Volunteer for the Student-Staff Liaison Committee!

Hi everyone, and to those who are joining the MSc in Digital Education this September, a huge welcome! For the last year and a half, I have had the pleasure of being the Chair of the programme’s Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC). Having now completed the MSc and looking forward to Graduation in November, I am sadly stepping aside from this role. My final task is to post this message and encourage anyone who is interested in becoming involved with the Committee to get in touch with Christine.

Although I sit on a number of committees and working groups as part of my day job, I’d never chaired a meeting before but found the whole experience really enjoyable, as well as providing me with a valuable professional development opportunity. The SSLC is an excellent and rewarding way of getting to know the other students and staff who are committee members and taking forward issues and ideas to enhance the programme.

So, what has the SSLC been up to since it started in March of last year? Our first action was to establish the Committee’s Terms of Reference and decide on the purpose of the SSLC, how meetings would be conducted etc. So far, we’ve tended to hold one meeting per semester, taking place via either Skype or Collaborate at a time which is convenient to the majority of group members. A few technical hitches aside, the meetings have gone well… although they’ve never seemed long enough! There’s always a lot to talk about! A frequent agenda item has been the Hub, its usefulness and how student collaboration through use of the Hub could potentially be improved. This is something which is on the programme team’s (near) future agenda. Another idea that we’re keen on progressing is the development of a research journal, primarily to “showcase” dissertation work on the programme. We’ve realised that there is a lot of fantastic research being produced at the dissertation stage which we’d love to share! Other conversations have included the setting up of an alumni community, feedback on library services and ways of organising study groups / facilitating networking opportunities amongst cohorts. Early days for some of these discussions but I’ll be interested to hear how the themes develop over the coming months.

In terms of commitment, for SSLC members this mainly extends to attendance at the meetings. As Chair, I had a little more to do, such as preparing the agenda for the meetings and following up on action points, but Christine and Angie (who normally takes care of the minutes) are great and very supportive. So, if you’re either starting the programme this month or returning to take another module and are considering putting your name forward for the SSLC, my advice would be to go for it! I’ve enjoyed my time as Chair immensely and would thoroughly recommend it!

Karen Taylor (s1269427@sms.ed.ac.uk)




Improve Your English by Participating in a Digital Education Experiment!

Hello fellow Digital Education students and faculty members!

As the lead researcher I am excited to announce that we have launched a new research project this week! Everyone is invited to join and your participation in this project is greatly appreciated!

What is it about?

It’s a simple little website where you can learn a new, uncommon English word every day. It literally takes less than a minute a day. The idea is that regular, byte sized learning works better than cramming tons of difficult new words into your head all at once. Many of you are probably thinking about your own experiences in school and are nodding your head in agreement right now 😉

How can I participate?

It’s actually super easy. Just go on this website and log in with your Facebook or Twitter account. Alternatively, you can create a username and password of your choosing (no email required). No matter how you log in, the moment you sign up your user data are completely anonymised and I will never be able to know who you are. The system only shows me a number which is tied to your account. It would have been great to completely eliminate the need for logins but they are necessary to accurately evaluate learner engagement.

Improving your vocabulary with this ‘word of the day’ project is one of the easier goals you can set and accomplish for yourself. Ideally, you will make it into a habit. Maybe bookmark the site and open it up when you drink your morning coffee or when you are on the bus on your way to school or work. You don’t need to feel obliged to participate yourself if this isn’t your cup of tea but you probably know someone who might see a benefit from this so feel free to circulate it in your own social circles. Any kind of contribution towards the success of this project is very much appreciated!

If you have any further questions or feedback, you are welcome to contact me via email or Twitter.

Thank you and good luck this new semester!


September’s courses are open!

window-1202902_640All September’s courses are now available in the links on the left hand side of the screen.  They all start on 19 September.

As well as checking out the guide for your own course, we recommend you take a look at the new version of the programme handbook and also the technologies guide. In the latter, there is new information about the University’s visual media asset management system Media Hopper.  Learn how to create, store and embed your own videos.  There is also information about Minecraft which is being introduced into IDEL.

For those on dissertation, the updated dissertation guide is there too.

You’ll soon be hearing from course leaders and personal tutors, if you haven’t already.  In a few days, I’ll post a message about the Student-Staff Liaison Committee – we’ve been told we’re only allowed 4 student reps (we had a lot more, but some are graduating shortly) so our recruitment will not be as fierce as we thought!  But we’d like everyone to feel they have a say.

If you have any problems accessing your course or handbook, just drop me an email at Christine.Sinclair@ed.ac.uk

A new academic year

8013-a-wooden-path-in-the-woods-orIt’s time to say hello to our new students, to welcome everyone to their courses, and congratulate those who’ve just finished.

Courses start on 19 September. From 12 September, you’ll have access to your course in the links to the left.  The course handbooks are currently available and there is a new programme handbook too.

I love September, with its new beginnings and sense of potential. We have a new public website which is attracting a lot of interest. We’re going to turn our attention to this Hub and give it a revamp too – we’d love to hear your ideas about this. You can add comments here or even create your own blog post.

We’re welcoming new people from all over the world with a wide range of interests and experience. It’s wonderful to watch our community grow – who knows where this semester will take us all?

Looking forward to a successful and enjoyable semester.