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  1. Tracey Johnsoon
    May 9, 2014 - 6:32 pm

    Hi Tony, first of all thank you for your ongoing contribution to our profession. I am an Educational Designer with a HE institution working with Academics to design, develop and deliver their courses. I will share a recent experience which I think could be included in your book. We supported a Professor who delivered a workshop in a new collaborative teaching suite and one of the activities had participants using PollEverywhere to share responses which were displayed on screens around the room. This group work was going well with alot of discussion, debate and participants seeing what other groups added and commenting they hadn’t thought of that. Now here’s the interesting observation. The Professor stopped the activity and walked to one group and asked them to share with everyone what they were coming up with. My observation was the Professor did this because they didn’t have “control” of the room – they weren’t directing the learning – the students were doing it themselves. I think we need to help Academics appreciate that learning can occur without their direct intervention. If the learning is happening, let it continue.

  2. Jen Dalby
    May 10, 2014 - 10:34 am

    I wonder if it might be valuable to place the outline in a google doc where people might link to content they’ve already written on this topic. You might find resources to reference, or you might discover there’s an option for a 3rd volume that’s an edited collection of existing material that aligns with the outline topics.

    I’m writing something similar, but more of a personal journey to get to the end points you’ve got as topics here. I’ve done a lot with your 6, 8 and 9 topics. And I think 8 and 9 are where we need to be saturating education and edtech with content. This is where big change needs to happen and where resistance is strongest and support is weakest.

    Thanks for all you do to inspire!


    • Tony Bates
      May 11, 2014 - 12:35 am

      Hi, Jen

      Many thanks for this. I did think of creating in Google Docs, but I’m using BCcampus’s variation on PressBooks, Pressbooks Textbook, which should allow me to share not only the outline, but also draft texts as I go, and enable suggestions, other materials, etc., to be included by others.
      One of the things I’m exploring is the balance between an organized, coherent narrative and the more dynamic, multi-perspective approach. I may well end up with two versions: mine and a ‘collective’.
      Really appreciate your comment

  3. Cheryl
    May 12, 2014 - 7:26 pm

    A really interesting topic. I think there are more and more open resources around but always ways to show that ideas are your own, just by dating this here but for collaboration and input you do need to share some information. Something I come up against more and more lately are the techno-shy types. There are so many different tools out there that it’s hard to get your head around them if you are a little scared of technology. As well as some very opinionated people who have strong views that teaching used to be better before technology. It might be interesting to include ways to get buy-in from fellow lecturing staff and management.
    PS. going into winter in New Zealand I can’t think of anything more idyllic than writing a book in the Mediterranean. Look forward to reading more.

  4. Claire C
    May 14, 2014 - 6:27 am

    Hi Tony,
    I am very excited to see this project develop. I am wondering if there is any place (in your or anyone else’s opinion) for a brief section explicitly discussing the other staff on campuses of higher ed who work to support faculty in these efforts? I realize you are directing your work at instructors, but I wonder how many might benefit from a discussion around the professional/managerial staff working in educational development, instructional technology, distance/extended/online/open education on campus?

    • Tony Bates
      May 15, 2014 - 4:04 am

      Hi, Claire
      Excellent point. Yes, of course, the learning technology support staff are an essential group. However, many in this area will already be familiar with much of what I’ll be writing.
      The beauty of an open textbook though is that it can be used in different ways. One way would be as the basis for a course leading to a badge or certificate for those that do the accompanying in-text activities for instance, which might appeal to professionals in this area.
      Best regards

  5. Gary Miller
    May 16, 2014 - 8:10 am


    This book is a great idea.

    One thing that I learned from working with traditional faculty who moved to the online environment is that some needed help finding ways to engage students in the online environment. As one Engineering professor told me, in a classroom, he could look into his students’ eyes to see if they were “getting” what he was saying. He had to find new ways to test that when he went online. In other words, how can you be sure your students understand the content? His response was to be much more interactive–to break content down into smaller segments, for instance, and ask questions more often. Especially as we move to flipped classroom environments, this issue may become more important.

    • Tony Bates
      May 16, 2014 - 12:17 pm

      Many thanks, Gary and great to hear from you. You’ve been one of the great pioneers of distance education.
      I fully agree that student engagement is the key to successful online learning (or any other form of learning for that matter), but in online learning it must be made more explicit. I’m hoping to have lots of examples of how to do this in the book – any examples will be welcomed (and acknowledged!).

  6. Antonia Makina
    May 26, 2014 - 11:15 pm

    I am a UMUC student who thoroughly appreciated Bates’s intention to write an open text book on‘What instructors need to know about teaching in a digital age’(learning curve: May16 2012). This topic is clearly trying to solve what we need to do now. A lot of talking has gone into what is meant by the digital age. However ‘What instructors need to know about teaching in a digital age’ has not been delved into. This probably leads us to relevant staff development strategies.

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