Higher ed L&T’s scale problem?

Contemporary higher education appears to have a scale problem. Ellis & Goodyear (2019) explain in some detail Bain’s and Zundans-Fraser’s (2017) diagnosis of why attempts by universities to improve learning and teaching rarely scale, including the observation that L&T centers try to “influence learning and teaching through elective, selective, and exemplary approaches that are incompatible with whole-organizational change” (Bain & […]

Gatherers, Weavers and Augmenters: Three principles for dynamic and sustainable delivery of quality learning and teaching

Henry Cook, Steven Booten and I gave the following presentation at the THETA conference in Brisbane in April 2023. Below you will find Summary – a few paragraphs summarising the presentation. Slides – copies of the slides used. Software – some of the software produced/used as part of the work. References – used in the summary and the slides. Abstract […]

Orchestrating entangled relations to stretch the iron triangle: Observations from an LMS migration

About This work arose from the depths of an institutional LMS migration (Blackboard Learn to Canvas). In particular, the observation that the default migration processes required an awful lot of low level manual labour. Methods that appeared to reduce the quality of the migration process and increase the cost. Hence we started developing different methods. As the migration project unfolded […]

Orchestrating entangled relations to break the iron triangle: examples from a LMS migration

Introduction All university strategies for learning and teaching seek to maximise: accessibility (as many people as possible can participate – feel the scale – in as many ways as possible); quality (it’s good); and, cost effectiveness (it’s cheap to produce and offer). Ryan et al (2021) argue that this is a “key issue for contemporary higher education” (p. 1383) due […]

Representing problems to make the solution transparent

The following illustrates how the game Number Scrabble and Herb Simon’s thoughts on the importance of design representation appears likely to help with migration of 1000s of course sites from Blackboard Learn (aka Blackboard Original) to another LMS. Not to mention becoming useful post-migration. Number Scrabble Number Scrabble is a game I first saw described in Simon’s (1996) book Sciences […]

On formal qualifications and improving learning and teaching

The following is sparked by Twitter conversations arising from a tweet from @neilmosley5 quoting from this article by Tony Bates. In particular, pondering a tweet from @gamerlearner where the idea is that a “consistent requirement for educators in HE to have some kind of formal teaching qual” will not only help motivate academics “to take time out to learn how […]

What are the symbols in digital education/design for learning?

Benbya et al (2020, p. 3) argue that digitial technologies do make a difference, including this point (among others) Digital technologies not only give rise to complex sociotechnical systems; they also distinguish sociotechnical systems from other complex physical or social systems. While complexity in physical or social system is predominantly driven by either material operations or human agency, complexity in […]

Reflecting on the spread of the Card Interface for Blackboard Learn

In late 2018 I started work at an institution using Blackboard Learn. My first project helping “put online” a group of 7 courses highlighted just how ugly Blackboard sites could be and how hard it was to do anything about it. By January 2019 I shared the solution I’d developed – the Card Interface. Below is a before/after image illustrating […]

Do the little things matter in design for learning?

In learning what matters most is what the learner does. As people looking to help people learn we can’t make them learn. The best we can do is to create learning situations – see Goodyear, Carvalho & Yeoman (2021) for why I’m using situation and not environment. We design the task, the learning space and social organisation (alone, pairs, groups […]

Reflections on “How learning design systems can help scale and accelerate learning design”

On October 30 I watched a webinar (recording below) given by Joyce Seitzinger (@catspyjamasnz) and hosted by the Commonwealth of Learning. It was titled, “How Learning Design Systems can help scale and accelerate learning design”. If you work in higher education helping with the practice of digital (or post-digital education) – which is a bigger group of folk than it […]

Supporting the design of discipline-specific digital learning activities

It’s widely accepted that the most important part of learning and teaching is what the student does (Biggs, 2012). The spaces, tools and tasks in and through which students “do stuff” (i.e. learning, or not) are in some way designed by a teacher with subsequent learner adaptation (Goodyear, 2020). Designing learning spaces, tools and tasks is not easy. Especially when […]

Visualising and pruning my Memex

Update – now automated memex links In writing the following I stumbled across the idea that writing blog posts in Foam would enable the merging of content from Memex and blog posts. I then discovered it didn’t work out of the box. More work was needed. But the nature of the technology involved meant that it wasn’t that hard and […]

Getting started with memex

My last post was an exploration of Foam (a nascent personal knowledge management and sharing system) and how I might use it. This post documents two steps toward implementation Writing blog posts using Foam and syncing to my blog (e.g. this post) Converting almost 100 notes from my wikity into Foam The end result is that my personal memex is […]

Designing a personal “memex” with Foam

Designing potential use of Foam for PKM For years I’ve been annoyed at the lack of structure in my approach to managing and leveraging information (it never really becomes knowledge). The process through which I Seek > Sense > Share information/knowledge has been ad hoc, disorganised and broken. Last week @downes shared details about Foam. The first release of which […]