Originally published in Campus Morning Mail 31st Aug 2021
The most common questions/complaints that I hear as an education technologist from academics wanting to use a new tool in their teaching revolve around the time it takes to add them to institutional systems. “But the nice salesperson told me that it only takes 30 mins to install – why has it been 6 weeks already?” This article from Pat Reid draws back the curtain on many of the things that need to happen behind the scenes to ensure that an education technology is fit for purpose, supportable and will work with an institution’s many needs. It offers some useful insights into the practical realities that are frequently overlooked in most discussions of learning technologies.
Multi-choice quizzes are a mainstay of online learning because they provide opportunities for learners to check their understanding of course material without the workload overhead to teachers of manually grading hundreds of responses. Legitimate concerns are raised though about whether MCQs test recall vs understanding and how authentic they are in relation to use of knowledge in practice. This post draws on research in the cognitive sciences to suggest an alternative approach to MCQs, asking students to explain why they think the options are right or wrong. There are clearly workload implications but it’s thought provoking.
Captioning and transcription of video for accessibility and also as a learning resource has come to the fore in recent years. Tveeder is a Melbourne based tool that aggregates the captioning feeds from Australian free-to-air TV in real time, for free. Given that many people parse text more quickly than video, and prefer to do so, this offers a handy resource for capturing relevant, real-world information that could be used in many teaching scenarios
Myth No More – Student Blackmailed by Cheating Provider from The Cheat Sheet
This email exchange between a student and a contract cheating service, shared by academic integrity newsletter The Cheat Sheet, highlights the real risks students choose.
Academics talk about The Chair – new podcast
The new Netflix series The Chair, a six episode dramedy about wheelings and dealings in an English department in a mid-level American university has unsurprisingly sparked much discussion in academia. Local Higher Ed notables Inger Mewburn, Narelle Lemon, Megan McPherson and Anitra Nottingham forensically and amusingly dissect the show episode by episode – definitely worth a listen.