The theme of this year’s Association for Learning Technology Conference (known as ALT-C for short) was “Connect, Collaborate, Create” (press release)
The conference was three full days of keynote speakers and presentations from individuals and groups from a host of UK and international institutions; including Dan Meer and myself from Cumbria. Our presentation was on the “12 Seasonal Tips” initiative that ran at the end of semester-one 2015. Our “slot” was right at the end of the programme on day three, so we had that at the back of our minds during the conference (best till last?!)!
I attended a wide variety of presentations, and have come away with a number of ideas and topics to follow-up.
Below is Ian Livingstone’s keynote recording. All the keynote presentations can be seen here.
Digital capabilities and digital wellbeing were amongst the areas being discussed, with presenters talking about how they were approaching designing and running their CPD offer, acknowledging that “creativity takes courage” when it comes to updating or challenging practice.
The question of Open Badges was raised in a couple of sessions, including one run by City & Guilds who highlighted some of the challenges and opportunities of badges.
The use of analytics was a key theme of the conference, and I saw a number of presentations where speakers were talking about their proposed and actual use of data to help support learning, saying that institutions tend to be “data rich, intelligence poor”. One argument was that students are already used to sharing data outside of the institution, and therefore an electronic footprint of student use of institutional systems would be useful to help monitor engagement and support the student. However, it was acknowledged that data ownership and use was something that should be transparent through clear policies / codes of practice.
The shear amount of online activity (as highlighted by the internet minute), was the inspiration to presentations about the use of media to support learning. This included the use of lecture capture and of systems to help “create / publish / share / discover” media within the institution; one institution even providing a “’DIY film school” workshop for simple tips & tricks to capture video content using the user’s own smartphone or tablet. Copyright, together with OER policies and open licences were also under discussion.
Flipped classrooms, webinars and the blend between physical and virtual spaces were also discussed, with the challenge of providing active learning spaces regardless of the environment being a key theme.
There are some other conference blog posts here.
Overall, a very enjoyable, tiring, challenging and informative conference – and the food and accommodation was good too!
Andy White, AQD