• Digitally enhanced learning: Facing up to the camera.

      Blundell, Barry G.; Auckland University of Technology (Oxford Academic, 2015-05-15)
      At last the lecture room doors swing open and tenaciously guarding my cup of coffee I try to move against the great tsunami of emerging students. Immediately behind me follow two technical support staff weighed down with equipment and cables. We are well aware that the incumbent lecturer has (as usual) overrun his allotted time and so we are running late. The clock is ticking - my lecture is due to begin in seven minutes, and in terms of technology, there’s a lot of setting up to do.
    • Education: When investment in technology is not enough.

      Blundell, Barry G.; University of Derby (Oxford Academic, 2016-05-16)
      Another day, another airport and following a delayed arrival, I queue for more than an hour to hire a car. Unthinkingly I stare at a large behind the counter display as it scrolls through seemingly endless ads for car rental options. Suddenly I’m aroused from catatonic lethargy by the slogan: ‘Who needs I Spy – When you have WiFi’. This is accompanied by enticing images of in-car tranquillity with youngsters in the rear seat engrossed in working their mobile media. Surely even the most tedious of traffic jams would pass unnoticed?
    • The Impact of Children’s Connection to Nature: A Report for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

      Richardson, Miles; Sheffield, David; Harvey, Caroline; Petronzi, Dominic; University of Derby (RSPB, 2016-02-16)
      Connecting with nature should be part of every child’s life as it has the potential to aid nature’s revival while benefiting the child. To embed nature connection within our social norms, there is a need to be able to understand the benefits and set targets for levels of nature connection. This report presents findings on the impact of connection to nature from a survey of 775 children, using the child as the unit of analysis, rather than aggregated data. The results demonstrated that children who were more connected to nature had significantly higher English attainment, although this wasn’t repeated for Mathematics. Further, the 1.5 Connection to Nature Index (CNI) level was found to be a significant threshold across other measures, with those children with a CNI of 1.5 or above having significantly higher health, life satisfaction, pro-environmental behaviours and pro-nature behaviours. The analysis found strong correlations between CNI and pro-nature behaviours and pro-environmental behavior. A positive correlation was also evident between CNI and days spent outdoors and days spent in nature over the past week, suggesting that the more time spent in nature is associated with child’s connection to nature. Finally, weak correlations were found between connection to nature, health and life satisfaction. When more refined attainment results for English were explored, (n = 512) further weak correlations were found between English attainment and attendance, English and life satisfaction, and between English attainment and connection to nature. There are a multitude of factors associated with a child’s English attainment, so, although the correlations are weak, it is noteworthy that connection to nature is as important to children’s achievement in English as life satisfaction and attendance at school.
    • The online and campus (OaC) model as a sustainable blended approach to teaching and learning in higher education: A response to COVID-19

      Petronzi, Rebecca; Petronzi, Dominic; University of Derby (Journal of Pedagogical Research, Turkey, 2020-11-10)
      The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for wider society and has impacted all facets of life, including Higher Education Institution (HEIs) provision for teaching and learning – demanding an immediate digital response. The core challenge lies with the inherent choice made by students upon embarking on an undergraduate degree; that face-to-face learning was their preference. Now, HEIs must address this by utilising a range of digital solutions – that crucially, must also be embraced by those that no longer have the luxury to be risk averse or believe that digital solutions align with their existing pedagogical approaches. Higher Education Institutions should be – to an extent – well placed to deliver online provision. This paper aims to explore pertinent literature surrounding blended approaches with regards to key pedagogical and learning theories, with an overall aim of suggesting the Online and Campus (OaC) model as a potential ‘blueprint’ that incorporates campus, synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences. We refer to asynchronous as flexible, self-paced learning, and synchronous as an environment in which learners are in the same place at a given time (either online or campus) and accessing the same materials. For the purposes of this paper – and the OaC model – both asynchronous and synchronous learning refers to online provision, and we make the distinction between face-to-face teaching by reference to ‘Campus’.