Alastair Creelman Keynote 1 SoTL 2021 - Learning Spaces
From Madeleine Tucker Smith on March 11th, 2021
He works in a number of organizations and international projects including EDEN's (European Distance and E-learning Network) NAP Steering Committee and in 2017 was awarded the title EDEN Fellow. He also works for the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL) as a Swedish representative in the Distance network, a member of the steering committee of ITHU (Swedish Network for IT in higher education), and a member of the ISO PC288 standardization.
During the last few months, everyone in higher education has experience of online teaching using digital platforms and tools. Some have succeeded beyond expectations whilst others have survived thanks to the help of colleagues and educational technologists. At first, the focus was on quickly moving the classroom to an online space, in particular via synchronous video meetings in Zoom and asynchronous assignments in the learning management system. However, many teachers have since discovered the advantages of creating other asynchronous multi-modal learning spaces that foster greater inclusion and creativity than the limited interaction of synchronous spaces. By allowing students to reflect, discuss and express themselves at their own pace and in a variety of media we ensure that all voices are heard. Another critical factor is establishing a sense of community and trust in an online environment and many teachers have worked successfully with this during the lockdown period.
A particularly interesting issue is how we create interactive and engaging online learning spaces that enable students to meet, collaborate and discuss even outside their particular class or cohort. All institutions have invested heavily in recent years in building exciting new campuses that facilitate active learning and creativity, but much less attention has been paid to the online campus. We need to realize that the online campus is the space that unites all staff and students, no matter where they are physically based. Campus students usually have a very strong sense of identity with their university since they spend so much of their daily life there. However, that loyalty and identity are much weaker for online students since they only meet their own cohort and its teachers. How can we create a shared sense of presence and community for all students and encourage greater contact between campus and online students?
You can find Alastair sharing his ideas and inspiration in these channels
- Blog “The corridor of uncertainty”
- Flexspan - news blog on developments in e-learning (in Swedish)
- Twitter @alacre