Innovating e-Learning 2009 Online Conference: Thriving, not just surviving!

Last week Kathryn Trinder presented a live session at the JISC “Innovating e-Learning 2009 Online Conference: Thriving, not just surviving!“.

Placed in Theme 2 alongside John Kirriemuir, the two sessions looked at how virtual worlds such as Second Life are currently being used in the UK and beyond.

Choosing the best virtual world for your teaching needs” John Kirriemuir (Consultant at

Exploring the potential of virtual worlds for teaching and learning” Kathryn Trinder (Glasgow Caledonian University)

Kathryn talked about just some of the work that has been taking place at GCU exploring the potential of the virtual world Second Life for Learning & Teaching. Her presentation consisted of several pre recorded interviews where she chatted, in Second Life, to lecturers and staff about their work and some of their thoughts and findings from the projects. The presentation can be found here: The individual interviews can be seen here:

In January JISC will make available access to the recorded session, along with summaries of the asynchrounous discussions.

With thanks to:

The SL Team in the School of Health (,
David Moffat in Computing & Engineering
Michael Bromby in Law
Frank Brown in CRLL
The CU There Team (


Horizons Reading Group meeting: 24 September

The date of the next Horizons Reading Group is Thursday, 24 September from 15:30 to 16:30 in the Caledonian Academy, Level 1, William Harley Building at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The topic of the meeting is: “Autonomous Learning”

We will discuss the following paper:

Hughes, P. (2003). Autonomous learning zones. In Proceedings of the Biannual Conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Padova, Italy, August 26-30.


There are several overlapping themes in contemporary and classic philosophy of education, student learning and educational development literatures, relating to the educational advantages and pedagogic strategies for developing independence and autonomy in learners in higher education (HE). This paper reviews and clarifies the theoretical and philosophical meaning and justification for autonomy in learning. It introduces the concept of ‘autonomous learning zones’.  Throughout the paper, the term ‘autonomy’ is favoured over ‘independence’. ‘Independent study’ as a term has become on the one hand associated with the idea of a solitary student (Tait and Knight, 1995), but also suffers from vastly different interpretations and misconceptions in the practitioner realm, where it may be used interchangeable with other terms like ‘distance learning’, ‘resource-based learning’ and ‘self-directed study’ (Gilham, 1995), all of which may actually occur in very dependent learning environments.  The root meaning of ‘autonomy’ on the other hand, is self-government (Mele, 1995) and while not precluding individualism, it implies choice or agency that is likely to involve social aspects – a relational autonomy (Mackenzie and Stoljar, 2000).  The paper outlines a range of approaches that might help to develop autonomy in learners. It considers the structural and cultural factors of HE systems that may militate against learner autonomy.

If you would like to join the group, to book a place please contact Frieda Callaghan of the Caledonian Academy; telephone: 0141 273 1319

International research collaborations

On May 8, 2009, Allison Littlejohn and Anoush Margaryan visited the Centre of Social Innovation (CSI) in Vienna to discuss a potential joint research project under the upcoming ICT call of the European Framework Programme 7.   Participating colleagues included Barbara Kieslinger and Sebastian Fiedler (CSI), Jan van Bruggen (Center for Learning Sciences and Technologies, Open University of the Netherlands), Liisa Ilomaki (Centre for Research on Networked Learning and Knowledge Building, University of Helsinki) and Gernot Tscherteu (RealityLab, Austria).

Paper presented at Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC) 2009 Conference

On April 28, 2009 Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn presented a paper titled “Self-regulated learning and knowledge sharing in the workplace” at the 2009 International Conference on Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

OLKC is the leading international conference for researchers in the fields of organisational knowledge and learning.

The paper reports early findings of a study exploring how experts in a global multinational oil and gas company self-regulate their learning. It investigates experts’ perceptions of the impact of knowledge sharing on their learning and work. Findings indicate that self-regulated learning (SRL) is a highly social process that is structured by and deeply integrated with work tasks. Experts tend to draw heavily upon their personal networks of trusted colleagues in the process of diagnosing and attaining their learning goals. In contradiction to existing models, SRL in the workplace does not appear to be a clearly delineated, linear process comprised of discrete stages. The paper outlines some directions for further research in this area.

The slides of the presentation are available.