Michael Cameron: Online vs. blended vs. traditional classes

I’ve been a bit resistant to the increased trend towards ‘flipped classrooms’ and blended learning. For the most part, my resistance was due to a lack of robust research demonstrating that flipped classrooms were more effective (or even equally effective) when compared with ‘traditional’ face-to-face classes. My classes aren’t the traditional chalk-and-talk in any case… Read more

Why Doesn’t Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders? Howard University fights to join the tech boom.

In the fall of 2013 a young software engineer named Charles Pratt arrived on Howard University’s campus in Washington. His employer, Google, had sent him there to cultivate future Silicon Valley programmers. It represented a warming of the Valley’s attitude toward Howard, where more than 8 out of 10 students are black. The chair of the computer science department, Legand Burge, had spent almost a decade inviting… Read more

Public engagement: go forth and mingle – Russel Foster, Oxford university

I learned that there is no shame in not having the answers to all questions…scientists should never be regarded as oracles As with most important aspects of life, my serious involvement with public engagement began with a random occurrence that gave rise to a transformative experience. I had previously undertaken the occasional favour and, armed with Anolis lizards and Siberian hamsters, gone into schools… Read more

Lego at Cambridge is more than child’s play

Not many professorships attract applications before they have even been advertised – and especially not from a nine-year-old boy. But that is what happened when media around the world reported the news earlier this year that the University of Cambridge was going to establish a Lego professorship of play in education, development and learning – endowed in perpetuity with a £2.5 million donation from the Lego… Read more

Book review – Teaching Online: A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice, by Clare Howell Major

Online learning: it’s the latest revolution in higher education, we are told, and it thrills the heart of every vice-chancellor and university director of finance in existence. The argument goes like this. Campus-based learning has become very expensive, and student visas harder to come by. In a globalised, connected society, universities have a nifty workaround available to them in the form of teaching students… Read more

Powerpoint 101: Conciseness is an asset.

Scientists use few pictures and loads of text on their PowerPoint slides. Social scientists take the biscuit with slides with an average number of 55 words. That is 50% more than the suggested maximum. Considering the fact that the audience can easily process pictures in combination with spoken words, but not text, this is an ineffective way of presenting, says Wageningen University researcher Brigitte Hertz. Scientist… Read more

How a cardboard mask is changing the way we view data

The Wall Street Journal took data visualisation a step further recently with the creation of a VR storytelling of the US stock market in  which viewers can “ride” the ups and downs of the recent economic bubble and downturn. The viewer is taken to 1994 at the start of the technology boom and follows the rise and rise toward the apex of the Dot Com Bubble which burst in March, 2000. Using Google CardboardRead more

Could early identification of students at risk of failure be a bad thing?

One of my Summer Research Scholarship students this year, Jacinda Herring, was working on a project on identifying  the characteristics of Waikato Management School students at risk of not completing their degree. The point of the project is, essentially, that if we can identify high-risk students before they start their degree, then we can better target pastoral care or other interventions that might help increase… Read more

Amazon MTurk…The Future of Social Science Research or Academic Disaster?

This week Amazon announced price increases for users of their work sourcing platform MTurk (Mechanical Turk), those hardest hit will be US researchers who use the platform to find and compensate survey takers for research. While many argue this will affect the ability for academics to gather research, others question the quality of research gathered from MTurks’ increasing workforce of professional survey… Read more

The Statistics New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure. What it is, and why you need it.

Andrea Blackburn is the Integrated Data Manager at Statistics New Zealand. What is the IDI? ‘IDI; is in fact the acronym for Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure, but ‘investigate’, ‘develop’ and ‘innovate’ are powerful descriptors for this research-rich resource. The IDI is a database consisting of anonymised linked administrative and survey data at the individual/business level.… Read more