Innovative Learning Week & World of Warcraft

We would like to invite you to participate in Innovative Learning Week (ILW) this year. During the week of 15th to 19th February we are offering people the opportunity to havwow_logo_shadow2e some small experience within the massively multiplayer online role-play game World of Warcraft (WoW).

Eligibility: The offer is extended to all students, alumni and staff. We are looking for participants with some (perhaps quite minimal) experience of the game, to give some time and to come online and mentor one or two newcomers.

Purpose: The idea, of course, is to introduce people to the possibilities of learning from, and through, game play, and to make them lightly aware of the scholarship around game-based learning. We will provide introductory notes to get people started – and a little bit of reading to round off the experience. We would like to have a list of experienced players who could give a couple of hours to meet with, and guide, one or two new arrivals in the Human starter zone at Northshire Abbey. As this is an ILW “event” that seeks to accommodate participation by online distance students and alumni we need to consider participants distributed across the time zones.

Register your interest: If you would like to be involved then please contact one of us ( or and suggest a date & time that you would be available (morning, afternoon or evening UK time across the week from 15-19 Feb).

What’s involved as a helper? We will contact you and confirm the date & time of the session (s). You would then logon to WoW and Skype with one or two new players (we will provide details of the players). This may take place on campus or it may take place remotely (all participants connect from their own ‘home’ locations). You might like to work in buddy pairs with another experienced friend. Please do tell your friends, so that we can recruit a large group of mentors.

Information about the event is in the ILW “catalogue” at:

We would really appreciate your help, and look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

Louise Connelly
Hamish Macleod

Did you have a good semester? Make a teaching award nomination!


The Edinburgh University Student Association teaching awards scheme is now taking nominations for this year  –  you can nominate for:

So if you’re enjoying the programme and think we’re doing a good job, please consider nominating us – it means a lot!    There’s more info on the EUSA site here:


Looking for a Masters intern

We are looking for a Masters student who can work with us on our ‘teacherbot’ project as a developer.

We are looking for a Masters student who can work with us on our ‘teacherbot’ project as a developer. The teacherbot is a simple twitterbot which we developed to work as a light-touch ‘teaching assistant’ on our MOOC last year.  We wanted to work against the idea of the ‘robot’ replacing human teachers, to see whether it was possible to develop an agent which could partner with the teaching team on this programme to add the instantaneous responses and often randomly humorous touches only a bot can pull off. We also wanted to explore, in a critical, experimental way, the role of automation in higher education teaching.

The teacherbot was quite a success with the MOOC students, and became quite a useful and engaging member of the course (read about it in the Times Higher). We’d like now to extend this pilot by further developing the teacherbot with a view to rolling it out as a university service for other teaching teams and individuals to use.

To help with this we are looking for a developer who can work with our Information Services, and us, on the next iteration of teacherbot. We have funding for a Masters student to do this on a paid internship: pragmatically this is likely to be someone who is based locally, as the project is managed by our Information Services colleagues. However if you are keen and want to propose a model for distance working, please do.

To find out more and to apply, link to the Careers Service Hub here, where you will find the job description. If you have any queries, please drop me a line (

Happy New Semester

arrow-945254_1280Welcome to 2016 and an exciting new semester. We have new students joining us on IDEL and also a new course for our programme – Learning Analytics: process and theory – where Course Leader Dragan Gasevic will be joined by co-tutor Ryan Baker and students from Teachers College, Columbia University.

You can access your course from here, in the links on the panel on the left – or you’ll find it in your Moodle home.  We know that people get to their spaces in different ways – we’d love to know what works best for you.  Details of your course’s start date, assessment submission dates and other information can be found in the course handbooks. Remember that the Programme Handbook changes every semester too – that’s also available under the Handbooks link.

The Student-Staff Liaison Committee is meeting on Friday 15th January. Details of your representatives can be found on the MSc Moodle site at  This includes a forum where everyone can add their own thoughts or suggestions and we can continue discussions here between meetings.

I hope you have had a good break and are all ready for another busy semester.