XJTLU Day Six - Learning and Teaching Colloquium 2


Anna and I had to get a taxi into the AEC as Roland was in early making final preparations. The second day of the colloquium begins with technology enhanced learning showcase. Based around the idea of speed dating, the room is arranged with eight different tables each with a presenter and a 3D icon hanging over the table to indicate the topic. A buzzer would sound after 15 minutes indicating that people should move to the next table to hear a presenter. The presentations were varied including case studies on flipped learning, video assessment and peer feedback to name a few. Whats striking for me is there was a buzz and energy to the room. To be clear the room was expertly laid out with attention to detail, there was plenty of coffee, fruit juice and croissants and pastries for those that skipped breakfast for the early start. There was something else though....the faint pulse of electronic music in the background helping to make this event feel like an event. I really enjoyed this event and heard great presentation on the topic of peer assessment using WebPA, student generated video assessments, and Mooodle mobile quizzes for in class interaction.

Demo of 360 video on iPad at XJTLU TEL showcase

After a break, we are back into normal conference format.  Bin Zou from the Language Centre presented research on language support effectiveness and the contrasting perceptions of XJTLU and UoL academic staff on key academic skills. For me it was useful to hear that there is a wide range of group activities offered to home and XJTLU students especially from our Science and Engineering departments. The suggestion being that more opportunities for group work between the students has a positive impact on Chinese students In addition, positive results from those students who had done well in EAP (English Academic Practice) also did well in the 'demanding'  academic environment. But it seems there is much to explore in this and it would be useful to get a little more context, as there were negative results as well. in particular, Liverpool staff perceptions of XJTLU academic skills scored lower scores that XJTLU staff. Overall, a very useful presentation and one that warrants a follow up. Watch the presentation here.

Ying Guo on factors affecting the use and adoption of mobile technologies

Next up was a fascinating presentation from a PHD student, Ying Guo, looking into the factors affecting use and adoption of mobile technologies. The survey selected students from XJTLU and neighbour Suzhou University. The standout findings for me were that there were perceived benefits from the students in terms of accessing learning resources. However, there was some scepticism from academic staff who suggested that there were too many distractions and it was hard to systematise learning using mobile technologies. Most used apps or web pages were English language and dictionaries. Watch the presentation here


The day ended with a nice lunch in a room near the AEC. I got to chat with staff from France, Pakistan and Scotland! I also had time to speak with Janet Thistlethwaite, Director of Academic Affairs, who shared some Shanghai tips with me. The colloquium was closed by Vice Preseident Professor Andre Brown presenting awards to academic considered to have been outstanding teachers. It was great to see so many staff getting recognition for their work.

Roland invited me to meet with the elearning team from University of Nottingham's Nigbo campus.  This meeting was a new venture between the two universities, which both use Moodle for their VLE, to forge better links between the two. The team was  led by Clayton Austin. He's just started working at the university having previously spent time at Cengage and taught in K12.  I spent most of the meeting listening as it was interesting to hear key issues in their working practice. The main one they were wrestling with was autonomy of the VLE. Unlike XJTLU, they use the same system as their English counterpart but found it difficult to try things new technologies out or initiate change as they had to be the same as the host. They candidly shared the issues they come across as a result. Envious of the on hand tech support they need and the flexibility to add or customise their moodle set up. 

James and Dawn took me out for a few beers at their local bar the Rainbow. The chatter was good and James brought along a mini boom box so we could listen to some tunes while we chatted. Earth Wind and Fire no less!  A few XJTLU colleagues joined us over the duration of the evening. I met arrogant American teachers, Dutch artists, Mexican teachers and Geordie expats . All were welcoming and friendly - great company and very generous. Typically I was last to leave and felt a little delicate the next day.