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Keynote Lectures

CREATIVE INQUIRY AND IMMERSIVE LEARNING
Joseph Trimmer, Ball State University, United States

ENHANCING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN E-LEARNING - A Theoretical Perspective
David Kaufman, Simon Fraser University, Canada

INSTITUTIONAL PERSONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS – Paradise or Paradox?
Hugh C. Davis, University of Southampton, United Kingdom

 

CREATIVE INQUIRY AND IMMERSIVE LEARNING

Joseph Trimmer
Ball State University
United States
 

Brief Bio
JOSEPH F. TRIMMER is Professor of English and Director of The Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The author of numerous articles on literature, culture and literacy, Professor Trimmer’s books include The National Book Award for Fiction: The First Twenty-five Years [1978]; Understanding Others: Cultural and Cross-Cultural Studies and the Teaching of Literature [1992]; and Narration As Knowledge: Tales of the Teaching Life [1997]. His textbooks include Writing With a Purpose, 14th edition [2004]; The River Reader 10th edition [2010]; eFICTIONS [2002]; and Sundance Introduction to Literature[2007]. Professor Trimmer has also worked on twenty documentary films for PBS—including the six-part series, Middletown [1982], which was nominated for ten Emmys and won first prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Each year, The Virginia Ball Center, which Professor Trimmer directs, sponsors four interdisciplinary, collaborative, community based seminars that research, design and create projects such as theatrical productions, museum exhibits, books, computer games and films.


Abstract
The leaders in higher education are increasingly interested in the connection between creativity and technology. In particular, they are interested in designing an educational culture that will encourage students to develop and display their creativity, and providing various forms of emerging technology to enrich their creative processes. Over the past 12 years, The Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry—at Ball State University—had explored these issues through a series of interdisciplinary, project driven, community based, immersive learning seminars. This presentation will explain the strategies that have shaped these seminars and provide award-winning examples of the products students have created in these seminars.



 

 

ENHANCING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN E-LEARNING - A Theoretical Perspective

David Kaufman
Simon Fraser University
Canada
 

Brief Bio
David Kaufman has been a faculty member at Concordia, Saint Mary's, Dalhousie and Simon Fraser Universities, in Engineering, Computer Science, and Education. He also served as Director of Course Design for the BC Open Learning Agency and was Professor and Director of Medical Education in Dalhousie's Faculty of Medicine. He is the 1998’s recipient of Dalhousie University’s Instructional Leadership Award. He has presented more than 200 lectures and workshops at universities in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East and South America. He has published extensively with approximately 100 published articles and three books to his credit, serves as a reviewer for many journals, granting agencies and professional associations, and has received more than $3 million in funding. From 2001 to 2008, he served as Director, Learning & Instructional Development Centre at Simon Fraser University and currently is a Professor in the Faculty of Education.


Abstract
In the past few years, there has been criticism of e-learning practices and a renewed interest in enhancing students’ engagement in this form of education. Engagement typically refers to providing student activities that involve active cognitive processes such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, and evaluation. Due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities, students are intrinsically motivated to learn. In this presentation, I will discuss various theoretical perspectives, research evidence and multiple practices that support engagement and the consequent improvement in student learning. The characteristics of ‘net generation’ students will be reviewed and several examples given of online activities to engage them, based on each of these characteristics. I will close with a description of the skills needed by the 21st century instructor and provide suggestions and resources for acquiring these.



 

 

INSTITUTIONAL PERSONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS – Paradise or Paradox?

Hugh C. Davis
University of Southampton
United Kingdom
 

Brief Bio
Hugh Davis is from the University of Southampton in the UK, where he is the University Director of Education with responsibility for technology enhanced learning and the director of the cross university Centre for Technology in Educational Innovation (CTEI). He is a Professor of Learning Technology and an active member of the Web and Internet Science Research Group within Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). He has been involved in hypertext research since the late 198O’s and has interests in the applications of hypertext for learning, open hypertext systems and architectures for adaptation and personalisation. He has extensive publications in these fields, and experience of starting a spin-off company with a hypertext product. His recent research interests revolve around Web service frameworks for e-Learning, personal learning environments, educational repositories (EdShare), educational analytics and semantic applications in education. He is a passionate believer in the importance of sharing and open data. He has extensive publications in the fields of hypertext and technology enhanced learning and has led many grant projects focusing on the innovative use technology in education.


Abstract
Traditionally learning has been seen as a solitary and individualistic task; learning has been represented as committing knowledge to memory and the personal acquisition of skills and literacies. The affordances of early computer technologies amplified this perspective, and transitions of learning technologies to networked platforms sustained the individualist context within the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). However constructivist critiques of learning environments have emphasised the value and importance of social interactions and the benefits of working in groups to solve problems as a means to learning and knowledge acquisition. Advances in Web technologies over the last decade (the so called Web 2.0) have paralleled these changes and have enabled us to build tools to support and integrate many kinds of collaboration and learning in networks. Such tools have been retrofitted to existing VLEs. This presentation argues that the current generation of Virtual Leaning Environments is no longer fit for purpose; they embody educational processes that promulgate ineffective/inappropriate didactic methods, and do not complement the expectations or approaches to learning taken by Generation Y learners. Nor do they prepare students for using the tools and working methods that will be required in the increasingly virtualworkplace. Personal learning environments put the onus on the learner to take responsibility, not only for their learning but also how they go about that learning and the tools that they use. Such self-determination and choice is ideal in a self directed or informal learning scenario, but how can institutions provide such an experience for groups of learners? Is this even possible? A number of Universities are attempting to deploy personal (personalised and personalisable) rich learning environments in an attempt to scaffold their learners (and teachers?) to become independent users of authentic tools to support their lifelong learning beyond the university. This talk will examine the some of these environments, and the part played by Web 2.0, linked data and cloud computing.



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