Nov 21 2014

Q&A with Marieke Guy

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networkED03

 

Marieke Guy
Marieke Guy from Open Knowledge

 

 

 

Ahead of her NetwokED seminar talk on Wednesday 26 November Marieke Guy answered some questions for LTI on open data in education.

 
Q1. How would you define ‘open data’?  How does this relate to ‘open access’ and ‘open education’ ?

We’re very lucky to have an excellent definition of open data from Open Definition, which specifically sets out principles that define “openness” in relation to data and content:

“Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness.”

So we are talking about data that is available for people to access and can be reused and redistributed by everyone. One of the important points to make is that openness does not discriminate against commercizal use. Open data is definitely a friend of open access and open education! Publicly funded research publications should not only be open access but the data behind them should also be shared and openly available. At the Open Education Working Group we see open education as a collective term that is used to refer to many practices and activities that have both openness and education at their core. Open data is an important area, along with open content, open licensing, open tools, open policy and open learning and teaching practices. This is becoming even more the case with the rise in online learning, MOOCs and the use of learning analytics.

Q2. Who typically uses open data and what does it get used for?

Anyone can consume open data as an end-user benefitting from openness, but there are two main groups who have a specific interest in dealing with open data. Data providers (such as the government or your institution) may be interested in releasing and sharing data openly. Data handlers are interested in using the data available, maybe by developing an app or service around the data, or by visualising the data, or by asking questions of the data and mining it in some way. A nice easy example here is the Great British Toilet map,

GreatBritishToiletMap

The Great British Toilet Map

where government data was combined with ordnance survey and open street map data to provide a public service app that helps us find the nearest public convenience. You can also add toilets you find to the map, allowing the data that is available to be improved on.

Obviously people who want to get their hands messy with data will need to be data literate. One of our core projects at Open Knowledge is School of Data. School of Data works to empower civil society organisations, journalists and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively in their efforts to create more equitable and effective societies.

Q3. What are the pros and cons of open data?

The main benefits for using open data are around transparency (knowing what your government and other public bodies are doing), releasing social and commercial value, and participation and engagement. By opening up data, citizens are enabled to be much more directly informed and involved in decision-making. This is about making a full “read/write” society, not just about knowing what is happening in the process of governance but being able to contribute to it.

Opening anything up makes organisations more vulnerable, especially if they have something to hide, or if their data is inaccurate or incomplete. There is also a cost to releasing and building on data. Often this cost is outweighed by the social or economic benefit generated, but this benefit can develop over time so can be hard to demonstrate. Other challenges include the possible misinterpretion or misrepresention of data, and of course issues around privacy.

I personally see open data as being in the same space as freedom of speech with regard to these challenges. We know that open data is the right way to go but there are still some subtleties that we need to work out. The answer to a ‘bad’ use of open data is not to close the data, just as the answer to a racist rant is not to remove our right to freedom of speech.

Q4. Do you have any examples of projects that have involved using ‘open data’ and if so what advantage did ‘open data’ bring?

Earlier this year Otavio Ritter (Open education data researcher, Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil) gave a talk to our Open Education Working Group. He mentioned a case in Brazil where the school census collects data about violence in school area (like drug traffic or other risks to pupils). Based on an open data platform developed to navigate through the census it was possible to see that in a specific Brazilian state 35% of public schools had drug traffic near the schools. This fact put pressure on the local government to create a public policy and a campaign to prevent drug use among students.  Since then a collection of initiatives run by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made a huge impact on the drug traffic levels near schools.

Q5. What does Open Knowledge do?

Open Knowledge is a worldwide non-profit network of people who believe in openness. We use advocacy, technology and training to unlock information and enable people to work with it to create and share knowledge. We work on projects, create tools and support an amazing international network of individuals passionate about openness and active in making, training and promoting open knowledge. Our network is global (we have groups in more than 40 countries and 9 local chapters) and cross-domain (we currently have 19 working groups that focus on discussion and activity around a given area of open knowledge).

Marieke Guy will be talking at LSE on Wednesday 26 November at 5pm in NAB2.06.  To book your place go to the staff training and development system or (for those without access to the system) email imt.admin@lse.ac.uk

All our talks are live streamed onto our blog for more information check out our website or have a look at previous talks on our Youtube channel.

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Nov 13 2014

LTI Show and tell on assessment with Technology, 11 November 2014

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assessment with technologyLTI recently held a show and tell on assessment with technology with colleagues from LSE, UCL and Westminster. The event was well attended and provided an opportunity to find out the varying ways that technology is being used in to innovate assessment.

The show and tell event is part of the work that is being done by LTI to promote assessment with technology at LSE. The project aims and outcomes outlined by LTI learning technologists Athina Chatzigavriil and Kris Roger can be seen here.  If you are interested in being involved in the working group on e-assessment or have examples of e-submission, e-marking or e-feedback and e-return then please get in touch by emailing lti.support@lse.ac.uk

A lecture capture recording of the event (slides and audio) is now available here (LSE login required) or you can read a brief summary of the presentations below.

Alternatives to examinations

Professor George Gaskell started off the event with a brief outline of the changes that are taking place in LSE100, the compulsory course for Undergraduates at LSE. The LSE100 Director explained that the course team are currently investigating alternatives to exams. Using the learning outcomes of the course as the basis for assessment they have been developing a portfolio of activities that will allow students to demonstrate their appreciation of apply social scientific methods, concepts and theories to real world problems. Assessments will have to allow for ‘exit velocity’ and let students to take risks in their first year and allow for the progress of learners over their two years at LSE, while also preventing strategic planning by requiring all components to be completed. The process is still in the developing stages so watch this space for updates.

Peer assessment

papanicolasIriniSmallDr Irini Papanicolas, from Social Policy gave the second presentation on her work with Steve Bond in LTI on peer assessment. Dr Papanicolas discussed how she changed assessment on the course SA4D4 from 100% exam, to 50% exam and 50% presentation. She used ‘WebPA’ to enable students to rate their peers’ presentations using the course mark frame. Although peer assessment was an optional part of the assessment all the groups volunteered feedback and there was a positive response to the process with it creating discussion within the groups on the assessment criteria.

Dr Papanicolas will be using ‘TeamMates’ for this year as it will allow students to not only rate their own groups’ presentation but the individuals contributions within the group.

From peer assessment to peer teaching and learning….
Kevin Tang then reported how ‘Peerwise’ has been used at UCL. Kevin has been working with Sam Green & Stefanie Anyadi in the department of Linguistics to use the platform with 50 undergraduate and 50 postgraduate students. PeerWise allows students to create, answer and discuss questions. Students can rate feedback and are scored on their own contributions, at UCL these contributions are then worth a small percentage of their summative mark for the course.

Research into using the interface indicated that it was important to provide support for students to ‘think like an examiner’ with example questions and training on giving constructive feedback. Academic staff attitudes also played a crucial role in student engagement along with setting regular activities and deadlines.

As most examiners will know it is quite hard to create good questions so UCL asked students to devise questions in groups and found that the questions improved over time with the students in mixed ability groups appearing to benefit the most. The platform provided a space for interaction as students provided detailed feedback for each other which was then used to work on future questions and students were still using the system leading up to the exam for revision purposes.

Games and assessment in Law

Dr Vassiliki Bouki, Principal Lecturer, University of Westminster talked about the use of games in assessment. Dr Bouki demonstrated the ‘law of murder game’ which was developed in ‘Articulate storyline’ and was used as an alternative to coursework for a second year criminal law module. The game was used to demonstrate a real life scenario and assess critical thinking and allowed students to experience role playing to think like a lawyer. Students are given two hours to complete several small tasks in an open book environment. The game is currently in use so data and feedback from students will be available later in the year.

Word processed timed assessments and online feedback

Sunil KumarDr Sunil Kumar, Lecturer in Social Policy & Dean of Graduate Studies, talked about his experiences over three years on the course ‘urbanisation and social policy’. Concerned about how much students were actually learning with the traditional model of examinations, Dr Kumar introduced a 2 hour online formative assessment into his course. Students typed up their answers to short answer and long answer questions in examination style conditions. Dr Kumar was then able to read and mark submissions on his iPad and then upload the anonymised assessments with annotated feedback for all students to see on Moodle. The formative assessments have had 100% attendance with students being able to then learn from other students submissions, encouraging them to review topics they have not yet covered in preparation for the summative examination.

More information about the project can be found on our blog post.

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Nov 12 2014

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: Teaching crowds, learning and sex, and more

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Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!

My technological dream of carpe diem - Inside Higher Ed

“What comes across is a sentimentalism of a glorious education past that is on the verge of being corrupted.”

Dan Butin’s strongly-worded response to the survey on faculty attitudes to technology in Higher Education discussed in last week’s round up makes for a recommended read. When comparing whether online learning is “better” than traditional face-to-face instruction, what gold model are we aspiring to? Indeed, much of university teaching suffers from a variety of issues including large class sizes and uninspiring lectures without any elements of interactivity. As Butin rightly notes:

“Such bravado is all nice and good if these faculty are truly inciting roomfuls of earnest youth on a daily basis. But the reality is far different.”

Rather than asking whether technology is able to deliver a better learning experience we should think about how to reform an ailing model and how to learn from the many inspiring examples of great teaching out there. Rather than regarding it as a threat, we should seize the opportunities technology offers us to improve teaching and learning in our universities.

Student views on technology - Educause

We’ve talked about the faculty, what about the learners? This short, but informative image summarises the findings of a study on student views on technology. Two findings are worth highlighting: First, a third of teachers still seek to actively discourage or ban the use of tablets in class, even though all students owning one stated that they use it for their study. Second, If asked, most students would opt for blended learning, rather than mere online or face-to-face delivery, suggesting a demand, rather than just greater openness, for the use of learning technology among students.

Teaching crowds: learning and social media - Athabasca University

“If you’re going to use technology, then you need to think carefully about the consequences — not just for yourself but for your community.”

This new book on crowd (or networked) learning explores the possibilities for collaborative, personalised and self-directed learning. Specifically, the authors address the potential, but also risks, of using social media and web 2.0 technologies to facilitate this kind of learning. A free digital copy of the full book can be downloaded here.

The problem with learning technology - Kirstin Wilcox, University of Illinois

Having received nothing but praise in the comments, this article criticises learning technology for distracting, rather than contributing to, the kind of in-depth discussions and engagement needed in academia. Indeed, the author’s fascinating reflections leaves little doubt that she knows what great teaching looks like. She fails, however, to recognise that most of the problems she outlines (e.g. mass delivery of content, lack of engaging class discussions, etc.) are linked to higher education itself, rather than to learning technology. In the wrong hands, learning technology is indeed unlikely to improve learning – but few if any learning technologists would ever make such an argument.

Women’s walks app - LSE Library

Even if it may be regarded as a shameless self-plug, this mobile learning experience created by the LSE library is worth highlighting: The LSE library in partnership with Arts Council England has created a mobile application to enable users experiencing Women’s history through London’s streets. Women’s Walks combines smartphone technology with the fascinating and diverse archive material from The Women’s Library @ LSE, transforming the collection into an engaging and interactive historical journey.

Learning is like sex - Washington Post

“On the matter of teaching, the only aspect that is truly threatened by technology is bad teaching, particularly lecturing. The institutions that are most threatened by technology are those that rely on large lecture classes and graduate assistants.”

“Consider teaching and learning, for a moment, as analogous to sex. Technology has no doubt added opportunity and diversity to the experience, but it has not rendered the basic transaction obsolete, and it is not about to”

While we are not sure about the analogy, there is to little to add to these quotes.

Posted by: Posted on by Malte Werner Tagged with: , , , , ,

Nov 11 2014

LTI NetworkED Seminar series – Marieke Guy 26/11/14

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LTI NetworkED Seminar series Marieke Guy ‘Open data in education’ Wednesday 26 November 5:00pm – 7pm, NAB2.06.

marieke_guyMarieke Guy (@mariekeguy on Twitter) is a project co-ordinator at Open Knowledge (https://okfn.org), a global not-for-profit organisation that wants to open up knowledge around the world and see it used and useful. She has been working with online information for over 16 years and was previously employed by UKOLN, a centre of expertise in digital information management at the University of Bath.

Her areas of interest include research data management, digital preservation, digital cultural heritage, open technologies and open education – she currently co-ordinates the Open Education Working Group (http://education.okfn.org).

Marieke Guy will be our third speaker for the NetworkED series this academic year, see below for more information on her talk which will take place on Wednesday 26 November at 5pm.

Data is very much the flavour of the month, from discussions around data mining and monetisation of data, to privacy issues and monitoring.

But what exactly is open data and how does it relate to education? What type of data sets are we talking about and how are they being used? How can open data be used to meet educational needs? Is it just about accountability and transparency, or is there more to it? What about learning analytics? What are the implications of tracking our students? Where does the true potential lie? It clear that open education data sets are of interest to a wide variety of people including educators, learners, institutions, government, parents and the wider public. Marieke Guy will give an overview of the situation as it now stands and prompt us to consider what the implications are for those of us working in Education.

The event is free to attend and places can be reserved via the training and development system or (for those without access to the system) by emailing imt.admin@lse.ac.uk.

All our talks are live streamed and recorded for those who can’t make it. For more information, check out our website or have a look at previous talks on our YouTube channel. 

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Nov 11 2014

Watch Helen Keegan’s NetworkED seminar online

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A big thanks to all of those that joined us for our NetworkED seminar with Helen Keegan last week, whether in person or online. Helen shared some inspirational stories of her work on empowering learners to take joint ownership of their learning process together with staff. All of those who missed out or would like to revisit some of her points can watch the recording of her talk below. You may also be interested in our short Q&A with Helen Keegan.

LSE_StudentsAsProducers_Helen Keegan 05.11.14 - slides from presentation


LTI NetworkED Seminar series Helen Keegan ‘Interactive & Social Media’

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Helen Keegan (@heloukee on Twitter) is a UK National Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer and researcher at the University of Salford, UK. 

Her expertise lies in curriculum innovation through social and participatory media, with a particular focus on creativity and interdisciplinarity.  She is known for her work on digital cultures and identities, social technologies and the interplay between formal and informal learning. As a multi-disciplinary practitioner. Helen works across sciences and media arts, developing partnerships and creative approaches to learning and collaboration.

Alongside presenting and consulting, Helen has published in journals and edited collections including the European Journal of Open and Distance Learning, Selected Papers of Internet Research, and the Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies. For more information see www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/profiles/keegan/

Providing insights and examples of projects that engage students as producers, Helen discussed a number of projects that span her practice, especially looking at examples of leading projects that link students across networks, cultures and countries.  This talk is of great relevance to those interested in innovative pedagogies, student led learning and media education in the digital age.

 

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Nov 7 2014

LSE Innovator – Sunil Kumar and Word Processed Exams

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In the first part of LTI’s new “LSE Innovator” series, Dr. Sunil Kumar, Dean of Graduate Studies and Lecturer in the Department of Social Policy at LSE talks about why he piloted word processed exams for Urbanisation and Social Policy in the Global South.

 

piktochart

Posted by: Posted on by Malte Werner Tagged with: , , , ,

Nov 6 2014

Watch Josie Fraser’s NetworkED seminar online

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A big thanks to all of those that joined us for our NetworkED seminar with Josie Fraser, whether in person or online. For those of you who missed out or would like to revisit some of her points we are happy to provide a recording of her talk below:


LTI NetworkED Seminar Series - Josie Fraser ‘Digital Literacy in Practice: Making Change Happen’

JosieFraserTitle

Josie Fraser spoke about her experiences of working on the Digi Lit project.
As the 10th largest city in the UK, Leicester is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Europe, with huge amounts of children living in relative poverty.  Josie has had to deal with issues of access and what it means to provide education that is available for all and works for everyone in the community.  Set up as a partnership between the council, De Montford University and 23 secondary schools the Digi Lit project is an attempt to work within existing power structures while making sure that learners are not being left out.

Posted by: Posted on by Malte Werner Tagged with: , ,

Nov 5 2014

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: Bullying, Faculty Views on Technology and more

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Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!

Faculty remain sceptical of technology(?) - Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s report on faculty attitudes towards technology in higher education seems to suggest that staff see little benefits in providing online education. However, it is striking that the demographic of the survey is heavily skewed towards more senior academics. Notably, the sample group included fewer academics under 30 than those below 70! Nevertheless, the reports’ findings definite deserve further study.

Culture of cruelty: Why bullying thrives in Higher Education - The Guardian

In the UK, the overall prevalence of workplace bullying [...] across all working sectors is usually estimated at between 10-20%. However the percentage of people who have experienced bullying within academic settings is higher than the national average [...], ranging between 18% to 42%.

No matter how much we would want it to be, Higher Education is not immune from bullying. Instead, it seems that the problem of bullying is more prevalent in our sector than in others. In light of the #Gamergate problematic discussed on this blog two weeks ago, it becomes even more important for us to address bullying and misogyny as an education technology issue.

The end of the average student - Usable Knowledge, Harvard GSE

Technology can help us to turn “personalised learning” into more than just a buzzword. Instead of building our education systems around the average student (we have yet to meet one), we can tap into resources enabling us to deliver a learning experience tailored towards individual needs.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2014/10/22/its-time-to-rethink-our-use-of-technology-in-schools/ - Forbes

It is only when we harness technology to the cause of education, rather than the other way around, that we will know if it is worth doing.

How should we react to continuing scepticism towards technology in education? Nick Morrison correctly emphasises that we need to rethink how we teach students and, crucially, to make sure to use technology to enhance education, not vice versa.

What is good teaching? – The Guardian

This Sutton Trust report on different teaching styles may not be remarkable for the Guardian’s misleading twist on it (that “progressive” teaching is inefficient) or for being a literature review that, well, lacks a methodology for a systematic review of literature. Rather, it is striking as it marks an endorsement of mixed ability teaching by a trust that is run by a significant donor to the Conservative Party. Perhaps the ground in education really is shifting?

Posted by: Posted on by Malte Werner Tagged with: , , , ,

Nov 3 2014

Show & Tell on Assessment with Technology

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Thank you to all of those who attended this event. For those of you interested in more information, we will have a dedicated section on assessment on this blog soon. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact us (lti.support@lse.ac.uk) if you have any questions, comments or would simply like to get in touch!


LTI Show & Tell on Assessment with Technology 

Writing an email on an iPad

Are you interested in how you can use technology for…

  • individual, group, peer assessment and/or feedback that had an impact on student learning?
  • innovative student assessment?
  • improving student feedback?

This Show & Tell* will bring together colleagues from across LSE to share experiences and showcase innovative approaches aimed at improving assessment at LSE. This will be an excellent opportunity for collaboration in teaching and assessment and to discuss how technology can be used to improve learning.

Speakers include:

Prof George Gaskell, LSE100 Director Innovating assessment: LSE100 seek alternatives to exams, LSE
Dr Sunil Kumar, Lecturer in Social Policy & Dean of Graduate Studies, LSE Learning pedagogies: opportunities for individual and group feedback , LSE
Dr Irini Papanicolas, Social Policy / LSE Health, LSE Using peer-assessment software to assess group presentations, LSE
Kevin Tang, Sam Green & Stefanie Anyadi, UCL Peer learning and E-assessments: A Case study on PeerWise, UCL
Dr Vassiliki Bouki, Principal Lecturer, University of Westminster Serious Games for Assessment Purposes in Higher Education, University of Westminster

Come and share ideas, ask questions, discuss with fellow teachers and be inspired! Sandwich lunch will be provided. Please click here for more information about each presentation and detailed schedule.

*“Show & Tell” events are an opportunity to see LSE lecturers, administrators and teachers demonstrate how they have used technology effectively to support teaching of their own courses. Presenters from different departments at LSE and other universities will show how they’ve made use of technologies for learning and will explain the educational rationale behind their work.

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Oct 31 2014

Q&A with Helen Keegan

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If you couldn’t make it to Helen Keegan’s NetworkED talk, click here to watch the recording on our YouTube channel.


Q&A with Helen Keegan – Senior Lecturer (Interactive Media and Social Technologies), University of Salford, Manchester.

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Q1.You have been involved in numerous projects which challenge the usual dynamics in teaching and ask students to be producers what has been your personal favourite and what did students produce as a result?

“It’s hard to choose one as they’ve all had their strengths and weaknesses, but I’d probably go with the ‘opera project’ as it was such a challenge and there was a live output as a result of remote collaboration. In this project, we worked with 120 students from the UK, New Zealand, France and Colombia. They formed eight international teams, and each team was responsible for producing the visual backdrop for a specific act in an 8-act opera. The visuals were entirely filmed and edited on mobile devices. Each team was given a one word descriptor for their act, along with the music, which was fairly avant garde so they really needed to demonstrate abstract thought. They collaborated through google hangouts and docs for the planning, so it was quite a challenge for them to negotiate the creative process remotely and across timezones. Complete chaos at times, but worth it to see their visuals become part of the performance at the Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival in 2013.” 

Q2.  Have you experienced any difficulties in getting teachers and students to engage projects which use social media and how did/do you deal with this?

“Yes, there are always difficulties – the main concerns centre on working openly, lack of confidence in using various tools and different platform preferences. Confidence in using tools and working openly tends to build through time, but the platform preference issue is interesting when it comes to international collaborations. We’ve found that students in different countries tend to gravitate towards particular platforms. It’s all very well setting up an international collaboration, but when students in country X insist on using Facebook while students in country Y insist on using Twitter, that’s a problem! We try to be as platform-agnostic as possible, then aggregate content from multiple platforms through a common hashtag. Eventually groups will settle on a common platform for communicating, but at the beginning it can be a challenge to negotiate platform preferences and the resulting power relations.”

Q3. What has been the most exciting/interesting outcome of a project so far?

“This year, we moved from international collaborative projects (like the opera project) to student-led (and initiated) collaborations. 250 students from the same 4 countries started to connect through a common hashtag, and we encouraged them to make one another curious through producing interesting/odd Vine videos and adding them to a collaborative Google map. It was a really neat way to build ambient awareness, and then the students started communicating and collaborating on the production of mobile films – however they didn’t have to do this, so it was great to see how many of them did begin to work together, and the outputs were fantastic! In the past, we’d done a lot of work in terms of organising groups and defining projects, so it was interesting to see the results when we stepped back and let the students self-organise through common interests.” 

Q4.  Do you think these projects change the way that your students view and use social media?

“Absolutely – these kinds of projects introduce students to the collaborative potential of social media. Although they’re all avid social media users (in terms of social networking) they still tend to view collaboration as working in small, local groups. Through working on large-scale international collaborations, they become comfortable with the idea of working across cultures and timezones, and they also benefit from learning from one another’s disciplinary perspectives. They’re much more likely to instigate collaborative projects themselves after taking part in these projects, as they become confident in their ability to work in international teams with people they haven’t met face-to-face.”

Helen will be speaking more about her work at LSE as part of the LTI Networked seminar series on Wednesday 5th November at 5pm.

The event is free to attend and places can be reserved on the staff via the  training and development system  or by emailing imt.admin@lse.ac.uk

All our talks are live streamed and recorded for those who can’t make it.  For more information, check out our website or have a look at previous talks on our YouTube channel .

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley Tagged with: , , ,