Friday, 29 February 2008

Sound in lecture theatres

I was observing a lecture this week and during the lecture a student asked for the volume of the PA system to be turned down - I have noticed it was very loud and that when first switched on was picking up the general hum of the conversation at the front, if that conversation had continued during the lecture that would have been a problem, as it was, what occurred to me was that the system was designed so that the volume was the same throughout the room - however this student was sitting at the back and maybe did so because she found it easier to pay attention when the sound of the lecturer`s voice was quieter. Does anyone think about that when they design PA systems?

I have a related problem - I prefer to sit on the right hand side of lecture theatres - and find it very confusing when the loud speakers make the sound come from somewhere to my right when the speaker is to my left.

Just a thought.

Teacher based teaching

The Times Higher this week has an article based on a paper in Chemistry Education Research and Practice in which Patrick Bailey argues that the focus on student centred learning can imply that lecturers should be able to teach in what ever way is required and that this does not take into account the strengths (and weaknesses) of teachers to the detriment of students - I think he has a point.

Original article available to view at the journal web site

Issues and Paradigms in Transformative Tertiary Education

Technology Supported Learning in the 21st Century: Issues and Paradigms in Transformative Tertiary Education
Realising the Potential: Enabling Participative Learning
Staffordshire University UK warmly welcomes you to this exciting international conference on 9th June 2008

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Learner's experience of e-learning

The Experiences of E-Learning Special Interest Group (ELESIG)is a HEA funded
project for those involved in investigations and evaluations of learners'
experiences of e-learning.

You may be interested in the first event for ELESIG that will bring together
practitioners and researchers who have an active interest in evaluating the
learning experiences including the JISC Learner Experience projects,
University of Bradford’s ALPS CETL, Oxford Brookes University Pathfinder
project, and University of Greenwich SEEL Pathfinder project.

Another event that may be of interest to you is the next annual e-learning
conference at the University of Greenwich on the theme of Learning from the
Learners Experience with keynotes by Rhona Sharpe and Fred Garnett on
Tuesday, 8th July. Details and call for proposals at

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium -

The Learning & Teaching Centre at the University of Glasgow would like to invite you to a

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium -
'Enquiry Based Learning'
on Thursday 27th March 2008 10:00-16:00
at the University of Glasgow, Sir Charles Wilson Building

The keynote address at the symposium will explore 'Integration and Integrity in Academic Enquiry' and will be given by Stephen Rowland, Professor of Higher Education at University College London and the Institute of Education. This will draw upon Stephen's recent book 'The Enquiring University'.

This event will also include an opportunity to hear about a series of Enquiry Based Learning projects that have been taking place at the University of Glasgow, introduced by Dr Jane Pritchard, Learning & Teaching Advisor, HE Academy Engineering Subject Centre.

Workshops will provide an opportunity to discuss enquiry based learning and academic integrity in more depth.
The charge for attending this event is £50 (free of charge to University of Glasgow staff). For further information please see the attached provisional programme and information.

If you would like to book for this event, please complete the online booking form available at:

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Student experience of assessment

We had a very good workshop on the student experience of assessment, at QMUL this afternoon led by Brenda Smith from the HE Academy - which has given us lots to think about individually and as a college.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Call for more holistic approach to HE

This seems to be a huge generalization to me - from the Guardian education blog -

Call for more holistic approach to HE

Anthea Lipsett
Friday February 8, 2008

Universities will be urged to nourish students' souls as well as their minds and wallets at the Guardian Higher Education summit in London next week.

Today's students are as interested in their own personal development as they are in learning about their subject or getting a well-paid job, university and student leaders will say. chairwoman They will argue that students are disillusioned with the consumerist society they have grown up in and want learning environments that emphasise sustainability and value human interaction.

SOLSTICE 2008 - eLearning and Learning Environments for the Future

The SOLSTICE Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning at Edge Hill
University is pleased to announce its 3rd international conference:

eLearning and Learning Environments for the Future
Thursday 5th June 2008, Edge Hill University, UK

Building on the success of the 2007 conference, which attracted over 200
delegates from across the UK and as far away as Russia and New Zealand,
the 2008 conference will focus on the relationships between research,
innovation, and development. There will be a distinct spotlight on the
concepts of learning environments and their elearning components - as they
exist now, and as they might transpire as time progresses.

ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the digital divide

ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the digital divide
9-11 September 2008, Leeds, UK
Second call for papers and abstracts - deadline, 29 February 2008

Keynote speakers:
* David Cavallo, Chief Learning Architect for One Laptop per Child, and
Head of the Future of Learning Research Group at MIT Media Lab;
* Dr Itiel Dror, Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the
University of Southampton;
* Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute,
Sweden, and Director of the Gapminder Foundation.

Proposals should address up to three of the conference dimensions:
global or local; institutional or individual; pedagogy or technology;
access or exclusion; open or proprietary; private or public; for the
learner or by the learner.

For more detail on these, see:

The online submission system for ALT-C 2008 is now open at:

Friday, 1 February 2008

Real Life Learning conference

19-21 JUNE 2008

How people learn in real life is much richer, more varied and more
interesting than any learning theory, and quite different from the kinds of
learning that are demanded in schools and colleges. If education is to be
an effective preparation for a learning life, we can learn a lot from
people who have discovered how to write songs, make money, create recipes,
design experiments or school horses. This Learning Life 2 is a three-day
exploration of how to narrow the gap between formal and informal learning.

US academics John Bransford (Washington) and Barbara Rogoff (Santa Cruz)
QCA Director of Curriculum Mick Waters
The Talent Foundation Chairman Bill Lucas

discussing their learning lives?
Bristol singer-songwriter Katey Brooks talks to Dr Federica Olivero
Financial guru Alvin Hall talks to Culture Online founder Prof Jonathan
Chef Heston Blumenthal talks to Rough Scientist Prof Kathy Sykes (tbc)
Scientist Heinz Wolff talks to Prof Rosamund Sutherland
International horse-riding instructor Mary Wanless talks to amateur rider
Chris Watkins

A tango lesson
Kokopelli Playback Theatre
Bubblz the Learning Clown

submitted presentations on a wide range of related themes
and plenty of discussion

For further information and registration please see conference website at:

Mary O'Connell
This Learning Life 2 Conference Secretariat
Graduate School of Education
University of Bristol
19-21 June 2008