Share snapshots and stories for our 10 year MScDE celebrations!

As you will know, on the 26th of November we will mark the ten-year anniversary of the MSc programme with a party at the Storytelling Centre in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. We want this to be a really enjoyable and fitting evening of celebration for everybody involved. With this in mind, we invite you to participate in two activities that will take place around the anniversary party.

Snapshots of your Digital Education spaces

Over the course of the week leading up to the party (from 19-26 November) we would like you to photograph any or all of the different places from where you connect with the Digital Education programme. The choice of language here is intentionally open to your own interpretation. We would like you to share these ‘snapshots’ in Twitter using the #mscdespace hashtag, with or without accompanying text as you wish. We’ve already got the ball rolling as you can see:

All the gathered images will feature in an evolving display during the Digital Education party, offering what we think might be fascinating (and lasting) insights into the different learning spaces that make up the Digital Education programme.

Digital Education stories in 140 characters or less

During the party itself we want to facilitate some interaction between those in the Storytelling Centre, and those present elsewhere. Between 6pm and 8pm (UK time) we will invite the sharing of ‘Digital education stories’ using the Twitter hashtag #mscdestory. Once again, we will leave it up to you to bring your own interpretation to bear on what a ‘Digital Education story’ might be. In order to encourage dialogue and interaction, the messages will be projected live during the party. While we are aiming for this to be a synchronous activity, if you are unable to participate at that time on the 26th of November then please do share your stories in advance using the same #mscdestory hashtag. In fact, some stories have already been submitted

Thanks for taking time to consider this request – join us in celebrating ten years of our MSc in Digital Education programme!

Star in our MScDE SecondLife music video!


As part of our upcoming MScDE 10 year anniversary party, we’re producing a music video in SecondLife to accompany our live DJ set on the night (26th November 6pm-8pm – more to follow on the party itself!).

We’d like to invite all MScDE SecondLifers, whether you’re new to the programme or an old hand with your avatar. Simply come to the café in Holyroodpark at any of the following times and boogie with the best of us. We’re purposely aligning these sessions with IDEL week 7, so it’s a perfect opportunity to explore another side of your avatar! Music will be provided by MScDE student (and DJ) Stephen Bezzina.

A range of fabulous dance moves will be supplied, so all you need to do is turn up and ‘throw shapes’ to our dedicated Elernenmuzik programme soundtrack. Elektronisches Lernen Muzik is a project that grew out the MScDE a number of years ago.

We’ll have a number of cameras recording your twirls, bops, and rhumbas, and the footage will be used to produce a video intended to celebrate Holyrood Park. Check out a preview here. Our SecondLife space has been such an important part of the programme over the years, so do come and party like it’s … well, 1999.

Wed 4 Nov at 8pm UK time
Thu 12 Nov at 8:30pm UK time

Link to Holyrood Park here

Join a Digital Education research project as student representative!

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join a Digital Education research project as student representative.

The project is titled the Learning Analytics Report Card (or LARC), and is working to develop playful, student-centred data analysis for Moodle. The research is grounded in the idea that learning analytics is usually a closed, institutional process, and is seeking to explore ways that students can participate in their own data capture and analysis, and so develop a critical awareness of the many issues involved in this emerging educational trend.

More information about the project will be available very soon!

We’re designing and building the LARC this semester, and would really like a student representative to join our advisory team.

We’re looking for someone with an interest in educational data analysis – not necessarily a technical understanding, but rather an interest in the broader issues of privacy, surveillance, automation, or artificiality surfaced by our increasing use of data in education. That’s hopefully most people on our programme 🙂

Responsibilities would involve around 6hrs of your time over the next 3 months, and all being well, should be enjoyable. This would not impinge on your study commitments to the programme. We’re looking for someone who, over the length of the semester, can:

  • help to gather views on data analysis from the programme cohort (via light-touch polling or Tweeting)
  • comment on design developments and ideas
  • attend an advisory meeting (either in person or online) towards the end of the semester

If you think that sounds like jolly good time, then send 100 words on why you think data is exciting, or not, to:

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!

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