07 March 2016

computer data representationA group of leading experts in digital learning from across the world are visiting UniSA this week to help outline the evolving role digital learning is playing, from the lecture hall  to the modern economy.

Through UniSA’s Digital Learning Week (March 8-18th), the visiting scholars will stage keynote addresses, learning cafés, workshops and other opportunities for staff to experiment with emerging learning technologies and to gain a better understanding of the research and innovations that are informing the future of learning in universities such as UniSA.

UniSA’s Professor Shane Dawson, Professor George Siemens from the University of Texas at Arlington and Professor Dragan Gasevic from the University of Edinburgh have worked to bring the international team of researchers together this week.

With presentations on subjects including technologies to support self-directed learning through social interaction, Big Data, learning analytics and algorithmic accountability, to panel discussions on effective blended/ online teaching, the 10-day long symposium will see multiple events scheduled across all university campuses, with some available via virtual classroom.

A presentation on March 9th: Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: The Role of Mindfulness in a Digital Age, will review the theory and research on mindfulness and its relationship with self-regulation and psychological well-being, in the context of teaching and learning and the ways in which technology can both enhance and interfere with these practices.

“The world is digitising and higher education is not immune to this transition, as we are moving from a knowledge revolution to a learning revolution,” says Professor Siemens.

“The trend is underway and seems to be accelerating, and it is clear that academic organisations are required to facilitate the advancement and adoption of digital learning research.

“Higher education leaders around the world are facing the difficult challenge of re-architecting the university to reflect the modern economy and the digital age. This learning week will enable time to evaluate the scope of changes facing higher education and to explore ways that universities can respond to ensure continued research and education excellence.”

The group of 16 national and international researchers who will be visiting UniSA have extensive expertise in the fields of learning analytics, computer supported collaborative learning, networked learning, artificial intelligence, learning sciences, e-learning, natural language processing, complex systems and more.

Professor Dawson says it is the first time the multi-disciplinary group will come together to initiate a roadmap of collective research and innovation as well as aid the promotion and effective adoption of digital learning strategies.

“The digital learning week is one of many new initiatives at UniSA that reflect the University’s commitment to support its staff and students in experimenting and transitioning to new modes of learning and teaching practice,” Prof Dawson says.

“The digital learning week provides a unique opportunity for university staff across Adelaide to connect and engage with renowned international and national experts.”

Media contact: Will Venn office +61 883020096 mob 0401366054 email will.venn@unisa.edu.au

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