First published in Campus Morning Mail 7th March, 2023
There is a cohort in any discussion about the AIpocalypse in Higher Ed whose first question is some variation on ‘how can we detect AI generated writing?’ Given the change that is needed in teaching practice to respond to these tools, it is understandable that a first response might be in the ‘shut it down’ vein. As with most things in the ed tech space though, there is no silver bullet, as this set of basic tests conducted by Armin Alimardani (UoW) and Emma Jane (UNSW) indicate. Detecting AI content is unlikely to ever be reliable and clever users will usually be able to find a workaround.
Towards a framework for designing and evaluating online assessments in business education from Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
This paper from Elaine Huber and a cadre of other heavy hitters in business education at USyd and UTS describes some very thoughtful work to develop an overarching framework for online assessment that holistically addresses learner, educator, institutional and disciplinary needs. While different discipline areas clearly have their own needs, the big picture takeaways from this work should be applicable to most educators, ranging across (but not limited to) authenticity, scale, quality feedback, resourcing, and accreditation
Micro-learning, Digital Badges and Micro-credentials: Definitions, Affordances and Design Considerations for application in Higher Education Institutions from All Ireland Journal of Higher Education
It has been interesting to see how all the GenAI talk recently has sucked the air out of a range of other important discussions in the technology enhanced learning space. I am not unhappy that the torrent of publications about remote emergency teaching has slowed to a trickle but things have also been quiet in micro-credentialling space. Happily this paper covers some rich work underway in Ireland, proposing some sensible models and describing some practical examples.
The Perceptions of Faculty and Instructional Designers Regarding the Impact of Professional Development to Teach Online Courses from Scott Mitchell January (Thesis)
I group these works together – a doctoral thesis from Abilene Christian University and an article from the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology – because they share some interesting overlaps from rather different perspectives. Both relate broadly to effective use of learning technologies by educators and the growing contribution that ‘Third Space’ workers in Higher Ed can/should make to this. The Australians (Tay et al.) note concerns about centralisation, surveillance, institutional homogenisation, responsibility and efficiency when it comes to the use and support of ed tech and both they and January flag a need for greater awareness of support from learning designers (and education technologists) and institutional supports for collaboration between them and educators.