Handing over to Phil

Many thanks to everyone for very happy memories as a student, lecturer and then programme director on the MSc in Digital Education.  What a wonderful end to my formal career; it has been a great privilege.

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From 1 August, Phil Sheail is the programme director.  She and I have been co-directors for the past couple of years and she has been a wonderful colleague to work with. Indeed, I couldn’t have managed without her. With almost 200 students on the programme it’s a demanding job, but there is a strong team to support the director and I know that Phil will be excellent in this role.

The team has also recently welcomed a new programme secretary: Victoria McIntyre, who has fitted in straight away.  She is another person with a busy role, until recently very ably fulfilled by Angie Hunter. Angie is now working full-time in our Centre for Research in Digital Education so we’re delighted with this too.

I’ll still be around as an honorary fellow. One of my retirement projects is to turn the summer school in academic writing into an open educational resource (OER). I hope to add this to the University of Edinburgh’s OER page, which is worth a look.  It’s also something you might want to contribute to yourself sometime – it already features work from digital ed students. Thanks to those who attended this year’s summer school for all the hard work and peer support.  I really enjoyed your contributions.

And so I hope there is more to come: watch this space!


Image: CC0 https://www.maxpixel.net/Icon-Forward-Abstract-Font-Button-Direction-Arrow-2181476

Summer School in Academic Writing

Opened_up_a_Pandora's_box28 May – 17 June 2018

A tutor-led project for Wider Themes in Digital Education.

The summer school is also open to any students on the Digital Education programme. If numbers are very high, priority will be given to Wider Themes in Digital Education students who will be aiming to add the work to their portfolios for credit.

The Summer school in academic writing will run from Monday 28 May to Sunday 17 June 2018. The course aims to help students to understand relationships between academic writing and their own assignments. Participants are encouraged to bring a theme from one of their assignments or a topic from one of their courses that they would like to write up as a paper for publication. Though largely practical, the course will briefly consider: the role of genre in academic writing; commercial influences and open access; academic practices; disciplinary differences; changes brought about by technology; values and standards in academic writing.  The course will run entirely online in Moodle, with visits to academic journal websites. Students will engage in a range of structured writing activities along with the tutor, who will also run weekly optional synchronous sessions in Collaborate or Skype.

There is no charge for the summer school.

For additional information, or to sign up for the summer school, please contact Christine at Christine.Sinclair@ed.ac.uk

Image: Pandora’s box opened.  Frederick Stuart Church [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Your courses are open

Hello, and happy new year.2721654446_2baea3ef82_z

You can access your Spring semester course from the list in the left hand column.  The semester starts on Monday 15 January, but your course leaders will have already been in touch with you.

We’re delighted to welcome a new intake of students from all over the world.  We hope you enjoy IDEL; there will be plenty of encouragement from people who have done it already. Some of them are still tweeting about it – #mscidel – and you’ll see some people popping up in this Digital Education Hub too.  This is your space; if you want to share any news or ideas, feel free to use it.

As always, drop me a line if you have any questions or worries.


Image: Flickr bryan birdwell  (CC BY N-C 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebirdwells/2721654446

Happy holidays and see you in January 2018

512px-'Windows_Open_Simultaneously_(First_Part,_Third_Motif)'_by_Robert_DelaunayA warm welcome to new and existing students exploring the Digital Education Hub and other spaces before semester starts on 15 January 2018.  Remember, this is a space you can post to as well, if you have any news or ideas to share.

For those who are just finishing a course, we hope you’re looking forward to a well-deserved break at the end of a busy semester (though we know there is still work going on with assignments and dissertations).

The handbooks for next semester’s courses are now available from the link to the left of this page.  There will be an updated Programme Handbook for January too; I am just waiting for the final pieces of information for this.

teaching_awardsFinally, if you have enjoyed one of this semester’s courses, you might want to nominate it or a teacher for a teaching award.  You can also nominate a personal tutor or dissertation supervisor. The Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) organise this scheme and nominations need to be in by 18 February. For further information, see:


 Image: Windows Open Simultaneously – By Robert Delaunay (Tate Modern, London) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Join us…

Join us at the virtual graduation ceremony

On 29 November at 3pm UK time, McEwan Hallwe will be holding a synchronous virtual graduation ceremony. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of your peers on the programme along with members of the Digital Education teaching team. The ceremony will take place at the same time as the Edinburgh ceremony, which we will watch in livestream form while we chat.  Everyone will see the graduates (virtual and in Edinburgh) and hear their names being called, and it’s always a really happy time. If you would like to join us, please email Jen or Angie to get details of where to find us on the day!

jen.ross@ed.ac.uk  or Angela.Hunter@ed.ac.uk


Join us on one of next semester’s courses

Continuing students should by now have received an email from me with an invitation to select an option for next semester.  The options are:

  • Digital education in global context
  • Digital education: strategy and policy
  • Introduction to digital game-based learning
  • Introduction to social research methods (this will not be running in September 2018 but will be back in January 2019)
  • Wider themes in digital education (available to those who have already completed 60 credits – i.e. IDEL and at least one other course)

Sign up using the Course enrolment form link in the left column or directly at our MSc Digital Education Moodle site https://www.moodle.is.ed.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=131. It is best to be enrolled in EASE before using these links.

Image: McEwan Hall refurbished

By Grousebeater2 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59740643