Invitation to a Learning Analytics Online Consultation Event

Monday 8 December, 6pm UK time, Collaborate


Wednesday 10 December, 9am UK time, Collaborate

Information Services (IS) here at the University is exploring ways of making available to students, some data about their activity inside the central Virtual Learning Environments Learn and Moodle. IS are especially interested in ensuring that the data presented is useful for students, as feedback on their activity in the context of their peers and the particular course requirements. You can see some more information about these projects at

Wilma Alexander (who some of you may know from Course Design) and some of her colleagues and the Digital Education team would like to invite all students on the MSc Digital Education to participate in a user study based on their work so far, through an online discussion session using Collaborate.

Both our VLE systems have to hold some data about activity as part of the system functionality, but in Moodle very little is systematically available to staff, and even less to students. IS have set up some plug-in tools which extract selected activity data, and this user study session (repeated twice, at the times listed above) will be focused around exploring anonymised visualisations from these tools, and discussing some of the following questions:

  • What might these visualisations convey to individuals about their performance and engagement on courses?
  • What impact might having accesss to such visualisations have on student behaviour? Should institutions collect and share this information with students? Should they use it to do other things, such as model student behaviour, or feed into wider activity analysis including e.g. library activity and demographic data?

If you are interested in this topic and are able to participate in one of the online sessions, please email Wilma Alexander from the Technology Enhanced Learning team – – to sign up.

Online Educa Berlin 3rd-5th December 2014

Hamish and I will be at the Online Educa conference in Berlin next month, and we welcome anyone who is attending to get in touch and say hello.  Given that this is one of the bigger conferences of the year, we thought it might be a good opportunity to meet any current students, alumni, or indeed anyone interested in hearing more about the programme.  I’ll be speaking about the E-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC on Thursday 4th, and we’re happy to help arrange an informal gathering that same afternoon or evening for anyone who might be there. Looking forward to meeting any fellow attendees!

Call for Papers: When Virtual Reality Became a Reality | The Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds Project: 5th Global Conference

I am pleased to announce a call for papers and presentations at the above conference which will be held in Dubrovnik from 10-12 May 2015. The conference which will be of interest to anyone teaching, learning, training, researching, performing, doing business or socialising in virtual worlds, including gamers, game designers, virtual reality developers, and other virtual world users.

Given the explosion of interest in devices such as Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus and even Google Cardboard, we are particularly keen to encourage presentations that address all aspects of virtual reality, including augmented and mixed reality, haptics, audio and other non-visual interfaces as part of a broader debate on experiential learning in virtual worlds. As it is such a diverse subject area, a definitive list of sub-topics is precluded, but the following are indicative of the kind of topics envisaged by this call for presentations, papers and workshops:

  • Arts and entertainment in virtual worlds
  • Assessment and evaluation in virtual worlds
  • Business and entrepreneurship in virtual worlds
  • Case studies of those who inhabit virtual worlds
  • Education, training and learning in virtual worlds
  • Evaluation of virtual world technologies
  • Gamification (and critiques thereof)
  • Identity, presence and self in virtual worlds
  • Interpersonal communication in virtual worlds
  • Leadership and team building in virtual worlds
  • Legal, ethical and moral issues in virtual worlds
  • Love, sex, friendship and work in virtual worlds
  • Mobile accessibility of virtual worlds
  • Play, fun, fantasy and horror in the virtual world
  • Research methods in virtual worlds
  • Serious games
  • Sociology of virtual worlds and the Metaverse
  • Technologies and innovative practice in virtual world-building
  • The dark side of virtual worlds
  • The future of virtual worlds
  • Therapeutic uses of virtual worlds
  • Transfer of learning from virtual worlds to the physical world
  • Types of virtual worlds
  • Virtual world usage in health, social care, counselling and psychology
  • Virtual worlds of the future
  • Virtual worlds used for corporate training
  • What are virtual worlds?

This is small, friendly conference characterised by inter-disciplinarity and collegial dialogue. If you would like more information about the conference or are thinking of submitting an abstract or proposal for the first time, please feel free to get in touch with Jim Gritton, Organising Chair (and erstwhile alumnus of the MSc in e-Learning!).

PG student job: Research support (Open Educational Resources)

The Technology Enhanced Learning team are currently advertising a p/t post for a post-graduate student (15 hours a week for 20 weeks) to help with a short piece of work looking at how to support the development and reuse of Open Education Resources (OERs) at the University. This is quite an exciting opportunity to influence a broader OER initiative at the University of Edinburgh (for a bit more background see “an OER Vision for University of Edinburgh?” by Melissa Highton).

We are happy to accept applications from both on-campus and distance students. More detailed information about the post can be found at MyCareerHub. Feel free to drop me an email if this sounds of interest:

(Please note, the closing date is 7th November).