July 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

We’ve been asked to circulate this information about Snapshots – an initiative for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) students across the University. There are over 2,400 ODL students, but we thought Digital Education students might be especially interested in supporting this.



Here’s how the organisers have described the project:

We wish to capture a snapshot in time of Online Distance Learning and the people that make up the community – you, the students! This is your chance to introduce yourself while explaining what led you to the path of Online Learning and what it means for you to be an Online Distance student. We’d love for you to get involved and leave a mark on your University.

Instead of just giving you an online form, we would like to hear from you directly. Simply send in your unique ‘Snapshot’ – an audio recording of you speaking, along with an optional photo from where you are studying. Your Snapshot will be shown alongside Snapshots from other ODL students for all to enjoy and share

  • The project is open to students enrolled at any stage of their online study
  • It’s Quick – It can take just a few minutes to create and upload your Snapshot (less than 60 seconds for your audio would be perfect)
  • It’s Simple – You can do it through the website from your computer, phone or tablet
  • Snapshots will be kept anonymous


News from the Library

June 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

DiscoverEd postcard

Dissertation Festival, 25 – 31 May 2015

May 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


Come one, come all to the MScDE’s Dissertation Festival!

The Dissertation Festival is being held in our programme wiki space at and in Second Life.

The Festival is a chance for students on the programme to share their thoughts on their dissertation in the lead up to their submission date.  It’s also an opportunity to hear tales from alumni, tips from tutors and ideas from peers on how to survive and thrive through the dissertation process.

The Festival is a place for sharing ideas, issues and inspirations with each other.

All programme participants and alumni are very, very welcome!

View and feedback on student work

If you can’t make it to the synchronous sessions, you can still view students’ presentations and leave comments through the wiki (from Monday 25 May, those spaces are still under construction just now!). Feedback is greatly welcomed and will help folks refine their ideas as they grapple with the challenge of writing up their research.

Synchronous events

We have a lot of cool events this Festival, starting with three tutor and alumni events:

  • dissertation presentations 20110811_001Monday 25 May, 2pm-3pm (BST)
    • Academic Writing (with our tutors Christine Sinclair and Sian Bayne and our alumni Anna Wood)
  • Wednesday 27 May 8pm-9pm (BST)
    • Surviving and thriving through the dissertation process 2 (with our tutors Pete Evans, Jen Ross and Phil Sheail, and our alumni Sharon Boyd and Jim Gritton)
  • Thursday 28 May 4pm-5pm (BST)
    • Literature Hunting with our Intrepid Librarian Marshall Dozier

We also have four sessions chock full of students’ fascinating work on topics ranging from identity formation, collaborative authoring, art experiences, ideas of community and promoting reflection on learning.

  • Monday 25 May 4pm-5pm (BST)
    • John Gelinas – The COLES Study – Comparison Of Learning Environments in Simulation
    • Stephen Bezzina – Transforming Assessment through Games
  • Tuesday 26 May 8pm-9.30pm (BST)
    • Stephen Kilbride – Categories of Difference, Social Interaction and Identity in online games: Considerations for using games in Online Learning
    • Janet Benson – A Feasibility Research Study on the use of Game Based Learning in a Pharmaceutical Industry Workplace
    • Susan Driver – Digital Scholarship: a synchronised or dysfunctional digital toolbox?
  • Thursday_010Thursday 28 May, 8pm-9.30pm (BST)
    • Ania Rolinska – Multimodality – Destruction or Deconstruction of Academic Ethos? Students’ Perspective
    • Nikki Bourke – An exploration of how design inspired reflections of teaching and learning may illuminate the digital education experience, as situated from within a post-humanist theoretical framework
    • Lizzy Okey-Wali – Is Formal Team Mentoring Programme on an Organisational Blog and Discussion Forum Effective?

Programme members and alumni can find out more information, participate asynchronously and sign up for these events at

Visitors to the programme can’t access our wiki space, but are welcome to come along to the presentations in Second Life at

Please remember to check you can access Second Life for the synchronous events (a how-to is at )

See you at the Festival!


Jisc ‘summer of student innovation’ competition

April 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

Jisc is awarding funding and support to students and start-ups who come up with a brilliant idea for using technology to transform learning or research in further education, universities and work-based learning. In the past, teams have been successful with ideas like bringing together researchers and participants, an app to help people learn languages, and tech to improve lectures.

There are  four competitions to suit different teams including one aimed and Further Education learners and one at apprentices. Apply by uploading a short video explaining your idea to the Elevator site, where you can also find further details of each competition.

Jisc Elevator

Inaugural Lecture, Professor Siân Bayne – livestreaming 4 March

March 2, 2015 in events

Update: Sian’s inaugural lecture is now available to watch on Youtube: Professor Sian Bayne, The Trouble with Digital Education

An invitation to tune in to Professor Siân Bayne’s inaugural lecture, being livestreamed on Wednesday at 5:15pm UK time. The lecture will be available to watch later, too, but if you’re available at that time and would like to join us, Sian would be delighted to have you there virtually (or in person if you happen to be in the Edinburgh area!).

Tune in here:

We’ll use the hashtag #troublediged to discuss the lecture as it unfolds.

The trouble with digital education

Digital technologies in education are often considered in terms of the promises they seem to offer: for enhanced efficiency, for ‘more relevant’ teaching methods, for higher levels of engagement in the classroom, for ways of reaching new groups of students or revolutionising universities. Almost equally often they are viewed as a threat: they do not take into account the value of embodied, co-present teaching, they replace scholarly community with isolation and automation, they are complicit with cultures of surveillance, homogenisation and teacher de-professionalisation.

This lecture will navigate a pathway through the promises and the threats, to consider the interface between education and the digital in terms of ‘troubling’. Looking at some of the trends and trajectories of the last decade of digital education, it will show how it has worked to challenge some of the core ties-that-bind within the academy: the links between author and text, between university and campus, between human and non-human. It will argue that we need the digital to keep educational practice fresh, critical and challenging.