Scoping and designing future online higher education

CHEF talk by visiting fellow Alex Moseley and PhD fellow John Lean

08.02.2017 | Lisbeth Kristine Walakira

Dato tir 28 mar
Tid 14:00 16:00
Sted Aarhus University, Center for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Paludan Müllers Vej 48, 8200 Aarhus N, Room 139 (streamed at Campus Emdrup in room D120).
Tilmelding er lukket

Joint external seminar on future trends and potentials in participatory analogue, digital and online education hosted by Center for Teaching Development and Digital Media in collaboration with the Centre for Higher Education Futures.

This seminar focuses on potentials in adopting more participatory and playful approaches and attitudes when designing for and engaging students in higher education. Particularly, it will focus on the potentials of adopting a participatory playful approach for widening participation in higher education, encouraging student engagement and designing for participation in online education – also on a massive scale such as found in e.g. MOOCs. The seminar itself will give examples of and demonstrate this approach.


14.00: Welcome and introduction

14.05-14.55: “Analogue approaches to digital universities: Exploring university participation through play” with PhD Fellow John Lean, Manchester Metropolitan University

14.55-15.05: Short break & coffee

15.05-16.00: “Scoping and designing future online higher education” with National Teaching Fellow and Head of Curriculum Enhancement Alex Moseley, University of Leicester

16.00-18.00: Wine reception

Talks by:

National Teaching Fellow and Educational Designer Alex Moseley, Leicester Learning Institute, University of Leicester

PhD Fellow John Lean, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University

Alex Moseley: Scoping and designing future online higher education

National Teaching Fellow and Educational Designer, Leicester Learning Institute, University of Leicester.

The online higher education market is expanding across the world, with new providers joining the pre-existing established university and commercial providers. Fuelling this interest has been the rise of MOOCs and other free or cheap online courses, that provide learners with engaging experiences that might not match up well against the more traditional formal degree courses offered online.

This talk & workshop will begin with a board game, used to help course teams design efficient, effective and robust programmes for online and distant learners. Through the game, we will begin to explore the contexts, approaches and technologies that are available to modern higher education providers. Following that, we will discuss the rise of MOOCs, and the lessons they are teaching us about engaging learners through social interaction on a mass scale. I will talk through the approach we are taking within the University of Leicester, the second largest provider of postgraduate distance learning courses (after the Open University) in the UK, to design and deliver a range of different courses, from free to full accredited programmes.

Finally, we will cover authentic approaches to course and assessment design: connecting the curriculum to the modern learner, who is working within their own professional context whilst studying; and who needs their education to connect them into modern professional approaches and skills.

John Lean: Analogue approaches to digital universities: Exploring university participation through play

PhD Fellow, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University

Education and play are both underpinned by questions of participation; what is it to participate in play and education, how do we encourage participation, and how can participation in play encourage participation in education? In UK universities, widening participation to students who historically would not have attended is an accepted political and institutional goal, but is frequently understood as a policy problem solved by ‘raising aspirations’ of school-leavers and attempting to admit a greater number of students from minority groups and low socio-economic backgrounds (Thomas, 2001). This approach is problematic because it uncritically accepts that universities’ cultures and methods are something to be aspired to, and that potential students must adapt in order to be admitted. A more critical approach would focus less upon the process of how universities encourage potential students to participate and more upon how their participation might transform the university itself (Burke, 2012).

By using a concept of participation in play, in particular one focused on the interactions between the ‘magic circle’ and the ‘real world’ (Huizinga, 1970; Salen and Zimmerman, 2003; Consalvo, 2009), and between the digital and the analogue, I will present an approach to better understand widening participation in education. I will use play as a metaphor for the way in which students participate in education, as well as a practical guide for how universities might respond to this by transformingpedagogy.

This approach raises further questions of whether the ‘digital’ aspect of digital play matters, and whether increasing participation in analogue games as well as digital might reflect new forms of participation in play and education. Beyond this, it also encourages a reflection upon the ways in which both digital and analogue play have influenced the beginnings of my own research as an educational practitioner.

In this interactive session, I will present my preliminary thoughts on a design for a playful model to be used with first-year students, before encouraging discussion of digital and analogue play and their roles in widening university participation.


The event will take place at Aarhus University, Center for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Paludan Müllers Vej 48, 8200 Aarhus N in room 139. The talk will also be streamed online and mirrored at DPU, Campus Emdrup, Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Copenhagen NV in room D120.

CHEF, Seminar
Tags: CHEF, Centre for Higher Education Futures, Alex Moseley