Current innovations in online teaching and learning

As is my wont, I was browsing a blog or two, and in reading Martin Weller’s latest missive discovered another of his little gems, Innovative Pedagogy 2013.

Inn Ped 2013When I say ‘his’, I’d better make it clear that Martin is a member of the team from the UKOU that’s now produced the second iteration of this useful and engaging document. The aim remains the same: ‘exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers.’ You may recall my post last year concerning the first report: ‘A nice little publication worth a squiz’.

As with the previous publication, it’s a nicely structured report – not too long, but with enough detail and key additional links to get a good feel for each of the 10 nominated innovations. Four are shared from last year (no surprise to see MOOCs again) and it’s always nice to meet a new notion or two (for me, Geo-learning and Maker culture). Specifically, the chosen 10 are:

  • MOOCs
  • Badges to accredit learning
  • Learning analytics
  • Seamless learning
  • Crowd learning
  • Digital scholarship
  • Geo-learning
  • Learning from gaming
  • Maker culture
  • Citizen inquiry

It’s good, solid, sensible stuff, not carried away with over-reaching faddish claims. As explained in the Introduction, the innovations ‘are not technologies looking for an application in formal education. They are new ways of teaching, learning and assessment. If they are to succeed, they need to complement formal education, rather than trying to replace it.’

The report doesn’t identify which of the seven authors wrote each piece, but you don’t have to be Einstein to Martin almost certainly wrote the section on Digital Scholarship, given his interests and major publication on the topic (The Digital Scholar). This has now been confirmed by virtue of an informative videoconference I enjoyed with some colleagues with an accommodating Martin last week (started writing this 10 days ago!).

Horizon 2013As the authors readily acknowledge, their approach is modelled on the well-established Horizon Reports (briefly mentioned a couple of post ago), which have a technological focus rather than a pedagogical one. So it’s instructive to compare the lists: here’s the six that survived the culling in the Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition:

  • MOOCs
  • Tablet computing
  • Games and gamification
  • Learning analytics
  • 3D printing
  • Wearable technology

Like others from the NMC Horizon Project, the report is ‘designed to help education leaders, policy makers, and faculty understand new and emerging technologies, and their potential impact on teaching, learning, and research.’

Enough said – read the reports. Now.


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