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Ed tech must reads: Column #28

First published in Campus Morning Mail 29nd March 2022

The value of a Weekly Preview Video from Teaching@Sydney

As Zoom continues to lower barriers to using video in education, more and more educators are normalising its use to communicate with students asynchronously. Preview videos that outline what is coming in the week can enhance teacher presence, contextualise learning and shed light on questions from previous weeks. This post from Matthew Thomas at Sydney Uni describes the use of preview videos in an education unit with multiple lecturers and offers both technological and pedagogical tips.  

Bourdieu and Higher Education from Meet the Education Researcher (podcast)

Most people no doubt have their own opinions about the root causes and solutions to questions of power relationships in universities, but the French theorist Pierre Bourdieu has probably given this more consideration than many. This 20 min podcast from the Education faculty at Monash is part of a rich series examining contemporary issues and ideas in education research. In this, Troy Heffernan (La Trobe) dives into ideas of power in the academy and the things that universities don’t want you to see.

Learner and User Experience Research from

User Experience design (UX) is, not surprisingly, a field of increasing importance as we spend more and more time online. Every aspect of the layout of a webpage including colours, shapes, locations and images influence our behaviours. Naturally these design aspects also apply to education technologies. What is sometimes less well understood is that the principles that work for an online shop don’t always translate directly to the more complex world of online learning. For this we have Learner Experience (LD) design. This free e-book from Schmidt et al is an invaluable resource for anyone that needs to understand how to design online spaces to support learning and teaching.

Students’ perceptions of, and emotional responses to, personalised learning analytics-based feedback: an exploratory study of four courses from Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education

A lot of discussion around the use of student activity data to automate feedback and identify and intervene when students are at risk – Learning Analytics (LA) – has focused on what’s possible and the ethical side of things. As the tools and systems have matured, we are now starting to see more work exploring the impacts of the use of LA in teaching. This paper from Lim et al. looks at how this feedback affects student behaviour in four courses in different disciplines in terms of positive and negative activation and deactivation.

2022 PressEd Conference (tweets) from Twitter

This conference about innovative uses of WordPress in education and elsewhere has been and gone but deserves a mention for its interesting format. It is held entirely on Twitter, with presenters scheduled for set times where they make their presentations in a flurry of tweets, all using the hashtag #pressedconf22. This means that it is possible to discuss things in real time and follow the tweets back later.