Virtual Graduation – 28 November 2014

Virtual Graduation is taking place this year on 28 November 2014 at 3pm (UK time), and you are invited! Along with a live-stream of the graduation ceremony at McEwan Hall in Edinburgh into Second Life, our virtual graduates, students, guests and programme team members’ avatars will be projected into the face-to-face ceremony as the virtual graduates’ names are called out in the Hall. This was truly remarkable last year (see the photo below for a glimpse of what it was like from the Hall), and we are anticipating that it will be even better this time!

We would be really grateful if you could put Friday 28 November at 3pm UK time in your diaries, and come along to the Virtual University of Edinburgh campus graduation space: to support the programme and be part of this wonderful celebration. All are welcome – current and prospective students, alumni, and friends of the programme.

MSc Digital Education Virtual Graduation streamed live into McEwan Hall, November 2013. Photograph by Douglas Robertson.

Help test our teacher bot!

We are launching our Twitter ‘teacher bot’ during the next instance of the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC which starts November 3rd, and would really appreciate some help with testing. The ‘teacher bot’ is programmed to automatically respond to tweets sent to the course hashtag, and designed to offer help and advice, or engage in conversation. You can find out more about the teacher bot project here.

We’d like volunteers to help by sending test tweets on the Tuesday 28th October to our preliminary hashtag: #edcmooctest3.

The bot is programmed to respond to particular key words and phrases, related to the content and activities of the EDCMOOC, so we need tweets that replicate course conversation as much as possible. Below are some scenarios that we would like you to tweet about, and we’ll be keeping an eye on how the bot responds to you. Included in each scenario are key words and phrases, but these are not exhaustive, so feel free to respond in other ways too.

You may wish to use a test Twitter account for this, or perhaps warn your devoted tweeps that you will be sending some strange updates on the 28th. If you could send at least 5 or so tweets from the following scenarios, it would be a great help to our teacher bot testing day. The more the better!

Scenario 1

You’ve started the course and are very confused and don’t understand what you need to do, or where to find the video lectures and other resources.

Example key words/phrases: confused, not sure, worried, help me, concerned, where, how, what, tell me, start, begin, commence, first ,kick off, get underway, set off, embark, get going, videos, course videos, video, lectures, where are the, can’t find, can’t locate, can’t see, tell me where, help me find, help me locate, show me where, show me, how can I find, how can I see, how do I view, where can I view

Scenario 2

You are working through the materials and find the idea of ‘posthumanism’ very exciting, but are wondering what it means for education and learning, and where this leaves us in thinking about human beings.

Example key words/phrases: human, humanism, posthumanism, post-humanism, post, posthuman, posthumanist, post-humanist, posthumans, cyborgs, cyborgm, agency, free, will, control, freedom, autonomy, me, identity, passion, animal, monster, beast, creature, weird, strange, foreign, other, monstrous, monstrosity

Scenario 3

You are not sure what to do for the final assessment, or you are confused about when the key dates are for this (it involves a submission of your own work, as well as a peer evaluation).

Example key words/phrases: artefact; artefact, assignment, assessment, when, where, what time, schedule, deadline, timings, link, too late, not in my timezone, too early, late-night, night time, nighttime, dawn, dusk, small hours, dead of night, behind, too far, timezone, morning, evening, date, when, deadline, finish, complete, completing, time, late, later, extension, due, dead-line, time-limit, timing, feedback, peer, grade, mark, assess, appraise, evaluate, evaluation, evaluated, forum, pass

Scenario 4

You are unsure about how to add your personal blog to the official course blog roll.

Example key words/phrases: trouble, doesn’t work, not appearing, can’t see ,not showing, won’t show, where is my, where are my, not working, not seeing, help, won’t add, blog, feed, post, adding feed, blog posts, my posts, start a blog, add my blog, add a blog, add a feed, add my feed, include my blog, include a blog, include a feed ,submit my blog, submit a feed, submit a blog, submit my feed, how, help, guidance, guide, direct, show, point, where

Scenario 5

You don’t know when the Google hangouts with the course team will take place.

Example key words/phrases: when, where, what time, schedule, timings, link, hangout, office hours, live chat, live discussion, google hangout, video discussion, video hangout, team hangout, team chat, instructor chat, video stream

Scenario 6

You have questions about the rigour of the peer assessment in the MOOC; whether people will submit their own work, and how valuable your feedback from peers will be.

Example key words/phrases: artefact, artifact, assignment, assessment, assess, grade, mark, test, appraise, evaluate, evaluation, evaluated, exam, examination, end-of-course, submission, submit, submissions, submitted, hand-in, handin, plagiarise, plagiarize, plagiarism, cheat, cheating, cheats, copy, copying, copied, misconduct, original, originality, steal, stealing, stolen, theft, borrowed, borrow, feedback, peer, grade, mark, assess, appraise, evaluate, evaluation, evaluated, forum, pass

Online seminar, 22 October: Innovations in (Online) Reflexive Practice: Linking Theory with Technique within the Virtual Learning Environment

Date and Time: Wednesday, 22 October 2014. 12.20 for 12.30 start
Duration: 1 hour (1.30 end)

Jo Alexjuk, Lecturer in Dementia, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, will discuss her Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS) research.

For educationalists, reflexive practice encompasses a series of techniques that enable the practitioner to critically reflect upon their role within the learning process.  Whilst established techniques exist for facilitating reflexive practice within campus-based teaching, the rapid advance of e-learning technologies presents new challenges, as well as opportunities, for educationalists when reflecting on their role within the Virtual Learning Environment.

Drawing on key principles within Threshold Concept Theory as well as analytical techniques adapted from Goodall’s Verbal Exchange framework, this session highlights how readily available data sources, such as online discussion boards and recorded webinars, can help facilitate reflexive practice, identifying the quality of online interactions and their role in shaping students’ learning.

This session will take place via Collaborate, the University virtual classroom system ( MSc Digital Education students are welcome to attend – if you would like to join in, please email to book.