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Open learning

January 10th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

My 2009 prediction – open learning. And we are organising a series of online, face to face and blended workshops, seminars and events throughout this year. So many in fact, that webmeister Dirk is busy programming a new events page for this web site.
Over the next few days I will post more details about the different events. But to start off, I have posted details of the JISC Evolve Emerging Mondays seminars, Sounds of The Bazaar and the  ThoughtFest event being held in March in Salford. The seminars are online events, ThoughtFest is a face to face workshop.

PLEs and E-Portfolios – is this the future of education?

    January, 19th 2009, 1900 CET, 1800 UK time.
    Speakers: Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu

    Careers and the Internet – how does Web 2.0 impact on our Online Reputation and Identity

      February, 16th 2009 – 1900 CET, 1800 UK time.
      Speakers: Steven Warburton,

      Enterprise 2.0 – the potential of Social Software for learning in enterprises

        March, 16th 2009 – 1900 CET, 1800 UK time
        Speakers: Timothy Hall, University of Limerick, Ireland

        Edupunk – Free the educational system

        April, 6th 2009 1900 CET, 1800 UK time

        Speakers: Dr. Martin Ebner and Steven Wheeler, University of Plymouth

        ThoughtFest 09

        5-6 March, Salford, Manchester, UK
        Thought Fest is a two-day event being organized by Pontydysgu with the support of the JISC Evolve network and
        the European Mature-IP project.

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          News Bites

          Digital Literacy

          A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

          A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

          Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

          See here for more information


          Zero Hours Contracts

          Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

          Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


          Resistance decreases over time

          Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


          Postgrad pressure

          Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

          “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

          Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


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