Online Learning Summit 2023

Posted by Learnovate

On July 10th & 11th, Learnovate Senior Researcher, Janet Benson, attended (virtually) the Online Learning Summit 2023 hosted by the University of Leeds.

The summit was a hybrid event, with attendees in person and online via the vFairs event platform, which streamed all presentations and panel discussions via Zoom and provided virtual attendees an opportunity to participate using a dedicated chat function for each session.

It will be no surprise that many of the sessions focused on AI and education, with the topic of AI (and ChatGPT in particular) slipping into many of the more general conversations.   

On Day 1, Donald Clarke addressed the topic of Ethics & AI, with an interesting roundtable discussion afterwards, and noted that it’s not really about ethics but about poorly developed assessments, with a note not to do things better .. but to do better things.

Following an interesting panel discussion on a manifesto for micro credentials (spoiler: there isn’t one yet), a session on the future opportunities for assessment also addressed the topic of Generative AI, discussing opportunities for experimentation where possible and building it into formative assessment. A notable point was made about how we should not be separating learning and assessment as this is a false dichotomy, something that certainly resonates with learning designers.

One of the most engaging sessions on Day 2 was from Leah Henrickson of The University of Queensland who delivered her session virtually. Leah is also part of the What If Lab which challenges the business community and the design world to come up with specific answers to current issues and recognises the challenge in every problem. 

Leah’s session was very interactive, with participation encouraged from the in-person and virtual attendees. She encouraged participants to consider the future of learning and technology, including what ChatGPT might look like in five years’ time. It was interesting to see others’ views on how the learning landscape might change and how this will impact on society as a whole.

The session on The Systems View of Accessibility related to a number of projects we are currently working on at Learnovate, including a particularly interesting one with the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID), and noted that we need to map the entire journey for the learners, including the application process, and how we need to constantly encourage ideas and creativity.

Neil Mosley facilitated an interesting discussion on developing learning design maturity and how collaboration, as we know, is key. Also key is ‘selling’ learning design to academics!

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