Teaching Matters

Professor Siân Bayne - Digital Education

Professor Siân Bayne on digital education and online distance learning.

Professor Siân Bayne - Digital Education

Professor Siân Bayne on digital education and online distance learning.

Transcript

Siân Bayne – Professor of Digital Education

“To me teaching is the single most important thing that we do, I think it’s really important that as academics we put teaching at the kind of core and heart of our work. I’ve been working in the field of Digital Education for about ten years now and during that time it’s really become quite a mainstream activity, not only within this University, but across the board. So I think for me, I’m particularly lucky because my teaching is directly in my area of research and for us it actually doesn’t make that much sense to make a distinction between research and teaching because research in education makes no sense if you’re not also practising education and practising as a teacher.”

Stuart Nicol – MSc Digital Education

“Well Siân’s a world renowned academic so it’s a real privilege to be working with her, to be taught by her, and she’s supervising my dissertation at the moment and it’s a very kind of… it’s a very collegial kind of relationship. She’s very encouraging, supportive and to be able to mine that wealth of knowledge is really valuable for me.”

Siân Bayne – Professor of Digital Education

“Many of our students are in full time employment, either in other Universities, or in the private sector, or in the public sector. They want to learn about digital education and what that means for their own professional areas. So they can come and do that in a manageable way by taking, you know, four-five years to complete their course, by paying in instalments to do it, but at the same time having very high quality tutoring on that course, lots of contact with their teachers, and with other students on the programme so that they feel that they’re in a properly supported, high-quality masters programme. But they never come to the campus. Although they may come to graduate, and many of them do.”

Stuart Nicol – MSc Digital Education

“I was well aware that it wasn’t going to be the same as face-to-face, but it was going to bring… it wasn’t going to be a lesser experience, it was going to be a different experience to face-to-face. And that’s what it has been, it’s been a really enriching experience, a really kind of innovative experience, something quite different from what I’ve done in the past. And I definitely recommend it. I don’t think it’s a mode of study that lessens the experience in any way.”

Siân Bayne – Professor of Digital Education

“Graduation never fails to kind of, I don’t know, fill us with pride really. And it’s really surprising every year how many students, wherever they’re based, they may be based in the States, they may be based in Australia, Africa, the Caribbean. We have people come from all over the place at the end of their studies to come and graduate in McEwan Hall. And that’s a real thrill for us, to actually meet these people and to see them process and get their degree. But at the same time, obviously we have many students who can’t come to Edinburgh. So we do a virtual graduation with those students which is equally fun. So I think we’ve succeeded in this programme in kind of celebrating that ritual of completion of the programme of study really well, regardless of whether you’re here on campus or based elsewhere.”

Stuart Nicol – MSc Digital Education

“One course that I took, each of us were to create an open educational resource, so create a short piece of learning as part of the assessment for that course. And then the object I created is then being reused as a learning object, and as a resource in another one of the courses on the programme. So it’s kind of the way that students seem to feed back into the programme, and I think that the fact that it’s quite a new area of study is probably… makes it ripe for that kind of approach, that kind of… students are very very involved in the development of what we’re studying.

I would hope that courses like this, and the way that the course is taught and the way the interactions with students could feed back into other courses, more traditional courses within the university, which could learn from the kind of pedagogical approach that’s taken.”

Siân Bayne – Professor of Digital Education

“I certainly feel that my own research benefits immeasurably from the scholarship of my students. So it’s… I think working closely with students who are interested in similar areas is a massive and direct benefit to your own scholarship. So I don’t really see research and teaching as being highly, kind of, differentiated from each other in that respect. I think there are… I think research needs teaching and teaching needs research.”