|Ally Howe on Jazz violin|
The VC was followed by Ally Howe on Jazz violin, playing what sounded to me like an upbeat interpretation of Ashokan Farewell.
|Ally Howe on Jazz violin|
speaking in the ANU Moot Court.
Photo by Tom Worthington, CC-BY 30 March 2022
|Information Warfare Division, |
Australian Department of Defence
In the Q&A I asked if Australian could learn from the information warfare situation in Europe. Mr Myroshnychenko replied that Australia could play a useful role countering Russian propaganda in the Pacific. Also Dr Robert Horvath, La Trobe University, suggested Australia could learn from Estonia's experience countering cyber attacks.
His Excellency Ambassador Shingo Yamagami spoke first, emphasizing he was giving his own views, not necessarily those of the Japanese government. He pointed out that China's nuclear arsenal was growing, without any international agreements in place to curb expansion. Also he pointed out the irony that if Ukraine had not surrendered the nuclear weapons on its territory at the end of the USSR, Russia would be hesitant to invade. "The penalty for complacency on nuclear weapons is, quite simply, extinction".
Dennis Richardson, former Secretary of the Australian Department of Defence pointed out that operational matters for Australia's military can quickly become policy issues. He used the example of an Australian warship operating with the US 7th fleet, in the region. As he pointed out this might seem a routine matter, but the fleet could be called into action at any time, and Australia could not simply withdraw its ship. On a personal note I saw this first had, when I spent the day on the 7th Fleet Flagship. Working on as a civilian IT expert for the Australian DoD, I was visiting my US counterpart, a naval officer. While this a joint training exercise, it was clear the fleet was ready to go to war at any time. If they did, I would have to go with them, in my borrowed uniform.Dr Oriana
Skylar Mastro, from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University erased the idea of international alliances covering non military matters. One example was if China threatened to stop their students coming to Australia, the USA would ban them. Dennis Richardson pointed out that the USA and Australia have interpreted their alliance as covering cyber attacks.
Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation, table of contents for the free HTML version:
Chancellor Bishop opening the
Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Colloquium
"Day 1: A diplomatic perspective from Europe
Panel 1: Collective responses to shared challenges
- H.E. Dr Michael Pulch, Ambassador of the European Union
- H.E. Mr Michał Kołodziejski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland
- H.E. Ms Satu Mattila-Budich, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland
- H.E. Ms Kersti Eesmaa, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia
Panel 2: The future of Europe’s security architecture
- H.E. Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador of the French Republic
- H.E. Ms Pernille Dahler Kardel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark
- H.E. Dr Thomas Fitschen, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
- H.E. Ms Betty Bernardica Pavelich, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia
Day 2: Liberal democracies and threats to the rules-based international order
Date and time: 30 March, 9.30am-4.30pm
Australia’s leading authorities on Eastern Europe will examine Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from political, strategic, historical and cultural angles, and will reflect on the possible threat the conflict poses to the rules-based international order.
The speakers include Dr Robert Horvath (La Trobe University), Prof Paul Dibb (ANU), A/Prof William Partlett (The University of Melbourne), Dr Stephen Fortescue (UNSW), Mr Petr Kuzmin (President of Svoboda Alliance VIC), Mr Bertil Wenger (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung), Dr Matthew Sussex (Australian Defence College), Dr Sonia Mycak (ANU), Dr Elena Govor (ANU).
See the program and speakers here."
EY Global Education Leader
In "Are universities of the past still the future?" Ernst & Young (34 pages, 19 Jan 2022 ), argue that the sift to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is just the start of change in post-school learning. EY suggest this threatens institutions unable to change. However, I suggest the move online happened years before COVID-19. Students were mostly studying online, the pandemic forced institutions to formalize this change. While presenting some challenges well, EY have the wrong solutions. Instead of EY's old fashioned big corporation thinking, I suggest taking an agile entrepreneurial approach instead.
One intriguing idea the EY authors present is that we have reached "peak education", in developed countries. The idea being than like “peak oil” we have reached the point where all those who need a university degree are getting it, and there will not be an increasing supply of international students to fund expansion. While intriguing, this is nonsense. There is still demand for education, perhaps in a different form, domestic, and international. Already Australian international student numbers have bounced back. Initiatives such as the Australian and Indian governments faciliting mutual qualifications recognition will open new markets for Australian education.
It is generous of EY to present some options for future universities. But it is not as if academics themselves have been backward about inventing new educational options. Ten years ago I decided to give up giving lectures, and move my teaching online. Around the same time I decided examinations were not a good form of assessment. Rather than throwing me out, my colleagues shrugged and accepted this, provided I could meet the required quality standards. After seven years training, mostly online at Australian and North American universities, I had a reasonable idea of how to teach in a flipped blended mode. Then COVID-19 struck, and this became an essential way to do education. Even the most recalcitrant professor did not refuse, they covered their chalkboards and started using Zoom.
EY ask five questions:
Athabasca University as announced McDonald’s employees will be able to get a degree while they work. Many jokes are possible: "Hamburger University", "Do you want fries with that degree?", but this is a worthwhile initiative. The students will undertake McDonald’s Canada Management Development program, and get credit towards a business related degree.
Students are already encouraged to undertake work integrated learning. However, it is extremely resource intensive for universities to vet individual employers, and supervise the students on placements. It is difficult to find employers willing to go to the trouble to be part of the program. It is also difficult for students to make the connection between what they are studying and their work. A program which the employer has which is designed for learning make things much easier.
This is not the first Canadian institution to have an agreement with MacDonald's, Ontario colleges already has a deal.
And there is no risk that if I ask for a replacement MEd certificate, it will not say "Hamburger University". ;-)
|Hot Air Balloon Over Canberra, |
Photo by Tom Worthington CC-by 3.0 1996
Train, the teaching staff to teach, with an AQF certificate in education.
Train, the teaching staff to teach, with an AQF certificate in education.
Then teach the students to be professionals, who take responsibility for their learning. Have them undertake group project work from their first year.
Worthington, T. (2019, December). Blend and Flip for Teaching Communication Skills to Final Year International Computer Science Students. In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Education (TALE) (pp. 1-5). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/TALE48000.2019.9225921
COVID-19 closing campuses has caused many to ask what universities are for. This event answers one of those questions: at times of crisis, universities provide experts, with a depth of experience, to help answer very difficult questions. It is easy to dismiss the views of academics, but some of us have direct experience of working in defence organisations.
During the pandemic academic conferences transitioned well to an online format. Keynotes worked fine, as did panel sessions. ASCILITE 2020 & ASCILITE 2021, made a good attempt at including a casual get together. EDUtech Asia did reasonable well with commercial online conferences, with sponsored round-table sessions.
However, hybrid events which offered both in-person and online options did not work so well. This requires organizers to work very hard balancing the needs of in-person and online participants. Perhaps as more experience is gained with this workable formats will be found.
|Frank R. Castelli, |
Castelli and Sarvary suggest not requiring camera use, but instead encourage it, with the instructor detailing why it is important for communication. They also suggest the use of active learning techniques. I suggest is good advice: if you are providing a boring old fashioned one way lecture, the students might as well be watching a recorded video.
More significantly, the authors also suggest allowing students to provide input by polling, discussion boards, shared documents, and the text chat feature in the video conference system. I suggest these options need special attention, as they challenge the idea that a video conference is best for learning, as it emulates a face to face classroom.
I challenged the assumption that videoconferencing provides synchronous learning in a 2013 paper, arguing that neither face to face or video conference provide "synchronous" learning, nor is this best. Just because students are hearing and seeing the save thing at approximately the same time, they are not necessarily learning that. The approach I suggested was "synchronized", where occasionally the instructor checks where the students are up to. Tools such as polling, discussion boards, shared documents, and the text chat feature in the video conference system exhibit these features.
In the case of polling, the instructor will usually give students a deadline by which to complete the poll, and at that time report the results. While they are completing the poll the students are studying asynchronously, on their own. At the deadline, the students synchronize with the instructor. The same approach is commonly used with discussion boards, shared documents, and text chat. Students submit their contribution up to a deadline, then the contributions are summarized.
Rather than see students not wishing to appear on video as anomalous, and attempt this behavior, I suggest designing courses which assume asynchronous participation as the norm, and synchronous as an occasional adjunct.
Castelli, F. R., & Sarvary, M. A. (2021). Why students do not turn on their video cameras during online classes and an equitable and inclusive plan to encourage them to do so. Ecology and Evolution, 11(8), 3565-3576. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7123
Worthington, T. (2013, April). Synchronizing asynchronous learning-Combining synchronous and asynchronous techniques. In 2013 8th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (pp. 618-621). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCSE.2013.6553983
|Katharine Gelber, |
University of Queensland
The author's conclusion is that "These results on student evaluations are only depressing if you thought they were an objective measure of teaching quality". But who in any service delivery industry would think a consumer survey is an objective measure? Like any consumer survey, the results will reflect the biases of those surveyed. That the quantitative results are consistent is a positive result, and should be enough to use the surveys as a early warning indicator of a problem with a course or teachers.
If the numbers for one course or teacher is very low, then there is a reason to check why. But sifting through what students write on surveys to decide if one teacher is slightly better than another is nuts. Also such a survey should have nothing to do with the amount of time a teacher spends teaching. They should spend the time needed to meet learning outcomes for students, which have nothing to do with a popularity poll.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a natural experiment on the value of online learning. As well as the effectiveness of this form of learning Heller, Sun, Guo and Malik, estimate it has saved about 8,000 kg CO2e per international student (2022). The authors used a relatively simplistic methodology, assuming on-campus international students travel to the city their institution is exclusively for the purposes of study. If an internaional student also works during their study, as many do, then the emissions from their travel can;t be attributed entirely to study. Also it is assumed that the university doesn't produce any extra emissions in providing education, on campus or online, compared to that of the average resident. The authors are advocates for the campus-less university. However, such a university still needs staff and equipment somewhere, which will product emissions. Also students studying will produce emissions.
Heller RF, Sun YY, Guo Z and Malik A. Impact on carbon emissions of online study for a cohort of overseas students: A retrospective cohort study [version 5; peer review: 2 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. F1000Research 2022, 10:849 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.55156.5)