Thursday 4th February

1. Simply put, this research paper in the Research in Learning Technology journal by Brendan Humphries and Damien Clark, An examination of student preference for traditional didactic or chunking teaching strategies in an online learning environment, is about a) whether students prefer short bursts of learning, and b) learn more effectively from them: https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/2405  PDF of full article (including a short abstract for those of us who are time-poor) attached below.

2. The latest Pearson-WONKHE research also looks at the world from the student end of the telescope and aims to capture student views on online learning: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/the-expectation-gap-ii-students-hopes-for-learning-and-teaching-in-the-next-normal/ The conclusion is that “the direction of travel in meeting students’ expectations for the future of learning and teaching will be towards a more purposefully flexible approach that draws on the best of both online and face to face learning”. I’ve attached a PDF of the full report below.

3. In interesting contrast, the latest THE (remember what it stands for?) survey looks through the teacher end of the telescope in a survey of university staff on ‘digital teaching’: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/times-higher-educations-digital-teaching-survey-results  It concludes “However fiery the online baptism may have been for universities and their staff, it seems that some aspects of working practices may have been re-forged for the long term.”

4. Last time I linked to a piece from The Daily Mail, I got told off. So, I have my tin hat on in readiness this time round. Here’s the Mail’s piece from today on the slow, sad decline of modern language learning in UK schools and universities: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-9221669/Number-students-accepted-language-degrees-drops-third.html We’re well on our way to becoming a monoglot nation …

5. And, finally, the latest episode of the New York Times ‘5 Minutes That Will Make You Love …’ series, this one on String Quartets: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/arts/music/five-minutes-string-quartet-classical-music.html (Usefully, all the other episodes in the series are linked to in the first paragraph.) I’m listening to it right now.

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