EI Conference 2014
UNSW Australia expertly hosted this year’s U21 Educational Innovation Cluster Conference, with a theme of “Personalised Learning.” For the 43 delegates, representing 17 U21 institutions, the choice of this year’s Conference topic was timely in that it allowed us to explore and discuss the value and impact of offering students tailored learning experiences, largely made possible through the greater use of educational technology. This topic also provided an effective bridge between the debates which took place in the 2012 and 2013 Conferences on the overall challenges of online learning to a focus on the student experience and how technology can adapt educational opportunities to respond to different learning and life styles.
Several highly successful additions to the 2014 Conference included two pre-conference workshops; one on “Virtual Mobility and Shared Learning Across U21” and one on “Recognising and Rewarding Teaching Excellence in Research-Intensive Universities”. The other new dimension was the inclusion of two new elements aimed at introducing and integrating U21 students’ voices into delegates’ deliberations. The first of these elements came in the form of a twenty minute video of students from more than a dozen U21 universities sharing their views as to what personalisation of learning means to them, and what they believe universities can do to develop a more personalised learning experience for their students. The second was in the form of a panel of four students from different cultural and educational backgrounds. Together, they provided useful insights into their individual learning experiences, perceptions of university life, and ideas for new avenues that educational institutes could consider regarding personalised learning. Delegates were enthralled by this particular session and the conversation could have very easily been extended.
Next year’s U21 Educational Innovation Conference will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh from 28 to 30 October 2015.
One keynote address is below and the others can be accessed via the EI Conference page below.