinne will be visiting us again in November. Her book Designing for learning in an open world will be published by Springer next year.

Our colleagues at FSU have produced a great new paper on the educational value of 'design thinking'.

What Is Design Thinking and Why Is It Important?
Rim Razzouk, Valerie Shute

http://rer.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/08/08/0034654312457429.abstract

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The US National Academies Press has released a pre-publication copy of this very comprehensive and timely report.

See especially p99-101 which draws heavily on the work of Peter Freebody.

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July 16, 2012,
Kim Arlington,
Sydney Morning Herald,
Digital Life News Article
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/the-classroom-but-not-as-we-know-it-technology-to-revolutionise-schools-20120715-224ax.html

Article about our International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of learning held on Sydney, 2 - 6 July, 2012.


Photo shows Roberto Martinez (left) Richard Gluga (right), CHAI tabletop (foreground) and School of IT Common Room (background); this was the venue for July 2 DECL Workshop Digital Ecosystems for Collaborative Learning organised by Pierre Dillenbourg (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland), James Slotta and Mike Tissenbaum (University of Toronto, Canada), Roberto Martinez Maldonado, Beat Schwendimann, Andrew Clayphan and Christopher Ackad (The University of Sydney, Australia).

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Instructional Science, Volume 40, Number 4 - SpringerLink

Special Issue: Productive Failure in Learning from Generation and Invention Activities
Guest Editors: Manu Kapur and Nikol Rummel

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