This was my last working week of the year.
So though I had snow and cold weather in Berlin two weeks ago, it was even colder than that this week in the UK. In the South West we didn’t hit really cold temperatures, though I did experience -6°C one morning this week.
The week started with a Senior Education and Student Experience Group meeting. Originally planned to take place in London, due to a range of unforeseen circumstances we moved the meeting online. It was really useful and interesting to hear about the challenges various universities across the UK are facing.
Some key headlines from the group were (and there are no real surprises here)
- Learning Spaces
- Assessment and feedback
- Wellbeing analytics
- Learning analytics
- Curriculum analytics
- Influencing government and regulators on blended learning
- Importance of support for campus (intelligent campus)
- Reviewing the curriculum
- Culture change
- Digital learning environment review
One thing they did want to see more of, which crossed all those areas was research based evidence to support any advice, guidance, products across those areas.
I asked ChatGTP, an artifical intelligence tool, what is personalisation of learning was and this was the response. I think tools like this have their place and their uses, but as with any tool understanding what its potential is, is important in knowing how you can use it, and how others might use it.
Disappointed and rather saddened to see the way Twitter is going. Despite that, and though I didn’t plan to, I quite enjoyed the #LTHEChat this week. It was run by an old friend of mine Lilian Soon, and was on accessibility.
One topic which did generate discussion was that of document styles.
I really struggle with getting people to use styles and templates effectively. Most don’t see the point and actually prefer to bold and underline headings throughout their documents and presentations. This is fine for them, but as soon as you need to collaborate on a document, you find that you need to work hard to retain styles and consistent formatting through a document. It’s a similar thing with templates. In theory if you use styles and you change the formatting of the style, then all the instances of the style will be updated. Where people use formatting tools on the actual text, this then doesn’t happen.
Why are styles important, well they are critical for screen readers in navigating documents, but also if a student (or a member of staff) wants to change a document, then styles makes it really easy.
So why don’t people use styles and templates, I don’t know. Maybe it is too hard. I don’t think this is just a training issue.
Also it is not just styles, some people don’t do section breaks instead do lots of hard returns.
In many of my presentations in the past I have talked about laptop bans, and then ask can I bring a typewriter?
It always gets a few laughs.
So you should not be surprised I laughed at this.
My top tweet this week was this one.
— James Clay (@jamesclay) December 13, 2022