In the past 2 or 3 decades universities in Australia (and elsewhere) have opened their doors to a wider variety of students than in the past. Universities are accountable to the government for their level of success in widening participation and making higher education more accessible. Research has shown that the widening participation agenda has resulted in many more non-traditional students being able to access a university education. The number of women, Indigenous students, students from a low SES background, first-in-family to attend university, and students with a disability are equity groups whose numbers have grown, particularly in the last 10 years.
However, the equity group that we know least about is students with a disability. Many such students choose not to disclose their disability to their institution which makes it difficult to determine how many such students there are, and to provide assistance to this group. Continue reading
This post was originally posted on 1 Dec, 2016 on the AARE EduResearch Matters blog under the title: Digital Footprints of children: latest research and the implications.
Australian children are among the youngest and most prolific users of the internet in the world. They are, on average, a little under eight years old when they begin using the internet and most go online daily. So it is not long before they develop an extensive digital footprint. But not much is known about young people’s digital footprint awareness and how to best educate them to manage their growing online presence.
So I arrived back at my home institution in early July, to the pleasant discovery that I’m featured in our faculty’s research showcase publication. Not that I’ve had much time for research since finishing sabbatical. As I’m coordinating a rather large foundational course this semester, my time has been spent organising the teaching for that. We have over 1100 students enrolled in the course (all of our first and second year early childhood, primary and secondary teaching students) and it is being delivered in a blend of face-to-face and online modes. Which means I’m coordinating a large teaching team to deliver tutorials (seminars to use the UK parlance) to 41 classes per week for the semester, organising the lectures and building the online content. And there’s been marking.
Being a blended course, I’m combining lectures; (yes, an old fashioned notion, I know, but it’s not without its defenders), with classroom discussions slated for the tutorials; and chunked resources that provide background information, and neat definitions, concept explainers, and contemporary perspectives (new stories, blog posts and the like) that link to the academic readings for the online components. This course is certainly stretching my teaching and admin skills and I’ve even starting using Adobe spark to make little videos (yep, even got my own youtube channel, something I never thought that I would have the guts to do) and memes for the LMS. Continue reading
My colleague and friend, Associate Professor Katy Vigurs (who hosted my study leave visit to Staffordshire University) has recently published her research in a very innovative and exciting manner; her “research-informed comic” is featured on the website of the Society for Research into Higher Education. Katy employed 4 final year students on the BA Hons Cartoon and Comic Arts programme at Staffordshire University and worked with them to develop a brief that would see a traditional academic research report (published in Feb 2016) turned into a set of graphic representations. Continue reading