To find out more about the Special Interest Group visit the homepage for the FELTAG Special Interest Group http://go.alt.ac.uk/FELTAGSIG
The FELTAG SIG meeting at ALT-C 2016 – Briefing Notes
The SIG has three interesting areas to discuss. The first concerns the FELTAG Movement itself and its value as a discreet set of ideas about e-learning. The other two areas (there is overlap between them and they are not mutually exclusive) relate to the emerging themes in the enterprise and administration of learning.
- To consider the profile of the FELTAG title as a name and movement and whether there is now a more suitable alternative SIG members should consider whether FELTAG, as a discrete movement has run its course and the ideas behind it are now or should be assimilated into the general progression of e-learning. Alternatively is the tag no longer valuable but the thinking worthy of a more accurate title. Bear in mind we don’t own the title or movement so it is not for us to pronounce on it, but we can have a view on it and promote that view either way. We can change the name of our SIG as a consequence if that is the consensus.
Three ideas for consideration to help discussion: Firstly, FELTAG was published two years ago and development and fashioning of technology in education has moved on again and new challenges and ideas should dominate the discourse. It is arguable that new ideas and changes in approach are being ‘held up’ by the Sector lacking clarity of vision because of the colliding of old and new themes, ideas and initiatives and a clearer picture would be beneficial.
Secondly, FELTAG asked students, their teachers, and their managers to identify the barriers that frustrated the natural progression of technology and to make changes to remove them. It is arguable that these are universal goals, that were always known but, now articulated, are too general to be sustained as an initiative or Project. In short, FELTAG is tautological. An argument against this is that the change of culture is not fully recognised and the FELTAG mission of wanting a change of approach first and foremost has not yet happened. If FELTAG is accepted as normative behaviour how might we describe the new emerging challenges in which FELTAG principle is accepted?
- To consider and discuss the main themes and challenges emerging in aspects of e-learning as it affects learning in order to derive a list of ideas to explore in the coming year. The purpose of this item and the next is to consider a list, in order of desirability, of the big themes to explore in the next phase of developing e-learning. One of the big changes in learning enterprise has been in the rise of personalised and personal applications and devices. It has changed the way students can learn, marshal and present themselves and how teaching can be presented and thus designed. It has been made possible by the capacity of technology to coalesce into customised patterns around individuals, rather than requiring compliance of users involved in a single, centralised software package. With it has come loosening of the compliance side of technology in learning. This presents new opportunities for students taking greater control of managing and presenting their learning, for teachers to design a better experience of learning and managers to provide an environment for learning that meets the needs of people who are less able to comply to formal patterns of learning. All this comes back to how learning is packaged and delivered. Suggested themes to discuss could include e-assessment, personalised learning, capturing and recording the soft skills of ‘employability’, from ‘tech savvy’ to digitally literate, collaborative learning, flipping and project-based and enquiry-based learning to name a few that directly affect the student experience and learning outcomes as attributes, evidenced by abilities.
- To consider and discuss the main themes and challenges in emerging learning technology in order to derive a further list of ideas to explore in the coming year. In the area of the administration of learning, the rise of ‘big data’ is offering better probability of knowing, or reacting to, or redesigning how education can improve teaching and learning in the immediate future. Additionally, personal technology allows learning to be ‘owned’ by the students more literally as the software, content, platforms, and devices are increasingly owned and carried in a bag over the shoulder of every student. It has added to this split in our world between the enterprise and administration of learning. Under this heading, we can look at e-ILPs, learner analytics, social media in the maintenance of learning and as an aspect of the curriculum in ‘employment studies’. It includes understanding the relationship between leadership and management in future development, based on capability seen as the potential of teachers and students to effect change and capacity as the the ability of managers to enable it. Perhaps this was the major FELTAG barrier? We can also consider BYOD, supporting apprenticeships and employers, publishing college knowledge and free MOOCs, increased use of video and sound in education and assessment.
Geoff Rebbeck – August 2016