INTED 2018 Rethinking active learning
Officially the title of this conference was ‘Rethinking Learning in a connected age’, but given the focus of many presenters on active learning, I opt for a modified and shorter version for my reflection using five verbs: Fail, Use, Curate, Collaborate and Learn.
You learn by making mistakes. Do you give yourself that opportunity? How do others in your (work) environment think about this? Digital didactics must be developed. No one is expert in this by itself. Francesca Perri (University of Trento) has developed a teacher course containing five sessions; learn, discuss, examine, create and share. Francesca rightly points out that teachers need to be trained, as well as students, in order to master their confidence with digital tools and devices. They share their findings in the ‘Mistake Laboratory’, brilliant!
We live in a world where many wonderful courses from many universities in the form of MOOCs are freely accessible to everyone. Too little (parts) of it are reused in our education, even if the opportunity is offered for this. Joana Viana and Ana Moura Santos (Lisbon University) showed us that this can be done differently. Their students gave and received peer feedback from each other, but also from other participants in the same MOOC, awesome! Looking for a MOOC? For example, consult Futurelearn, Edx, or Coursera. Or consult oercommons.org to see which open educational resources can be found here, you can also add your contributions here …. A (Dutch) organization such as SURF also pays attention to this important theme by providing the SURF Sharekit.
How do you find what you are looking for in the treasury that is available to us? Ivan Otero (University of Vigo) understands how you can facilitate this process. Ivan explained to us how he, with an app that he linked to Moodle, enables students to curate open educational resources themselves, very constructively (especially in combination with assignments where rubrics are part of)!
The complexity of educational innovation, where technology is a logical, important and integral part, requires collaboration. I also appreciate the Aurora network, of which the VU Amsterdam is a part. With great interest, I therefore followed the presentation of Godelieve Laureys (Ghent University) in which she explained the 4U network of which her university is part of. Important aspects of this network are that its mission and vision are anchored in the structure of each participating partner, that added value is based on mutual commitment and trust and that there is continuous search for new joint achievements.
Not only do organizations learn from each other, this also applies to students, lecturers and researchers. A good example of how students can do that was given by Mary Dempsey (National University of Ireland), in which she explained how she had students blogged to stimulate the online dialogue and to facilitate deep learning. I also like the idea of EduScrum to boost students learning presented by Jorge Mendoça (Institute for Engineering, Porto). Very fascinating was the presentation by Fergus Timmons (Alzheimer Society of Ireland) about how he converted a face-to-face training into an online course. How business and education can learn from each other using the Framework for Innovation Competences Development and Assessment; Fincoda (which is interesting for both parties since it contains a barometer), was presented by Christiane Stange and Helmut Helker (University of Applied Sciences Hamburg). The most interesting thing about learning for me is getting to know people and sharing information that can lead to new knowledge. Although you have the most important stake in this, this conference also offered plenty of opportunities for this. I look forward to exchange more ideas with new colleagues I have met such as Emma Sadera, University of Auckland (about curriculum development) and Bram Pynoo, VU Brussels (on teacher professionalization in the context of Blended Learning). Luckily learning is never finished…