TEL considerations at UNISA


I’ve just returned from a great trip to South Africa with five of my colleagues from Leicester (Ale Armellini, Ming Nie, Palitha Edirisingha, Terese Bird and Gabi Witthaus). Gabi is collating all twelve of our presentations on the BDRA blog, which will also have some audio and video recordings of the sessions. We were presenting to colleagues at UNISA (South Africa’s distance education institution, which has an impressive 350, 000 students!). We presented in parallel at two campuses – Pretoria and Florida. The sessions covered the following topics:

Optimising the research possibilities in online teaching and learning (Ming Nie and Gabi Witthaus)

2.     Questions for future e-learning research: can we plug the gaps? (Ale Armellini)

3.     New Technologies and 21st century learners and their impact on teaching and learning at Unisa (Palitha Edirisingha)

4.     Ethical considerations in learning and teaching (Palitha Edirisingha)

5.     OER-based design for learning and its impact on research (Ming Nie and Gabi Witthaus)

6.     What works and what doesn’t work in research dissemination (Terese Bird)

7.     An overview of the TEL landscape (Gráinne Conole)

8.     Research methodology in TEL (Gráinne Conole)

9.     Harnessing social media (Gráinne Conole)

10. The implications of open practices for learning, teaching and research (Gráinne Conole)

11. Translating research into practice (Gráinne Conole) 

Together the presentations gave a rich overview of the currant state of the art in TEL research. The audience were very participatory and asked lots of great questions. Our host Paul Prinsloo couldn’t have looked after us better, and although we didn’t have much leisure time, we managed to get a bit of experience of life in South Africa.  Paul’s blog is well worth a look at.  We are hoping to go back and follow up with some more in-depth interactive workshops, particularly focusing around learning design and Open Educational Resources (OER). An excellent, productive and enjoyable trip!

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