Monday, October 02, 2023

Talking about digital learning with QAA Scotland

Here is video and  summary transcript of video I was asked to share with QAA Scotland for recent conference. 

What is your role at City of Glasgow College?

I am head of digital skills - but what it means is that I look after College learning technology and push out models for blended learning. 

Biggest task in the last 2 years has been taking College from self hosted Moodle on to Canvas by Instructure. 

We do everything in the open - so most of this is reflected in learning and teaching academy website - along with staff and student support materials. 

What is some recent work that you have been working on regarding blended?

Simply encouraging staff to use full range of tools available to them appropriately. 

Using Jisc survey feedback from staff and students to shape our offer.

Learners want a more standard blended learning experience. 

Staff want more training and support - and time. We can offer the first two.

How does City of Glasgow College approach blended?

We work from a model based on UCL ABC model at City of Glasgow College we call this Active, Blended and Connected. 

Boring but necessary things like consulting on , creating and promoting a standard Canvas template. Students want basic elements in any online course. 

What course is about , a sensible order of course materials , a introduction to teaching staff and  information on how to contact them.

On course materials been encouraging more use of quizzes and different forms of assessment and more use of pre-recorded video ( short 8 minutes) 

Post pandemic courses are delivered in mixed mode some on site and some online.

We have some rooms set up for hybrid teaching - but most staff simply cannot cope with this - it is very difficult to give face to face and online learners a positive experience synchronously. 

What are you hoping for in the future?

My hopes haven't really changed since late 1990's when as a lecturer all my materials were on the internet and available for all my students and for any colleagues that wanted to augment these or adopt them. I think we still have a long way to go before staff and students are confident open practitioners and collaborators around learning and assessment. 

We can see AI arriving and we have a policy in place - but the next thing is really training AI on our own data sets. 

I can see role too for more intermediate tools like Teachermatic .

VR/AR still had enormous potential but challenge is using these tools in a cost effective and sustainable way - tools like ThingLink will open door here.

The CDN/GTCS digital standard for lecturers will become a great driver in terms of professional review. I don't think staff are really aware that they now have a benchmark to meet. 

We are working to a set of College attributes for all learners - remember core skills and meta skills are a thing in College landscape - these attributes will help us move on digital skills. 

We work within a lifelong learning - national system - Colleges can play their part - it would be good to see more examples of resource sharing both across the College landscape and between University system and College system. Colleges should be doing a lot more for schools too. 

We will do more with Canvas commons, Canvas credentials, Canvas Folio  - Commons to share whole courses with other Colleges and internationally. Credentials to support initially our College attributes and then to offer certification for some open less formal provision - open to all.  Canvas Folio to give learners a folio of their own work to take with them when they leave college. 

I'd still like to see more lecturers and managers across Colleges in Scotland maintain reflective blogs or journals. Social media and networking is driven by activities like this - too much practice is siloed across the school , college and university system. 

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