Has sueg gone a bit quiet?

It doesn’t look as if I have been posting much this academic year – what’s that about? On the academic front, sueg continues to reflect on and develop ideas related to online learning and research methodology. Much behind the scenes work on supporting Tony Greenfield in the editing of the third edition of Research methods for Postgraduates, to be published by Wiley in September this year – some solo written and co-written chapters in there, plus a great deal of further learning about research methods from respected writers in the field. I am looking forward to being an invited panel member at the ENBIS conference in Sheffield in September talking about making statistics understandable for students and non-statistical specialists. Great chance to go back to Sheffield where in 2014 we celebrated a 40 year reunion with fellow graduates. I know, I’m far too young.

And there’s a new undergraduate blended learning course in business, which I have been developing along with colleagues at Brighton Business School – due for validation later this year. Exciting opportunity to put our experience of the theory and practice of blended learning into action.

And an invitation to deliver a keynote at the third European Conference on Social Media to be held in Caen this summer. Having helped to host the first of this conference series in Brighton, it will be great to meet friends and colleagues and share rapid advances in thinking around social media and learning. The recently published Leading Issues in Social Media Research, which I edited along with Asher Rospigliosi, identified some great content from that first conference.

Meanwhile, weekly editorial meetings and from time to time producing editorials for the journal Interactive Learning Environments keeps me in touch with a wide range of quasi-experimental and qualitative research studies and updated reviews of the literature in the field of technology-enhanced learning. We have just published a special issue on Mobile Learning which is attracting attention, and because we are producing bumper issues this year (total of 8), I am currently writing an editorial for the May issue of 18 new papers.

Earlier this academic year, we produced the latest publication from Brighton’s Learning and Teaching Conference 2014, in which I wrote about flipped learning from a practical and a theoretical perspective. And of course there is the series of weekly podcasts for business students during term-time which keeps me busy on top of teaching on a Monday.

So just a few things in relation to research passions to keep the aged brain ticking. Of course, just now there are a few other things to think about – external examining, teaching, supervising, grandchildren’s birthdays, Heydown lambing, leading and preaching at services in Old Heathfield and, just very occasionally, housework?


UFHRD conference at Brighton

Developing people at and for work makes social and economic sense as well as introducing people, sometimes for the first time, to the joy of continuing openness to learning.

At the UFHRD conference – HRD in Turbulent Seas – Continued Global Economic Uncertainty: Challenges and Opportunities – to be held 4-7 June 2013, delegates will be exploring diverse issues around developing people.

Here are the different academic streams of papers – as seen below, five of them are offering the target of publication in a a related journal Special Issue:

  • Stream 1: Action Learning – research and practice – Special Issue Opportunity
  • Stream 2: Comparative and cross-cultural dimensions of HRD
  • Stream 3: Critical, theoretical and methodological issues in HRD
  • Stream 4: Diversity issues in HRD
  • Stream 5: Doctoral workshops
  • Stream 6: Employee Engagement & HRD – Special Issue
  • Stream 7: HRD Evaluation & Learning
  • Stream 8: HRD: identity, community, profession
  • Stream 9: HRD in BRICS+ and Multinational Corporations (MNCs) – Special Issue
  • Stream 10: Innovation, Sustainability & HRD – Special Issue
  • Stream 11: KM, learning organisations and organisational learning
  • Stream 12: Leadership and Management Development
  • Stream 13: Scholarly practitioner research
  • Stream 14: Technology Enhanced Learning at Work – Special Issue
  • Stream 15: Training and development, and retaining the talent of older workers
  • Stream 16: VET and Workplace Learning
  • Stream 17: Workplace Conflict

I’m involved in Stream 14 on Friday’s programme – looking at opportunities to use learning technologies for enhancing learning, and we have a call out for additional papers on this TEL at work theme for our BJET special issue – so if you have a paper/research study on that theme, even if you have not submitted to the conference, you can still upload submissions for the SI at the BJET website, noting that you would like to be included in this SI. Here is the Call for Papers of the SI.

Meanwhile the UFHRD itself has a very useful resource area on learning and teaching:

Link to great resources on HRD learning and teaching.

learning in great places

This year we have transported a postgraduate module out of normal seminar rooms and into the Creativity Centre in University of Brighton.

Some strong feedback so far – and it looks like fun. Does physical space make a difference to learning? And what happens when we integrate virtual and physical space?


CAL 09 Brighton March 2009

Great conference in the Hilton Metropole, Brighton, ably hosted by Chairman Avril Loveless in Education and Sport.

http://www.cal-conference.elsevier.com/ is conference website.

Wonderful to hear Diana Laurillard, Josie Taylor, Roger Saljo, Dave Cliffe, Grainne Conole and so many more VIPs in the elearning world.

A few byte-size bits of info from the conference:

Dave Cliffe talked of cloud computing or massive data utility centres (warehouses packed with many thousands of blade servers) which will become the next utility, with computing being paid for by time use at minimal marginal cost. Also ubiquitous amorphous computation based on networks of minute memory spots externalising “brain” linkages between them.

Dave also suggested that if a person could wear a video cam to record everything they saw from birth to 70 years, the total video storage required for a “lifetime” of images would be 27.5 terabytes, which in ten years time could cost approx. £1000. What’s extraordinary to me is that we can calculate this, make it measurable. Not of course that anyone would particularly fancy recording everything they saw! Imagine the retrieval system to find the right image….though it might help partners to get the details of where they first met right.

His tour de force keynote also mentioned some amazing intelligent prosthetics, cognitively enhancing drugs, quantum computing and plastic electronics – conjuring up a 3D copier which can produce physical objects rather than paper images – dramatic impact on manufacturing.

only a little reassuring that there are some processes which it is cheaper to employ people rather than computers to do – are we the new slave labour for the web?

Dave’s final message was about systems learning – we are getting to the stage where computers can deal with meta-systems or systems of systems – which is getting beyond our ability to understand. He believed the inability of so many to think numerately and to understand systems thinking was a potential major risk for humanity. Yet another advocate of systems thinking and numeracy – HEAR, HEAR!

Laura Czernewicz and her colleague Cheryl from University of Cape Town clarified the trend in S Africa to get elearning via mobiles rather than laptops, with some students spending on the highest range mobiles as this infrastructure cheaper and more reliable than investing in laptops.

Many symposia from CETLs around the UK on subjects such as Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) – it may be just possible that some of this work could enable real teachers to generate useful learning objects with very limited technical knowledge – right up my street.

Other key debates around the conference included the range of definitions (and understanding?) of the term pedagogy – for some this is learning theory and for others just beliefs of teachers about what works in teaching – a distinction I have written about elsewhere. Also varying perspectives of personalised learning and the extent to which Web 2.0 should or shouldn’t be adopted by HE/FE/schools as part of formal education. This is a hot issue as many feel that Web 2.0 should remain the preserve of people’s social lives rather than their formal educational lives, even though social networking clearly encompasses much personal learning. Glamorgan project exemplified this by a headline “Get out of MySpace!”.

I won’t give a further rundown here of my 27 pages of notes on the conference!! Suffice to say it was a great opportunity for Asher and I from BeL research group in BBS to talk to many colleagues about staff adoption of technology-enhanced learning around our poster site and questionnaires – much to sift through and analyse now.