Category Archives: Links – Teaching and Learning

Teaching Carnival 16

The 16th Teaching Carnival is up over at Ancarett’s Abode.

The Carnival has links to recent posts in the educational blogosphere on student blogging, syllabi,  student-centered learning, coping in the classroom, group work, assessment, learning, the profession, and much, much more.

There’s some great reading, and I’ve already added several new links to my del.icio.us bookmarks.

OpenLearn – the way of the future?

The Open University in the UK has recently launched its OpenLearn website, which makes ‘educational resources freely available on the internet, with state of the art learning support and collaboration tools to connect learners and educators.’

They already have quite a range of modules available across a range of discipline areas, using Moodle as their LMS.

What may also be of interest to some is the associated LabSpace site, established to share and reuse educational resources. All the content from OpenLearn can be downloaded, adapted, and used and adapted versions uploaded to the site.

Both sites are worth a look. I’ve been experimenting with Moodle a little lately, and it’s interesting to see it in action in a major site. It’s also interesting to have a look at the approach they’ve taken to the learning design in the various modules – the ones I’ve glanced at are more structured and step-by-step than we normally do here, but that’s probably appropriate for the open access nature of the project.

Developments like this and MIT’s OpenCourseWare , plus other projects such as Google Scholar and the trends to make academic journals freely accessible, do challenge us to consider what the future of higher education is – if the learning content is freely available, why should students enrol in our institutions, for an expensive three-year or more degree? What is it that we will be giving them? If we’re going to be about more than just assessment and awarding formal qualifications, how do we make the learning process more engaging and rewarding for our students?
What are the implications for our future?

Teaching and other Carnivals

Sorry for the absence of posts lately – I’ve been away on leave, enjoying a couple of weeks in the outback.

The 11th Teaching Carnival is now up at WorkBook . What’s a Carnival, you might ask? In the blog sense, a Carnival is a collection of links to interesting recent posts in the particular field or discipline. The Teaching Carnival is published every two weeks or so, an relates to blog entries about teaching in Higher Education. It’s a great way to get an overview about what university teachers are blogging about in relation to their teaching.

As an example, here’s the Teaching and Technology section of the 11th Teaching Carnival:

Carrie Shanafelt is trying out a Wiki for her British Literature class to facilitate the sharing of student work. She hopes that “[t]he creation of a wiki…would render these [assigned historical context] memos in an attractive, interconnected, easily browsable format that would ensure that they don’t get lost or forgotten in the bottoms of bookbags”.

Originally posted on the Humanist listserv, Alan Liu’s proposed policy for appropriate student use of Wikipedia generated significant online buzz, both on that listserv (1, 2, 3) and at Kairosnews, one of Jonathan Goodwin’s class blogs, cac.ophony.org, and the CHE‘s Wired Campus Blog.

Metaspencer explains the answer to “Why course websites?

At Academic Commons, Susan Sipple discusses Digitized Audio Commentary in First Year Writing Classes, and Derek Mueller has tried commenting with audio in some online courses. At the Rhetorical Situation, Oxymoron finds online students more willing to engage in discussion than in-class students usually are.

While I have a set of regular blogs that I subscribe to via RSS*, Carnivals provide an additional, easy way of seeing what’s current in the blogosphere of disciplines I’m interested in.

Other Carnivals I’ve come across include:

There’s also a list of Carnivals over at Blog Carnival – but many of these are not academic in nature. I’d love to hear about other Carnivals that are relevant to academic work.
*Links from the Teaching Carnival led me to a good explanation of RSS over at academHack.