Research Bulletin

Filed Under (General, Research) by elearning4bradford on 04-10-2009

The first issue of the Bradford College Research Bulletin is now available, see here

Further progress on Sri Lanka partnership

Filed Under (General, Research) by elearning4bradford on 28-09-2009

Wednesday saw our colleagues Saluka and Manisha delivering an excellent presentation to a small group about the direction of the Academy of Design. Noting their focus on ethical manufacturing processes within the textile industry I asked Dr Khosro Jahdi from our Masters in International Marketing team to join us for the morning session. There was much discussion about the event in Colombo the big Fashion Show planned for the last week in November. Dr Jahdi was keen to be involved and, from his perspective of an expert in corporate social responsibility, felt that there was a common interest amongst all parties. Colleagues from our art and design school provided further support. This looks like an exciting strand to the future work.

Sri Lankan connections made

Filed Under (General, Research, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 28-09-2009

On Tuesday I spent time hosting two visitors from the Academy of Design in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Saluka Kotagama Principal and Manisha Gunawardane – Head of the Centre for Creative Enterprise. I gave a brief outline of my role and that of learning resources before we made our way to visit the VLE team in their office at Grove Library’s Victory room, for a demonstration of our Second Life and OpenSim activity. The project that is being set up has a focus on fashion design a real strength of the Academy of Design. We were particularly interested in merging the fashion design aspects with the use of live avatars in the virtual world. We were also intersted in how Moodle might be used to support collaborative learning between our two institutions. To set the ball rolling Tim gave a wonderful account of the history of Second Life, tracing the context and explaining some of the important detail. He then demonstrated an animated cat-walk along with lighting and effects. This served to ignite the discussion and a number of ideas were identified as possible ways forward. Richard took us through the latest developments with Moodle and there were some areas where collaboration with Srinreth the moodle support person at the AoD could be taken further. This work promises much for the future. Many thanks to Tim for the work he put in to making his get off to a great start.

Research Conference Announcement

Filed Under (Events, General, Research) by elearning4bradford on 16-09-2009


Today is a big day in the organising of the Bradford Action Research conference – we have got to the stage of publishing the publicity and making the announcement – here it is!

A two day conference at Bradford College on 19th and 20th November 2009 on aspects of teaching, learning and assessment.

Join academic colleagues for this event to be held at The Henry Mitchell Hall and The Yorkshire Craft Centre, Bradford College.

Conference Fee of £45, includes a conference dinner on the evening of the 19th November at the National Media Museum.

Presentations from academic staff at Bradford College include:

  • Distance Learning: developing and improving practice
  • Cognitive and academic linguistic proficiency
  • Using critical incident analysis in peer review
  • Assignment feedback: formative or futile?
  • Addressing the needs of under-represented HE learners
  • Working towards a model for inclusive education in Initial Teacher Training
  • Improving progression potential
  • Space-fd Project
  • UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Supporting mentors of Fdsc students in the workplace
  • Assessment strategies that benefit all learners

Additional benefits include:

Lunch on both days will be held in the college’s art gallery, The Bradford Gallery, where delegates will have the opportunity to view our current exhibitions: Darren Baker celebrating the work of our former student,recently commissioned to paint a portrait of HRH The Queen, and our Christmas gift selling show Bedazzled. Delegates will receive a 10% discount on any purchases made.
Dinner at the National Media Museum, Bradford will feature a pre-dinner networking opportunity with entertainment provided by students studying Performing Arts at Bradford College. Dinner and drinks are included in the Conference fee.

Registration opens on 21st September and closes on 9th November. Final confirmation and directions sent to delegates on 13th November. Following the event, conference highlights and papers will be available online on 30th November.

Register here

Bradford College – Research Call 2009/2010

Filed Under (General, Research) by elearning4bradford on 19-08-2009

Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund (TQEF) 2009 – 2010

We have secured funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to enhance the teaching and learning in HEFCE funded higher education provision at the College.

I am therefore calling for bids from those of you associated with H.E. teaching and learning for action research projects for 2009 – 2010. I hope we will receive sufficient bids to run in excess of 20 projects across the College.

Each action research activity will be allocated the sum of £3,500. This may be used to fund staff timetabled hours at a notional rate of £50.00 per hour (or part time hours to pay part time staff or cover). Within this amount is included all costs for publication or any additional materials or resource to support individual projects. There will be an initial meeting of those who are successful in their bids at which aims, research titles and approaches may be shared and networks (real and virtual) established as I expect several pieces of work will be forthcoming under each priority heading. Those undertaking research projects will be expected to produce a written report and to present findings to colleagues at a dissemination event to be held at College. This event will be open to colleagues from across the institution, from partner institutions and beyond.

Under the HEFCE funding conditions, only proposals that will enhance the quality of teaching and learning in HEFCE funded provision can be considered. Themes for the 2009 – 2010 action research projects are consistent with our mission and strategic objectives namely; widening participation, employer engagement, progression and lifelong learning.

The call for action research bids is therefore under the following priority headings:

• E-learning/e-assessment in HE
• Assessment strategies
• Teaching and learning strategies specific to work-based learners
• Enhancement to peer review schemes
• Teaching and learning strategies for students progressing from the new diplomas
• Strategies to enhance learning for students for whom English is not their first language
• Identifying potential in schools
• Teaching strategies to unlock potential of non-traditional HE learners
• Unlocking potential of under represented HE learners
• Enhancing learning through social cohesion

Proposals need to specify the aim of the piece of work and how it relates to the headings above. They must also show how the work will enhance the quality of our teaching in H.E.

Interesting Podcasts

Filed Under (General, Information Literacy, Research) by elearning4bradford on 21-04-2009

Here are some podcasts that I have recently listened to which some may find interesting – accessed from the JISC website.

Here Sarah Thomas of University of Oxford and Robert Darnton Harvard University discuss the future of libraries

Here John Crawford and Christine Irving talk about Information Literacy as a ‘democratic right’

This final one, here, is a longer cast where OCLC Vice-President Karen Calhoun talks about the provision of digital content for learning and research.

Moodle – a Virtual Research Environment

Filed Under (Research, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)) by elearning4bradford on 11-04-2009

cover of JISC RSC report 11th March 2009

The Yorrkshire and Humber JISC Regional Support Centre has brought out a publication that ties in with their event on March 11th at which I presented a paper about using Moodle as a virtual research envrionment.
“The substance of this paper gives a first-hand account of developing a virtual research environment and how scarce resources are deployed to accommodate a range of approaches while maintaining steady progress towards the realisation of enhanced pedagogy through using learning technology.
Download the full report here

Research support role of Libraries

Filed Under (Research) by elearning4bradford on 20-12-2008

A recent report by the Research Information Network RIN advocates the strong role libraries play in supporting high level research.

To quote their website:
“Ensuring a bright future for research libraries: a guide for vice-chancellors and senior institutional managers which aims to inform this audience on how to ensure library and information services keep pace with the evolving needs of researchers.
Good library and information services are an essential underpinning for research, just as they are for successful teaching and learning. Success in research, at both national and institutional levels, depends critically on the quality of the information services to which researchers have access.”

In the week that sees the publication of the RAE it would be interesting to see how the assessment correlates with the strength of their library provision; whether it is well resourced, staff by well qualified librarians and if this linkage is understood by leaders at the top of the organisation.

The full report can be found here

From Lending to Learning – update

Filed Under (Research) by elearning4bradford on 21-11-2008

I have recently passed the half-way point in writing this book. It now appears as pre-publication on Amazon, my publishers Chandos Oxford Ltd tell me that there are already a number of orders. I promised to keep this blog updated with progress but have failed to do so, suffice to say I’m halfway there and very much enjoying the writing experience. One challenge is the scope of the public library which I have to constantly redefine so that I can cope. The other challenge is the speed at which technology is developing within public libraries nationally and internationally.

Pathfinder – dissemination

Filed Under (Research) by elearning4bradford on 03-06-2008

Our Higher Education Authority funded Pathfinder Project Research Officer – Kathrine Jensen writes:

The Pathfinder journey report has been sent to HEA and this is the final phase of Pathfinder. Remaining tasks are to animate the conceptual model, write the briefing papers and put together a poster for the 26th June Pathfinde rmeeting in London.

All Pathfinder outputs can be found on the External Moodle site at