Archive for June 2011
My keynote abstract for the eLearning 2.0 Conference, Brunel University, 6th-7th July 2011
Higher education is about to lurch into liberalisation. Institutions are now required to ask “What is my unique selling point?” In arts, humanities and social sciences learning, there is particular emphasis on ideas and communication, and often trenchant opposition to acquisitive or behavioural models of education. This presentation will compare established norms of higher learning with some nascent, reincarnated or ‘Big Society’ alternatives, including massive open online courses (MOOCs), online tuition-free universities, and those which elevate learning above accreditation. It will consider some principles of university learning and teaching, including original thinking, critical thinking, creative friction, commitment to a community of inquiry, the concept of scaffolding, and focus particularly on the constraints of assessment and accreditation. Returning university teachers to the centre of the institution, it will ask what university teachers contribute to learning that nobody else can and, with focus on wikis and blogs, under what circumstances might teachers use these technologies to support this vision of learning.
I’m looking forward to the conference – hope I can live up to the luminary presentations of previous years. Looking forward to catching up with some people I haven’t seen for ages.