Category: papers Page 1 of 7

New publication: How do Canadian Faculty Members Imagine Future Teaching and Learning Modalities?

What do future learning environments look like? Is online learning “the new normal?” Or, are we back to the “old normal?” What does the “new normal” look like? Never mind concepts of “normal,”… what do learners and faculty imagine future learning environments, technologies, and modalities looking like? Colleagues and I completed and are planning a series of studies around these ideas, bringing together threads in our research that examines online learning, emerging technologies, challenges facing higher education, and speculative methods. We recently published one of these and I am sharing the pre-print below.

When I prompted ChatGPT to generate an image depicting this paper it generated the image below. This image provides an interesting juxtaposition to our findings, because our findings highlight the relative persistence of the status quo and reveal a lack of more radical futures.

Here’s the paper: Veletsianos, G., Johnson, N., & Houlden, S. (in press). How do Canadian Faculty Members Imagine Future Teaching and Learning Modalities? Educational Technology Research & Development. The final version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-024-10350-4 but here is a public pre-print version.

Abstract

This study, originally prompted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on educational practices, examined Canadian faculty members’ expectations of teaching and learning modalities in the year 2026. Employing a speculative methodology and thematic analysis, interview responses of 34 faculty members led to the construction of three hypothetical scenarios for future teaching and learning modalities: a hybrid work model, a high tech and flexible learning model, and a pre-pandemic status quo model. In contrast to radical education futures described in the literature, the findings do not depart significantly from dominant modes of teaching and learning. Nevertheless, these findings offer insights into the expectations that Canadian faculty members have with respect to future teaching and learning modalities, the contextual issues and concerns that they face, the use of speculative methodologies in educational technology research, and the potential impacts remote learning trends have on the future of education in Canada.

Open Access fees are exorbitant

After signed another publishing agreement, and I was, once again, taken aback by the exorbitant OA fees that publishers charge.

Publishing open access with us (gold OA) lets you share and re-use your article immediately after publication.

The article processing charge (APC) to publish an article open access in Educational technology research and development is:

Article processing charge (excluding local taxes)
£2,290.00 / $3,290.00 / €2,590.00

Some organisations will pay some or all of your APC.

If you want to publish subscription, instead of open access, there will be an option to do that in the following steps.

I know, I know, we probably shouldn’t have submitted to journal that isn’t gold and free OA by default, *but* the system is structured in such ways that my junior co-authors would benefit from being published in this journal.

While not a solution to this problem, it’s worth noting the terms in the publishing agreement around sharing the article. This is in the terms:

The Assignee grants to the Author (i) the right to make the Accepted Manuscript available on their own personal, self-maintained website immediately on acceptance.

This is the approach that I use for nearly all my papers, but it’s worth remembering that what this really does is suggest an individual solution to a systemic problem, which will do little to solve the broader problem of lack of access to research.

There are other statements in the terms around placing one’s article in an institutional repository, but author self-archiving is generally the first and immediate option available to individuals. And perhaps google scholar will index the author’s personal website, making the article available, as shown below. Google scholar’s approach of identifying articles and placing publicly-available versions in search results is a systemic solution to the problem. Unpaywall is similar in that respect.

 

[To be clear: this post isn’t about ETR&D. It’s about the publishers & the publishing system]

Google scholar alerts on citations

Email is a productivity killer. But, one kind of email I like to receive is from Google Scholar, alerting me of newly published research that is in conversation with my research, aka papers that cite my work.

a screenshot of emails from google scholar showing new citations to the author's research

I love this feature because it quickly allows me to

  • get a sense of how others are reacting to my work
  • track some of the literature surrounding my research interests (emphasis on some)
  • discover new authors
  • keep my never-ending “to read” list full

I’d love it even more if Google Scholar also

  • delivered all available papers in that same email (e.g., if there was a way that it would connect to my institutional library and retrieve them or just give me the open access ones)
  • kept an up-to-date spreadsheet of all citations that I could use for different purposes

It ought not need clarification, but to be clear: 1) citations don’t necessarily mean that one’s work is impactful or significant. What if they are all critical of the work?. 2) lack of citations doesn’t necessarily mean that a paper isn’t worthwhile or significant, as areas unrelated to the quality of the work often influence citations (e.g., timing)

Traxler’s review of our book: Critical Digital Pedagogy in Higher Education

Johh Traxler wrote a very kind review of Critical Digital Pedagogy in Higher Education, the open access book that Suzan, Chris, and I co-edited. In it, he begins by noting that he is concerned of a growing chasm in digital education, as

there seem to be two parallel universes of learning, of two different sets of ideas about how we learn, what we learn, who we learned it from, and we show we have learnt it: one inside higher education, the other in the world outside. On one side are the closed systems around the dedicated EdTech systems in higher education, and around the different cadres and professions that develop, sell, procure, install, and deploy them to deliver the formal curriculum. On the other side are the ever fluid and informal groups and relationships that exploit social media and Web 2.0 to produce ideas, images, information, identities, and opinions, and to share, store, transform, merge, and discard them.

After reviewing individual chapters, he concludes that each chapter populates the spaces in the chasm and “makes an extraordinary contribution, tackling the chasm from a surprising variety of angles and should be valued and explored accordingly.”

I’m filing this into the “positive words” folder, which is a folder that I refer to when I need reminders that gloomy days are temporary.

Are cohort-based course platforms “universities of the future?”

The edtech industry includes numerous learning providers and platforms providing tools, technologies, and resources for course creators to create and sell online courses. These platforms are interesting for very many reasons. What roles do they play in the learning and development ecosystem? How do they measure effectiveness and learning outcomes? What kinds of pedagogical and instructional design practices do they support and advocate for? What education-related claims do they make?

two people working on five laptops. They sit at a table littered with other devices, like phones, headset, and ipads. Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

In a paper we published a few months ago, we examined one such platform because it describes itself as building ‘the university of the future’ and has recently received significant attention and funding. This makes it a compelling case study to better understand the potential roles and risks associated with education platforms operating outside of and alongside more traditional higher education institutions.

We highlight specific concerns about cohort-based platforms. These include lack of transparency, risk of surveillance, lack of adequate financial support for learners, and over-reliance on social media networks as signifiers of educator/instructor qualification (this last one is a big one). Suggested benefits include adaptability, suitability to changing skills needs, and responsiveness to changing environmental scenarios.

The published version of the paper is here, but here’s a pre-print pdf: Veletsianos, G., & Houlden, S. (in press). On the “university of the future”: A critical analysis of cohort-based course platform Maven. Learning, Media, & Technology. 

 

Tech Trends Special Issue on Race and Racism in Educational Technology

TechTrends Volume 67, Issue 3 is now available online and includes a special Issue on Race and Racism in Educational Technology.

 

#oer23 presentation: open access to research

Enilda, Josh, and I are working on a project examining the degree to which access to education research is available to the public, bringing together research interests that all three of us have had for a long time now. Enilda presented some of our early findings this week at OER23 in Scotland and shared her reflections here. Our slides are available at tiny.utk.edu/OER23

Part of the fun in this work is figuring out how to bring together a set of APIs to allow for programmatically retrieving data about published journal papers from different services (e.g., see Josh’s post).

 

opening up research through self-archiving practices

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