Imagining the future of Digital Education: event on 23.02.2018

Mobile Campus posterMichael Gallagher and I wish to invite you to participate in an event we are delivering as part of the University’s Festival of Creative Learning. Across the course of an hour, we will bring together students, tutors, researchers and other colleagues to explore the nature and future of digital education. There is no fixed venue for this activity and we hope that our group will be made up of participants in a range of different geographical locations and settings (classroom, cafe, office, at home, in transit, and so on).

We will be using the (free) Telegram app for this activity, which will take place at 1pm (Edinburgh time) on Friday 23 February and will last for a maximum of one hour. Through the event we will be asking questions about how we should conceptualise ‘the campus’, whilst exploring the possibilities and challenges of synchronous mobile learning (topics that you are perfectly placed to comment on as a Digital Education student).

Further details about the activity, including how to register and download Telegram, can be found on Michael’s blog at:

As a side note, Michael and I are both graduates of the Digital Education programme and we’ve been having conversations about the nature of online education – as well as attempting to define ‘the campus’ – since 2009, so we’re really glad to have the opportunity to share this activity with you. We hope you can join us.

James Lamb, ESRC-funded Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Research in Digital Education


Soundtracking the MSc in E-Learning

Elektronisches Lernen Muzik is a sound project from the MSc in E-Learning that aims to explore, in an informal and inclusive way, how music accompanies, influences and inspires our digital learning spaces.

This project is being curated by James Lamb, Michael Sean Gallagher and Jeremy Knox, however it is open to anyone who has an interest in how music can shape learning. To begin with, we are inviting students, staff and other interested parties to share an E-Learning playlist, accompanied by some liner notes explaining the significance of the tracks. Once compiled, the playlists are added to our dedicated project site at:

It is our hope that as well as stimulating discussion, we might each take inspiration from the soundtracks of our fellow learners. We are excited to announce that our fifth and newest release – ‘Roots’ – has been compiled and mixed by Stephen Bezzina, a producer, DJ, record label owner and participant on the MSc in E-Learning.

So, if music represents a significant part of your learning space, we’ll be interested to hear from you. Or even better, why not share your E-Learning soundtrack with us?     @elernenmuzik

New Geographies of Learning: postcards from our study spaces

For those of you who don’t already know, the New Geographies of Learning project team within the MSc in E-Learning has set out to explore the nature of place and institution for distance learners. Essentially, we are considering what it means to be a student at Edinburgh who is not in Edinburgh, and what insight this gives us into learning design for high quality distance programmes.  This project has caught the imagination of others in higher education and we have been asked to share our work at a series of upcoming conferences.

We would like to invite you to be a part of this exciting project as it continues to evolve.

Following an earlier request, we have already received some fantastic ‘postcards’ sent from the different spaces from where members of the MSc community engage with the E-Learning course. These first participants submitted an image and soundclip which we have then made into a short video and attached to our interactive class map.

For those of you who haven’t already participated, we would love you to send your own postcard by submitting a few bits of information into our dropbox on the project website. You don’t need to prepare a video – we will put that together using the image and sound you send us. If you have a difficulty submitting a postcard using the dropbox we’ll be happy to receive the same information by e-mail at  

Many thanks to all those that contributed so far and we look forward to seeing the class map evolve as we receive more postcards!

James Lamb and Michael Gallagher (on behalf of the Research Team)


Political Research Q&A

With the encouragement of the MSc course team, I would like to draw your attention to a Political Research Q&A I have arranged for next Thursday, 22 March at 8pm (UK time).

Mark Diffley is a Research Director for Ipsos MORI and specialises in political research. He has contributed interviews and articles for the BBC, The Guardian and most recently for The Times (his article from last week on Scottish attitudes towards independence is reproduced here). He delivers lectures and after dinner speeches about his work.

Mark has a keen interest in social media, has views on online research methods and is enthusiastic about discussing these topics with members of the MSc in E-Learning community.

I’m currently finalising arrangements for the session, however it’s most likely it will take place in Skype. If you’d like to participate in the session please e-mail me at

Alternatively if you’re interested but unable to attend the session, please feel free to forward questions which I will put to Mark on your behalf. I’ll share the transcript from the session.

Thanks for reading. I hope this session is of interest.

Show us where you study!

As part of a research project the MSc in E-learning team are working on, which is looking at students’ study spaces and geographies (the New Geographies of Learning project), we’d like to invite you to send us a postcard from where you typically study  the MSc in E-Learning.

Befitting the nature of the E-Learning course however, we’d like you to submit a digital, multimodal postcard that gives us a sense of your study space. Our intention – with the encouragement of Sian and Hamish – is to collect the data from each postcard to create short videos that can be added to an E-Learning ‘class map’. You can get an idea of what we’re aiming for in this test map that includes postcards sent by different members of the Research Team.

Full details of what we’re looking for, including how to submit your postcard, can be found on here on our project website. Please help us make this map – and this project – work by posting your own study space!

Thanks for taking time to consider our request – we hope to receive your postcard in the near future.

James Lamb and Michael Gallagher