Prof Agnes Kukulska-Hulme

Title: Personal learning on a massive scale

Abstract  Personalized learning with smartphones and other mobile or wearable devices is one of the latest trends making an impact on a global scale. Learning that is mobile and personalized holds many attractions. This talk will review current approaches to personalization in mobile language learning and consider what the future might hold.

Bio Agnes Kukulska-Hulme is Professor of Learning Technology and Communication in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University and Past-President of the International Association for Mobile Learning. Her recent projects include the EU-funded MASELTOV project on personalized technologies for social inclusion, the British Council project on Mobile Pedagogy for English Language Teaching, and the MK:Smart SALSA project on language learning in the next generation of smart cities. Among her publications is the co-edited book, Mobile Learning: The Next Generation published by Routledge (2016). She supervises doctoral students researching mobile and social learning, professional development and knowledge sharing.


Prof Stephen Bax

Title: MOOCS as a new technology: Approaches to normalising the MOOCS experience for our learners

Abstract MOOCS are currently in favour as a mechanism for ‘delivering education’, including language education. However, when viewed as a new educational ‘technology’, they have arguably not yet reached the stage of normalisation (Bax 2003) at which they might be most productive.

This talk examines the current landscape with regard to language learning MOOCS, drawing on a number of successful Open University projects in Spanish and Italian. It looks critically at where MOOCS seem to be potentially most valuable, and also at aspects of the experience which seem to impeded normalisation.

The talk will conclude by looking at how language MOOCS might develop in the years ahead.


Prof Gary Hall

Title: The Disrupted University

Abstract This talk will discuss possible ways in which higher education can respond to the creative disruption it is predicted to experience in the 21st century. This disruption is said to be caused by the development of innovative new online media technologies (e.g. Jisc’s new national learning analytics service, which will collate data from a learning records ‘warehouse’ and use this information to help understand which methods of teaching work best, and highlight when students are experiencing difficulties), and the increasing pressure from an economic and managerial logic of profit and loss that universities experience today. In the light of these changes, what is the university’s social contract, its legitimating idea, going to be in the 21st century? In particular, what is the future for university teaching, learning and publication in the era of what is already being called ‘post-digital’ media? (Indeed, ‘digital’ has effectively become a meaningless attribute given nearly all media today are based on digital information processing.) Historically, the university has been the institutional expression of the medium of the codex book. What, then, will it mean for our work as teachers, researchers and students if writing is no longer the ‘natural’ or normative medium in which such activities are conducted, but has instead been absorbed into a variety of other, often hybrid, multimodal and mobile forms of communication?