Archive for July, 2017

Call for papers

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

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I have just come across this interesting call for papers for an edited volume in Assessment for learning in the CLIL classroom. The editors are Mark deBoer and Dmitri Leontjev. A background to the special issues and details of how to submit are described below.  

Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) has a dual focus: simultaneously promoting the content mastery and language acquisition, an amalgam of both subject learning and language learning, flexible and adaptable to many contexts (Coyle, Hood, & Marsh, 2010). This implies that foreign/second language plays a dual role in the CLIL classroom, on the one hand, being the medium of instruction and, on the other hand, the target of it. The efficacy of such instruction for language acquisition has been studied rather extensively, research findings showing the positive impact of CLIL on language acquisition (Marsh & Wolff, 2007) and providing a holistic educational experience for the learner.

That said, there is much less emphasis on assessment in CLIL research, so much so that there is no clear understanding or systematization of the process of assessment in CLIL (Coyle, Hood, & Marsh, 2010). In language teaching, summative and formative assessment is ubiquitous. However, the premise of CLIL is the use of language to mediate subject matter and subject matter to mediate the language, knowledge being co-constructed in social interaction. These tenets call for a monistic view of assessment, teaching, and learning in the CLIL classroom. Thus, dynamic assessment (DA), Learning-Oriented Assessment (LOA), or emerging embedded or transformative assessment theories in online learning communities are strong candidates for assessment practices in CLIL. Furthermore, teaching practices will essentially be ineffective without a solid theoretical foundation of these assessment practices.

This edited volume will aim at conceptualizing CLIL and establishing the theoretical basis/bases for assessment practices in the CLIL classroom. It will focus on the theoretical perspectives of assessment linked with CLIL in foreign language or second language contexts, or in tool-mediated online learning management systems.

We welcome theoretical, conceptual, and empirical contributions pertaining to the state-of- the-art research in CLIL assessment in both foreign and second language contexts with the specific emphasis on assessment that supports learning and/or is considered to be indivisible from teaching and learning. While the language of the contributions should be English we encourage submissions reporting on assessment in CLIL where target of instruction are languages other than English. 

Akita International University - Japan

Proposed Schedule:

Friday, 29th September 2017

Expressions of interest and extended abstracts to be submitted via email (See submission guidelines below)

January 2018

Successful authors will be invited to submit full papers for peer review. Submission guidelines will be provided at this time.

Monday, 30th April 2018

First full chapter submission deadline

August/September 2018

Final submission deadline for revised/resubmitted chapters

March 2019

Anticipated publication date

Extended abstract submission guidelines:

Submission of extended abstracts:

Please send extended abstracts by email with subject field titled ‘Assessment in CLIL’ by Friday September 29th 2017. Submissions after this date will not be accepted.

Extended abstracts should be mailed to:

clil.assess@gmail.com

Your extended abstract should include: Document 1: Proposal

Ø Proposed title
Ø Proposal of at least 500 words, with no subheadings

o Explain the assessment approach in CLIL
o Provide rationale
o Give the guiding questions for the research
o Briefly explain the results of the research (if available)

Document 2: Other information

  • Ø  Provide an estimated length of the completed chapter (in words)
  • Ø  Provide an estimate of the number of tables, figures, graphs and diagrams in the chapter
  • Ø  Let us know if there is a need to include any coloured images
  • Ø  Provide biodata o Name
    o Affiliation
    o Contact E-mail address 

Key trends in Technology Enhanced Learning

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

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I recently came across a Horizon summit looked at the future of education and in particular the wicked problems/challenges education faces. The three-day summit bought together global leaders and thinkers to brainstorm the future of education and associated challenges. There are a plethora of factors impacting education, but I think of particular note are: globalisation, technologies and a changing work place.

The summit listed a number of challenges and made suggested for how these could be addressed. Firstly that we need to rethink teaching to better prepare students for the future. Secondly we need to re-image online learning (and I think also campus-based learning and in particular the design technology enhanced learning spaces). Thirdly we need to allow for productive failure. Interestingly this is also listed as one of ten things of importance in education by the most recent OU innovating pedagogy report. Finally we need to innovate as part of the learning ethic and ensure our institutions are agile and responsive to the external market and associated drivers.

This got me thinking about what the key trends in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) might be and how we can make more effective use of a spectrum of use of digital technologies from more effective use of the tools associated with Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) to more innovative and cutting edge technologies.

There are a number of useful sources that give us an indication of emergent technologies. These include the much cited New Media Consortium annual Horizon report,   which for 2017 lists the following as important:

  • Blended learning design
  • Collaborative learning
  • Growing focus on measuring learning
  • Redesigning learning spaces
  • Advancing cultures of innovation
  • Deeper learning approaches

The OU Innovating Pedagogy report for 2016 list the following ten things that are likely to be important in education in the near future:

  • Learning through social media
  • Productive failure
  • Teachback
  • Design thinking
  • Learning from the crowd
  • Learning through video games
  • Formative analytics
  • Learning for the future
  • Translanguaging
  • Blockchain learning

Finally Gartner’s hype curve attempts to position technologies along a spectrum of ‘hype expectations’.  Garnter suggests the following  10 technology trends 2017: 

  • Applied AI and advanced machine learning
  • Intelligent Apps
  • Intelligent things
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Digital twins
  • Blockchains and distributed ledgers
  • Conversational systems
  • Mesh App and service architecture
  • Digital technology platforms
  • Adaptive security architecture

I would suggest the following as overarching factors and key trends. In terms of overarching factors it is evident to me that TEL will continue to become increasingly important in terms of supporting formal, non-formal and informal learning. Furthermore today’s learners face an uncertain, but constantly changing and dynamic future. They will be doing jobs that do not even exist today. Therefore, we need to shift the focus from knowledge recall to the development of transferable skills and competences, such as critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. We need to help them develop strategies for meta-cognition, or learning about learning, and help them to become lifelong learners. Also it is evident that the learner experience will change as a result of digital technologies, see for example Pearson’s – ‘The future of education 2020’, which includes a number of vignettes of learners of the future (for example Simone’s story). Finally, I believe that there will be a spectrum of educational offerings: OER/MOOCs, online, blended, face-to-face, one-to-one tuition. Key trends of importance to my mind are the following:

I would argue that there is a spectrum of ways in which digital technologies can be used in education, from more effective use of the tools associated with VLEs to more innovative use of technologies. VLEs have a range of tools to support communication and collaboration, the present administrative information and learning content and to enable students to submit assignments and receive feedback. These include: discussion forums (to provide structured discussions), blogs (to encourage reflection), wikis (to enable collaboration), and e-portfolios (to support students in gathering evidence of their achievement of learning outcomes). The EDUCAUSE 7 things you should know about…. series of reports provides a useful and practice guide to a whole host of different tools, including the ones just mentioned. In addition to more effective use of VLE, other technologies can augment the learning experience. Examples that are routinely used include use of OER or MOOCs on topics related to the students’ course, lecture capture and to record and store lectures, podcasts as a means of lecturers discussing particular topics, use of social media to enable students to communicate with peers and the broader expert community, and use of mobile devices to enable learning anywhere, anytime, webinars. Looking back at the trends in Technology Enhanced Learning described at the beginning the list of augmented technologies is only likely to increase, potentially given students an even richer and enhanced learning experience.

Principles of learning to design learning environments

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

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I’ve just come across this interesting publication ‘The principles of learning to design learning environments’.  It focuses on a set of principles, these principles maintain that learning environments should: make learning and engagement central, ensure that it is understood as social, be highly attuned to learner’s emotions, reflect individual differences, be demanding for all while avoiding overload, use broad assessments and feedback, and promote horizontal connections. One to explore in more depth…

More on openness

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

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After being on a panel on open learning at the Future of EdTech conference in London last month, I wrote a blog post working up my ideas and contributions on the day. Cristina Preston from mirandanet who was also on the panel did the same. The MirandaNet Fellowship is a professional education community. The website states that

 

It has forged a unique approach to professional development for teachers. Working in partnership with school practitioners, academic researchers and funding agencies (governmental and non-governmental) and educational product developers the MirandaNet Fellowship has developed an active, participatory and research-oriented CPD framework it has named iCatalyst.

Handbook of learning analytics

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

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Learning analytics has emerged as an important new field of Technology Enhanced Learning and has grown quickly since the first Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) conference held in Banff, Canada in 2011. The Society for Learning Analytics Research (SOLAR) website provides a useful overview of the field. It also hosts a learning analytics journal and runs various conferences and events. A new edited collection ‘A Handbook of Learning Analytics’  has just been published, with chapter contributions from key researchers in the field. It is divided into four sections:

  • Foundational concepts
  • Techniques and approaches
  • Applications
  • Institutional strategies and systems approaches

The tools and techniques associated with learning analytics can help identify students at risk, as well as help improve learning and teaching processes.  Together the chapters represent a rich overview of the state of the art in learning analytics research. Chapters explore different facets of learning analytics, such as: a focus on predictive as opposed to explanatory modeling to measure learning and teaching. content analytics, discourse analytics and emotional analytics. There is an interesting chapter on learning analytics dashboards that can help visualise learning traces to give users insights into the learning process. These dashboards can:

  • provide feedback on learning activities,
  • support reflection and decision making,
  • increase engagement and motivation,
  • reduce dropout.

Of particular note is the chapter that focussed on the use of learning analytics for professional development to make both formal and informal learning processes traceable and visible to support professionals with their learning. The final section looks at institutional strategies. The first chapter in this section looks at the challenges of institutional adoption. One of the chapters in this section begins with the following powerful statement which is at the heart of the vision associated with this exciting new research field:

 

Learning analytics holds the potential to transform the way we learn, work, and live our lives. To achieve its potential, learning analytics must be clearly defined, embedded in institutional processes and practices, and incorporated into institutional student success strategies

 

 

Towards personal learning

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

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I came across this downloadable book by Stephen Downes via Paul Prinsloo. The title is great ‘’Towards personal learning - Reclaiming a role for humanity in a world of commercialism and automation’. Stephen is well know for being an advocate of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) and personal learning, and is a regular keynote on these and related topics. Stephen did a nice video explaining the difference between PLES and VLES as part of the PLE conference in 2012. The first paragraph sets the scene:

 

In the five years after Connectivism and Connective Knowledge was posted we saw the phenomenon of MOOCs appropriated and commercialized, the rise of artificial intelligence, analytics and personalization, and the ubiquity of mobile devices. It’s all pretty much what was predicted, and yet the reality feels so different. We’re not in an age of breathlessness and hope, as we were even in 2012, we’re in an age of anger and cynicism.

 

He lists a number of reasons for why he focused on personal learning:

  • The first is the idea of autonomy in a connected world.
  • A second is the idea that we need to reorganize knowledge in such a way as to better prepare people for a complex and changing world.
  • A third is the tension between commercial good and social good, especially with respect to open learning and open content, but also with respect to society and values generally.

I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, it’s over 750 pages! However skimming the content list it looks like a really rich and interesting read.