Mimicking Doug Belshaw’s weeknotes, well, it’s been a busy month mid Oct to now! Partly reflected in a lack of tweeting & blogging. I’ve had a few papers either submitted or progressing in chain, plus:
Mid October kicked off with a week in Maastricht running a study – 10 hours of labs a day + setup (+ server issues, international time differences, etc.) makes Simon tired…so then I went to Cologne for a weekend (photo) and carried the work on from there! More on this research later, but it’s the major work for my PhD (with a smaller followup in Surrey for a few days in early November)
I was also involved in facilitating a workshopy session at MozFest on Learning Analytics – happily Adam Lofting and Doug Belshaw (from Mozilla Foundation) did most of the work 🙂 (Adam’s thoughts here) but it was a nice opportunity to chat to people at that session – and at all the other sessions – about how we measure impact (in this case, learning impact), the kinds of open tools we can use to do that, and the sorts of interesting digital tasks (e.g. around digital literacy) that we care about as a community. It’s also something I’m thinking about in the context of Wikimedia where a) we care about editors learning new skills to edit, and b) we think that probably editing is in and of itself an educationally productive activity – so how do we measure learning for editors and facilitate that, and how do we measure the impact of our programmes on facilitating learning too.
Psychology of Education Section conference
Moving in to November (Nov 7-9th) I crossed over the road from my office in KMi to attend the British Psychological Society Psychology of Education Section conference in Kents Hill. I was there giving a talk on learning analytics for [digital] literacy, looking at how digital trace might give insight into particular facets of literacy in an online context, and specifically how it might relate to epistemic cognition. The conference was an interesting mix of psychologists doing work in varying educational contexts. It’s interesting to see that there seems to be very little of the ‘learning science’ style of psychology work within this sort of conference in the UK though. I did get to have a long chat with John Hattien (of ‘visible learning’ and messiah fame depending who you ask) and a coffee in London (I took a Kiwi to a Starbucks – the shame!!), it’s always fun to talk to measurement folk, and it was a usef
NCVO Trustees Conference
Putting my Wikimedia hat back on again, Monday Nov 10th I went along to the NCVO Trustee Conference which was a great chance to meet people from other charities – with and without staff – and compare stories, think about similarities and differences and so on. It was also really good to see young trustees (not just of student unions, although they were there) too (for the next 10 months I still fall within that ~3% group!).
I went along to the governance workshop, which focussed on a ‘governance wheel’ – core competencies, ways of working, procedures, etc. with a scale against which a board (or, organisation including a board) might be compared. And then in the afternoon I went to a session on impact which I’d hoped would focus on communicating impact but in fact was more about strategic planning (which I’ve done) – there were, however, some very interesting links at the end including a tool to self-assess your impact measurement position, which may be useful for Wikimedia chapters and the movement in general. As ever with these things, the networking is as useful as the workshops and there are leads I’m following up there!
Then finally, the last couple of days (12-14th) I’ve been visiting colleagues in the LETStudio groups at Gothenburg University, Sweden for a meeting they held in Marstrands (photo) near by. I was invited specifically to give a talk ‘Designing learning analytics for epistemic cognition’ (an hour long! Rare opportunity) but went along to the various meetings and talks they were holding too which were largely focussed on strategy for communicating their impact in an upcoming review meeting.
The Studios are involved in really interesting interdisciplinary work around changing knowledge practices including professionals from various fields (health, museums, education, etc.) and sociologists, historians of various sorts, education specialists, and so on all exploring how technologies and professional cultures relate to changing knowledge practices. They typically do a lot of video based research (although they really use a very wide range of methods) and have interest in how learning analytics might relate to the work they do – hence the invite; certainly a group I’d love to keep working with!
Some sleep maybe? And a focus on analysis – if you know useful R packages, send them my way!!