The time has come to make your breakout: opportunities and pitfalls when using breakouts in live online sessions

“When explanations make no senseWhen every answer’s wrongYou’re fighting with lost confidenceAll expectations goneThe time has come to make or breakMove on, don’t hesitateBreakout” (Swing out Sister, 1986) The lyricists behind ‘Breakout’ were prescient, as a ‘need’ for breakout spaces within platforms used for online teaching can sometimes be seen… Continue reading

Will Covid-19 finally catalyse the way we exploit digital options in assessment and feedback?

The typical child will learn to listen first, then talk, then read, then write. In life, most of us tend to use these abilities proportionately in roughly the same order: listen most, speak next most, read next most frequently and write the least. Yet in educational assessment and feedback, and… Continue reading

Avoiding being the sage on the screen – Facilitating online sessions

In 1993 Alison King suggested we move our teaching away from ‘sage on the stage’ to a role of ‘guide on the side’ but what does this mean in the blended learning context? In my role, I am focused on supporting colleagues in preparing their teaching for 2020/21 and many… Continue reading

An inclusive approach to the ‘virtual campus’ – keeping student experiences in focus

Institutional responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have necessarily prompted a sharp and sudden change in learning and teaching as both staff and students move to what we’re calling ‘a virtual campus’. In the context of self-isolation and social distancing, this reflects a wider trend across the sector. The cancellation… Continue reading

Ellie Russell: Student engagement – the never ending story

This video can be seen alongside others from the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Open Lecture series and annual conferences on the EDU Vimeo channel. Engaging students as partners is a very popular concept but very challenging to make a reality. As such it is easy for partnership to become a buzzword… Continue reading

A path to the Flipped institution?

path path path by Hickabilly via Flickr

Flipped classroom practices have been identified as important developments in pedagogy by numerous sector-scanning reports. For example Innovating Pedagogy 2014: Open University Innovation Report (Sharples, et.al 2014),  Horizon Report 2014: Higher Education Edition (NMC 2014) and Horizon Report 2015: Higher Education edition (NMC 2015). This has also been reflected at our institution, with lecturers across the… Continue reading

Digital Badges: an emerging ecosystem of evidence

‘A Busy Night’ by Jinx! on flickr.com

Were you ever a Boy Scout, a Brownie or a Girl Guide? Do you remember the thrill and satisfaction of earning a merit badge for some achievement, and the pride of having your accumulated credentials displayed on your uniform for all to see? Well this very concept of earning badges… Continue reading

Beyond free, beyond institutions & beyond assessment: a Stephen Downes triptych

Stephen Downes (CC-BY-NC Stephen Downes)

Stephen Downes gave a series of three inter-connected (but, he insisted, standalone) talks in London this summer, starting here at Greenwich on the 8th July. This post brings together the recordings from these talks, which tackle different aspects of what education is and could be in our massively networked global culture. Continue reading

Communities of Practice at the University of Greenwich

What do we mean by Community of Practice (CoP)? Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991) introduced the notion of communities of practice in their book Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. They highlight however, that the COP notion has been around since human beings chose to group together and form societies. Therefore,… Continue reading