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#THETA2015 thoughts and reflections

THETA 2015 was an amazing conference, one of the best I have been to, full of learning and networking across IT, education, research and the library world. 

Top 5 take home points:

  • Adopt a Knowledge Centered Support approach to service desk and self-help to increase support satisfaction and reduce support ticket numbers. 
  • Libraries now using systems that can scan research literature to reveal research frontiers and trends - offering as a service to researchers and research students.
  • For Australian universities CAUDIT offers many services e.g. procurement.
  • Specialised platforms integrated using standards such as Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) will replace monolithic learning management systems.
  • Look into and study (if you have time) Learning Sciences: EG it tells us that studying the same content in two different rooms will improve performance in an exam covering that content AND that underlining text in a book while studying doesn't help to remember it - it tells the brain the concept is important but to revisit rather than remember. Learning requires doing something with the knowledge.

Some sessions I attended:

Perception and Reality: Student IT and Digital Literacy Skills in the Digital Age

University of Western Australia

Digital skills at UWA emphasise

  • online self help
  • embedded support in curriculum
  • drop-in workshops as well as "pop-up" e.g. at a table outside in busy areas/times.
  • Digital literacy framework (Get IT, Build IT, Use IT)

Rethinking staff learning through collaborative online technology and the peer learning experience


The framework that was used for this project:

Learning Sciences & the Impact on Learning Technologies and Learning Activities
Phil Long, Associate Vice Provost for Learning Sciences, University of Texas at Austin

This keynote highlighted how important it is for Learning Sciences to guide ICT innovation in education. I would highly recommend following up on any of Phil's work you can get your hands on. From what he told me he hasn't written a book yet, so hunt around for papers.

Smart and Connected Campus and how it delivers an improved student experience

David Gibson

Knowledge Centred Support within a Service Management Framework

Debate: Reimaging the University Helpdesk for the Next Generation of Digital Research Skills

I like their Speed Dating approach to introducing researchers to various ICT's.

Dr. Xiaolin Zhang, Director, National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Science

Through targeted analysis of huge amounts of data using ICT the Chinese Academy of Science Library can provide meta information services to its research community, such as trends or new frontiers in research.

Dancing to the same tune: how can local and central IT teams work together effectively to enable and transform teaching, learning and research?

Strategic Collaborative Procurement


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