Tag Archives: wonkhe

Who turned out the lights? – Weeknote #188 – 7th October 2022

Last week I was in London (oh and a bit of Bristol). This week I worked from home at the beginning of the week and spent the end of the week working in our Bristol office. I think this was the first time in ages that I had actually spent three days in a row working out of the office. Well it was warm.

I spent some time this week organising and planning the Jisc Senior Education and Student Experience Group. This meant organising attendance at meetings, expanding the group, responding to queries, booking rooms and locations. Also rejigging and renaming the Jiscmail list for the group.

I am organising a cross-Jisc conversation to discuss and join up activity across Jisc in the intelligent and smart campus space. We have quite a few projects and ideas in this area.

campus
Image by 小亭 江 from Pixabay

The news is full of stories on the possibility of winter blackouts as the energy crisis continues to hit home. With the continuing prospect of restrictions in gas supplies across Europe, there is a strong chance with a extreme cold spell in the UK that there will be power rationing. This means that some parts of the UK will be dark. Students will face learning without light, power, heat or connectivity. How can you deliver high quality online learning without power or connectivity? So I wrote a blog post exploring this.

Also this from the Guardian: How would three-hour power cuts work if enacted in Great Britain?

People in England, Scotland and Wales are braced for the possibility of rolling power cuts this winter after a warning on Thursday from National Grid. The electricity and gas system operator has said households could face a series of three-hour power cuts…

So I wrote up a follow-up post.

stove espresso maker
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Wonkhe was reporting on the cost of living crisis.

The cost of living crisis will be worse than the impact of the pandemic for some students, a Welsh university Vice Chancellor has warned. Ben Calvert, vice chancellor at the University of South Wales, made the comment as he gave evidence at the opening of a Senedd committee inquiry into mental health in higher education. Calvert told the committee: “I actually think for some of our students that will be harder, particularly where we have got populations of students who are older.”

These concerns have been expressed by many universities at meetings I have attended. What could universities do, and what should universities do?

We potentially could see shifts in attendance patterns on campus by students, as they take advantage of the warm rooms and opportunities to charge devices away from their rented student homes.

This was an interesting read on Eighteen pitfalls to beware of in AI journalism.

We noticed that many articles tend to mislead in similar ways, so we analyzed over 50 articles about AI from major publications, from which we compiled 18 recurring pitfalls. We hope that being familiar with these will help you detect hype whenever you see it. We also hope this compilation of pitfalls will help journalists avoid them.

The first example was this analysis of an article on an AI EdTech product, The Machines Are Learning, and So Are the Students.

It features comments such as this one:

This sentence implies that AI is autonomously grading and optimizing coursework. However, it is only being used to assist teachers in a small part of grading: identifying the answer that a student wrote and checking if it matches the answer provided by the teacher.

I think that the article and analysis is not just useful for journalists, but anyone looking at AI in education (and beyond).

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I have been thinking about the keynote I am delivering for Moving Target 2022 in Berlin in November. Planning a short video for the conference organisers social media for next week as well.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Record temperatures – Weeknote #177 – 22nd July 2022

This week saw record temperatures as a red warning heatwave hit the UK. I spent the week working from home, as trains were cancelled or delayed and there were problems on the roads.

I wrote a blog post on how I can teach anywhere

I use to say things like “I can teach anywhere”. What I meant by this, wasn’t that the environment or space I was using wasn’t important, but I could overcome the disadvantages of the different spaces I had to play with, and still deliver an effective session.

So though I might be able to teach anywhere the reality is that all those challenges and issues I face in an inappropriate space, may well result in poor quality learning, despite the quality of my teaching.

Big news this week was that the QAA was to step away from designated role in England. Over on Wonkhe, David Kernohan  tries to make sense of it all.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) will no longer consent to be the Designated Quality Body (DQB) in England, as of the end of the current year in office (March 2023). The reasoning is straightforward – the work that QAA does in England, on behalf of the OfS, is no longer compliant with recognised quality standards – namely the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) as monitored by the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR). For this reason, the QAA registration with EQAR was recently suspended – a decision that highlights international concerns about procedures in England but has an impact in the many other nations (including Scotland and Wales) where QAA needs that EQAR registration in order to fulfil a statutory quality assurance role.

Once more we are seeing more divergence across the UK for higher education.

Alexa
Image by finnhart from Pixabay

I revisited and revised a blog post on voice assistants I had written back in 2018.

Hey Siri, what’s my day like today? Alexa when’s my next lesson? Okay Google, where are my library books?

Voice assistants have become widespread and are proving useful for a range of uses. The cost has fallen over the years and the services have expanded.

The use of voice assistants and smart hubs has certainly continued, and they have become embedded into many digital ecosystems. Their use in education though is still limited and I will be looking at that in a later blog post.

Attended a session on impact this week, which was interesting, but not necessarily that useful. How do you evidence impact of what you do? I wonder for example of the 1,828 blog posts published on this blog have had any impact on the way in which people work, support others or plan their work. For example one of the most popular blog posts on the blog, which though written in 2011, is still regularly viewed, is this one 100 ways to use a VLE – #89 Embedding a Comic Strip, which was one of a series of blog posts on improving or enhancing the use of the VLE.

One use of graphic that can enhance the look of a VLE course or as a mechanism to engage learners is to embed a comic strip into the VLE course.

What has been the impact of this? Has is changed practice? Has it improved the student experience? Has it improved student outcomes? How would I know?

I don’t think I can evidence the impact of this, but other work I have done I can sometimes see the evidence, however I don’t know if their has been actual impact.

I quite liked these tweets from August 2021 from people who had attended the digital leadership consultancy I had delivered for Leeds.

I had as part of the programme delivered a session on e-mail. It incorporates much of what is in this blog post on Inbox Zero and this follow up post. Always nice to see the impact that your training has had on the way that people work, they didn’t just attend the training, engage with the training, but are now acting on what they saw and learnt.

However what I don’t know is, has the change had a positive impact? And what was that impact?

I spent some of the week reviewing our new guide to the Intelligent Campus, and the revamped guide to the Intelligent Library. The library guide was never published but has been updated for 2022. I also reviewed our updated use cases, as well as drafting plans for some additional use cases. I am aiming for publication of these in the autumn.

letters
Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

If you are going on leave over the summer, you may want to look at this blog post on managing your summer e-mail.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Return to the Moodle – Weeknote #176 – 15th July 2022

I started off the week with a cross-sector agency meeting on widening participation.

I spent most of the week travelling. I was visiting various places and universities as part of a scoping piece of work I am doing in the Intelligent Campus space. It was also an opportunity to look at the physical campuses of various universities following two years of conversations over Zoom.

Dave Foord on a mailing list posted a link to a blog post he had written last month on three organisations he was supporting to return to Moodle having switched to a different VLE and then finding that  the “problems” that the new VLE was supposed to solve, hadn’t actually been solved. It reminded me of many similar conversations I have had in the past about changing VLEs. Often lack of engagement with a VLE is placed at the door of the VLE, so the conclusion is that switching the VLE is the answer. It usually isn’t.

Jim Dickinson (of WonkHE) created and crowdsourced a really interested and useful Twitter thread.

My contribution was about students being able to use their “local” campus rather than their “actual” campus.

I spent some of the week reviewing our new guide to the Intelligent Campus, and the revamped guide to the Intelligent Library. The library guide was never published but has been updated for 2022. I am aiming for publication of these in the autumn.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Blast from the past – Weeknote #174 – 1st July 2022

This week I attended the Learning at City Conference, an in-person event in London. It was like a blast from the past, as I travelled up on the day on the train and went across London. Easier though than on previous visits to City, as the Elizabeth Line is much smoother and faster than the Tube trains I would usually take. One of my reasons for attending was to find out more about their approach to hybrid teaching, which I had read about online.

It was a good conference and I enjoyed it, I am writing a more detailed blog post about the day. I did managed though to do one sketchnote on the opening keynote on assessment.

I am currently working on reviewing, revising and developing a range of reports related to the intelligent campus. This includes an updated version of the Intelligent Campus Guide, which we originally published back in 2017. A lot has happened in this space since then. We also took the opportunity to update the many use cases which were on the blog. Still thinking about the best format for these going forward. One thing we did draft back in 2017 was an Intelligent Library Guide. In the end it didn’t get published, but this time we have updated and revised the guide ready for publication later in the year.

I am also working on an Intelligent Campus Learning Spaces Scoping Study. Looking at how learning spaces are being used, and what are the issues are in the context of the intelligent campus.

I attended an HE & Research Leadership Team Coaching session. We looked at our internal processes, systems and structures, and reflected on how we would work going forward.

I published a blog post, Predicting an uncertain future about thinking about the future. Predicting is hard, and we can get it wrong. Actually, most of the time we do get it wrong.

Today we can also talk about possibilities and what it could mean for the student experience in the future. The purpose of this is not to predict what the university of the future will be but provide an envelope of possibilities that would allow us to plan for that potential future and build in appropriate resilience and responsiveness.

I attended Wonkhe’s Education Espresso – Telling the story of changing pedagogy event online. It was a stark contrast, from an experiential perspective to the in-person City event I had attended earlier in the week.

My top tweet this week was this one.

It’s challenging – Weeknote #173 – 24th June 2022

Is it getting harder to get a university place? David Kernohan on Wonkhe certainly thinks it is, in his recent article.

UCAS snuck some data out yesterday that appears to confirm what many have been hearing for a while – for certain subjects and for certain providers this years’ A level and Higher candidates are finding it harder than ever to secure a place at their chosen university.

Spent most of the week working from home, the train strike had a little impact on my working. I published a blog post about working and location and my own experiences and what my practices are.

For many people, including myself, what we do changes over the day, during the week and over time. Sometimes my work is about reading and making notes, add in there writing. Other times I am facilitating workshops, attending meetings, running meetings, having conversations, and so on. Throw in their online versions of these as well to complicate the mix.

In a recent Jisc report, many staff across higher education have similar complex working patterns and the concept of hybrid working is embedded into universities across the UK.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

On Tuesday I attended the UCISA online event Embrace Digital: promoting the use of digital technology in HE. It was interesting to hear how the university presenting were promoting and embedding digital technologies across their staff. I wrote up some of my reflections from the event in a blog post.

microphone

I recorded an internal blog post with a colleague about innovation. I have written about innovation before.

We may think we are innovative, but we’re probably not. Innovation for me means new or different. It doesn’t necessarily mean better or improved. Innovation is all about change, and change is all about culture and leadership. If you want people to go and be more innovative, then you will need to think about the leadership required to deliver that, and the impact you want to achieve.

In another post I discussed how innovative practices can be embedded into organisations.

For me true innovation in educational technology is change which has significant impact across the whole organisation. However this isn’t always exciting and shiny! Too often we focus on the new and the shiny and less on those innovations, that are holistic, organisation-wide and would have a greater impact on the learner experience.

Where I have seen true innovation in universities (and colleges) it has been in the main for something quite dull, but it is embedded across the entire organisation and is having an impact.

Spent some time sorting out entries on our CRM.

Have been reviewing our updated guides on the Intelligent Campus and a new guide on the Intelligent Library.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Disengagement – Weeknote #171 – 10th June 2022

Spent the best part of the week in London and actually had in-person meetings. Also gave me a chance to try out the new Elizabeth Line which was fast and smooth.

On Monday we had some teach coaching which was, well let’s just say it was interesting.

Tuesday we had the first of our new PVC Education and Student Experience Group meetings. This is an evolution of the Senior TEL Group I use to run, but now with a more strategic focus. I am hoping that we grow and evolve the group over time, but the participants did provide us with useful and valuable insights into the challenges and issues that universities face. There was also an implicit validation of the Jisc HE sector strategy.

The next day I had a meeting with the University of Leeds about their plans for some future collaboration.

Wednesday also saw me running a drop in session on our sector strategy. These sessions are about supporting staff at Jisc to see how their work supports the delivery of the strategy.

Thursday I focused on planning for next year. Looking at various parts of the HE sector strategy that may need further support and development.

Michelle Donelan announced that the government was appointing a student mental health support champion (or wellbeing tsar) in response to findings that mental health is the main reason given by students who are considering leaving university. Universities would be expected to use supermarket customer-tracking software to identify struggling students.

From Wonkhe

Universities are to be told to electronically track students to get early warning on mental health and reduce drop-out, as the government appoints a new student mental health leadership role. The Times this morning reports that a speech from Further and Higher Education minister Michelle Donelan is expected to respond to findings that mental health is the main reason given by students who are considering leaving university by appointing Nottingham Trent vice chancellor Edward Peck as a student new mental health support champion, who will provide leadership on ensuring students remain supported and engaged with their course.

 Donelan is expected to say that a student becoming disengaged with their course is not just a problem in its own right, “student disengagement is a critical warning sign for mental health issues which, as we know, when left unchecked can have devastating consequences. These critical warning signs present an opportunity for prevention, hitting the problem at the source and helping to defend students from mental health issues before they strike. Ensuring that we are focused on combating student disengagement will result in better attainment and better outcomes, too.”

Friday was about preparing papers for a meeting coming up, so that the participants can have the papers in advance.

My top tweet this week was this one.

The VLE is not dead – Weeknote #167 – 13th May 2022

Image by drippycat from Pixabay

Monday morning, I was off to Queen Mary University of London for their VLE Expo. This was very much a QMUL focussed event, though they had invited a range of VLE vendors. I liked how the focus of the event was about, what do we want to do to achieve our strategic aspirations, how will the VLE help us to do that, and which platform (or platforms) will enable us to do that.

There were some excellent presentations from the academic staff on the different ways in which they were using technology including virtual reality, mixed reality and H5P. I sat on the final panel session answering questions from the floor on a range of issues. A lot of the questions were more about the use of technology for learning and teaching, than VLE specific topics. However, I did get into a few discussions about the VLE on the Twitter as a result of attending the event.

I posted another blog post in my Lost in Translation series this time with a focus on the technical aspects of recording videos or audio files.

Most institutions will (probably) have equipment which staff can use, but if there is a strategic approach to building a sustainable approach to the use of video and audio, then universities will need to reflect if they have sufficient resources to support the increased demand for cameras and microphones.

video recording
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Tuesday I was still in London for a briefing session, well as it happened it got cancelled, so I worked in the office.

Apple have announced that they are going to stop selling the iPod once the current stocks of iPod touch run out. So did you have an iPod and if so which one?

iPod
Photo by Cartoons Plural on Unsplash

Wednesday, I did two all-staff briefings for two directorates on the Jisc HE sector strategy. From the feedback I got they seemed to be well received.

I was reminded on the Twitter about when I took my bike to work. I made a video back then.

Mike Sharples posted an excellent Twitter thread on how AI can be used to write essays. I agree with Mike, if we are setting students assignments that can be answered by AI, are we really helping students learn?

I enjoyed the #LTHEchat on images in presentations in the evening.

These two blog posts from 2005 (and 2007) were very influential on my presentation style: Gates, Jobs, & the Zen aesthetic and Learning from Bill Gates & Steve Jobs. I also posted  a link to a presentation from an internal TEDx event about delivering presentations – A duck goes quack.

Thursday, I made my way to Harwell for a drop in session I was running at the Jisc offices there, alas an accident the closure of the M4 meant I spent nearly four hours sitting the car rather than sitting in a room talking to Jisc staff. In the end I had to abandon my visit to the office.

Friday, I had a scoping call about learning spaces in higher education. Interested in the kinds of learning spaces higher education is using, flexibility, technology and the kinds of activities spaces are being used for.

I found this WonkHE article interesting – Learning design is the key to assuring the quality of modular provision in which Nick Mount talks about building quality assurance into the design of modular programmes and micro-credentials.

Traditional providers can expect to find themselves facing the difficult job of rethinking existing assurance processes that are designed for coherent, longitudinal programmes of study, so that they can accommodate a new pick-and-mix landscape of highly portable and stackable micro-credential learning.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Getting it wrong – Weeknote #160 – 25th March 2022

I spent the week working from home, there was a combination of factors which influenced this decision, from home-schooling, builders, and plumbers. Next week I am in Manchester for the UCISA Leadership conference.

I spent some of the week working on a new sector group that can provide feedback to Jisc. This group will advise on Jisc’s strategic direction in the support of learning, teaching and assessment, and the student experience in higher education, and help to inform and shape the implementation of the HE sector strategy:

  • Advising on the current state of play and future direction of learning, teaching and assessment in the HE sector
  • Reflecting the views and user needs of senior managers in learning, teaching and student experience, as Jisc members and stakeholders
  • Helping to define the kinds of (digital) products, services, support, and sector engagement/advocacy which will be most beneficial to universities.

The Office for Students (OfS) launched their new strategy targeting quality and standards.

The OfS’s work on quality and standards aims to ensure that students receive a high quality academic experience which improves their knowledge and skills. Much provision in the English higher education sector is excellent – the focus of the OfS will be on challenging provision that falls short, and taking action as needed. On access and participation work, the OfS will encourage higher education providers to work in partnership with schools to raise attainment. These two areas of focus are mutually reinforcing, with effective regulation of quality helping to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the support they need to succeed in and beyond higher education.

From my perspective in supporting the OfS strategy is how digital and technology can support improving the quality of the student experience and widen participation in higher education.

OfS has also commissioned a report on the quality and impact of blended learning. I found this Wonkhe articleinteresting on how David Kernohan still hasn’t got over the last one

A notably independent review chair has been asked to produce a report drawing on evidence from the sector and from the wider literature. Because we need to know what “good” looks like in this mode of provision, so the regulator can ensure students are getting value for their fees.

David reminds us that a year ago the OfS published Gravity Assist.

Gravity Assist

Michael Barber could cite literature suggesting that blended learning may lead to better learning outcomes than in person alone, but as far as the national conversation is concerned this is now a deliberate ploy by universities to educate students on the cheap.

David continues…

Enter Susan Orr. Shortly to take up a Pro Vice Chancellor role at De Montfort University, and a creative arts educator and researcher of some repute, she – alongside an expert panel with membership yet to be determined – will report in the summer on: concerns that the poor quality of the online experience for some students during the pandemic has undermined the positive potential of mixing in-person and online course delivery

David’s conclusion is that Michael Barber must have got it wrong.

Campus
Image by Edgar Winkler from Pixabay

I had a meeting about updating the Jisc guide to the intelligent campus. We originally published the guide in 2017. This was at the time well received by the sector and continues to be the core guidance in this space. Since then, universities across the UK have been exploring how they can make their campuses smarter and intelligent.

Dr Kris Bloomfield (at the time CIO Durham) said of the guide This is an outstanding piece of work and massive kudos is due to those that contributed to the development and publication of this document.

As well as the guide there were numerous use cases that showed how the higher education sector could benefit from the intelligent campus concept.

Though I changed roles in March 2019, I have been talking about the intelligent campus space at various events. In July 2021 I spoke at the QAA conference with a presentation entitled: How will the growth in online learning shape the future design of learning spaces and our campuses? Last month I spoke at The Future of the Higher Education Estateonline event.

Obviously the covid pandemic had a huge impact on the university campus and how it was and will be used in the future. In last few years I have written some more posts about that aspect.

Intelligent Campus and coronavirus planning was a blog post on how the concept of the Intelligent Campus could help universities in their planning. I was reflecting how if the concept of the intelligent campus was further advanced than it is, how potentially more helpful it could be to support universities planning for a socially distanced campus.

The Intelligent Learning Space was a post based on my experiences on the Intelligent Campus project. As we design learning spaces, we can add sensors and mechanisms to collect data on the use of those learning spaces. It then how we analyse and use that data that allows those spaces to be initially smart and then intelligent.

campus
Image by 小亭 江 from Pixabay

Since the guide was published, there have been many changes to the landscape, as well as the covid-19 pandemic, there have been advances in smart campus technologies, and a new range of use cases.  We know from sector intelligence, member voice and Learning and Teaching Reimagined that the future of the campus is an important component when it comes to digital transformation. This has shown the need for Jisc to update their advice and guidance in this area.

This work would:

  • update the guide to reflect current thinking
  • add additional case studies from current practice
group
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I expanded on my previous post on personalisation by looking at Jisc’s sector strategy perspective of personalisationand what Jisc may do in this space. So why is this space important to the sector? When we developed the HE strategy, we listened to what the sector was saying, what it was telling us, what we saw, and we also looked at the wider sector context, the regulatory space, the political space and importantly the student voice in all this.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Making it personal – Weeknote #157 – 4th March 2022

For the first time in at least two years (if not longer) I spent three days in a row at our Bristol office. The office was much busier than it has been on previous visits, and there was a (little) bit of a buzz in there. I did have a few in-person ad hoc interactions with people, who I might not interact with online. You can create these online, but it isn’t easy.

I was asked if I preferred working from home, or working in the office. My response was I prefer to have the choice. The challenge I found with lockdown, was that I had no choice. Though I have preferences about space when I have specific things I need to do, I really quite like working in different environments and spaces.

I had to upgrade the Twitter client on my iPad. The old one, which I liked kept crashing and I couldn’t get it to stop. The new one, I do not like.

group
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I posted a blog post on my early thinking about personalisation.

What do we mean by personalisation, what can we personalise, what should be personalise and what are the challenges in personalisation?

I have been looking at how data and technology can deliver a personalised learning journey and we have in our HE strategy the following ambition statement.

We will explore and develop solutions to help universities deliver personalised and adaptive learning using data, analytics, underpinning technologies and digital resources.

We know that there are very different opinions and views of what personalised learning is. One of the things I do need to do is to take that ambition statement and expand it into a clear explanatory statement, so that key stakeholders are clear about what we mean and why this space is important to higher education.

The ICC in Birmingham
The ICC in Birmingham

I have been preparing for Digifest next week where I will be attending both days.

I am also speaking at Digifest on Wednesday9th March 2022 from 11:45 – 12:30 in Hall 7B.

In this session, James will showcase Jisc’s HE sector strategy, Powering HE, and why and how we developed the strategy. He will explore what Jisc is doing and planning to do in the HE teaching and learning space. He will bring the session together with the impact the strategy is having on university members across the UK.

I enjoyed the WonkHE 404 page.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Eventedness

I was recently reminded of the importance of eventedness when it comes to events and has similar implications in the delivery of teaching both in-person and online.

One of my favourite presentations from the EdTech space is this one by that Dave White at ALT-C 2010.

Dave with his extensive experience with TALL at the University of Oxford certainly well qualified to understand the benefits and limitations of online delivery. However he discussed during his talk the importance of the social benefit that physical lectures provide for a community of learners. This is though not impossible to recreate online, is very challenging. Dave demonstrated through his delivery and content that the lecture in itself can be a useful way to stimulate discussion and debate.

Here we are twelve years later and much of what he spoke about resonates today with experiences across the pandemic. We know that with the emergency switch to online, that we lost the lecture and replaced it with online zoom calls. Many felt that this was a poor substitute for the in-person experience, and they were right.

David’s talk followed a keynote by Donald Clark who had opened the conference with his keynote, and riled people and annoyed them with a blanket attack on the lecture. What Donald Clark did was to challenge our perception of the lecture, and it appeared to me that the over-whelming consensus of the audience was that the lecture still had some place in the delivery of education. This was reinforced for me by Dave White who gave a wonderful (unplanned) response to Donald’s lecture, with an invited talk on the eventedness and social impact of coming together to learn.

The phrase “eventedness” has stayed with me since that talk back in 2010.

This was something that came back to me when I attended WonkHE’s The Secret Life of Students. In London. This was a real in-person event in central London. I have not done one of those for a while.

I think my last in-person (external) event was back in early 2020.

There was some great content in the event, I liked the use of different formats across the sessions. Mark Leach’s interview with Nicola Dandrige of the OfS was a highlight for me. I also liked the mix of panel sessions and keynote presentations.

There was something else though, in sharing these experiences with others. With the laughter at Mark’s humour, the weirdness of the B3 Bear, the in-person interactions with strangers. This was something I hadn’t really engaged with online events during the pandemic.

I really enjoyed the WonkHE event, it was nice to experience the eventedness of an in-person event. Something I have found missing from online events. I think part of the reason is that most online events I have attended during the pandemic have been poor translations of physical in-person events Losing all the nuances of what makes those events so engaging and not taking advantage of the affordances that digital platforms can provide.

I liked the interview format, something I don’t think we see enough of in both in-person and online conferences. The only thing missing for me was more audience interaction and discussion.

Zoom
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Next slide please!

Too often in online events I have seen people talking to Powerpoint slides, often this turns into a monologue. Having done presentations myself online, I have recently tried to avoid using slides and spend the time talking to camera. I also make an effort to up my game, or Partridge’ise my presentation, recognising that presenting online can flatten the performance somewhat.

I have also found online that few people take advantage of the chat function, actually I have also noticed that few people take advantage of the Twitter when attending online events. You almost get the feeling that the event is on in the background and delegates are working on their e-mails. Having that focus of the physical in-person event was useful for me and though tempted I did avoid doing “work” whilst engaged with the sessions.

Back in the 2000s I attended and participated in many online conferences and the technical limitations meant we couldn’t do live streaming. As a result we made use of recorded video, audio, and textual discussions. Once the bandwidth allowed live streaming, it was interesting to see that the engagement with the conference declined.

I do think you can have eventedness with online events, but it takes work and effort and thinking differently about how you will create that for the event. Similarly you can see similar thinking needs to happen with online teaching and learning. There is more to teaching than presenting.

Should note though that the coffee was awful at the in-person event, so much so I had to pop out for a real coffee.