Engage those Pokémon Go players at your doorstep

A few weeks ago - in the middle of the summer break we saw very unusual activity at the HTW Chur campus. Suddenly, young people were showing up on campus, being suspiciously engaged in some kind of activity involving their smart phones. Some could be our students, while others were clearly too young - but again it was summer break and ordinary students avoid us during that time of the year. Quickly, it became clear that these people were Pokémon Go players.

In a way, we were exited that this was happening, because Pokémon Go unites several of the topics in our curriculum. So we thought: “if these people are already here, why not engage them in some science communication/study promotion”. We have plenty of printed and online material that present what we are doing. On the other hand, this material seemed awkward for giving out to players because it is entirely unrelated the reason why these players visited us. Also we did not want to disturb our core community if we start flooding our communication channels with something they are not interested in or possibly dislike (our traditional community responds very sensible in unpredictable ways). So we were looking for something that allows engaging players while leaving our existing community unaffected.

Read on to find out what we did and what we learned.

Certificate Program on Blended Learning

I am excited to announce the Blended Learning Center will launch the first dedicated Swiss Certificate Program on Blended Learning for University Lecturers. Different to other "E-Learning" Certificate programs, this offering addresses didactics, concepts, and practices for crossing and integrating media and conversational contexts. The first round of the program will be primarily in German, so if you are in Switzerland, speak German, and want to go beyond classroom teaching, this is just the right program for you. We have more details on the BLC Blog

Who owns the Data will win the Educational Race

I am on a trip with swissuniversities to the USA and visit educational technology companies and institutions who use or innovate education technologies. This trip brought me to Boston and to San Francisco. This article is about the group's visit to Google and Coursera, where we discussed their global MOOC activities. The night before, Christian Simm and Benjamin Bellmann welcomed us at Swissnex San Francisco. Christian highlighted in his short reception speech that Big Data is the main trend at the US West Coast.

Save the Date: Applications of Clicker Apps in Swiss Higher Education

On March, 17 from 13:00-18:00 the CIEL @ University of Geneva and the EduHub SIG Mobile Learning are organising a mini symposium on clicker apps in Swiss Higher Education.

We have confirmed presentations from ETHZ, HES-SO, University Basel, University Bern and University of Geneva. Stay tuned for more details soon.

2 E-Learning Stellen an der HTW Chur / 2 E-Learning Positions at the HTW Chur

Die HTW Chur sucht ab sofort je eine(n) online content/UX Entwickler(in) und eine(n) Moodle System-Entwickler/Administrator(in) zur Verstärkung des Blended Learning Center Teams. Die Aufgaben umfassen die technische Umsetzung von interaktiven online und mobilen Lernkomponenten für die HTW Lernplattform und der Betreuung und Erweiterung Systemumgebung. Für beide Stellen werden fundierte HTML und JavaScript-Kenntnisse von den Bewerberinnen und Bewerbern vorausgesetzt.

Zur offiziellen Ausschreibung.

The HTW Chur is looking for an online content/UX developer and a Moodle system developer/administrator to support the Blended Learning Center. The tasks include the technical development of online and mobile learning components for the HTW learning environment as well as the support and expansion of the underpinning Moodle system. Both positions require HTML and JavaScript knowledge.

The official Job Announcement (in German)

Inverted World: Smaller Devices Are No Longer Premium

A new rumor is spreading regarding a 4-inch iPhone. What is interesting is that the article suggests that the smaller device is not considered at the same level than the premium models of the same brand. This is inline with a develpoment that I observe also with other vendors: Almost all small phones cripple the design of the modern smart phone while the premium devices are really phablets rather than smart phones: The small phones are designed with small memory, bad cameras and poor screen resolution. They often lack useful sensors and come with weak processors - and are shipped too often with completely outdated operating systems. Yet, these devices perform even worse when it comes to battery life.

If the rumor is true, Apple seems to follow that idea instead of buying into a different perspective: a small device may contain the same power and sensors for all the awesome features of the bigger brothers and sisters. Really, there is only one good reason for a bigger screen in a thinner phone: the battery life. With the given performance of the devices, I would be excited if a vendor would offer a super-power device that lasts a week with one charge even if it does not provide desktop-level computing power.

The interesting aspect of this present development to bigger screen devices is the difference to the perception of laptops and notebooks: the smaller device is not considered as the executive version of the bigger "assistant" version. Personally, I won't mind at all to carry a smaller "executive-style" phone that still gives me the premium functions plus a premium of battery duration.

Research Paper

Glahn, C., Gruber, M.R., & Tartakovski, O. (2015). "Beyond Delivery Modes and Apps: A Case Study on Mobile Blended Learning in Higher Education". In C. Rensing, T. Klobucar & G. Conole (eds.) Design for Teaching and Learning in a Networked World, Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2015). Cham, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer International Publishing.

8 Thoughts on Plagiarism

Today, there was an article on plagiarism in the Swiss commuters' newspaper "20 minuten". Please note that the article did not appear in the online edition. The main scope of the article is plagiarism among students and that Swiss universities do not check incoming student submissions with regard to plagiarism. The article's scope lies on student plagiarism and is common for the entire (recent) debate on the topic but is distracting from the actual problem. The actual problem is plagiarism among researchers. This blog post focuses on 8 points that I find important to consider.

I got plagiarised - What next?

In case you found one of your research papers has been (partly or entirely) copied and republished under a different name and you are looking for advice on how to respond to this, then this post is for you!

This week I was searching the web for some new references on using the European Qualification Framework (EQF) as a tool for instructional design. With colleagues I published on the topic myself and I was interested whether there are new publications or if we have missed important research. Since it is not an overly hot topic, there is not much around and I was surprised to find a paper I didn't know yet. So I went and fetched it from the web. While flipping through the pages, I was surprised to find one of my grafics without reference and then saw another figure that has been used in the same article, so I went and actually read the paper finding that most of it sounds strangely familiar. After double checking with the original paper, I found that most of the paper including all figures and references were directly copied from the original article. I know that there are integrity guidelines but when I googled, I did find not a single reference on how to deal with plagiarism as the owner of the work. While there is a lot about how teachers should guide their students in case of plagiarism or what kinds of plagiarism exist, but nothing about how to get in touch with a journal that republished one's work under a different name.

Mobile Learning in Security and Defense

This 2013 ISN Report has been removed from the homepage the day I left the department. I make this report available permanently here.

© 2002-2015, Christian Glahn and Michael Valersi