Contact works in multiple ways: online learning communities in higher education

Online conference by Dr Jen Ross, University of Edinburgh

Wednesday 27 April, 10:00 to 11:30 am, online

The Manifesto for Teaching Online (2020) makes a number of claims about the value and potential of digital education. One of the most important is that "contact works in multiple ways. Face-time is over-valued". This talk is a deep dive into this claim, exploring current thinking and practice from online higher education contexts, and research into networked learning, virtual communities and post-digital education. It argues that meaningful, engaging and sustainable communities can be at the heart of digital education practice, but such communities do not emerge from attempts to copy ‘what works’ from a face-to-face setting. The nature of time and space, contact and interaction, and knowledge sharing is different in mediated settings, and designing for digital communities requires attention to those differences.

Dr Jen Ross is co-director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She developed and directs the new MSc in Education Futures at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and has more than 15 years’ experience as an online teacher and course developer on the MSc in Digital Education. She publishes, teaches and supervises on topics including education and learning futures, speculative methods, museum and gallery learning and engagement, surveillance cultures in education, the impact and pedagogy of MOOCs and open education, and student and teacher experiences of online distance learning. She is co-author of The Manifesto for Teaching Online (MIT Press, 2020), and author of the forthcoming book Digital Futures for Learning: Speculative Methods and Pedagogies (Routledge).


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Registration deadline: 1 day prior to the event for participation online

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