One thing commonly discussed about education technology companies is how well they understand the experiences and needs of teachers and students. One thing commonly asked of academics is how applicable their skills and knowledge are to “the real world.” This quick read from Roostervane, a Higher Ed oriented careers site, talks through some of the experiences of someone who moved from academia to ed tech and offers suggestions for those interested in this path.
Ideas of “academic freedom” in terms of how courses should be designed and taught often butt heads with usability principles and institutional priorities when it comes to on-line learning. This debate is well captured in a tweet from @neilmosley5 and the subsequent string of responses, that cover ground include standardisation of courses, Geocities, cognitive load, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and some rather tortured analogies. Well worth a read to tour the many perspectives.
Student Guide to the Hidden Curriculum from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Starting tertiary study can be a confusing experience for students, particular those who are first in family. There are labyrinthine systems to navigate and new terminology and concepts that are often treated as assumed knowledge. What is a PhD, a journal article, peer review? This guide, while UK-centric, offers clear and well-written explanations designed to support new students in this new world. I absolutely wish I had something similar when I started uni. (Thanks Thao for sharing).
The Journal of University Learning and Teaching Practice is an open publication hosted by the University of Wollongong. They are currently calling for contributions to an upcoming issue relating to innovation in assessment in the time of COVID19. Abstracts are due by November 1.
The Dreambank from University of California, Santa Cruz
Most of the time, hearing people recount their dreams can be a little tedious. They don’t fit conventional story structures and the details can be somewhat liminal. This site however, from psychology researchers at UCSC, captures brief (~100 words) retellings of more than 20,000 dreams from people aged between 7 and 74 over decades. It also includes discussions between the researchers and dreamers about the dreams. I spent way too long trawling through these one evening but it is a marvellous window into the minds of people we’d never otherwise hear.
Colin Simpson has worked in education technology in the tertiary sector since 2003 and is employed by Monash University’s Education Innovation team. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner