Category Archives: Staff deveopment

Who Owns My Lectures? An Exploration of Academic Ownership in the Digital Age

We had a really interesting “hot topic” session recently where Dr Tom Farrelly was our guest speaker for the session the title of which “Who Owns My Lectures? An Exploration of Academic Ownership in the Digital Age”

Does the institution or the individual lecturer own the material? It was what I would consider a very healthy discussion and I only wish more lecturers came along on the day to join in. We had lecturers, learning designers, academic developers and management with responsibilities for digital learning in the audience. While we did not come to a resolution on the day, like all of these hot topic sessions the power is in the follow on discussions.

It was through one of these discussions where an interesting TED talk  “Embrace the remix” was shared . This talk from Kirby Ferguson to me clarifies that the material we create, the notes we create, the presentations of our knowledge are built on the foundation of other work, books we have read, videos we have watched and discussions that we’ve had.

After watching this video the argument in my opinion changes to  – do I have rights over my “performance” of the lecture, like an artist has rights over their art? This question in my opinion is easier to answer – No. If you are paid by your institution to produce the lecture material you do not have rights over it. After all does an actor get paid everything time a film in which they are in is shown. They don’t, they got paid to act the scene, when Star Wars the movie was re-released in the 90’s did the entire cast get paid a second time. I know that there are some exceptions where some actors have particular contracts, but they are the exception not the rule. In a time where it is easy to record a lecture and replay it several times, should the lecturer get paid each time? Actors can make or break a film, just like lecturers can make or break an academic programme. But it is not just the actors, it is the script writers, the set designers, the producers, the directors. It is the entire team working for the studio. In todays’ digital era it is no longer just the lecturer that is involved in the production of learning material, it is the learning technologists, the curriculum design team and all the stakeholders working for the institution.

There are so many different variants of the scenario it is nearly impossible to give a definitive answer but I will say this – the conversation is very timely and one worth having. We should have it sooner rather than later because as technology advances and becomes more ubiquitous it will potentially become more of an issue if not addressed.

What is your opinion? What is the situation in your institution?

For more on NIDL events please visit http://dcu.ie/nidl/events/external.shtml

Supporting the Student Support

The role of the Teaching Enhancement Unit within DCU is typically to support academics in the area of teaching and learning. While the general training and workshops that we offer are open to all staff, the majority of the training is targeted towards academics.Yesterday was more of an exception;  my colleague Dr Pip Ferguson and I delivered a workshop to staff from our Student Support and Development Unit. Based on our experience yesterday both Pip and I strongly feel that this “exception” should and will become more of the norm. Traditionally my counterparts in most universities deal solely with academics whether by direct intent or just due to lack of resources but yesterday reinforced my opinion in the absolute need for my unit to also directly help those that support students.

We ran a two hour workshop with 15 staff providing hints and tips on presenting to students and running workshops. But more importantly the workshop provided a forum where staff were able to share experiences and ask questions. The willingness of the staff to participate and generally engage with the workshop was very noticeable. Several points struck me through the morning, notably as part of an exercise participants were asked to chat to their colleagues about presenting to students. On more than one occasion I overheard people asking their colleagues “what do you actually do?”. I have no doubt that this arises from the fact that we are always chasing our tail and so busy with our own work that we don’t get the opportunity to see what our immediate colleagues do. Even though this particular unit appears very close on a personal level and I’ve always got a good vibe when I walk through their doors (it’s one of the nicest places to walk into within the college) . I believe their unit suffers from the same physical  location condition that we suffer from within the Teaching Enhancement Unit; sometimes people can be just tucked away in their offices, which despite working on the same team  they can be spread across a large area making it difficult for team members to interact and “socially” talk about work. While changing the layout of buildings and re-organising offices can be prohibitive, days like yesterday help address this type of issue. The second point of note was in addition to the very positive feedback received, there was an appetite for more – which is always. So we are following the workshop up by creating a resources page for staff containing these teaching tips/guidelines and providing staff with the opportunity to ask more questions and continue the learning beyond the 2 hours delivered yesterday. The final point that was very reassuring for me was that so many of the good points and suggestions were actually advanced by the participants themselves. To me this illustrated their belief in what they want to do and their interest in improving.

The next step following the set up of this resources page is to plan more workshops and build on the appetite that exists to learn more and to improve the student (and staff) experience

 

 

Hashtag for higher education in Ireland #heie

Twitter has been the most effective, efficient, and cheapest professional development I have ever come across. However I am not going to use this post to introduce Twitter for professional development or its other potential uses in higher education – there are numerous other websites that have got there before me. However I do want to concentrate on the area of hashtags in twitter. For those not totally comfortable on the concept of hashtags please refer to the video below

As I mention in the video there are numerous education based hashtags that are well worth following. One of the tags top of my list would be #edchatie. This tag is used by educators throughout Ireland from primary right through to third level. Another good one along the same lines, but not used as extensively in my opinion would be #ictedu. Unfortunately one of the drawbacks of such  popular tags with a widespread target audience is potentially a large amount of tweets may be not relevant to you. For example tweets with the #edchatie talking about parents involvements with schools is not relevant to third level educators, in  a similar fashion #edhcatie tweets about CAO is not relevant to educators from primary level.

That said I still gain an awful lot from #edchatie tweets and I will continue to recommend them at every opportunity. Nevertheless as a “call to action” from this post I would like to suggest the creation of a specific hashtag for higher education in Ireland.

#heie

If you are involved in Irish higher education please use the hashtag #heie where appropriate

LinkedIn groups

There are  literally 1000’s of groups that you can subscribe to within LinkedIn. The group facility within LinkedIn to the power behind the network. Having access to an unlimited number of people who are interested in specific areas that you are interested in. Wether you want to get advice from other participants, answer questions they may have posted on the forums or just advertise an event that may be relevant – LinkedIn groups is a powerful tool. I subscribe to several groups that you may find interesting. In no particular order of preference: Read the rest of this entry

What question would you ask policy makers in HE if you got the chance?

As part of a MSc program that I’m doing in DIT I have the opportunity to interview some policy makers and other people very high up the “food chain” in higher education in Ireland. The subject of my interview is the “impact of a staff development course that I gave in technology enhanced learning“.

As you can appreciate these opportunities don’t come along too often so I would appreciate any advice on questions that you would ask if you were in my shoes. This type of interview can go in so many different directions but any advice would be welcome. Please provide any advice in the comments box below or by e-mailing directly at mark.glynn (at) ioti.ie

Thanks in advance

Mark

It only takes one person to make a difference

It only takes one person to make a difference, others will follow your example but somebody must lead the way. Several weeks ago I was at an excellent event Digital Ireland – sponsored by the Silcon Republic. The two keynote speakers left a lasting impression on me for different reasons.
Bill Liao and David Putnam. As part of Bills talk he showed a home video illustrating how one person can inspire others to follow. This thought struck chord with me and reminded me of this video.
Read the rest of this entry