Author: George Veletsianos Page 2 of 66

Learning Design voices CFP

Below you can find a necessary and significant call for chapters from folks at the University of Cape Town. As “learning designers, academic developers, instructional designers, curriculum designers, learning experience designers, learning experience engineers” and Centers of Teaching and Learning more broadly have carried institutions through the pandemic, while also facing incredible personal and institutional challenges themselves, this book stands to make visible what this work looks like, how it varies across contexts, how it is implicated in issues of power, opportunity, commitment, resilience, hegemony… and how those issues intersect with educational technology and design. CFP follows, but you can also find it here.

Call for chapters

We’re looking for learning designers, academic developers, instructional designers, curriculum designers, learning experience designers, learning experience engineers…  We don’t mind what you call yourself but if you create learning opportunities for students and staff in post-secondary institutions we want to hear from you! We’re keen to create a space for voices on learning design from a wide range of contexts. We invite you to share your practices and experiences, and to connect with a community of people across the globe who also do this work.  We’re hoping that together we can create the kind of book that you reach for when you need a new idea or want to be inspired by the innovative and responsive work of colleagues in challenging and exciting environments.   


During the pandemic, the pivot to emergency remote teaching highlighted the depth and extent of inequalities facing communities, particularly in relation to access to resources and literacies for online learning in higher educational contexts. Imported solutions that failed to take into consideration the constraints and cultures of local contexts were less than successful. The paucity of practitioners with online learning design experience, training and education grounded in diverse contexts made local design for local contexts difficult to carry out.

Although there is substantial research and guidance on online learning design, there is an opportunity to create a text deliberately oriented to practice. Further, online learning design, as a field of practice and research, is strongly shaped by experiences and practices from the Global North. While many of the textbooks written from this perspective are theoretically useful as a starting point, the disjuncture between theory and practice for practitioners in less well-resourced contexts where local experiences are invisible, can be jarring.



The goal of this text is to offer a discussion of key themes shaping practice in online learning design, in the form of provocations by key voices in the field, and to offer chapters that illuminate or trouble these themes. Further, we seek to listen more closely to voices from the historical margins to understand better what learning design, as a practice, a field of research and process means in Africa, Asian and South America contexts. This is an opportunity to create a text deliberately oriented to practice, grounded in diverse contexts and showcasing a wide variety of learning design responses while remaining grounded in commitments to equitable access and success.

Target Audience

This book seeks to be useful for both staff and students in formal learning contexts such as diploma or certificate courses, we imagine that it will provide a useful handbook for those working in online learning design from learning designers to academic staff taking courses online to staff developers who support those processes.


The book is structured around provocations, highlighting key concepts and debates related to that topic. We invite chapter submissions that respond to one of the provocations below.  This is not another theory book. We’re looking primarily for empirical, place-based pieces, practical advice and experiences  which are theoretically informed. Threaded through all the chapters, we expect border perspectives, peripheral views, equity considerations and the like to be incorporated. We would welcome interactive and multimodal components such as  images, videos, reflective exercises and other multimedia elements in your chapter, that can be used by readers for reflection or as teaching exercises.

Provocation 1: Learning Design as field, praxis and identity

Learning design has emerged as an area of work or practice, a space for research, and a marker of professional  identity.  How do you see learning design? How is learning design viewed in your context?  How do we, or should we, support the development of learning design? What models and assumptions underpin our work in learning design, and to what extent do these models support practice in your context? For this section, we are looking for chapters that offer insight into how learning design is located, functions and is valued in a variety of contexts.

Provocation 2: Humanising Learning Design 

Online learning faces increasing calls to centre inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility.  What inclusive, diverse and accessible online learning looks like is by no means universal. We invite for this section, chapters that demonstrate how the design and experience of critically grounded online learning can create opportunities for learning for a wide range of students, typically “othered”, marginalised, or excluded from online learning spaces.

Provocation 3: Learning activities, processes and materials

Much of the work around process and materials creation in relation to learning design assumes access to resources and skills that are limited in the developing world.  We invite chapters that consider how context shapes choices in relation to learning activities, processes and materials. We hope for chapters that speak to, inter alia,  issues of multilingualism, accessibility, universal design for learning, and racial and cultural representation.

Provocation 4: Assessment and evaluation online 

The question of assessment and the purpose of higher education are unavoidably intertwined. As the shape of higher education and its relationship to society has shifted over time, the nature of assessment has shifted. Concerns about rigour and validity are joined by concerns about authenticity, relevance and transformation. How is online assessment creating opportunities for imagining and challenging the role of assessment? We welcome, for this section, chapters focusing on online assessment practices that offer improvements on well-established practices, or offer wholly innovative takes on the form of assessment in higher education.

Provocation 5: Policy and regulatory environment 

Learning design, materials design and academic expertise all take place within existing institutional, national and international policy, funding and regulatory frameworks. Online learning is still captured by the imaginaries of traditional education. How does the policy and regulatory environment in your context shape the practice of learning design? Is open education enabled or constrained by the policy environment?

Submission Procedure and Due dates

Activity Date
Share an idea 13 June 2021 Do you have an idea that you need to chat to someone about?  Contact Shanali, Tasneem or Laura.
Proposal submission 14 June 2021 Your proposal should include an abstract of not more than 500 words, explaining how you bring a non-dominant perspective, and a one page outline of the chapter structure. Submit a proposal for a chapter.
Notification of acceptance 28 June 2021 You will be notified by 28 June 2021 about the status of your proposals and sent chapter guidelines.
Full Chapter submission 23 August 2021 Full chapters should be submitted by 23 August 2021. We expect chapters to be between 3000 – 5000 words but we are flexible about the length of chapters. Please follow APA 7th referencing.
Peer review process 20 September 2021 All submitted chapters will be reviewed by two peer reviewers, including other chapter authors and external reviewers. Please note, contributors will also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
Author changes End November 2021 Once authors have submitted their final changes to the editorial committee, the chapters will be uploaded  to the platform.  The formal launch for the book is planned for March 2022.

For queries, please contact: or

Dissemination and Publication

The book will be published under a creative commons licence, encouraging its dissemination and reuse in teaching and learning spaces. We are currently in the process of selecting an open textbook ebook platform.  Key criteria for the platform include that it will offer multimodal digital formats, options to download copies, and options to order print copies at cost.


Tasneem Jaffer

(@tasneemjaffer) – Tasneem is a senior project coordinator and learning designer at University of Cape Town in South Africa. She has worked as a learning designer for the last seven years and has prior expertise in the field of user experience (UX). She has completed an MEd in Educational Technology and is currently an MBA candidate. Her work includes being involved in the development and research of MOOCs, the development of formal online courses. She has a passion for learning, specifically the intersection of learning design and UX.

Shanali Govender

(@GovenderShanali) – Shanali is a lecturer within the Academic Staff Development unit at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching. Her particular brief in the staff development team is to support part-time and non-permanent teaching staff. She currently teaches on the Postgraduate diploma in educational technologies, co-convening the Online Learning Design module. She has designed several online staff development short courses, and teaches two academic staff development online courses, Core Concepts in Learning and Teaching and An online introduction to Assessment.  Shanali also has strong interests in relation to inclusivity and education, working largely in the practice space with colleagues to create more inclusive teaching and learning environments. ​

Laura Czerniewicz

(@Czernie) – Laura  was the first director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), at the University of Cape Town, (2014 to 2020) having previously led UCT’s Centre for Educational Technology, OpenUCT Initiative and Multimedia Education Group. Her many roles in education over the years  include academic, researcher, strategist, advocate, teacher, teacher-trainer and educational publisher. Threaded through all her work has been a focus on equity and digital inequality. These have permeated her research interests which focus on the changing nature of higher education in a digitally-mediated society and new forms of teaching and learning provision.  She plays a key strategic and scholarly role in the areas of blended /online learning as well as in open education institutionally, nationally and internationally. Check out Laura’s newish blogsite


Automated website monitoring and notification

Last week, I had to figure out a new-to-me process to be alerted in real-time when a website changed. I’m describing the problem, solution, and process here in case others find it useful.


  1. I need to monitor a website for real-time changes
  2. I need to be alerted about any changes in real-time.
  3. I cannot manually and continuously refresh the site.
  4. I cannot check the site periodically for changes , as I would risk being alerted about the change late.
  5. To be notified in real-time I need to receive a text or a phone call – not an email. I am not on email all the time. Phone notifications (other than texts/calls) are too distracting, turning us all into pigeons. So, I don’t use them.


There’s a number of website monitoring services that one can use to scan a site for edits, such as visualping and sken. These services send you an email you when they notice a change to a website you are interested in

I used sken for this solution because I had a sense of when the site would be updated, and Sken allows for monitoring websites during specific windows of time at specific intervals (e.g., “check every 1 minute between 3 and 4pm daily”).

First, I created a motoring bot on Sken. Whenever a change is detected, I would receive an email.



Next, I created a filter in my email. I want to the filter to review any incoming emails, and when it notices an email from sken, to send a text message to my phone.

Did you know that you can send a text to a cell phone via email? Yep, that’s still a thing. All the filter above does it to send a text to my phone telling me that I have an email from sken. To do this for Canadian phone carriers, you just need to replace the [10-digit phone number] below with your number (e.g., the blurred forward above would be something like

  • Rogers Wireless: [10-digit phone number]
  • Fido: [10-digit phone number]
  • Telus: [10-digit phone number]
  • Bell Mobility: [10-digit phone number]
  • Kudo Mobile: [10-digit phone number]
  • Sasktel: [10-digit phone number]
  • Solo: [10-digit phone number]
  • Virgin: [10-digit phone number]


I’ve since  solved the problem and deleted the tracker and forwarding. I’m certain that there’s more elegant solutions available (e.g., a website monitoring service that also sends a text in addition to email), but this worked for me. In the process, I learned some things that I can conceivably see being used as part of a data collection strategy (e.g., identifying change over time, such as for example school/university guidance on remote teaching or plans for reopening, etc).

CFP: Re-imagining education in the post-pandemic

The CFP below may be of interest to this blog’s readers. The speculative futures focus is important at this point in time, though the pitfall to watch out for is the overly optimistic outlook that our field often embraces. I’m not familiar with the journal, and note, that it requires a 300 GBP ACP.

CFP: Re-imagining education in the post-pandemic

We live in exceptional times. The ongoing Covid 19 pandemic exposes the fragility of dominant socio-cultural, political, and economic systems worldwide by uncovering the vulnerabilities of the public sector, of which education is a cornerstone. In the specific context of lockdowns and restrictions, digital technologies play a dominant role in enabling continuous communication between teachers and students. As enablers in educational activities, allowing for designing, assessing, and carrying out learning away from the regular classroom, digital technologies also disrupt established practices. The extraordinary circumstances of the year 2020 and their implications for teaching & learning constitute an inquiry area that pushes re-imagining education in the post-pandemic. Which technologies used during the pandemic are here to stay? What are the digital practices that teachers and/or learners would like to preserve in the post-pandemic? Why? How do the sociotechnical practices emerging with the pandemic impact pedagogical perspectives, models, and even relationships? What do we gain in education with the pandemic experience? What do we lose? What educational practices would we like to contribute to in the future  (i.e., ten years from now)?

Such questions are prompts aimed to spark a discussion on emerging social and technical imaginaries in education. Social imaginaries have been widely used as both a theory and a method to observe human capacity to bring new forms of being and doing into life through the power of thought and formulation (Chassay 2010; Jasanoff & Kim 2015; Jodelet 1989). They have been marked by creativity and unlimited possibilities that future-oriented imagination offers, as SF-literature bears witness to, and have been shaped by the constraints, limitations that history, culture, and social structures force upon humans (Castoriadis & Ricoeur 2016. Leblanc 1994). In the field of education, Neil Selwyn’s recent (2019) work on “What might the school of 2030 be like?” offers a helpful example of how social science fiction can be applied to explore how digital technologies might be used in a particular high school in 2030 and how they “might impact the people whose lives are enmeshed with these technologies” (p.90). Lina Rahm’s work on sociotechnical educational imaginaries (2019) is another enlightening example that unpacks sociotechnical imaginaries’ role in configuring educational practices and the digital citizen’s very concept.

Against this backdrop, this special collection focuses on re-imagining education in the post-pandemic as an invitation to reflect on: Which educational imaginaries of technology are in the making? How do they configure socio-material relations and practices in the aftermath of the transition to remote teaching and learning?

Within this frame of reference, we invite scholars, practitioners, Ed-tech designers, policy-makers, or other professionals working in the field of Learning Sciences, Learning Analytics, Technology-enhanced learning, Computer-supported collaborative learning, Educational Technology to critically reflect on the effects of the ongoing digitalization and datafication processes on learning and teaching practices for future – post-pandemic – education.

We accept original papers discussing conceptual works (i.e., presenting analytical frameworks or concepts), empirical cases or methods (i. e., social science fiction, design fiction, anticipatory methods, speculative methods) that contribute to reflect critically on the multiple effects of COVID 19 on the emerging educational imaginaries and educational practices of 10 years from now.

This call is an invitation to envision and reflect, using theoretical, empirical, or methodological works, on educational imaginaries of technology in the making.

Topics of interest are:

  • Data-driven educational practices
  • Adaptive/Personalized learning
  • AI in institutional decision-making
  • VR in education
  • Face recognition in education
  • Bio-sensors and Internet of things in the classroom
  • Digital deskilling
  • De-territorialization of schooling
  • Social Robots
  • Voice user interfaces
  • Social science fiction method
  • Design fiction method
  • Speculative methods (futuring methods)
  • The teacher as an innovator
  • Digital school culture
  • Other

We welcome submissions that follow the journal’s guidelines

The journal operates with an Article Processing Charge (APC), which covers all publication costs (editorial processes; professional copyediting, web hosting; indexing; marketing; archiving; DOI registration, etc.) and ensures that all of the content is fully open access. Please note the information regarding publication fees.

We will first screen each submission to ensure appropriate fit with the Journal’s mission and fit this call for papers. We will select manuscripts that will be assigned to an Associate Editor and two reviewers for further consideration. If a revision is granted, we expect authors to revise manuscripts within 25 business days.


  • The deadline for submissions of full articles is October 30, 2021.
  • Notification of acceptance December 31. 2021
  • Revisions are due March 1, 2022.
  • Publication April 30, 2022.

Editors for this special collection:
Teresa Cerratto Pargman,
Sirkku Männikkö Barbutiu,
Ylva Lindberg,
Anna Åkerfeldt,


Castoriadis, C. & Ricœur, P. (2016). Dialogue sur l’histoire et l’imaginaire social. Paris: Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, coll. « Audiographie ».

Chassay, J. F. (2010). Imaginaire de l’être artificiel (Approches de l’imaginaire). Québec: Presses de l’Université de Québec.

Jasanoff, S. & Kim. S.-H. (2015). Dreamscapes of Modernity. Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Jodelet, D. (1989). « Représentations sociales : un domaine en expansion », in D. Jodelet (ed.), Les représentations sociales. Paris, Presses universitaires de France, coll. « Sociologie d’aujourd’hui », 1989.

Kozubaev, S., Elsden, C., Howell, N., Søndergaard, M. L. J., Merrill, N., Schulte, B., & Wong, R. Y. (2020, April). Expanding Modes of Reflection in Design Futuring. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-15).

Leblanc, P. (1994). « L’imaginaire social. Note sur un concept flou », Cahiers internationaux de sociologie, vol. 97, Juillet-Décembre, 415-434.

Nationell handlingsplan för digitalisering av skolväsendet #Skoldigiplan (2019).

Rahm, L. (2019). Educational imaginaries: a genealogy of the digital citizen (Vol. 214). Linköping University Electronic Press.

Selwyn, N., Pangrazio, L., Nemorin, S., & Perrotta, C. (2020). What might the school of 2030 be like? An exercise in social science fiction. Learning, Media and Technology45(1), 90-106.

Surveys of Canadian students during the pandemic?

We are working on a project that is informed by surveys of Canadian post-secondary students during the pandemic. We have identified a number of surveys/reports and are making them available in this spreadsheet.

I’m certain we’re missing a few. Have you seen any other surveys or reports informed by student responses that we may be able to look at? Please leave us a comment below, and we’ll add new items to the spreadsheet.

Canadian faculty experiences during COVID-19: Never-ending repetitiveness, sadness, loss, and “juggling with a blindfold on

Many surveys examined faculty member experiences during the pandemic, highlighting the challenges and affordances of a mass transition to remote forms of teaching and learning, but also its unequal and disproportional impacts. In a new study, we wanted to develop a much more detailed and visceral description of what some faculty have been experiencing during the pandemic, informed by our specific interests in online learning and teaching with technology. This study is part of a broader SSHRC grant which funded the postdoc and research assistants who wrote this with me (thank you!). The abstract and citation is below:

VanLeeuwen, C.A., Veletsianos, G., Belikov, O. Johnson, N. (in press).  Never-ending repetitiveness, sadness, loss, and “juggling with a blindfold on:” Lived experiences of Canadian college and university faculty members during the COVID-19 pandemic. British Journal of Educational Technology. or author’s pre-print copy.

We report on the lived experiences of faculty members during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring the broader experiences of faculty members as individuals living multi-faceted lives whose homes became their offices, their students scattered geographically, and their home lives upended. Using a phenomenological approach for data collection and analysis, we conducted twenty in-depth interviews with faculty holding varied academic appointments at universities across Canada. Experiences during the early months of the pandemic were described as being overwhelming and exhausting, and participants described as being stuck in a cycle of never-ending repetitiveness, sadness and loss, of managing life, teaching, and other professional responsibilities with little sense of direction. In keeping with phenomenological methods, this research paints a visceral picture of faculty experiences, seeking to contextualize teaching and learning during this time. Its unique contribution lies in portraying emergency remote teaching as an overlapping and tumultuous world of personal, professional, and day-to-day responsibilities.


Teaching During a Pandemic: Spring Transition, Fall Continuation, Winter Evaluation

Informed by survey studies using nationally representative samples, in a recent project we examined the nature and magnitude of remote approaches to teaching and learning at three points in time:

  • April 2020: The pivot to emergency remote teaching was well underway.
  • August 2020: Prepping and planning for the fall offerings.
  • December 2020: Looking back at the fall term.

Some of the big picture findings include the following

  • agility and resilience in the face of numerous and ongoing challenges over the time period under investigation
  • the development of a new appreciation of and understanding about online education
  • growing reliance on technology
  • equity as a focal point of interest and concern
  • flexibility as a design feature that of interest and relevance


The report is CC-BY licensed and is available at: Johnson, N., Seaman, J. and Veletsianos, G. (2021) Teaching during a pandemic: Spring Transition, Fall Continuation, Winter Evaluation Bay View Analytics: Oakland CA, March 22, pp. 53.



Who supports scholars who receive online harassment and how effective are those supports?

“Imagine you publish a paper detailing the results of research you spent two years working on. You are excited and decide to share your work on social media, both so people can hear about it, and also because you know your university has a public scholarship strategy in place that encourages doing so. Within hours, however, the abuse pours onto your post. First you are told your research is wrong or useless, and you are surprised at the negative attention given the innocuous subject of your work. But soon it snowballs into something worse, with users descending into more aggressive harassment and even threatening violence against you and your family. Distressed, eventually you pull the post, unwilling to tolerate the vitriol, feeling defeated and diminished. You weren’t prepared for such an outcome, and you aren’t entirely sure what to do next.”

The quote is from the introduction of our latest paper on the harassment that scholars experience. The paper asks: What coping and support mechanisms – other than deleting post – do scholars use? Where does that support come from? Does it come from friends and family? University? The legal system? How effective are those supports perceived to be?

This is our fourth harassment-focused paper (see first, second, and third). Using data from 182 survey participants,  we identified gaps in the support that scholars receive when they face harassment. We identified lack of support at the university level (administration and colleagues) and at the level of digital platforms. We also noted that attitudes and values about gender, race, academic work, and online life worsen the problem, as some scholars noted that they refrained from speaking about “controversial topics” online (i.e. a chilling silencing effect), and also that they often “felt responsible” for the harassment directed at them. The table below summarizes some of these findings

You can access the paper from the link below. If you don’t have library access, here is the author’s copy of the submitted paper.

Houlden, S., Hodson, J., Veletsianos, G., Gosse, C., Lowenthal, P., Dousay, T., & Hall, N., (in press). Support for Scholars Coping with Online Harassment: An Ecological Framework. Feminist Media Studies.

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