Vol. 10 - Issue 2 2014 - ISSN 1504-4831
Saturday, 07 March 2015
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Volume 6 - issue 1 - 2010

Introduction to the Special Issue on Visual Learning in Higher Education

Brett Bligh, Rolf Wiesemes and Roger Murphy
Visual Learning Lab
University of Nottingham

skogstjerneHigher education throughout the world is undergoing various processes of change, pressurised by demands to provide education for greater numbers of students and to do so using a variety of models of increasing number and diversity. Among these changes, the use of new technologies to support learning is attracting significant amounts of attention as university teachers and students seek to make the best use of the opportunities which they provide to both modernise learning methods and make learning and teaching more effective.

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The Rhetoric of Multi-Display Learning Spaces: exploratory experiences in visual art disciplines

Brett Bligh and Katharina Lorenz of The University of Nottingham, present the Multi-Display Learning Spaces (MD-LS) in this article. It comprises technologies to allow the viewing of multiple simultaneous visual materials, modes of learning which encourage critical reflection upon these materials, and spatial configurations which afford interaction between learners and the materials in orchestrated ways. They argue that Multi-Display Learning Spaces support complex, disciplinary reasoning within learning.

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Video Conferencing for Opening Classroom Doors in Initial Teacher Education: Sociocultural Processes of Mimicking and Improvisation

Rolf Wiesemes and Ruolan Wang, of the University of Nottingham present an “alternative framework for conceptualising video-conferencing uses in initial teacher education and in Higher Education (HE) more generally. They deem current theories of video conferencing somewhat limited in their scope and suggest that the theoretical conceptualisations of video conferencing should be expanded to include elements of mimicking and ultimately improvisation.

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Visual Considerations in the Presentation of Mathematical Proofs

Lara Alcock & Matthew Inglis of the Mathematics Education Centre Loughborough University raises issues about the visual in the presentation of mathematics within teaching situations in undergraduate education. They describe some of the decisions that a lecturer must make when presenting a written proof, from the layout of individual equations to the layout of a whole argument on the page. This has particular significance for lecturers who construct electronic learning resources termed e-Proofs.

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Smart Morning in an African Village: Diversifying Technologies within a Tanzanian Context

Mikko Vesisenaho and Erkki Sutinen of University of Eastern Finland propose that information technology (IT) can make a difference in a developing country only if it is designed in close collaboration with its users. The experiences from an ethnocomputing-based IT education initiative at Tumaini University, located in the rural area of Southern Tanzania, indicates promising opportunities for engaging children and students as creative co-designers and users for diversifying, novel information technologies.

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Virtual Chemical Engineering: Guidelines for E-Learning in Engineering Education

Edward Lester of The University of Nottingham UK and Damian Schofield of the State University of New York, have worked with advanced three-dimensional virtual environment technology, to generate interactive learning environments. The paper discusses the implementation of these systems and extrapolate the lessons learnt into general guidelines from their experience with developing ViRILE, a software package for undergraduate students in chemical engineering at the University of Nottingham.

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