First published in Campus Morning Mail 11th Oct 2022
There is a theatrical element to good teaching in person – using the space, varying your vocal dynamics and timing, and building engagement through interactions with learners. Many educators can find the performative aspect more challenging when the teaching mode changes – as is the case with hybrid/hyflex teaching with a mixture of live in-person and online learners. This useful piece from Randy Riddle of the Duke Learning Innovation team suggests treating the experience more like a late-night talk show and offers some valuable suggestions for unlocking your own Stephen Colbert.
As with many aspects of the pandemic, wild claims abound about the changes it has led to in learning and teaching. The impact of online learning on student mental health in this time has been flagged by some people in pushing back against the growing use of education technologies and shifts in learning and teaching practice. Stephanie Moore and colleagues explore the literature around this relationship, finding that there was little conducted before 2020 and that as much as 75% of research in this space overstates causal relationships.
Educause’s survey of 820 US Higher Ed students reflects some of the findings of the larger JISC survey in terms a growing acceptance of online learning and students generally having access to the technology that they need. This research has more of a focus on the technology side of things and does not speak to satisfaction with how technology enabled learning and teaching is designed or conducted. It does note a relationship between challenges with ed tech and mental health.
Agile and the Long Crisis of Software from Logic
Software development workflow models may not at first glance seem entirely relevant to Higher Educators but you can be assured that they shape the work of your institutional IT departments when it comes to implementation and changes to uni ed tech systems. Many of the component parts of Agile methodology, including sprints, stand ups and Kanban boards are also increasingly finding their way into wider project management. This informative piece explores where Agile has come from, how it is useful and some of its challenges.
Is using someone else’s #AltText plagiarism? From Karen Costa
Alt text is descriptive information that should always be added when images are used online. This is a vital part of supporting blind and vision-impaired people using screen readers – software that speaks the content on a page. This interesting Twitter thread explores where Alt text sits in terms of intellectual property, landing on it as being a public good and ‘authorless’.