Joint Summer School with the UCL Digital Department project

Last Thursday and Friday, I was part of a joint summer school with UCL’s Digital Department project. This was aimed primarily but not exclusively at teaching administrators, who are the focus of the UCL project. Over the two days, we explored issues of learning, teaching and technology in relation to sector-wide changes, developing pedagogies, changing student profiles and patterns of engagement, and also organisational change.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, with great input from the participants. Further information about the event will be made available in the near future, and I’ll link to it once there’s an update.

Update: here’s a link to the Digital Department project’s blog post on this event:

Presentation at the APT Conference, Greenwich

On Tuesday, we presented a slice of our project at the APT 2013 Conference, at Greenwich. Our presentation was in a session with two others, including one about the DIAL project at the University of the Arts. The Conference’s theme was, “Next Generation Learning Spaces and Work Places”, and disruption was a central theme, so we focused on the way in which our students experienced institutional requirements as disruptive of their studies.

The slides are available on Slideshare, and are linked from our talks and papers page.

Presentation at Researching Work and Learning

Last week, we made our first presentation on the curriculum design elements of the staff intervention study. We gave the talk at the Researching Work and Learning conference in Sterling, to a select but very engaged audience. The talk focused on the material practices of curricula work, setting this in the context of wider debates around the curriculum in higher education.

The presentation is available on slideshare.

Some project publications begin to emerge…

It’s inevitable, but nevertheless frustrating, that it’s taken so long for formal publications relating to the project. However, two things have now made it to press – a book chapter in a very interesting collection on the Digital University, edited by Robin Goodfellow and Mary Lea, and a short journal paper in the new Irish Learning Technology Association journal, following on from the keynote we gave at the ILTA conference last year. The paper is open access, and so available online. It has also embedded the video of the keynote we gave.

References to both can be found on our publications page.

Presentation at Leicester University

Yesterday, Lesley and I gave a presentation on the project at Leicester University. This was delivered to a rather select group in the room, but also webcast to a wider audience. We almost made it through without technical hiccup… but not quite! It was very interesting to present this work, which was focused on our graduate students, to an audience that included graduate students at another institution. It also provided a very interesting space in which to discuss methodology in quite a frank and productive way.

Presentation at the SEDA conference

We’ve just given a presentation and workshop at the 20th SEDA conference in Leeds, and it seemed to go off pretty well. As part of the presentation we asked people to draw maps of their own work, marking in places, devices and also times and movements, to get them to see just how powerful this technique has been for starting conversations and providing material for analysis. This led to some really interesting questions and discussions, about the connections between the digital and paper-based literacies, and about whether the kinds of coping strategies that students adopt are new because of the digital, or have always been this complicated.

The programme has been really well represented at this event, with the professional bodies and DIAL projects also presenting.

Update: Myles Danson was blogging from our talk and has put up a nice and very thorough post about it. Thanks! 🙂

End of programme meeting

This Tuesday, we took part in the final programme meeting in Brimingham – quite a momentous milestone. It feels like a long journey from the initial meeting 18 or so months ago! The close of the meeting involved making an object or giving a presentation about the journey of our project. Here’s Lesley making our thing:

Lesley creating our installation

And here’s what it looked like at the end:

The journey of our project, with string

Is it merely a bunch of stuff and some string? Or is it an heterogeneous network of actants that has been engineered to achieve project completion? Either way, the cash has strings attached, digital devices are central an potentially oppositional binaries of new and traditional technologies (and texts) have been shown as linked.


Presentation to the JISC Learning and Teaching Experts Group

Today, we’re giving a short overview of the project and its achievements to the Learning and Teaching Experts Group in Birmingham. The slides from our presentation are available here. This was also an opportunity to promote the special issue of Research in Learning Technology on digital scholarship, since this proposal came out of the JISC work.

Presentation at Theorizing the Web, 2013

We’re at the Theorizing the Web conference, and will shortly be giving our presentation, “Critiquing digital dualism: a sociomaterial account of student entanglements with technologies“. So far it’s been a good mix of presentations; it’s an interesting contrast to the educational and educational technology conferences we’ve been presenting this work at.

The Twitter tag for the event is #TtW13, and for our session is #d2.

Meeting about the Library-based project

Lesley & I have just had a meeting with Nazlin Bhimani and Barbara Sakarya about the work this year focusing on students’ use of LibGuides. There’s lots of exciting possibilities for this strand of work, which may involve us scaling up the scope of it. There may now be multiple focus groups, covering different groups of students. Barbara & Nazlin also updated us about work they’ve already completed, and have blogged about elsewhere.