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Notes from Unleashing your true potential Self-reflection growth Uni of Bath workshop Led by Dr Teeroumanee Nadan

#ALTC Blog - 12/06/24

by Dr Teeroumanee Nadan, ARLT SIG

This blog was originally posted on 10th June 2024 on Dr Teeroumanee Nadan’s blog teeroumaneenadan.com.

7th June 2024 marked the second face-to-face workshop organised as part of the “Strategic Change” 2023-2024 ARLT SIG series of events. A similar workshop was delivered at LJMU earlier this yearsmall group discussions on strategies for change, panel conversations (Researching on antiracism – the people and the purpose) and external engagement with LTHEchat (LTHEchat post event notes on the antiracism agenda in HE) have also taken place to drive forward change in mindset.

The workshop at the University of Bath has been several months of conversations with the EDI coordinator and HR targetted at members of the MOSAIC network.

Amin Neghavati, ARLT SIG External Engagement officer, was keen to kick-start the conversation at Bath, and despite leaving the institution in early 2024, he still supported with the logistics of the event.

About the workshop

It was a completely free workshop, and the University of Bath provided for the venue and associated expenses. The aim of the workshop was to empower junior and mid-level POC staff and I ran exactly the same format as before, that is, pre-event activity involving reflection and self-discovery, and during the workshop I unpacked the issues the staff had been dealing with. I provided details of the workshop in a previous blog. Of course, there will be a post-event follow-up, and this is scheduled for 11th July 10-12.

There is also the 3-month and 6-month follow-up that participants have signed up for. As a facilitator, I can’t wait to see the growth in staff. I appreciate the participants who showed up on the day for engaging in the pre-event and post-event online activities, they are truly dedicated to their growth.

My personal thoughts: As usual, reflection is the hardest part of the workshop as most people rarely have allocated time for reflection in their personal life or as part of their work.

Another activity that is equally difficult for participants speaking of trauma, victimhood and overcoming barriers. This is usually the part of the workshop where some participants may get defensive or start to compare themselves with other people without knowing much about the challenges that these other people face too.

A solution I often propose is to broaden their knowledge, read, watch documentaries, whatever is necessary to know about the pros and cons and all the sides and perspectives of things, in order to avoid biases.

Participants were busy taking notes, they had quite a few pages written down and as a facilitator it is really rewarding to see tangible actions coming out of the activities and to witness breakthroughs – you know the kind of “Oh, I had never thought of that”. Sometimes simple solutions are the best and remember that you cannot get something without asking for it.

Picture with participants at the University of Bath

Moving forward

I have been approached to have similar workshops at other universities. Unfortunately, this is my last event under ARLT SIG. I decided to step down as ARLT SIG Chair earlier this year, so I will not be delivering any more free workshops for universities or ARLT SIG.

I am a doer and I enjoy the action more, there is really less competition on that front. I cannot wait to continue to do what I am great at – helping students and staff grow and making the Higher Education environment a thriving space where learning and teaching are done as they should be done!

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Call for Expressions of Interest to Chair the OER25

ALT News - 12/06/24

We are seeking enthusiastic Co-Chairs for the 2025 Conference Committee for the 16th annual conference for Open Education research, practice and policy. As key players in planning and executing the event, the Co-Chairs will help shape the conference’s direction.

Categories: ALT, News

From Blended Learning to Hybrid Working: Healthy Habits for Hybrid Teams

ALT Events - 11/06/24

During International Week of Happiness at Work, this webinar offers a session specifically designed for Learning Technologists looking to increase wellbeing at work. We'll explore how increased use of digital technologies for communication and collaboration, alongside learning, teaching and assessment, impacts on our physical and mental wellbeing. If issues such as tired eyes from long hours spent in front of screens, to digital overwhelm and lack of movement during days of meetings sound familiar to you, then this session will offer practical approaches to adopt healthier working habits for hybrid teams. Using practical tools and interactive activities the session will support you in reflecting on your current practice and identifying what actions to take next in your wellbeing journey for the new academic year.

 

Speaker: Dr Maren Deepwell is a professional coach and works as a consultant with organisations to improve hybrid working and wellbeing at work. Her first book, Leading Virtual Teams, was published by ALT in 2022 and work is now underway in a second Open Access book, with a focus on long term hybrid working, how it impacts our senses and the relationship between human beings and technology, in the context of the radical shifts in the balance of power in the workplace (as in the classroom) with the advent of AI and surveillance technologies. This new book won’t be a solo project, but a wider collaboration with case studies and interviews with leaders and experts. If you are interested in contributing, get in touch

Categories: ALT, Events

ALT M25 LTG : Thinking Back, Moving Forward

ALT Events - 11/06/24

Date: Thursday 18 July 2024
Time: 2-5pm (with pre-lunch 1-2pm)
Venue: UCL East Marshgate building (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-east/find-us)
Format: In person and online.

Come and join the M25 Learning Technology group for a day of reflection, sharing stories, and discussing ideas and strategies from the past academic year. Together, we can prepare and plan for the upcoming academic year and beyond.

You're not alone in this journey. Whether it is that new platform launching in 2025, the threats and opportunities of AI, or a long-standing challenge that’s always helpful to talk about, this is the place to share, think creatively with others, and blow off some steam too.

Call out for talks, workshops, or activities

Do you have reflections or experiences to share? Maybe it's a successful project from this year, an upcoming challenge you've been pondering, or an activity you'd like to run with the group to help others reflect on the past year and/or prepare for the next. We want to hear from you!

Email: Geraldine.Foley@ucl.ac.uk by 12 noon on Monday June 24 with your session suggestions. Make sure to include your details the format of your session e.g. presentation or workshop activity, what it will be about and how long you would like to have.
 

Categories: ALT, Events

A message from ALT's Chair: CEO recruitment

ALT Announce - 05/06/24
[Assocation for Learning Technology] [1]

An update on CEO recruitment

Dear Members,

As you know, ALT has been without a permanent CEO since September last
year. Kerry Pinny, ALT’s Chief Operations Officer, has been acting as
Interim CEO in the meantime. Thanks to the ALT Team, the Board of Trustees
and I have been able to take the time to focus on what ALT needs from its
next CEO. ALT celebrated its 30th year in 2023 and we are now seeking a
leader to steer ALT through its next chapter. [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

A message from ALT's Chair: CEO recruitment

ALT News - 05/06/24

Dear Members,

As you know, ALT has been without a permanent CEO since September last year. Kerry
Pinny, ALT’s Chief Operations Officer, has been acting as Interim CEO in the meantime.
Thanks to the ALT Team, the Board of Trustees and I have been able to take the time to
focus on what ALT needs from its next CEO. ALT celebrated its 30th year in 2023 and we
are now seeking a leader to steer ALT through its next chapter.

Categories: ALT, News

ALT Awards - Closes for submissions 11 June 2024!

ALT Announce - 04/06/24
 

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ALT AWARDS SUBMISSIONS CLOSING 11 JUNE!

 

Entries for the ALT Awards 2024 are open until 11 June 2024, meaning there
is just one week left to submit your entry. The ALT Awards Ceremony will
take place on 4 September, as part of the ALT Annual Conference 2024 [4],
held in Manchester.  [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

Should Initial teacher training include how to use AI

#ALTC Blog - 04/06/24

By James Kieft, Group learning and development manager, Active Learning

Since the launch of Chat GPT Artificial Intelligence (AI) has remained one of the most discussed topics within education. Just at my social media feeds and it seems like every other post mentions AI.  There is also a plethora of Teaching focused tools that are being launched that utilise AI in some way. 

In this blog post, I am going to consider if Initial Teacher training would benefit from including guidance on how to use Artificial Intelligence effectively to help teachers new to the profession better deal with the challenge of planning learning and creating resources in the first few years of teaching.  

An article in FE (Further Education) week in March 2023 highlighted the high turnover of College teachers with a quarter leaving after the first year and almost half leaving after three years. This is partly linked to workload and the time it takes to develop resources, plan lessons, mark assignments and provide feedback. 

Thinking back to when I started teaching weekends and evenings were regularly taken up with either the planning of lessons, preparation of teaching material or the marking of students work. That is without taking into consideration how tiring it is adapting to doing something new and learning how to work with the students. 

In my current role I lead on the development teachers across a group of Further Education College’s in the Southeast of England. Part of my role involves working with and supporting teachers who are new to the organisation. As is common with the sector 40% of those who join are new to teaching typically joining from industry. 

Just recently I have started delivering on our equivalent to the level 3 Award in Education and training. A course I have planned with a focus on developing skills and practical approaches they can use in the classroom. 

Within that course I have embedded opportunities where they could utilise AI to assist them in carryout certain tasks. However, I am conscious that when developing their craft as a teacher it is important that they understand processes and approaches such sequencing and chunking information and why to use them. Once they have grasped this, I then highlight how they could be used AI appropriately. 

AI can be their co-collaborator who helps with ideas generation, create draft resources or activities which they then refine meaning that they never have to start with a blank document, help them to save time.  

In addition to talking about how AI can help them save time, we focused on the importance of a well-crafted prompt. Going through what sort of information was needed to generate the best results. We then covered the importance of verifying the information generated to make sure that it is a correct and contains all the relevant information. 

The areas covered in the course include how AI can be used for: 

  • Creating an assessment rubric 
  • Lesson ideas and activities 
  • Drafting lesson objectives with the use of Blooms command verbs 

During the lesson we go through how they can use Microsoft co-pilot and Google’s Gemini.

Google Gemini seems better for generating ideas related content, it is more creative, with a greater variety of ideas than Copilot. I also like it will give you three drafts with different worded responses.  

However, be aware that Google will use the information contained within your prompt to help develop their large language model unless your organisation makes use of the recently announced Gemini for Google Workspace for Education to keep information private as Microsoft does for Copilot.  

With Copilot I particularly like the use of the sidebar that is available in Microsoft Edge as it means that you do not need to put quite so much information into your prompt as you can have it access information on an open page, that could include a PDF course specification.  

When it comes to video there are an ever growing number of AI tools, I find useful. 

 The first of these is Twee, it has lots of useful features not just linked to video, however, the features I have used the most are video based. All you do is simply paste in the video URL from either YouTube or Vimeo, select a five-minute extract and it can then it can: 

  • Create a transcript 
  • Generate some questions multichoice or open ended 
  • Create three summaries with only one being correct so students must choose the correct summary 
  • Creates a listening exercise, in which a student is expected to fill in the gaps in a video or audio summary 

Keeping with videos Quizizz a tool most of you are familiar with has also introduced a similar feature, paste in a YouTube URL, and it will do the same thing creating multichoice questions based on the content of the video.  

On the quiz creation front AI quiz creator is a very useful way of generating quiz questions you put in the topic title and it will generate multichoice questions, you then simply add the questions you think are most relevant, and it will generate a Google Forms quiz, or you can export the questions to Kahoot or Quizizz. 

I appreciate there is a wealth of AI tools linked to video and quiz creation that I have not mentioned. 

So, in short, AI absolutely has a place within initial teacher training, we need to make sure however that staff are clear on what is appropriate use and how to use it effectively. It needs to appear in their toolkit and hopefully with them utilising it, there will have less teachers who are entering the teaching profession looking to leave within the first year. 

This post was originally published on James Kiefts personal blog.

AmplifyFE connects 3000+ professionals in Further Education and Vocational Education. Since 2020, our network links communities of practice for digital learning, teaching and assessment. Through the partnership between the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and Ufi VocTech Trust, AmplifyFE supports professionals to share, collaborate and learn.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

AmplifyFE Community Space Webinar: Enhancing Student Engagement

ALT Events - 03/06/24

Join Robert Treharne to learn more about enhancing student engagement.

Categories: ALT, Events

ALT Awards submissions closing soon!

ALT News - 30/05/24

Entries for the ALT Awards 2024 are still open until 11 June 2024, meaning there is just over a week to submit your entry. This year’s Awards Ceremony will take place on 4 September, as part of the ALT Annual Conference 2024, held in Manchester. 

With the awards now in their 17th year, this year we have a number of categories to better reflect our Learning Technology community:

Categories: ALT, News

Personal branding strategies in online hashtag communities: the case of #AcademicTwitter

RLT Journal - 29/05/24

Several studies have explored the uses and benefits of social media hashtag communities in higher education… Yet, more research is needed to examine communication structures and strategies for personal branding in educational social media hashtag communities. In otherwords, to understand the dynamics, characteristics, and strategies for faculty, university staff, and graduate students need to brand themselves professionally in social media hashtag communities. This research aims to explore social network structures, dynamics, influencer characteristics, and personal branding strategies of the #AcademicTwitter online community. X (formerly known as Twitter) data on #AcademicTwitter from 2021 were retrieved and analysed using social network and quantitative content analysis. Our study found that most of the recurrent users in the community were scholars (faculty and researchers) predominantly from the STEM field. However, the most influential users were media/fan pages (a profile account created for different purposes such as sharing tips in academia, publishers, etc.) and other professionals (freelancers or university staff). Our research sheds light on the current practice of disclosing specific teaching and research interests or expertise in social media bio profiles for personal branding, especially among scholars. Unique communication contexts such as social media hashtag communities still bring challenges to the dissemination of information, relationship building, and personal branding strategies. Our results also provide recommendations for scholars (faculty and researchers), graduate students, university staff, and practitioners to improve communication practices and personal branding strategies on social media hashtag communities.

Categories: ALT, Publication

ALT Honorary Life Membership - Call for Nominations Closing 31 May!

ALT Announce - 28/05/24
 

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HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP - CALL FOR NOMINATIONS CLOSING 31 MAY!

 

We award Honorary Life Membership (HLM) to individuals whom we believe have
made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the advancement of ALT's
aims for the development of Learning Technology in a regional, national, or
international context, through research, practice, policy-development,
leadership, or a combination of these. [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

Rethinking Assessments with Generative AI: Strategies and Approaches

#ALTC Blog - 28/05/24

Co-authored by Ian Miller, Elisabetta Lando and ChatGPT.

The rise of generative AI has sparked a significant debate across the educational sector. Many teaching practitioners are grappling with the challenge of students using AI for formal assessments and presenting the work as their own, impeding an accurate assessment of the students’ abilities and understanding. However, putting a blanket ban on AI is not the solution, argues instructional technology expert Dr. Helen Crompton in April’s Active Learning SIG webinar. Instead, we need to rethink and redesign assessments to leverage the power of generative AI as a learning tool, working with AI rather than against it.

Assessments have traditionally focused on testing what students know, but there have been long-standing arguments for a radical overhaul of assessment methods. Back in 2019, Simone Bhitendijk of Imperial College stated in a TES interview that for active learning methodologies, such as the flipped classroom, to truly take off, assessments would need to evolve to reflect their interactive nature. Bhitendijk went on to say that it would “require a change in the wider ecosystem to accelerate the uptake” (TES, October 2019).

AI is indeed a significant change within the wider ecosystem. Assessments need to radically shift their focus from merely testing knowledge to evaluating the capabilities or competencies needed to apply that knowledge. Active learning methodologies, even with the use of AI itself, can offer a promising avenue for addressing some of these challenges.

Key challenges:

  • ChatGPT and other AI language models can easily generate written content like essays that may get passed off as a student’s original work.
  • Typical plagiarism detection tools struggle to identify AI-generated text reliably.
  • AI models can introduce biases, inaccuracies, and lack proper citations when automatically generating content.
  • The importance now, more than ever, is the need to explicitly embed digital critical thinking skills in all areas of education.

While not foolproof, Dr. Crompton suggests some short-term strategies to make cheating more difficult:

  • Require citations and references to be included and verify their accuracy manually.
  • Ask students to connect their work directly to class discussions, readings, and experiences.
  • Encourage collaboration, group work, and peer feedback as part of the assignment.

Note: Some of these tactics, such as citations and references, may eventually be outsmarted by AI, so they should be considered temporary measures.

The long-term solution, however, remains one of reimagining assessment:

  • Use real-world, authentic tasks like problem-solving case studies.
  • Incorporate practical components and multi-stage activities that are harder to automate.
  • Have students critique AI-generated content to build critical analysis skills.
  • Conduct debates with AI to develop argumentative reasoning abilities.
  • Use AI for mock job interviews to practise communicating complex topics.

The key is creating active learning experiences that demonstrate deeper understanding beyond just reciting information. This aligns with the concept of ”making thinking visible” (OU innovation reports, 2020), which lies at the heart of active learning methodologies (and indeed lies at the heart of this ALTSIG’s remit). However, “making thinking visible” can pose a significant challenge for educators, who often juggle time constraints and large student cohorts. Furthermore, using generative AI to create active learning assessments requires educators to master the AI tools themselves and learn to create prompts that generate assessments aligned with learning outcomes. This process will take time, and institutions must provide the necessary support for the development of these essential staff digital skills.

While initially disruptive, it might be worthwhile to look at the positives. According to some quarters, this may even be the end of essay mills. Embracing the technology’s capabilities prudently and with proper support could potentially enrich student learning in powerful new ways.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Insights from Award-Winning Collaborators

#ALTC Blog - 23/05/24

By Jane Secker and Chris Morrison

This blog post is written jointly by Jane Secker and Chris Morrison who were highly commended in the ALT Awards in 2023 for Leadership in Digital Education. The award was in recognition of the work they did during the pandemic to provide support to the higher education community on copyright and online learning issues. This included establishing the ALT Copyright and Online Learning Special Interest Group and a webinar series which still runs to date. 

Jane and Chris research, write, present and muck around together and have successfully collaborated for over 10 years, following discovering (incidentally in a Brighton beach bar) their shared passion to make learning about copyright fun, empowering and engaging.  

They tell us…. 

Last year we were jointly presented with a ‘highly commended’ award for Leadership in Digital Education. We do many things as a collaborative venture, finding over 10 years ago that we had shared interests (copyright, Star Wars, libraries, music, doing what we can to make the world a better place). But we also discovered that we had complimentary skills and values. As set out in one of our favourite books, Thomas Shenk’s Powers of Two, many creative partnerships (Lennon & McCartney, Marie & Pierre Curie, Ant & Dec – ok maybe not Ant & Dec) prove that two heads really are better than one. In our particular mix of leadership, we combine one person’s tendency towards perfectionism (looking at you Chris) and counter that with the other’s drive to get things done, tick off an action and move onto the next thing (sound like anyone Jane?). But bring that together and you have some kind of magic…. Plus, for anyone who’s spent any time in our company, a lot of bickering! 

Leadership however has traditionally been seen as an individual endeavour – that leading is about one person’s ability to create a vision and to motivate a team. However, in this increasingly challenging and diverse world, we are seeing a growing recognition that one person cannot do everything, there simply isn’t the time. And of course, we all have blind spots that we need trusted colleagues and friends to help us with. Therefore, co-chairs can be a really effective way to lead an organisation and share the load, but also amplify your message and make sure you aren’t just reflecting your own personal preferences to the detriment of your team or community.  

We were honoured to receive the ALT Award for the work we did during the pandemic and since then. It felt like a real recognition of what we had achieved and it was wonderful to attend the Gala Dinner and be applauded by the digital education community.  

It’s a relatively simple process to write an application and you can self-nominate. The key thing is to think about the impact of your work. Writing reflective pieces like for AdvanceHE fellowship and CMALT where you have to document the impact of your work, can be great to draw upon. Remember it’s not all about metrics too, it’s about how your practice might be changing and supporting others. And the award was great to include on our CVs, shout about on LinkedIn and include in our respective promotion applications. It also led to us both getting a personal congratulations from Senior Managers at both our institutions.  

So, if you think you wouldn’t be eligible for the leadership award because you don’t fit the bill of a typical ‘leader’ think again. If you work in partnership with someone else, or create and share a vision for something in learning technology in a non-traditional way then don’t be constrained by your or other people’s previous thinking. We encourage you to apply for the ALT Awards 2024 and wish you luck.  

We are now open for entries until Tuesday 11 June 2024, and we welcome submissions from individuals and teams based anywhere in the world. The awards are free to enter. Learn More.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Unlock Unmissable Opportunities at ALT's Annual Conference in Manchester!

ALT News - 23/05/24

We are thrilled to offer this exclusive opportunity to be a part of the Association for Learning Technology's (ALT) Annual Conference 2024, set to take place in the vibrant city of Manchester.

Categories: ALT, News

Impact and implementation of UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Educational Resources in academic libraries: SPARC Europe Case Study

RLT Journal - 23/05/24

This paper analyses the role of libraries in the development of Open Educational Resources (OER) and, more specifically, the impact and level of implementation of UNESCO’s (2019) OER Recommendation in Higher Education libraries. This study, the result of a joint undertaking between a national R&D project and SPARC Europe, is based on an online survey, disseminated amongst the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL) and uses a descriptive research methodology. The results highlight the implementation actions being taken by university libraries (n = 136) in each of the five areas of action of UNESCO’s Recommendation. We find that the main contributions are being made in the areas of capacity building and Open Education policies, but that considerable work has yet to be done in terms of promoting inclusiveness and the sustainability of OER. Thus, the full implementation of UNESCO’s recommendation requires a greater commitment on the part of librarians to joint actions undertaken via international networks and projects, as well as greater institutional commitment and the building of interdepartmental alliances.

Categories: ALT, Publication

ALTC24 is now a certified CPD event! 

ALT News - 21/05/24

We are excited to announce that the Association for Learning Technology is a proud new member of the CPD Certification Service. Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world's leading and largest CPD accreditation service. 

Categories: ALT, News

Students’ perspectives of a study support (Studiosity) service at a University

RLT Journal - 21/05/24

Supporting students’ success and achievement is a key mission of WP (Widening Participation) institutions such as the University of Bedfordshire. An essential step in ensuring students succeed is the development of academic writing skills – these are vital during students’ studies and when students leave university study and undertake further study or enter graduate-level employment. During the 2021–2022 academic year, the University of Bedfordshire implemented a study support service called Studiosity, a service designed to provide students with formative feedback on drafts of their assessment tasks. This study utilises a survey instrument exploring Studiosity’s Writing Feedback (WF) service and addresses a gap in the literature where there is very little understanding of the details of students’ engagement with the system. The survey’s results indicate a mismatch between students’ assumptions about formative feedback provided by Studiosity. However, when students utilise Studiosity’s WF service, the personalised and specific feedback raises students’ confidence in their ability to write academically.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Learning Rate of Change: How action research helps bridge the gap

#ALTC Blog - 21/05/24

By Jim Turner

As learning technologists, we are at the forefront of a rapidly changing educational landscape. New technologies, pedagogical approaches, and learner expectations seem to evolve at an ever-increasing pace. How can we not only keep up, but lead innovation and effectively tackle the complex challenges we face? Action learning offers a compelling solution. 

In a recent ELESIG webinar presented by Becky Quew-Jones highlighted a key principle: our rate of learning must be greater than or equal to the rate of change in order for us to maintain a sense of control and agency. For learning technologists grappling with the educational impacts of phenomena like AI, the rate of change is clearly leaving or sense of learning far behind. Action research could provide a structured way to confront through a methodology called ‘action learning’ that by bringing together diverse practitioners to investigate issues (action learning sets), question each other, share knowledge, take action, and reflect on the results. 

The basics 

Some key benefits of action learning for learning technologists include: 

  • Collaborative problem-solving – Action learning sets harness the diverse perspectives and experiences of participants to deeply explore challenges and uncover new solutions. For complex, people-centered issues without clear answers, this collaborative approach is far more effective than tackling them alone. 
  • Accountability for action – Rather than endlessly discussing problems, action research demands real action between meetings to move toward solutions. Reporting back to supportive peers creates positive accountability. 
  • Psychological safety to accelerate learning – Action learning sets provide a safe environment to openly share struggles and quickly develop new knowledge/skills. Honest dialogue and questioning fast-tracks the learning process. 
  • Links to research and practice – The cycles of action and reflection at the heart of action learning parallel the scientific method. It can serve as a systematic research methodology and also bridge research and practice by field testing new approaches. 

As learning technologists, we could employ this versatile approach for challenges such as: 

  • Evaluating and implementing emerging educational technologies 
  • Redesigning courses/programs for new modes of delivery 
  • Tackling issues like academic integrity, accessibility, or digital literacy 
  • Piloting innovative pedagogical approaches 
  • Improving technology adoption and support for faculty 
 Want more details? 

The presentation offered inspiring examples of action research in degree apprenticeship programs, academic integrity efforts, and research on workplace learning. Becky has recently used this process and published an article on a particular ‘wicked’ problem at the heart of her current job role. Here is summary of that process: 

  • Participants: Six representative apprenticeship ambassadors from large organizations with existing relationships with a business school for level 6 and 7 apprenticeships. 
  • Three Action Learning sets conducted over a 9-month period. Each set lasted 2 hours.
    • Set 1: Investigated barriers preventing curricular collaboration between university providers and employers. “Wicked problems” were identified and categorised into initial themes. 
    • Set 2: Reflected on outcomes of issues recognised in Set 1. Facilitated dialogue to overcome barriers and identify best practices to maximize translation of knowledge. A sixth theme (senior management buy-in) was added. 
    • Set 3: Reflected on outcomes of actions taken since Set 2. Promoted further dialogue to discuss best practices to enhance work-based learning experiences for current and future practice.
  • The researcher’s role was to gather the participants and facilitate the action learning sets. The participants acted as co-researchers. 
  • Data was analysed using a six-stage thematic approach, including transcription, coding, collating codes into themes, reviewing themes, defining/naming themes, and reporting. The data included the cyclical process of planning, acting, observing and reflecting was followed, with the goal of improving practice. 
In summary 

By convening action learning groups around these issues, we can accelerate progress and spread innovative practices across our institutions. The beauty of this is that it doesn’t require extensive training or resources to get started. We can begin by gathering a group of engaged colleagues, establishing ground rules for productive sessions, and diving into the cycles of action and reflection. 

In a time of disruptive change, learning from different methodologies can empower us as learning technologists to not only keep pace, but to drive educational innovation for the benefit of faculty, students, and institutions.  

What to try it out?  

Becky recommended the following . . .

1.      Watch the presentation recording 

2.      Coghlan, D., 2019. Doing action research in your own organization. Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization, pp.1-240. 

3.      Brockbank, A., & McGill, I. (2003). The Action Learning Handbook: Powerful Techniques for Education, Professional Development and Training (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203416334 

4.      Pedler, M. and Abbott, C., 2013. Facilitating action learning: A practitioner’s guide. McGraw-Hill Education (UK). 

5.      Pedler, M.M., 2012. Action learning for managers. Gower Publishing, Ltd. 

References: 

Rebecca Quew-Jones (2022) Enhancing apprenticeships within the Higher Education curriculum – an Action Learning and Action Research study, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 19:2, 146-164, DOI: 10.1080/14767333.2022.2056135 

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

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