This report highlights aspects of good practice in planning education in the UK (with ‘planning’ variously known for instance as spatial planning, urban and regional planning, city and regional planning, and town and country planning), in order to disseminate relevant ideas and innovations and thereby widen their use by ‘planning schools’ (the Royal Town Planning Institute [RTPI] - accredited higher education discipline units teaching planning). It also provides suggestions for how to improve the sharing of good practice within planning schools. Good practice is seen here simply as that which provides creditable outcomes in terms of learning and teaching effectiveness, as indicated by higher education providers and supported by wider evidence. The report is based on documentary evidence as well as a survey of the opinion of UK planning schools conducted in Spring 2014. It is intended to be of interest to academics within planning as well as the broader built environment field, but also to practitioners/employers who have an interest in initial (or pre-qualification) education and/or lifelong learning, for instance via their involvement in teaching/learning, mentoring or similar activities.
The report was sponsored by the Higher Education Academy, the RTPI and the Conference of Heads of Planning Schools.
Throughout the past decade, we have researched, studied, and explored a variety of face-to-face, online, and blended learning experiences across different modalities, contexts, and audiences. For students and instructors alike, one concept has remained the key to a successful experience: the power of human connectedness for learning.1
Our long-term research with administrators, teachers, and students suggests key strategies to better support faculty and students to develop this connectedness.
If it’s early May, then it must be time to talk about what student evaluations of teaching are worth. In a recent essay in Slate, Rebecca Schuman claims that student evaluations are “useless” in their current form, because they encourage students to punish rigorous teachers with low scores and mean comments (and, all too often, sexist or racist ones). The article has gotten a lot of attention from academics I know, who have shared their own stories of uninformed and upsetting comments.
The latest Ako Aotearoa Good Practice Publication, prepared by Dennis Keys, Cath Fraser and Oliver Abbott of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, outlines how a practical house-build project and the accompanying ePortfolio assessment have improved student engagement and outcomes, and increased teacher satisfaction.
Some 10 percent of humanities scholars currently self-identify as digital humanists. As such, digital humanities is the consummate academic hot-button topic and everyone has vehement opinions. The post Will digital humanities disrupt the university?
LECTURE theatres could be a thing of the past, as students watch lectures at home, on the bus and anywhere else they can get internet access. And their disappearance could take the theatre out of universities, an Adelaide forum heard this week.
“A lot of my colleagues don’t like it, but we have to think about it,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology chancellor Eric Grimson told the forum. “What’s our job? Am I an orator or am I an educator? Is it about broadcast, or is it about shared learning?”
What is clear is that major changes in the way we teach post-secondary students are being triggered by online learning and the new technologies that increase flexibility in, and access to, post-secondary education.
In looking at what these pedagogical changes are and their implications for students, faculty, staff, and institutions, we consider:
Some key developments in online learning and how they impact our understanding of pedagogy;Applications of these developments through highlighting innovations in Ontario colleges and universities from the Pockets of Innovations Series on the Ontario Online Learning Portal for Faculty & Instructors; andSome questions about changes in pedagogy and in student learning.
"The NMC and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition at a special session at the ELI Annual Meeting 2014. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice."
In summary, we’ll have another contentious year. We’ll see big growth in higher education services from outside of the university sector, a continued gnashing of teeth from established providers. Some new services and platforms will emerge to cater for different forms of learning, MOOCs will evolve and improve and open badges will be hot. Look out for rhizomatic learning.
"The New Yorker has made its archives since 2007 (and a few articles from before that) free for the next three months. That includes some great journalism on education — a tour of the biggest debates in K-12 and higher education.
"If you need something to read on your next flight, want a break from beach reading, or are aiming for a better grasp of the American education system before the kids go back to school this fall… here's your summer reading syllabus."
"This year’s “The Learning Curve” report from Pearson takes a look at education across the globe. One of the main things the report does is rank the world’s educational systems (which we’ll talk about in a different post). What I find even more interesting is the focus on what skills current students need to meet the ever changing needs of the global market, and some potential ways to address shortcomings in our collective educational systems."
Curtin University made this shift The University of Iowa will launch a new Office of Teaching, Learning and Technology for the fall 2015 semester in an effort to better meet the needs of faculty, instructors and teaching assistants.
Drawing upon contemporary digital tools and the rich traditions of humanities inquiry, Experimental Humanities is committed to the study of how technologies mediate our understanding of what it means to be human."
The 2-year-old Experimental Humanities is an interdisciplinary concentration involving the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, with courses ranging from The Science of Creativity (Biology 122) to Digital Animation (Film 203) to Introduction to Computing (Computer Science 117). Courses that are part of the concentreation also focus on such diverse topics as religion, race, celebrity, architecture, video production, music history, Arthurian legends and the intersection of art and technology, among others.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
It seems to becoming evident to even the most die-hard conservatives that the shift to embrace new tools, new connections and new ways of understanding the world is an absolute necessity.
Plurality, indisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity are shifting from elite, obfuscated academic principles to core undergraduate expectations.
Striving for excellence: A guide for tertiary teachers
The Ako Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence (our member group of past TTEA recipients) has just released a two-volume reflective guide - Striving for excellence: A guide for tertiary teachers; making it easier for educators to access the growing body of good practice material from those recognised nationally for their sustained excellence in teaching, and apply it to their own teaching contexts.
"A new era of personalized professional development is sweeping into schools. We've created this guide to capture the extraordinary changes in PD tools and in the cycle of learning. We look here at tools that support how teachers engage with colleagues; that help teachers learn or find support for implementing fresh strategies and approaches; and that measure how that learning impacts practice in the classroom."
We are pleased to announce the Learning Revolution Conference, online and free, April 21 - 24, 2014. Our goal is to bring together people who are thinking about learning from our important learning places: the school, library, museum, work, adult, online, non-traditional, and home learning worlds.
We want to explore and bridge the conversations about learning that are common to these worlds, including: learning theory, learning practice, learning science, learning space design, and technology for learning. What are we "learning about learning?" The Internet is shifting the boundaries of these worlds and we believe that they will increasingly overlap and integrate. We also believe that conversations across these boundaries are critical to framing and preparing for the learning revolution starting to take place.
Most of us agree, change is inevitable. Yet the change we are experiencing today, due to the digital revolution, is accelerating as never before. As a result, today’s students need to know how to anticipate and influence their rapidly approaching future in a systematic and useful way.
Teach the Future, a collaborative of educators and community partners, has been created for exactly that purpose.
To achieve deeper engagement, different approaches are required. Engagement is often ambiguous, tough to define and therefore problematic to measure/quantify.
Engagement is not a synonym for motivation or conformity. It also involves self-discovery, collaborative intent, it is attuned to emotional investment and personalised to embrace passion and interest – a lot of things PISA find difficult to measure. It is also rigorous, but not excessive to the detriment of wellbeing. Engagement in learning connects to real-world contexts, bringing relevance and horizontal connection to learning in other areas.
“People are almost in this Matrix-like existence,” says education thought-leader Steve Hargadon. “They don’t question schooling. How do you tell a story that opens the door to rethinking what people have believed for decades?
Hargadon thinks one way change agents get tripped up is by promoting a particular model, rather than a process by which people can develop (or adopt) models that best fit their needs. He considers deep, meaningful conversations a useful starting point for people to use to shape the future, and to that end, he’s planning to host a series of national conversations in 2014 that probe the deeper questions around education and can serve as models for conversations people initiative in their own communities.