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Getting Creative at the ALDinHE Conference 2015


IMG_1218Easter means the ALDInHE annual conference! This year a wide range of themes were explored, and a great time was had, at Southampton Solent University. Resources will shortly be available from the conference website

Debbie Holley and colleagues from the Professional Development Working Group offered a creativity workshop to explore the use of collage to address ‘threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge’ (Land and Meyer 2003) where students find it difficult to grasp concepts.

IMG_1239Working in groups, the participants created collages and found new ways of thinking about supporting students. Feedback comments included ‘a very inspiring session/ a simple idea and so effective/ has given me ideas.’

These ideas, and more can be explored further at the ALDinHE one day ‘Look/Make/Learn Conference on Tuesday 12 May at the London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre, the prestigious Daniel Libeskind building, one of the 10 most iconic University Buildings in the country.


and the session outcomes








Please visit the website and book here:

Debbie Holley and Mike Hobbs (Centre and Centre right) with FLAIR Scholars

Debbie Holley and Mike Hobbs (Centre and Centre right) with FLAIR Scholars

FLAIR Scholar at work!

FLAIR Scholar at work!

We have been privileged to have three visiting scholars from Keroula, India, taking part in an educational study tour, building research links, discovering the work of different University professionals and departments, and work- shadowing key staff.

As part of their programme, they were interested in technology and innovation, and agreed to work with us on our Augmented Reality day.

Their input was very much valued, given their expertise in media. Mr Shihabudheen; Ms Indu Rejasekharan and Ms Smitha worked with the wider project team to scaffold language development, lead on the book selection and evaluation component of the day and made new friends with their participative approach to teaching.

Mr Shihabudheen leads class feedback

Mr Shihabudheen leads class feedback

Please visit our project blog,’Augmented@ARU‘ for further information and pictures of the day, and to try out the augmented reality artefacts made during our day.


As part of the Augmented Reality Teaching and Learning Project, Dr Mike Hobbs (Department of Computing ARU) and I have been working with our wonderful librarians developing materials and resources, all of which are freely available for (re)use from our project blog, “Augmented@ARU

Our 1 day workshop

IMG_0955A key project aim is to develop a set of Open Education Resources (OERs) to enable any interested staff/students to facilitate their own activities, embedded as part of the curriculum. Recently we had the opportunity to showcase our work, by offering a one-day workshop to 55 teachers of English from Panama.

This involved helping our visitors with language development, so we decided to use posters and books and the main mechanism for delivering the workshop. E-posters have been explored in an Open University project (insert link) with promising results for student engagement.

Posters would also enable group working, and we paired more experienced IMG_1132English teachers with the trainee teachers from the group. An introduction to the days  events and AR started the workshop, and then selecting a book to work with gave an authentic learning context to the day. In groups, our workshop participants has to design a poster, develop a marketing slogan and précis the book; and also write a short film script for the afternoon filming activities. All workshop participants signed informed consent forms for photography and media.


Example posters developed by our  PANARU visitorsIMG_0968

The Italian Job

Dr Mike Hobbs (FST) and Dr Debbie Holley (FHSCE) recently visited the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy, as part of the ERASMUS staff exchange program.  Mike and Debbie share research interests in the ‘digital classroom’ and data analysis. Their hosts, Professor Elisa Palomba, a child psychologist expert in early years education, and Professor Enrico Ciavolini, an expert statistician, are interested in intercultural research, and wanted to find out more about how digital technologies could feed into their own practice.

Debbie and Mike taught students on the Masters in Psychology course where the students were introduced to a range of augmented reality artefacts.

LE 2DebbieAR_LecceNovember2014

Image 1 (left) Mike Hobbs (second from left)  explains how AR artefacts work

Image 2 ( right) Debbie Holley (helping student holding pink iPad) helps students focus onto the triggers


Image 3 (left) students are assisted to use their own devices to activate the AR triggers

Image 4 (right) the students all share their devices as part of the ‘digital classroom’ lecture delivered by Debbie

More information on the ‘Ontological analysis for dynamic data model exploration’
Mike Hobbs, Cristina Luca, Arooj Fatima, and Mark Warnes delivered by as part of the  statistics course undertaken  by the Psychology Masters students are available on the course facebook page:

cross posted from our new blog,