Dr. Paul Leslie

Dr. Paul Leslie

Thursday, 09 February 2017 06:43

Update for Students - Module 3

Hello - Your first set of submissions to me, as part of Module 3 are due on February 12th. Given that the following week was designated as an 'off-week' (Feb 13 – 19), and that I can see many of you might need a few more days, I will:

  • Extend the deadline for these submissions to Thursday, February 16th. If you submit before this time, I will try to complete your feedback as soon as possible.
  • If you submit by this date, I will try to have your feedback to you by Monday, February 20th, which still leaves you lots of time to act on any comments.
  • If you still need a bit more time, please let me know in advance.

Just remember, that the deadlines are to help everyone keep together on the same timeline and so work together.

These submissions include:

  • Activity: Final Core Concepts Map
    • Submit to dropbox (link to site in word document or image / pdf)
  • Technologies Montage
    • Submit to dropbox (Link to site or youtube etc. in Word – DO NOT submit video file)
  • Activity: Professional Community Initial Proposal
    • Submit to Module 2 Discussion board: Our Professional Communities

Concurrently, Module 2 ends on February 12 and so you should have posted to the “Our Professional Communities - Making Connections” Discussion board. In Module 3, you should continue to post to this SAME discussion board to make your proposal.

*** To be successful in the group assignment, your first post (Module 2) should highlight the community or communities you have been considering. You can then see what communities other people are considering. You will eventually choose one community to focus on for your group. To give yourself the best opportunity, the more communities that are discussed, then better the choice you will have.

In Module 3, you should be pitching your entry to let others know what you might want to do about the group project. This is your chance to attract group members. Ironically, I often counsel other academics at my university to not let students choose groups because you don’t get to do so in ‘real life’. However, in an online forum, getting a group is actually harder than having one made for you.

Thursday, 09 February 2017 05:37

Update for Students - Modules 2 and 3

Hello – the focus in Module 2 is for you to use the community forum to ask your burning questions and try to get feedback and insight into your work. While doing that, you should work on your technology montage as a means of reviewing the tools you might want to use for the next sections of the course. I will give you feedback and ask questions about your montage. You could take those questions back to the knowledge forum for further discussion.

So, you should then have some ideas around your burning questions and what you might want to do with or about them. You also have some ideas about the tools you can use to manage your questions and consequent actions.

Armed with this knowledge and ideas, go to the discussion board and post about the professional community you want to explore. You will need to spend some time to look at different communities and share your thoughts. You will need to review your classmates’ posts very carefully. From this discussion, you will eventually FORM GROUPS to work on the assignment for Module 4 – jump ahead and read it carefully before you post in module 2.

This all takes time. That is why this module is longer than the others

In Module 3, you will make an initial proposal about a community that you want to work with. You will need to consider what you would want to do with that community. Although not stated, you should think about what issues might arise in working with that community.

In module 4 you will need to review the posts from modules 2 and 3, and then FORM GROUPS, select ONE of the communities among your group, and proceed with the assignment.

Please note: You will submit a final version of your concept map and montage in Module 3. These will be a significant part of your mid-course evaluation. That is why I am asking you questions about your work. Please take time to consider and answer the questions from me and from your classmates.

Friday, 27 January 2017 20:12

A Comment about Comments

I would like to comment about making comments on people's posts. If you read about the community of inquiry, (https://coi.athabascau.ca/), you will discover that teaching presence is the supporting presence that makes the whole community actually function.

COI model front

So, let me say that not only is it appropriate for you to ask each other questions, but it is imperative that you do. Teaching presence not only comes from the teacher (me), but comes in the form of directing questions and inquiry which is what gives the community direction and guidance for sharing our cognitive presence. Social presence is that which makes us comfortable doing so.

I have talked about this in previous posts with other cohorts of students. You can read one discussion here

In other words, to make the most of this discussion board and community, I charge you with asking pointed and direct questions of each other in the posts. This is to push each other forward in the quest for knowledge. 

That is why we are here. That is why I love to teach. Students believe that they can ask the teacher questions. Well, students can also ask other students questions. In fact, students must ask other students questions. There is only one of me and many of you.

I look forward to a question-filled discussion over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 23:18

Discussion of Assessment in PME 801

Dear Students,

In this professional learning experience, assessment is ongoing, and evaluation is holistic. I view all discussion board activities and tasks as central to your learning and overall growth.

I engage in each module as a participant, course moderator, and teacher. I loosely follow the ICE (Ideas, Connections and Extensions) Model of assessment as a guide for my interactions. You will note that this model is based on Bloom’s taxonomy of learning.

I will participate in each discussion board activity as much as reasonably possible and will at times pose additional questions for you as a group, or individually. I am a strong proponent of the Community of Inquiry Model of online interactions and have integrated this model into my teaching for many years. I am also an advocate of a social constructionist approach to Education that posits, “human systems are not just living systems that can adapt to the environment, but systems that can imagine a better future and co-create it together” (Camargo-Borges, 2015).

For each task, I will provide descriptive feedback and ask questions to challenge you to further develop your ideas. These tasks will not be assigned a grade, as they are viewed as tools for development and extension. I will note your efforts to challenge yourself and to meet challenges posed to you by me or by your classmates.

There are 2 self-reflections and consultations (as outlined on the work map document), which provide you an opportunity to reflect on specific areas of your performance in the course. These consultations also provide me the opportunity to provide a wider range of comments and feedback to you:

Mid-course consultation: you will complete a rubric of professional inquiry highlighting the criteria associated with your performance in the course. This includes a reflection on your learning to date. I will respond with my own comments and reflection and provide a written assessment of your performance to date in the course. (Please post your completed self-assessment of the Professional Inquiry Rubric to the course Dropbox no later than Feb 12th.)

Final Course Consultation: This follows the same process as detailed above. Once your self-assessment is submitted, I will provide my comments and feedback about your course participation and provide a final letter grade. You will have a chance to respond to your grade before it is formally submitted.  (Please post your completed self-assessment of the Professional Inquiry Rubric to the course Dropbox no later than March 19th.)

Given this approach, you will not receive a breakdown of specific course tasks and associated marks. Instead, you are encouraged to commit to excellence in your learning and in supporting the learning of others. I am happy to discuss any of this at any time should you have concerns about your assessment.

Sincerely, Dr. Paul Leslie



Camargo-Borges, C. (2015). Designing for Learning: Rethinking Education as Applied in the Master in Imagineering. World Futures, Vol. 71 (1-2)., p 26-39.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 22:41

Syllabus - PME 801 - Winter 2017

Winter 2017 – GDPI–PME 801 Collaborative Inquiry

Instructor: Dr. Paul Leslie             

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Office: Virtual office hours by appointment


Jan 9 – March 20, 2017

*This is a 7-week course spread over a 10-week term. There will be 3 “off” weeks: Jan 30-Feb 5, Feb 13-19, and Feb 27-Mar 5. These off weeks help to balance the workload.

Please note:

  • There is overlap in the timing of the modules and they are of varying lengths.
  • Module 4 is perhaps the most intensive as it requires group work, an extensive literature review and engagement with external communities (the name of the course is Collaborative Inquiry).
  • As you will note in the course Gantt chart (following the weekly syllabus), you should start thinking about potential group members and associated work in Module 2.
  • I urge you to review the entire course structure in order to be clear on the progression of ideas and content and to be able to make connections between the various elements of the course.
  • I am happy to negotiate deadlines and due dates as needed. However, please consider your classmates when doing so.


This course will enable the student to understand the foundational principles of collaborative learning and to enact those principles in professional practice. This, in turn, will lead to the creation of a collaborative learning community within the context of the course where the knowledge and skills of professional inquiry will be explored and demonstrated.


  • Develop a general understanding of collaborative inquiry
  • Develop an understanding of core concepts related to collaborative inquiry including collaboration, inquiry, problem solving, and design.
  • Develop an appreciation that collaborative inquiry can take different forms in different professional communities
  • Build awareness of the role technology can play in supporting collaborative inquiry
  • Develop an understanding of key concepts beyond the core concepts related to collaborative inquiry, including (but not exclusively): contextual constraints, problem framing, inductive/deductive and abductive reasoning, and knowledge building
  • Engage in critical review of a problem and the context in which the problem exists in a community
  • Propose solutions to a problem that are sensitive to the concerns of the stakeholders

 Module Structure

There are five (main) modules in GDPI/PME 801 - Collaborative Inquiry. Some of the modules overlap throughout the duration of the course. There are also un-numbered modules that mark the beginning (Course & Personal Introductions module), the middle (Mid-course Consultation module) and the end of the course (Course Closure module). The main modular structure is as follows:

  • Module 1: Collaborative Inquiry about Core Concepts
  • Module 2: Knowledge Building
  • Module 3: Develop and Share Artifacts
  • Module 4: Engage in Collaborative Design with Course Peers
  • Module 5: Connect with a Professional Community: Communicating about Collaborative Inquiry


Feedback and reflection are integral to successful professional inquiry. Across the GDPI/PME courses, participants are provided with various ways to reflect on their progress (e.g. blogging, portfolio development) and to receive on-going feedback about the progress of their ideas, actions and concerns (e.g. group discussion, collaboration, written comments). The instructor, along with other participants in the course, will provide feedback as part of the day-to-day course functioning, however at two points in this course a formal interaction between the instructor and each participant will take place.

At roughly the mid-point of the course, participants will conduct a self-assessment. This process has 2 parts. First, participants will complete the Participant’s reflection section of the GDPI-PME Rubric of Professional Inquiry. In addition, participants will consider the 5 elements of inquiry represented on the rubric and construct a profile of the quality of their own learning to date. Once both sections are completed, participants will submit the rubric to the instructor via the Dropbox.

The instructor will then respond with his/her own assessment of the learning on both the rubric and through the Instructor’s Remarks. No grade is to be assigned as this mid-course use of the Rubric of Professional Inquiry is for formative purposes only. At the end of the course, again using the Rubric of Professional Inquiry and following the same pattern of interaction, a summative assessment will be completed by the instructor.


Module Duration Activity/Assignment
Course & Personal Introductions Jan 9-13
  • Introduction & Readings
  • Discussion Board: About this Course
  • Activity: Collaborator Artifact (Share link to professional portfolio)
  • Discussion Board: About me as a Collaborator
  • Discussion Board: Background

Module 1.

Collaborative Inquiry about Core Concepts

Jan 14-22
  • Introduction & Readings
  • Discussion Board: Collaborative Inquiry Core Concepts
  • Discussion Board: Case Study
  • Activity: Core concepts map (draft)
  • Discussion Board: Post concept maps

Module 2.

Knowledge Building

Jan 20 -Feb 12
  • Introduction & Readings
  • Knowledge Forum
  • Activity: Technologies Montage – video (draft)
  • Discussion Board: Post your Technologies Montage video
  • Discussion Board: Our Professional Communities
  • Consider potential group members for Module 4
  • Consider one potential professional community to join for Module 3 and 5

Module 3.

Develop & Share Artifacts

Feb 10-12
  • Introduction & Readings
  • Activity: Final Core Concepts Map
  • Submit to dropbox
  • Technologies Montage
  • Submit to dropbox
  • Activity: Professional Community Initial Proposal
  • Submit to Module 2 Discussion board: Our Professional Communities
  • Continue to consider potential group members

Mid-Course Consultation Feb 12

Submit to dropbox

GDPI-PME 801 Course Readings by Module

Introductory Module: Course and Personal Introductions


Johnson, S. [Riverhead Books]. (2010, September 17).  Where good ideas come from [Video file].  Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU  


Taylor, M. (2013, September 5). Collaboration: Oiling the system. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.matthewtaylorsblog.com/thersa/collaboration-oiling-the-system/


Module 1 - Collaborative Inquiry (CI) core concepts (ill-structured, discourse-based, CI as problem solving, CI as design)

Required Readings

Jonassen, D. H. (2000). Toward a Design Theory of Problem Solving. Educational Technology Research and Development, 48(4), 63-85.

Spiro, R. J., & DeSchryver, M. (2009). Constructivism: When it’s the wrong idea and when it’s the only idea. In S. Tobias & T. Duffy (Eds.), Constructivist Instruction: Success or Failure (pp. 106-123). New York, NY: Routledge.

Required Case Study to Review & Discuss in D2L

Learning Forward Ontario. (2011). Collaborative Inquiry: A Facilitator’s Guide. Retrieved from http://misalondon.ca/PDF/collabpdfs/Collaborative_Inquiry_Guide_2011.pdf

Supplementary Readings

Akerson, V. L., Hanson, D. L., & Cullen, T. A. (2007). The influence of guided inquiry and explicit instruction on K–6 teachers’ views of nature of science. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 18(5), 751-772.

Allen, S. J., & Graden, J. L. (2002). Best practices in collaborative problem solving for intervention design. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology IV (Vol. 1) (pp. 565-582).  Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.

Eris, O. (2003). Asking generative design questions: a fundamental cognitive mechanism in design thinking. Paper presented at the 14th International Conference on Engineering Design, Stockholm. Retrieved from http://www.designsociety.org/publication/24150/asking_generative_design_questions_a_fundamental_cognitive_mechanism_in_design_thinking

Rittel, H., & Webber, M. M. (1984). Planning problems are wicked problems.  In N. Cross (Ed.), Developments in design methodology (pp.135-144).  Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Schön, D. A. (1992). Designing as reflective conversation with the materials of a design situation. Research in engineering design, 3(3), 131-147.


Module 2 - Knowledge Building (Deeper exploration of discourse to support Collaborative Inquiry)

Required Readings

Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy and technology. In R.K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of learning sciences (pp. 97-115). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Turbin, E., Liang, T., & Wu, S. (2011). A Framework for adopting collaboration 2.0 tools for virtual group decision making. Group Decision and Negotiation. 20(2), 137-154.

Supplementary Readings

Bernoff J., Li C. (2008) Harnessing the power of the Oh-So-Social web. MIT Sloan Management Review 49(3), 36–42.

Dillenbourg, P. & Traum D. (2006). Sharing solutions: Persistence and grounding in multimodal collaborative problem solving. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(1). 121-151.

Lai L. S., Turban E. (2008).  Groups formation and operations in Web 2.0 environment and social networks. Group decision and negotiation 17(5), 387-402.

Mason, W. & Watts, D. (2012). Collaborative learning in networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(3).764-769.

Rochelle, J., & Teasley S. D. (1995). The Construction of shared knowledge in collaborative problem solving. In C. O’Malley (Ed.), Computer supported collaborative learning (pp. 69-97).  Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Scardamalia, M. (2002). Collective cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge.  In B. Smith (Ed.), Liberal education in a knowledge society (pp. 67-98).  Chicago, IL: Carus Publishing Company.

Stoyanova, N. & Kommers, P. (2002). Concept mapping as a medium of shared cognition in computer-supported collaborative problem solving. Journal of interactive learning research, 13(1), 111-133.


Module 3 - Develop and share artifacts and providing feedback

Required Readings

Valkenburg, R. & Kees, D. (1998). The Reflective practice of design teams. Design Studies 19(3), 249-271. doi: 10.1016/S0142-694X(98)00011-8


EduGains – Ontario Ministry of Education. (2010) Feedback – The most powerful tool [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.edugains.ca/newsite/aer2/aervideo/descriptivefeedback.html

 Supplementary Readings

Schon, D. A., & Wiggins, G. (1992). Kinds of seeing and their functions in designing. Design studies 13(2), 135-156.


Module 4 - Engage in collaborative design with course peers

Required Readings

Dorst, K., (2011). The core of ‘design thinking’ and its application. Design studies 32(6), 521-532.

Dorst, K., & Cross, N. (2001). Creativity in the design process: co-evolution of problem-solution. Design studies, 22(5), 425-437.

Gassmann, O., & Zeschky, M. (2008). Opening up the solution space: The Role of analogical thinking for breakthrough product innovation. Creativity and innovation management. 17(2), 97-106.

Goel, V., & Pirolli, P. (1992). The Structure of design problem spaces. Cognitive science, 16(3), 395-429.

Supplementary Readings

Barron, B. (2000). Achieving coordination in collaborative problem-solving groups. Journal of the learning sciences. 9(4). 403-436. doi: 10.1207/S15327809JLS0904_2

Deketelaere, A., & Kelchtermans, G. (1996). Collaborative curriculum development: An encounter of different professional knowledge systems. Teachers and Teaching, 2(1), 71-85. doi:10.1080/1354060960020106.

Svihla, V. (2010). Collaboration as a dimension of design innovation. CoDesign, 6(4), 245-262.


Module 5 - Students plan and carry-out connecting with broader professional community (Various professional communities and their approaches to collaborative inquiry)

Required Readings

Ontario Leadership Strategy (2010). Exploring five core leadership capacities: Promoting collaborative learning cultures: Putting the promise into practice.  Ontario leadership strategy bulletin, 3, 1-23. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/leadership/ideasintoactionspring.pdf

Ontario Ministry of Education (2010).  Collaborative teacher inquiry: New directions in professional practice. Capacity building series, Secretariat Special Edition #16, 1-8. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/CBS_Collaborative_Teacher_Inquiry.pdf



Hsu, P. (2013).  What can PLCs do for you? Research brief: are you a true PLC? 1-8. Retrieved from http://qualityschools.lausd.net/sites/qualityschools.lausd.net/files/Are%20You%20a%20True%20PLC.pdf

Supplementary Readings

Bell, T., Urhahne, D., Schanze, S. & Ploetzner, R. (2010). Collaborative inquiry learning: Models, tools, and challenges. International journal of science education, 32(3), 349-377. doi:10.1080/09500690802582241

Capps, D. K., Crawford, B. A., & Constas, M. A. (2012). A Review of empirical literature on inquiry professional development: Alignment with best practices and a critique of the findings. Journal of science teacher education, 23(3), 291-318.

Ehn, P. (1993). Scandinavian design: On participation and skill.  In D. Schuler & A. Namioka (Eds.) Participatory design: Principles and practices (pp.41-77).  Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Keys, C. W., & Bryan, L. A. (2001). Co‐constructing inquiry‐based science with teachers: Essential research for lasting reform. Journal of Research in science teaching, 38(6), 631-645.

Lakkala, M., Lallimo, J., & Hakkarainen, K. (2005). Teachers' pedagogical designs for technology-supported collective inquiry: A national case study. Computers & Education, 45(3), 337-356.

Muller, M. J., & Kuhn, S. (1993). Participatory design. Communications of the ACM, 36(4), 24-28.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 18:47

Writing Workshop

The School of Business recently sponsored a writing workshop for full and sessional academic staff. I worked closely with two other colleagues to prepare the agenda for the day. As the lead facilitator, I was responsible for the final agenda, speakers, and the actual facilitation and success of the workshop.

Supporting documents for the workshop can be found here.

The agenda was as follows:


  • Overview
  • Presentations
    • Mr. Mark Smith:
      • How to make your story relevant.
    • Professor Lynette Sheridan Burns
      • Write for your audience
    • Keith Parry
      • Uses for writing - The Conversation
  • Short sessions on G-Doc
    • Review of available data sets
    • Writing topics and current expertise
    • Matching topics to targets
  • Short writing and review sessions
    • “Shut up and Write” (not our title!!)
    • Report to whole group

 sbus ww cover 200

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 19:21

Designing for Learning Workshop - 2016

I presented at the 2016 Designing for Learning Workshop held at Western Sydney University (Parramatta Campus) on Tuesday, November 29th, with two of my colleagues. You can view my workshop notes here.

Our abstract for the workshop:

Engaging students through active learning

Active learning is "anything that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing", which can include discussing, collaborating, critical thinking, problem solving etc. In this 50-minute hands-on session, participants have an opportunity to participate in active learning activities that can be implemented in classroom environments and adapted to a range of scenarios.

Participants will be required to bring a learning and teaching activity schedule / lesson plan, in which, they wish to incorporate active learning strategies. During the session, we will have three activity stations where participants will discuss the key principles of active learning, as well as, participate and explore active learning strategies.


Tuesday, 15 November 2016 15:04

Narratives of learning: The portfolio approach

I have recently had another paper on portfolios accepted for publication in the The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. While I am waiting for the paper to be published, you can access it here.

woman irrodl


This paper will explore how a portfolio approach to teaching and learning can help the educator incorporate unique forms of reflective practice into his or her daily work. By being able to express ideas more clearly to himself, the educator can better promote the relational construction of knowledge in his educational communities. This paper, as part of a larger body of research asks, how can a portfolio approach to teaching and learning help the educator develop unique forms of reflective practice that will help him express his ideas more clearly first to himself and then secondly to his educational communities? Research methodology is primarily participatory action research and includes an autoethnographic review of the author’s work, reviews, interviews, observations and focus groups with student teachers and professional teachers in the United Arab Emirates. The research concludes that in consideration of McLuhan’s (1964) notion that the ‘medium is the message’, the interactions that arise through the use of new media tools can lead us to relational, co-constructed ideas that are not those simply passed on from other texts. By making our thinking visible, the portfolio approach allows the educator to capture the contextual relationship between the author, the audience or community, and the knowledge being created.

               Keywords: portfolio, relational construction, education, scholarship, reflection

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 06:43

Entrepreneurship in Education

I recently attended a workshop on entrepreneurship and education (http://www.uts.edu.au/future-students/business-practice/events/event-series/futuresedu/program ) at The University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Please have a look at the conference brochure to see some names of presenters and an overview of the workshop. (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4HFfMtbPDDZRTVJOVA2Tjh5dlU). The following is a discussion of some of the main points and a few collected reflections about the workshop.

Role of government in entrepreneurship

Several speakers discussed the role of government in entrepreneurship. Among the areas in which government can play a great role are the following:

  • Business management
    • Government needs to listen to business more closely to help sort through red tape and bureaucracy. One example given was the rise of Uber. Taxi companies had become so burdened by red tape and regulations that Uber has almost completely wiped out the conventional model of taxis. There will be a lot of pain amongst taxi drivers, but the future is Uber and government needs to listen more carefully to help this transition.
  • Incubator support
    • Similar to the previous issue, government needs to provide space and assistance to new companies. Starting a new company is extremely difficult. So, people are going around the government and so we see a rise in undercover entrepreneurship.
  • Digital transformation
    • The government of Australia has spent 5.6 billion per year on ICT in recent years. It is ow recognizing the power of data to improve services

Projects from K-12 Schools

There was a lot of talk about things such as genius hour and trips to companies. I am always concerned about holding students up as geniuses (unless they truly are). I think that these expectations are hard to meet and the definitions of greatness are awarded too frequently, too selectively, and too subjectively. This is damaging to the ‘regular’ kids.

At the tertiary level, there was discussion of internships. These are always valuable if done properly. If not, students might be free labour for a couple weeks, or worse, a drain on resources. Internships are all about experiential learning.

Keep it real

There were some words of wisdom and caution from Professor Glen Murphy from Queensland University of Technology. He started by saying, “I hate start ups”. He notes that there are enormous amounts of money poured away on start-ups that often go nowhere. He adds that there is a fundamental difference between pitching a business and growing a business. In his classroom, he want students to be challenged when they walk into our classrooms  and comments that there needs to be a balance between entrepreneurship and actual skills. Students need to have the capacity to actually do the work.

In a comment reminiscent of the Dean of Business from Chicago, teachers need to remember civics and citizenship to ensure proper ideas and the ability to collaborate.  

Jack Delosa: The Entourage (https://www.the-entourage.edu.au/ )

Jack talked about changing paradigms and offered up a lengthy list, of which I have captured a few:

  • Future will resemble the past / Preparing for a unknown world
    • Life really is different now.
  • Succeed or fail / fail forward
    • Well, failure is seen as a means of growth which is good, but it is also costly and we generally do not want to fail, especially with other people’s money.
  • You are or are not an entrepreneur / more inclusive description
    • This has something to it. As we tend to move from job to job and experience moments of unemployment, we need to be able to control that future more readily. An entrepreneurial spirit might help.

Cognitive computing

Andrew Johnstone-Burt – Global Business Services – gave a compelling discussion of the near future of technology both in business and for education. He noted that technology factors are number one external force in changing enterprises.

He commented that when using or considering technology, there are three imperatives:

  • Engagement
  • Relevance
  • Value

He added that there are three key drivers of technology in business

  • Digital technologies
    • Proliferation of data
    • Mobility
    • Distribution by social, cloud, security
  • Exponential technologies
    • Robotics, automation, internet of things
  • Cognitive & AI technologies
    • Augmented intelligence
    • Cognitive computing
    • Machine uses unstructured data e.g. Images, voice, video, speech
  • Understand unstructured data much like humans
  • Reason - they understand syntax and underlying concepts
  • Learn - keep using and building on data making links between data
    • Infuse Ai into teaching and learning
      • Intelligent content tagging
      • Insights in course feedback
      • Understand preferenceHarvest and curate external learning

Tim Wark, (http://data61.csiro.au/) offered another intriguing discussion of technology, more closely related to changing job environment.

Click here

One very interesting fact is that the top 5 mega companies are technology-based companies compared to 10 or 15 years ago. I looked this up, and the Forbes report did not support this contention, However, I think it may not be far from the truth. He also noted there is a growth in creative jobs:

  • Less printers and more photographers
  • Less print and more designers
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 17:28

Distance, Online and Transnational Education

A recent webinar discussed the future of online, distance and transnational education. This is a topic in which I have a great interest, stemming from my involvement with these elements, or aspects, of education from personal and professional experience. My own background includes study at a university in a different country, online, and now I am teaching online at a Canadian university, while living in Australia. My own experience and examples highlight the rather confusing sets of circumstances that make this topic interesting.

In the accompanying article and and slide show (included below), the authors and participants discuss various issues confronting the growth of Transnational Education and provide some interesting statistics. In one slide, they note that fully 41% of all transnational education is in the form of online education, compared to 10% for branch campuses or 26% for joint or dual degrees.

type tne poll

This percentage rises to 51% among students in the UK, and among those in Australia, 77% are 'offshore'. These are large numbers. One of the significant understandings that I take from the article and presentation in this area is the need for a greater understanding of how technology can support education. Another important take away is the notion of, "whether to consider online as a separate, specialized track of education or as an amalgamated entity with traditional on-campus programmes." (Jenvey, 2016). Along with this distinction is the concept of integrating technology more fully into the day to day teaching and learning in universities. Are we disadvantaging students by not setting high expectations for the use of technology at all levels?

One other important take away is the idea of micro-masters, in which students can piece together a degree from courses taken at different universities. This will allow students and institutions to provide a more specialized training and education experience that suits the widening demands placed on universities.I think this last speaks to a great need for a portfolio type tool that allows students to capture and demonstrate their varied competencies.

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