December 23, 2014

Getting ready for the EDEN Research workshop

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Oxford: City of Dreaming Spires (Matthew Arnold)

Oxford: City of Dreaming Spires (Matthew Arnold)

I’m now in England, about to attend the EDEN Research Workshop on research into online learning that starts tomorrow (Sunday) in Oxford, with the event being hosted by the UK Open University, one of the main sources of systematic research in online learning. (EDEN is the European Distance and e-Learning Network)

This is one of my favourite events, because the aim is to bring together all those in Europe doing research in online learning to discuss their work, the issues and research methods. It’s a great chance for young or new players in the field to make themselves known and connect with other, more experienced, researchers. Altogether there will be about 120 participants, just the right size to get to know everyone over three days. I organised one such EDEN research workshop myself several years ago in Barcelona, when I was working at the Open University of Catalonia, and it was great fun.

The format is very interesting. All the papers are published a week ahead of the workshop, and each author gets just a few minutes in parallel sessions to briefly summarise, with plenty of time for discussion afterwards (what EDEN calls ‘research speed dating’). There are also several research workshops, such as ‘Linking Learning Design with Learning Analytics,’ as well as several keynotes (but not too many!) I’m particularly looking forward to Sian Bayne’s ‘Teaching, Research and the More-than-human in Digital Education.’ There are also poster sessions, 14 in all.

I am the Chair of the jury for the EDEN award for the best research paper, and also the workshop rapporteur. As a result I have been carefully reading all the papers over the last week, 44 in all, and I’m still trying to work out how to be in several places at the same time so I can cover all the sessions.

As a result I’ve had to put my book, ‘Teaching in a Digital Age‘, on hold for the last few days. However, the EDEN papers have already been so useful, bringing me the latest reviews and updates on research in this area that it is well worth taking a few more days before getting back to the strengths and weaknesses of MOOCs. I will be much better informed as a result as there are quite a few research papers on European MOOCs. I will also do a blog post after the conference, summing up what I heard during the three days.

So it looks like that I won’t have much time for dreaming in the city of dreaming spires.

 

 

Conference: 8th EDEN Research Workshop on research in online learning and distance education

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Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel

Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel

What: Challenges for research into Open & Distance Learning: Doing Things Better: Doing Better Things

The focus of the event is on quality research discussed in unusual workshop setting with informal and intimate surroundings. The session formats will promote collaboration opportunities, including: parallel ‘research-speed-dating’ papers, team symposia sessions, workshops and demonstrations.

When: 26-28 October, 2014

Where: Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel, Oxford, England

Who: The Open University (UK) is the host institution in collaboration with the European Distance and E-Learning Network. Main speakers include:

  • Sian Bayne, Digital Education, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Cristobal Cobo, Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK
  • Pierre Dillenbourg, CHILI Lab, EPFL Center for Digital Education, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Allison Littlejohn, Director, Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Chair in Learning Technology, UK
  • Philipp Schmidt, Executive Director, Peer 2 Peer University / MIT Media Lab fellow, USA
  • Willem van Valkenburg, Coordinator Delft Open Education Team, Delft University of Technology,
    The Netherlands

How: Submission of papers, workshop themes, posters and demonstrations are due by September 1: see: http://www.eden-online.org/2014_oxford/call.html

 

EDEN research workshop on open and distance learning

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Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel

Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel

What: Challenges for research into Open & Distance Learning: Doing Things Better: Doing Better Things

EDENRW8 is very focussed on you the researcher and what you can learn from and with your peers.  It takes place in an intimate setting where researchers including postgraduate students can share research, connect with peers and have adequate time to discuss the challenges of their work. EDENRW8 is suitable for researchers and postgraduate students and particularly those wishing to actively connect with peers and debate

When: 27-28 October, 2014

Who: Organized by EDEN (the European Distance and e-Learning Network) and hosted by the Open University (U.K.)

Where: The Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel, Oxford, U.K.

Format: This is not your usual conference program and definitely a workshop format! ….The networking occurs as an essential aspect of your experience. Featuring small groups for deep dialogues, feedback on your research, team symposia, ‘research-speed-dating’ papers, demonstrations, poster sessions, a connect lounge, informal sessions for meet the professor for early career and postgraduate researchers, world café style facilitation and presentations along with our resident keynotes.

How:

Call for contributions: Submissions that relate to the Workshop Scope and one or more of the Workshop Themes are welcome in the following categories by the deadline: 1 September. You are encouraged to submit your proposal earlier to support a speedy evaluation of the proposals and enhance your possibility to register early in time. Proposals submitted before summer will be evaluated within two weeks.

Online submission: Click here

Registration does not open until 1 September 2014

Comment

I really like the EDEN research workshops. They are usually relatively small (around 100 or so participants), informal and great for networking. If you have any interest in research into online learning, open or distance education, this is a must.

EDEN Annual Conference 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

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 Zagreb

What: E-learning at work and the workplace. This is the 2014 annual conference of The European Distance and E-Learning Network

When: June 10 – 14, 2014

Where: The  Hypo Centre, Zagreb, Croatia

Who: Keynote speakers include:

  • Alan Tait Professor of Distance Education and Development, The Open University, United Kingdom
  • Jeff Haywood Vice-principal, Knowledge Management at University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Blaženka Divjak Vice Rector for Students and Studies at the University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Ana Carla Pereira (via video link) Head of Unit at European Commission, Directorate-General Education and Culture
  • Terry Anderson Director, Canadian Institute Distance Education Research (CIDER), Athabasca University, Canada
  • Olaf Zawacki-Richter Professor of Educational Technology, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany
  • Jim Devine DEVINE Policy | Projects | Innovation, Ireland
  • Fabrizio Cardinali (Invited) SVP Global Business Development, sedApta Group,LACE Project, Workplace Learning

How: You may just have time to submit a paper, but otherwise registration is not yet open but should be at any time from now. Go to the conference web site for more details

Comment

The EDEN conference is one of my favourite conferences on open, distance and online learning. And Zagreb is one of my favourite European cities. This year’s theme though brings it directly into competition with the much larger and more commercial Online Educa Berlin, which takes place each year in December. However, as well as the theme and keynotes, it’s a great networking opportunity and a chance to meet the university movers and shakers in European online, open and distance learning.

EDEN annual conference 2013

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Sortinget (Parliament building) in Oslo © Tony Bates, 2011

What: The joy of learning: How can we do our best to make learning a thrilling experience for learners, including providing a sense of joy in the virtual classroom?

The EDEN 2013 Conference will discover and present the latest best practice in this field, share progressive concepts, inventive solutions, and promote joint-thinking and collaboration.

When: June 12-15

Where: University of Oslo, campus Blindern, Georg Sverdrup Building, Norway

Who: Keynote speakers include:

  Prof. Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK. He is best known for his “Hole in the Wall” experiment.
  Anne Kirah is Senior Design and Innovation Anthropologist of Steria, Norway. She served previously as a design anthropologist for MSN, intended to influence software and service designs to improve humans’ interaction with technology.
  Dr. Bernard Luskin, President-Elect for the American Psychological Association (APA) Media Psychology Division is widely known for his major study ‘Media Psychology and New Technology’.
  Ana Carla Pereira, Head of Unit for Skills and Qualifications, Commission Directorate-General Education and Culture will talk about the developments with the European Union new generation education programmes.
  Our Norwegian hosts invited a high level representative of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to speak.
  The Nordic Voice
Distance education has been an important part of adult education in the Nordic countries for the last hundred years. Today, in Scandinavia, online education with advanced digital learning resources are widely accessible. A best practice presentation from all the Nordic countries will take place.

Call for Contributions

Contributions should relate to the conference themes. The Call is open until 5 February. Submissions will be double peer reviewed and accepted contributions published in the electronic Conference Proceedings with ISBN and their summary in the printed Book of Abstracts.

For details on submission categories, on how to submit your proposal and format guidelines, please visit the conference website and the Call for Contributions menu.