Opportunities and challenges for academic development in a post-digital age

13 November 2014 - 14 November 2014
Location: NCTL Learning and Conference Centre, Nottingham

In the last few years, we have seen significant change in both the technologies available to staff and students in further and higher education (e.g. the growth of tablets) and their applications (e.g. the arguments over the educational value and significance of VLEs and MOOCs). This conference will focus on both challenges and opportunities created by this rapid change, covering themes and questions which are relevant to everyone involved in educational development at module, course, faculty and institutional level.

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Keynote Speakers

Grainne Conole, Director, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

Helen Beetham, Consultant in Higher Education @helenbeetham

Being post-digital: in the wake, in response, in recovery?

Whatever the digital event may have been, we are hardly over it. Digital technologies are deeply rooted in everyday life, including everyday learning. We continue – at least some of us – to be excited at each new generation of digital product. More importantly, there are still narratives of educational change which lean heavily on digital innovation as a driver. But we do seem to have become more at home in the digital revolution. Perhaps we have arrived in calmer waters, from where we can witness that revolution more reflectively and even retrospectively.

This keynote will offer some provocations from the three perspectives suggested by the title. ‘Post’ will be taken first to mean ‘in the wake of‘ the digital. What has happened in education during the last 15-20 years that can be characterised as a ‘digital’ revolution? Can we situate those events in a historical and political as well as in a technological timestream? Second, ‘post’ will be considered as ‘a response to‘ the digital, in the sense that many cultural movements prefixed with ‘post‘ have started out as a critique of their immediate fore-runners. What did the revolution mean for us as educators and developers? Did digital technologies give us a perspective from which to critique established educational practices – and do they still? Or do we now need to turn our critical lens onto digital practice itself and notice where it does and does not support our values? Finally ‘post’ will be considered as a potential recovery programme: given all this, what should we as educational developers do next? The flipped format will mean that delegates and others not enrolled at the conference will receive a series of online provocations in advance, via blog posts and twitter (hashtag #sedapostdigital). The live presentation will include a number of debating points, where selected members of the audience will engage in a short dialogue with the speaker, and other delegates will be asked to consider key issues and respond.

Change Agent Network

Dr Mark J.P. Kerrigan, Director of Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Anglia Ruskin University

Mark Kerrigan is the Director of Teaching, Learning and Assessment for Anglia Ruskin University in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education. He is responsible for fostering excellence in teaching learning and assessment, the design and implementation of strategies to enrich the staff/student experience and has a strong interest in mobile and technology integrated learning. Prior to accepting a position at Anglia Ruskin, he worked for the University of Greenwich in the Educational Development Unit and was a programme leader and Teaching Fellow for the University of Westminster. He is a founding member of the national Students as Change Agents Network and was the project manager for the Jisc Funded Digital Literacies in Higher Education project. Previously, he led the iPad in Science project, and was a member of the core team as part of the Jisc funded project, Making Assessment Count. He developed MapMyProgramme, an open-source tool to support the holistic design of assessment, and was award a prize by ALT- C/Google for this work. Mark is a Co-Conveyor for the Society of Research into Higher Education, Newer Researchers’ Network and Managing Editor for the: The Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change.

Dr Peter Chatterton

Peter is a consultant and academic whose work spans higher and further education, Government and industry. He has worked with over 30 universities and key educational agencies, supporting them in programmes of innovation and change for educational transformation – using new technologies as the catalyst. He currently works with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (Changing the Learning Landscape programme), the HEA, Jisc and QAA Scotland (developing resources that support institutions in implementing flexible curricula) and has been instrumental in setting up the student Change Agent Network. He has also worked with HEFCE, HEFCW, Becta and LSIS and has published many papers, books and good practice guides in relation to adoption of new technologies in teaching and learning. See www.daedalus-e-world.com for further info

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS IS NOW OVERIn the last few years, we have seen significant change in both the technologies available to staff and students in further and higher education (e.g. the growth of tablets) and their applications (e.g. the arguments over the educational value and significance of VLEs and MOOCs). This conference will focus on both challenges and opportunities created by this rapid change, covering themes and questions which are relevant to everyone involved in educational development at module, course, faculty and institutional level:

  • At the last SEDA conference on new technologies in 2011, we heard that e-learning should be regarded by educational developers as “the way learning should be understood – and supported – in a context saturated with digital technologies.” (from the keynote by Helen Beetham). Have we responded effectively to that challenge?
  • What are the most promising ways of incorporating new technologies? As well as major national initiatives from JISC and HEA, other professional bodies in higher education have experimented with new approaches (e.g. the ocTEL MOOC from ALT and work by ALDinHE on software such as WordPress). Teams of academics and educational developers increasingly employ open educational practices. Recent course examples involving SEDA members include BYOD4L (Bring your own device for learning), the third iteration of FDOL (Flexible, Distance and Online Learning) – both of which sit uncomfortably with the term MOOC – and Global Dimensions in HE (links at the end of this paper).
  • Digital technologies have become ubiquitous. Our students and our colleagues are typically equipped with devices that allow them to be permanently connected and also increasingly digitally literate, in more and more cases digitally fluent. So do we still have to worry about these technologies, in terms of access or expertise? These concerns may be diminishing but how should we check the assumptions we make about our learners and their capacities/capabilities?
  • Initiatives such as the recent JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme suggest a number of important agendas for educational development. We may now be entering a post-digital age, where the technology is so prevalent that it no longer can be considered as an add-on or luxury, but as embedded. We no longer talk about library-enhanced learning, although libraries and their successors are vital tools and environments for learning. As we move further in this direction, what are the implications for educational and curriculum development in higher education? For example, a more useful focus of our development effort may be on the ways in which we can use the introduction of digital technologies as tools for analysing, critiquing and reconceptualising educational and development processes previously treated as largely unproblematic.
  • Another important trend is the increasingly ‘bottom-up’, peer-enabled nature of academic development, and in particular of uses of technology. How can developers best understand and manage the relations between top-down and bottom-up innovation?
  • The increasing overlap between various development functions in higher education requires greater co-operation and partnership between services – academic development, learning technology, student development, organisation development and others. How do we build appropriate collaborations, both within and across institutions?


  • Recent, current and likely future developments in technologies which have important implications for the thinking and the practice of educators and developers
  • Effective educational practice which embeds digital literacy and fluency in the practice of both staff and students
  • Innovative practice in educational development which takes advantage of new technologies as tools for thought and action
  • Supporting and encouraging integration and co-operation between the growing number of development functions now commonplace in HE
  • Strategies and techniques for the critical and effective embedding of new approaches which make appropriate use of technologies

Session Formats

We are particularly interested in posters and hands-on demonstrations which explore and demonstrate:

  • Innovative methods of educational development with particular emphasis on the effective and appropriate application of new technologies.
  • Ways of moving from small-scale innovation / development to integrated and embedded practice.
  • New approaches to theory and practice, and the relationships between them, in an emergent post-digital age.

  • Evaluation of technologies and their impact on learning and development.

Pecha Kucha: sessions will be on offer during the poster and demonstrations of online applications. We are inviting submissions on the theme – What does digital literacy/literacies mean to you? – Which will follow the strict rules on format and timing, namely 20 slides x 20 seconds each = 6mins 40secs.

Posters: the maximum size of a poster should be A1. Posters will be available for participants to view throughout the conference. Additionally, there will be a timetabled poster session when presenters should be available to discuss the content with conference participants. Presenters may wish to demonstrate some aspects of the poster topic on mobile devices.

Demonstrations:This session will also enable participants to demonstrate particular online applications and initiatives which reflect the main conference themes.

Criteria for acceptance of proposals

Each proposal will be reviewed for acceptance at the conference against the following criteria:

  • Active and productive engagement of participants
  • Relevance to the conference title and themes
  • Clarity and coherence of the proposal, including title
  • Contribution to scholarship and evaluation of educational development in further and higher education, reflecting on and informing the future of educational development
  • Appropriateness of session structure and specified timings in relation to session type
  • Likely value of session aims and outcomes to the participants
  • Consistency with the SEDA Values

Submitting your proposal

Proposals should be submitted electronically to SEDA at office@seda.ac.uk, using the proposal form , by Friday 11th July 2014. It is normal practice to accept only one contribution per individual so as to provide the opportunity for as many people to contribute as possible. It is a requirement that all presenters register as conference delegates either for the whole event or for the day of their session.


You can find further information on the initiatives mentioned above as follows:

ocTEL: http://octel.alt.ac.uk

ALDinHE: http://aldinheprofdev.wordpress.com

BYOD4L: http://byod4learning.wordpress.com/

FDOL: http://fdol.wordpress.com/

Global Dimensions in HE: http://globaldimensionsinhe.wordpress.com/

JISC Developing Digital Literacies Programme: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/developingdigitalliteracies.aspx

HEA Digital Literacy in the Disciplines: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/digital-literacies



Early bird price*

Standard price

Full residential conference delegate (includes one night’s accommodation and all meals, including the conference dinner)**



Student Concessionary Full residential conference delegate (includes one night’s accommodation and all meals, including the conference dinner) Available to Full Time Students Only** £340 £390

Non-residential day delegate Thursday 13th November (includes lunch and refreshments)



Student Concessionary Non-residential day delegate Thursday 13th November (includes lunch and refreshments) Available to Full Time Students Only £128 £150

Non-residential day delegate Friday 14th November (includes lunch and refreshments)



Student Concessionary Non-residential day delegate Friday 14th November (includes lunch and refreshments) Available to Full Time Students Only £128 £150

Bed and breakfast accommodation for the night of Wednesday 12th November



Conference dinner Thursday 13th November



* Early bird has expired

Conference Handbook We will be holding our Annual Fellowships CPD Event the evening prior to the ConferenceDay One09.15 – 09.45 Registration and tea & coffee09.45 – 10.00 Welcome and Introductions10.00 – 11.00 Opening Keynote Address Grainne Conole, Director, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester11.00 – 11.25 Break11.25 – 12.10 Parallel Session 1

    1. Rhetoric and reality: The drive of learning technology and its implications for academic development Kathryn James
    2. Structuring creative collaboration: considering the potential of Xerte to facilitate and support active, inquiry-based partnership learning Neil McPherson, Gordon Heggie
    3. #10Dot: Evaluation and experience of running and online Twitter Training Course Chris Rowell, Helen Webster
    4. Can online support make a positive difference to curriculum planning? Gunter Saunders, Peter Hartley, Peter Chatterton

    4A.Open cross-institutional academic CPD, expectations and value: a recent example Chrissi Nerantzi, Sue Beckingham

12.15-13.00 Parallel Session 2

    1. Using new technologies to support a student partnership approach to building Academic Development within Peer Mentoring Ruth Allen, Gabriele Neher
    2. Working in a “third space” to create an institutional framework to underpin use of audio and video Rebecca Dearden
    3. Implementing the new Blended Learning George Roberts, Richard Francis, Mary Deane
    4. Exploring the use of ICT and Digital Media to support the development of Learning to Learn competencies and Transition into Higher Education: a cross European perspective Alison Hudson, Neil Taylor

13.00-14.00 Lunch13.30-14.00 New to SEDA? Come and find out morePam Parker & Stephen Bostock (Co-chairs SEDA)14.00-15.30 Parallel Session 3

    1. Exploring the highs and lows of developing, organising and running an online conference for the CPD Lecturers Rehana Awan, Linda Robson
    2. A ‘Menu’ of teaching approaches to transform engagement with technology-enhances learning Stuart Hepplestone, Ian Glover
    3. The challenges and opportunity of redrafting and re-crafting the existing blended course for solely online delivery Dejun Ljubojevic, Diogo Casanova
    4. Visioning the Digital University – from institutional strategy to academic practice Sheila MacNeill, Bill Johnston, Keith Smyth
    5. Enhancing the Personal in Learning Environment and Experiences Brian Whalley

15.30-16.30 Network

    Getting Published with SEDA James Wisdom (Chair, Educational Developments Magazine Editorial Committee)

    SEDA PDF: SEDA programme leaders and potential programme leaders

    This is an opportunity for colleagues to learn more about the SEDA award recognition and programme review processes. Programme leaders will be invited to share their experiences of running a SEDA programme with potential programme leaders so if you are thinking about developing a SEDA programme or would like to raise issues (positive and challenging) about running such a programme, we would be delighted if you would join us.

    SEDA PDF: SEDA Accreditors and Mentors

    SEDA programme accreditors and mentors are invited to attend this session as part of their continuing professional development in these roles.

    Introduction to SEDA and SEDA Fellowships

    Poster Session


    • Learning to love technology Deena Ingham
    • A model for supporting the professional development of researchers using online planning tools and social media Jen Reynolds
    • Bringing learning alive using augmented reality (AR) Dee Vyas, Nillan Fakira

16.30-17.15 Parallel Session 4

    1. Tutor: Participant (student) e-journaling as an effective tool for academic identity work: but whose academic identity work Clare Kell, Cath Camps
    2. Wired for sound – how using audio has changed my feedback for ever Claire Beecroft,
    3. Extending educational development through accredited open online courses – ‘non-traditional participants’ perspectives on a UK PSF Descripter 1 (M)OOC Neil Currant, Elizabeth Lovegrove, Cat Taylor, Chijioke Nwalozie
    4. Digital Switchover: exploring the UK Quality Code for Higher Education as a resource to support academic practice Harriet Barnes, Tim Burton

18.30-19.00 SEDA Museum of Educational Curiosity19.00 Drinks Reception and Book Launch20.00 Dinner

    Day Two

09.15-09.30 Welcome to day 209.30-10.30 Keynote Address: Being post-digital: in the wake, in response, in recovery?Helen Beetham, Consultant in Higher Education10.30-10.55 Break10.55-12.25 Parallel Session 5

      1. Flipping Technology Giles Martin
      2. Natives and Immigrants – How can the improvement of ‘digital literacy’ be actioned Joanne Smailes
      3. “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin badges!” Phil Vincent, Daniel Mackley, Arielle Redman, Emma Beresford

      1. Hands-on practice – using the Polleverywhere Electronic voting System as a tool for student engagement in the classroom Darren Gash

      1. Techniques for online teaching and collaboration using webinar and desktop conferencing tools Sandra Partington

12.30-13.25 Lunch13.25-14.10 Parallel Session 6

      1. Surviving and thriving in the new ecologies of academic development in the post-digital university David Baume
      2. More than just a postcard from Cyprus: lessons from a staff development programme with an overseas partner Peter Lumsden, Kevan Williams
      3. Is it possible to be smart? – addressing the inevitabilites, opportunities and challenges of expanding the learning environment with BYOD Andrew Middleton
      4. Opportunities and obstacles to developing teachers’ learning, networking and active presence through an online Pg Cert HE Helen Pokorny, Frederica Oradini, Anna Caballo
      5. Concept and mind mapping – visual strategies to enhance student and staff learning Peter Hartley
      6. How to share good practice with busy academics in a large University Kieran Kelly

14.10-14.20 Tea and Coffee14.20-15.20 Closing Keynote – Change Agent Network15.20-15.30 Summing up and close