Research & Learning Design Projects
Near Future Teaching
How should teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university? The Near Future Teaching project is about working together to co-design the future of digital education at Edinburgh. We are running a series of workshops, talks, think-tanks, interviews and other activities both online and off: our aim is to draw together the views of students and staff to help design a future for our teaching based on the big ideas, values and visions of those who have a stake in it.
Artificial Intelligence for Inclusive Education
This project will research Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in the context of education in China. A.I. is being hailed as a major transformative technology for future classrooms, lecture halls and campuses, with many predictions of widespread mainstream applications on the horizon. However, crucially, such A.I. initiatives tend to be driven by computer science expertise, and derive from applications in business and commerce. As such, they are designed to enhance individual academic achievement, rather than seeking to enrich the quality of classroom experience for all students. This project actively seeks to transform the future of A.I. development in education: away from initiatives that simply copy the business model of disruption, towards creative ideas that are generated by teachers and underpinned by core educational values. This will build on the potential of A.I. to offer tangible educational futures that maximise the possibility of quality learning experiences for all. China is increasingly being seen as the world leader in A.I. research. Working with Chinese teachers and educational stakeholders therefore represents a crucial opportunity to shape the core of A.I. development towards important educational principles.
REAR: Research in Emergency Aftershock Forecasting. Research Associate on the NERC grant funded research project exploring cross-disciplinary approaches to building effective, large-scale user engagement with appropriate information, so essential in emergency response, which requires work on developing public awareness at scale, designing effective co-learning across multiple stakeholder groups, and building a deep understanding of the social and gender issues which might limit, or enable, user engagement.
Digimap: Evaluation and Impact. Research associate on project evaluating the impact of Digimap, an online mapping service used throughout the UK educational sector, for measuring teacher and student satisfaction, impact, attainment, and barriers using a mixed methods approach.
Associate of the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, dedicated to researching how technology, culture, learning and policy intersect within research and practice in digital education.
Course designer, researcher, and consultant on MOOC offerings from The World Bank Group’s Open Learning Campus. Social media, communications, learning analytics, digital education & open learning research, and overall course design. These courses have served thousands to date and further development is underway for more courses. Course offerings include finance for development, risk management, citizen engagement, public private partnerships, and climate change.
[Composition]: Conversations about Content and Form is a product of an ongoing collaboration with James Lamb of the University of Edinburgh, with whom I have collaborated before on the New Geographies of Learning and Elektronisches Lernen Muzik, projects that explore the role of space in digital education and how music inspires and accompanies scholarly activity, respectively. In this third project, we explore composition itself and how ‘writing’ can be reimagined across modes.
Panoply Digital designs and delivers ICT4D projects. We are researchers, evaluators, practitioners, and advisors on using technology for development. We offer a variety of consulting services for both developing and developed contexts and have a reputation for delivering on time and on budget. Our projects span mobile and ICT for development, women empowerment projects, monitoring & evaluation services, open learning & mobile learning initiatives, curriculum & course design, mHealth, youth unemployment projects, and both quantitative & qualitative research projects. Please contact us to learn more.
GSMA Capacity Building: Co-designed a series of online short courses related to mobile regulatory practices specific to the mobile industry. To support the work of policymakers and regulators, the GSMA offers free training courses through our Capacity Building programme. These in-depth courses emphasize real-world examples of regulatory best practice, are packed with useful insights and delivered by our exceptional line-up of expert trainers. Courses include mobile regulation, children & mobile technology, privacy, taxation, health, universal service funds, mobile spectrum, and more.
The Pedagogy of Simultaneity (PoS) is an attempt to define learning and a related pedagogy that accounts for the simultaneous engagements that occur in any given learner’s environment. It is an attempt to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow and make these challenges visible in a pedagogy. Trust, discussion and collage are the carrying features of learning and pedagogy based on PoS. We hold them as the key concepts, the observable phenomena and related activities of learning in PoS. Behind these concepts, phenomena, and activity, we attempt to account for the empowering energies and layers of time, space, and social presence. All of these interact simultaneously. That is why we use the term Pedagogy of Simultaneity. We think it is worthwhile to explore developing a pedagogy that accounts for all of these as they naturally and simultaneously occur.
Beni American University: a mobile development project designed explicitly to target students at-risk of failing to complete their studies using a combination of learning analytics and mobile mentoring. As such, we believe it provides a holistic combination of analytical methods and social, humanistic responses to building resiliency in students through existing technology. The project involves designing a mobile solution that complements the existing workflows and norms of social communication in Nigeria via technology and incorporating that into a mobile mentoring system where mentors and students are matched based on a series of metrics and encouraged to communicate over the course of the semester. This project works under the belief that these relationships of mentor and student generate considerable resiliency in students who might otherwise drop out of education altogether.
MobiMOOC: MOOC run in 2011 and 2012 that spurred the formation of a research group to explore the nature of learning in a MOOC and its relation to mobile learning. Several papers have been co-authored as a result of this research team ranging from pedagogical applications of MOOCs, complexity theory, and emotive analysis of discussion board transcripts.
Edinspace:Online learning provokes questions about the nature of place and institution for distance learners: what does it mean to be a student at Edinburgh who is not in Edinburgh, and what insight does this give us into learning design for high quality distance programmes? This project explores notions of place and institution for the MSc in E-Learning in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. Over one year, we will conduct a piece of research in which narrative and visual data is generated by students within the themes of place, home, and institution.
Elektroniches-Lernen-Muzik is our attempt to create a place where members of the E-Learning community – and other interested parties – can share ideas, resources and playlists, and engage in discussion surrounding the role of music in elearning. In this project we explore, in an informal way, the influence that music and sound have upon our learning spaces. The idea grew out of a conversation that originally took place in autumn 2010 between participants on the E-Learning and Digital Cultures course, part of the MSc in E-Learning at The University of Edinburgh. Since then, Jeremy, Michael and I (the self-appointed ‘curators’ of this project) have regularly returned to the idea of ‘soundtracking’ our engagement with the E-Learning programme. We’ve talked about how we might discuss and share the impact and influence that music has upon the spaces in which we learn.
SWOP (Student writing: innovative online strategies for assessment & feedback) was funded from 2009-2011 by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme at the University of Edinburgh to take a closer look at some of the programme’s practices. Our goals were to understand better how our approach works, how to make that approach even better, and how to share what we have learned with others interested in online and distance learning. Over the past two years the project has been an important source of insight into the assessment, feedback and digital writing practices of the MSc in E-learning.
The key data generated by the project were a series of student-led ethnographies of courses, where students acted as participant observers and kept field notes that were analysed and used to develop three key project themes:
- Feedback cultures;
- Negotiating tensions: isolation and community; silence and noise; absence and presence; individuality and convergence; freedom and constraint;
- Emotion, conflict and investment.