Monthly Archives: February, 2016

‘The Networked Practitioner’ Online Conference 2016 – OU H818.

Below is an extract from the Cloudworks page of the OU H818 ‘The Networked Practitioner’ Online Conference 2016.

Conference organiser Dr Simon Ball – Link to conference page below.

‘The Networked Practitioner’ is module H818 of the OU Masters in Online and Distance Education (MA ODE)

The H818 ‘The Networked Practitioner’ online module is part of the MA Online and Distance Education programme run by the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at the Open University UK. This online conference is presented using OULive (the OU synchronous discussion platform – a bespoke version of Blackboard Collaborate).


  • Terry McAndrew, Higher Education Consultant, former Academic Lead for Digital Literacies in the Disciplines at the Higher Education Academy and Advisor for JISC Techdis and the Bioscience Subject Centre.
  • Bart Rienties, Reader in Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK.
  • Helen Beetham, Higher Education Consultant and author of several key Digital Learning reports.

Below are the conference sessions I attended

Session 1: Saturday 13th February

Start Time End Time Speaker Presentation Title
13.00 13.30 Terry McAndrew Keynote Presentation: An Open Future for all – how open education practices and resources can expand knowledge and skills for everyone.


13.30 13.45 Nicki Berry Individual Learning Plans: from paper to online
13.45 14.00 Tommy Ruiz How forums and collaborative learning impact oral proficiency in a Foreign language class.
14.00 14.15 Anita Houghton An Open space: A prototype to stimulate and capture the scholarly activity for FE practitioners delivering HE in FE centres.
14.15 14.30 Maxine Armstrong A flipped classroom on flipped classrooms
15.00 15.15 Anna Orridge Tackling Plagiarism Positively: An Online Resource Bank for Academic English Teachers
15.15 15.30 Laila Burton e-Portfolios: innovative practice in higher education

Session 2: Monday 15th February

Start Time End Time Speaker Presentation Title
18.00 18.15 Elaine Dalloway Do you ever consider copyright when including images and other content from the web in your digital teaching resources?
18.30 18.45 Carol Waites Writing tips for report writers globally
18.45 19.00 John Kerr Can MOOCs propel the OER agenda for educators in South Africa?
19.00 19.15 John Baglow Three Steps to a Collaborative Learning Environment: a module for teachers and trainers in the post-16 sector
20.00 20.30 Bart Rienties Keynote Presentation: The power of (in)formal learning: a learning analytics approach
20.30 20.45 Peter Scott Simple Sense. An alternative approach to Online Tutorials
20.45 21.00 Elizabeth Frost Functional Skills English within Vocational Areas

Session 3: Wednesday 17th February

Start Time End Time Speaker Presentation Title
09.00 09.15 Greg Keating Online Safety: Can Parental Networking combined with Parent Guides assist in keeping Children Safe Online
09.15 09.30 Lisa Hale E-feedback – supporting teachers in their use of Turnitin and GradeMark
09.30 09.45 Sarah Sneddon Learning a musical instrument online – an experiment in learning to play an instrument using only OERs.
09.45 10.00 Kiran Gawali Learning Acitivity Selector: a visual aid and tool for staff
10.30 11:00 Helen Beetham Keynote Presentation: From digital capability to digital wellbeing: thriving in the network.
11.00 11.15 Lesley Hamilton Motivating Learners: using video for Learning and Teaching
11.15 11:30 Chris Gray Open Turf: The effective use of Web 2.0 technologies in creating a collaborative platform for self-determined learning
11:30 11:45 Jennie Augustyniak  How open is the digital environment for disabled students in higher education?



Reflections on my project theme – innovation

The Research Councils UK, are responsible for investing public money in research within the UK. It is the ambition of The Research Councils UK “to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business.”   Research Councils UK (2014)

I would suggest that research is therefore seen as a major driving force for innovation and innovation in turn is seen as major driving force for business or economic growth.

“Russell Group Universities are responsible for the vast majority of UK’s world-leading research”   The Russell Group (2014). The Russell Group’s prestigious member Universities are seen as the ultimate place to study and their culture is synonymous with the traditional view of research scholarship.

My project, Open Space was created to stimulate and capture all forms of scholarly activity. When constructing the site with personal examples it was of no surprise that my forms of scholarly activity reflected Boyer’s (1990) application and teaching areas.

In considering whether my project was innovative, I looked at two definitions of innovation as “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay”.   (2016). The Collins online dictionary (2016)  defines innovation as “something newly introduced, such as a new method or device”.   In both these definitions my project is innovative in respects that it produces a new process, a new combination of tools.

However, when considering the bigger picture, will the innovation within my project lead to business growth?     I can’t see currently how, as it is just a prototype platform, however, if the platform became widely used and successful collaborative projects were developed through the platform then potentially yes.

The second reflection regarding the theme is linked to the four areas of Boyer’s scholarship and further makes me question why research is seen as the ultimate scholarly aim.

I tried to put this in a diagram below to demonstrate the point.  The big question is how does innovation lead to economic growth without the integration, application and teaching?   I am not sure if it can (but would be interested in other views).  A very important secondary point here is that the act of integration, application and teaching can lead to innovation and also potentially economic growth.

I conclude therefore that all four areas of scholarship are very valuable and although research can start innovation without the other areas the ultimate aim of economic growth will not be reached without integration, application or teaching.

Diagram for presentation