Where Sheila's been this week: Inverness to Edinburgh#elesig, #ldcin, and delving into the digital university

Technically this post is a quick summary of where I was last week, I just didn’t quite get round to writing a post before the end of the week.

Last week I did a mini tour of Scotland, starting at UHI  (the capital of the Highlands) Inverness for the ELESIG Scotland meeting and ending up on Friday in Edinburgh (the “other” capital) for the Learning Design Cross Institutional Network meeting.  It was great to have a few days out of the office to catch up with colleagues and developments from across the Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The theme of Monday’s ELESIG meeting was that perennial favourite, Assessment and Feedback.  David Walker (University of Sussex)  provided a great start to the day with a very engaging, interactive and thought provoking keynote around driving change and challenging established assessment practice.David Walker keynote, ELESIG 21/11/16

The rest of the day was a really good balance of presentations from across Scottish Universities around different approaches to changing assessment practice.  Topics ranged from the use of wikis, to plagiarism in MOOCs, to assessment mapping to audio feedback. This storify gives an flavour of the discussions.

I stayed on in Inverness and on Tuesday morning with my colleague Bill Johnston we led a webinar around the questions of what is a digital university?  This is a questions Bill, Keith Smyth (from UHI who hosted us) have been trying to answer for a number of years now.  It was timely that a paper we wrote for SEDA last year about our work is now openly available. – hopefully next year this work will be extended into a book.  You can catch up with the webinar here.

On Friday Fiona Hale and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh hosted the 4th Learning Design Cross Institutional Network. I was so pleased that this, the fourth meeting of the was being held in Edinburgh as it meant that I could actually attend in person and not remotely.  This meeting was also much bigger that previous meetings. It was really pleasing to see around 40 colleagues coming together to talk about learning design in the lovely Dovecot which provided perhaps the tastiest sandwiches and pastries I have eaten all year!

I was delighted to share the approaches and methodologies we have been developing here at GCU.

Again this storify  of the day gives a flavour of the discussions and activities.  I was particularly interested in Mario Toro- Troconis (University of Liverpool)  Course Design Sprint Framework and the associated activity  cards which rather neatly map design approaches, Blooms taxonomy, tools, the UKPSF and Medical council descriptors.  As these are available via CC licence this is something I hope to return to in a future post as I think this could be really useful for us to adapt and use here at GCU.

Sharing practice, ideas, frustrations, challenges is so important to staff development and actually to our well being.  It’s all to easy to get caught up in the day to day of our own institutions. Now where is as challenging as our own institutions, right? But we all share common issues and can share common approaches to solutions.  Getting a bit of external validation is also really important in times where institutional thanks/validation is increasingly hard to find.  So it’s great that we are seeing more of these bottom up forums becoming more established.

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