MSC TECHNOLOGY AND LEARNING: A few thoughts about e-learning


Glyndwr University hosted its fourth Technology-Enhanced Learning symposium today.

The event included a keynote address from Mark Stiles, Emeritus Professor of Technology Supported Learning at Staffordshire University, plus a series of shorter, mainly on-topic presentations from both Glyndwr staffers and external speakers.

On a grey Wednesday in Wrexham, it got the grey matter working again – just in time to start delving into the next section of the MSc Learning and Technology.

Stiles, in particular, was scathing about the way universities fail to make innovation work.

“Decision-making processes in universities are almost universally dreadful,” he said.

He also criticised Vice Chancellors who want to have a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “just because their neighbour has one” – without understanding it.

Henry Platten of online security firm eTreble9, welcomed the use of picture-sharing media, such as Instagram, to promote the use of infographics in learning, but warned of the nefarious dangers of social media.

“Although you may think you’re not on a given social network, actually you may be,” he said.

So, from social-media learning to the way the biggest barriers to change in universities are the universities themsleves, here are seven things I learnt today:

  • Social media in e-learning is a fast-moving trend [source NMC Horizon Report 2014] but we haven’t got our heads round it yet
  • “Making online learning natural will, frankly, happen” [Prof Stiles]
  • Moodle is often deemed unpopular with students; some HE colleges now use an e-portfolio and Google hangouts
  • Serious games as a sector now makes more money than the film industry
  • “Instant messenger platforms are the next step in social media” [Henry Platten]
  • The university is being unbundled [source IPPR]
  • “Dull stuff [governance] is very important” [Prof Stiles] to make innovation “stick and spread”

Further reading

NMC Horizon Report 2014

An Avalanche is Coming

Mark Stiles on Twitter

Social Media Police blog


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