Designing a next generation digital learning environment

This video was first posted on the DLDSC blog
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Presenting on next generation digital learning environments

In October I will be giving a short presentation on the work we’ve been doing on next generation digital learning environments at the RMIT University Learning and Teaching Conference. If you are a staff or student at RMIT University then you can register for free here.

For everyone else I will be making a recording of my presentation available online shortly afterwards.

As part of the conference preparation we were asked to put together a short video introduction that gives people an idea of what will be covered. Here is mine. Hope you like it.

Why University Learning Management Systems are the temporary classrooms of today

This post first appeared at

Be warned, I’m about to torture an analogy. You might want to look away if you’re squeamish. Read more

UX Design

How should traditional universities deliver wholly online learning?

I’ve worked with several traditional higher education institutions over the last few years that have been in the process of building a capability for wholly online course delivery. I think it’s worth exploring the ways in which this can be accomplished and some of the pitfalls that I’ve observed. Read more

Apple II

We need to rethink university IT Services

As is often the case I’ve been spurred into action by a post from Martin Weller about IT services in universities. Specifically Martin describes these complaints about IT Services: Read more

Students studying

Udemy thinks they’ve “cracked online education” they haven’t. But…

Last week, on the Time web site, Udemy CO Dennis Yang claims to have “cracked online education”. They haven’t of course and this is exactly the sort of glib claim guaranteed to to annoy those that have thought deepest and longest about the ways in which technology can be used in education. There is a ‘but’ though. Whilst Udemy’s claim is overstated they are, in fact, onto something and that something is that Read more

Girls under trees

Because universities are more than just girls under trees

I’ve started working with a university again. This week the team I’m working with were introduced to the university’s new Head of Digital and CX. This is quite a new position for the university  and a key part of the role is to help provide the framework for a digital strategy for the university. It was great to be able to hear the current thinking behind the strategy and to have the opportunity to provide some input. Read more

20 years in e-learning

In June of this year it was twenty years since I set up my first web server for delivering e-learning courses. I’m using this anniversary to reflect on my experiences in educational technology over the last 20 years. I’ll have a look at some of the things we got right and some of the things we got wrong and why, after all these years, I’m still an optimist. Read more

We need more investment in mainstreaming innovations, not generating new ones

There’s an article on EdSurge today (Here’s a $5M Seed Fund to Support Higher-Ed Innovations Besides MOOCs) that talks about a new fund to promote innovation in highered. I know $5M isn’t a huge amount but the principle just seems so misguided. There is no problem with innovation in higher education. The problem is adopting and mainstreaming innovations across a higher ed institutions. This is where investment is needed. It probably won’t happen though because it’s a very difficult problem to solve and it relies not only on money but on the ability to cooperate as individuals and teams across an organisation. The nature of highered organisations does not lend itself well to this sort of activity. This is one reason why higher ed administrators would rather invest in non human projects such as facilities or buildings or, possibly, in innovations in which the team or individual developing the innovation is small and localised. But if there is no investment in mainstreaming the innovation then it’s just a waste. You may improve outcomes in one small section of the organisation but it won’t improve outcomes across the organisation.

(Featured image by Boegh


MOOCs – Magnificent, Monsters or Malediction

Random thoughts

Random thoughts by

Thanks to Kate Bowles (@KateMfD) for sending me a link to an open Coursesites web site (free registration) that has been created for the MOOC discussion at the forthcoming Universities Australia 2014 conference. Anyone can register and comment in the discussion area and I would encourage those that are interested to do so.

There are six questions in the discussion area; these are:

  • What have been the most significant impacts of MOOCs?
  • What have we learned about teaching and learning from the experience with MOOCs?
  • What impacts do you think MOOCs will have on university business models and who do you think will be most affected?
  • What do you think higher education will look like in 20 years’ time?
  • What questions should we be asking ourselves now about change in higher education?
  • What are the three best articles you have read on MOOCs?

If you don’t want to register on Coursesites and see the discussion there you can always have a look at my random thoughts. They are below:

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