Previous "Hot-Topic" Roundtables

The following links take you to some of the previously offered "Hot Topic" roundtable discussions.

29th August "Learning analytics: Using student usage data in Stream"

A video-linked conversation led by

John Milne, Teaching Consultant, Wellington

John led an interactive discussion around the information that is collected in Stream and how it can be used for teaching and learning.

The discussions centred around when to use the data, interpreting online behaviours and whether to let the students know the types of analytics that can be captured through stream.

Hot topic 29 August.mp3 (42,246 KB)

 25th July 2014 “Growing Ubiquity of Social Media”

The findings/projections from the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report proved to be good fuel for discussion around the “growing Ubiquity of Social Media”

Kane Hopkins introduced us to some of the Social Media tools he has/is using with his students.  He talked about the benefits for not only internal students but also those studying at a distance. 

The attendees talked about the need to be aware of these technologies and how they could be used to support and enhance the student experience.

Hot Topic 25 july.mp3 (51,463 KB)

 27th June 2014 “The Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators”

 The findings/projections from the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report proved to be good fuel for discussion around “the Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators.”

The discussion around students and what they want from study and also their choice of institution, looked at things such as flexibility, reputation of institution and what does creativity look like. 

The attendees also talked about things they have tried with their own students with a focus on ‘creative’ assessment, delivery and teaching ideas.

A handout was circulated for this meeting which can be downloaded here.

2014-nmc-horizon-report-he-EN-SC.pdf (919 KB)

The session was recorded and can be downloaded from the link below…

Hot Topic 27th June 2014.mp3 (48,101 KB)


Lee and Krystina Stoner took an engaging, interactive session looking at Global Citizenship and why it’s important to Massey.

They shared insights from their own experiences and offered a framework to look at fostering Global Citizenship and a model that they had designed.

Some of the examples shared included some from the University of Georgia, and our own Massey Global Health Paper.

The session was well received and was set in a workshop style that generated a lot of in-depth discussion on each campus about the examples Lee and Krystina offered, but also how we can all look at fostering global citizenship and teaching and learning considerations.

Stoner & Stoner 2014_ Globalizing Higher Education.pdf (1,706 KB)

28th March 2014 Hot Topic Roundtable Students’ transition to tertiary learning: Demystifying NCEA and academic literacy

Lisa, Ken and Angela talked about initial findings from their TLRI funded research in the 1st Hot Topic Roundtable Discussion for 2014.

They shared insights from the first stage of their research on developing programme to help senior high school students’ transition into tertiary study. They spoke about the perceptions of secondary school teachers’ of the readiness of their students for tertiary learning, showed what NCEA does and does not do in terms of preparing students for tertiary education, and discuss the ways we have been supporting secondary teachers to enable their students to become independent learners and academic writers.

There was a series of questions and comments, which followed, and many attendees indicated they would like to be part of the next stage of the project.

The recording is available at

25TH OCTOBER, 2013 - “Student engagement: A guarantor of student success?”

Hot Topics Roundtables Number 7 saw Nick Zepke of the Institute of Education lead an interesting talk on this topic. 

Nick focussed on three things that help with student engagement and success. 

  1. Making students feel they are appreciated and that they can make a contribution. This is done through good feedback, both in assessment and in class.
  2. Sharing/giving/teaching the knowledge successfully.  Engaging students with the subject matter through threshold concepts…something which students can “get” and which grabs them.  They are then motivated to learn more.
  3. Adapting our expectations of our students to their particular situations.  Many students have jobs, family situations etc.  Be aware of these and be open to negotiations.

Then followed a lively discussion.  Nick elaborated and expanded on those points, and participants shared their experiences.

A handout was circulated for this meeting which can be downloaded here.

Student engagement Hot Topic handout.pdf (223 KB)

The session was recorded and can be downloaded from the link below…

hot-topic7-student-engagement-as-a-guarantor-of-student-success.mp3 (44,482 KB)


Hot Topics Roundtables number 6 saw Malcolm Rees of the Student Survey and Evaluation Unit give participants a crash course on Survey Analytics, and what data is gathered both here and internationally.  Questions and comments included:

  • The availability (and visibility) of this data to      program directors and other staff
  • Student project fatigue
  • What % of respondents were needed to make a survey      valid
  • Projects the Unit could help with
  • Surveying students who do not complete, and those who      have graduated for a few years

 A handout was circulated for this meeting which can be downloaded here.

  survey analytics.pdf (1,302 KB)

Audio of the session was recorded and can be downloaded from the link below…

  hot topics 6 audio-Survey Analytics.mp3 (45,506 KB)

30th August 2013 - The Pedagogy of Abundance: Implications for Course Design

A video-linked conversation led by Professor Mark Brown.  The growth of new digital media coupled with the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement has fundamentally challenged traditional approaches to course design. This ‘Hot Topic’ roundtable explores what has been described as the new ‘pedagogy of abundance’ (Weller, 2011) which in many cases has displaced the dominance of conventional printed study resources—for better and worse. 


This forth Hot Topic of the year saw James Hollings and Kane Hopkins from the School of Communication,  Journalism and Marketing , Wellington Campus share their experience and thoughts on using Facebook for teaching

Amongst others, the following points were made: 

  • Facebook seemed to work well for a small postgraduate course.  The ease of image and video uploading/downloading seemed an advantage over Stream
  • That aside, Stream does a lot of things Facebook can anyway, and in a far more controlled environment
  • It can be a lot of work to manage when using Facebook as it is less controlled.
  • Not all students use Facebook which can mean extra work for teachers if they incorporate it into the course
  • Facebook can be used as a hook to get initial engagement…then move to other things
  • Student-organised Facebook groups can be a used largely for venting about the course and doing such things as propagating wrong information and sharing illegal links…but students always did this, well before Facebook.
  • If Facebook is to be used in a course, there has to be a real purpose: the course design needs to be thought out
  • Facebook is owned by an external company.  If they change the software it could destroy your well -crafted lesson
  • Facebook can be good for maintaining relationships well beyond the course…but beyond the course we, as teachers, are not obliged to do this.  So should we try and do it?  Do students want it anyway?

The session was recorded and can be downloaded from the link below…

Facebook as a teaching aide (45,732 KB)


In this third Hot Topic of the year, Mark Waterman shared his thoughts and experiences with Audience Response Systems (ARS).   Amongst the discussion Mark covered:

  • Some theory
  • How ARS might be used to measure teaching performance was covered
  • The many other ways this is done
  • TopHat – A web based ARS
  • The use of ARS within the fundamental sciences

A handout was circulated for this meeting which can be downloaded here.

  Audience Response Systems Hot Topic.pdf (330 KB)

 The session was recorded and can be downloaded from the link below…

hot-topic-3-Audience Response Systems.mp3 (51,008 KB)


 Maggie Hartnett (Institute of Education) and Scott Symonds (Centre for Teaching and Learning) lead this lively discussion on learning spaces.  Some of the points/comments/observations raised include:

  • How far does the University’s responsibility go in providing students with unscheduled learning spaces (including the technical support that might come with them)?
  • The importance of learning design when using learning spaces.
  • How well are some of the new learning spaces we have on the campuses being utilised?
  • What consideration do we need to give students who can’t easily access “virtual’ learning spaces?  Are we reducing flexibility of study by insisting students join them?
  •  Students still need quiet learning spaces for individual study.
  • How do we share and disseminate our learning designs regarding such spaces?
  • What can we do to make more use of the on-line space?

A handout was circulated for this meeting which can be downloaded here.

Learning_Spaces.pdf (8,976 KB)

 The session was recorded and can be downloaded from the link below…

hoptopics2-changing-spaces-and-spaces-for-learning.mp3 (48,867 KB)

26th April 2013 - “The Challenges Facing Universities: What does the Avalanche  mean for Massey?”

In this meeting Mark Brown set the scene for a wide-ranging discussion on “The Challenges Facing Universities: What does the Avalanche mean for Massey?”.  How should Massey respond to these developments was the overarching question and some views were aired accordingly.

At this meeting, Mark presented a model for the discourse presently flowing around these issues. This is available for download here along with a report from the CATO institute pertinent to this issue.

Competing Discourses - Understanding the Sands of Change in Higher Education (192 KB)

Liberalizing Cross-Border Trade in Higher Education - The Coming Revolution of Online Universities (359 KB)

26th October 2012 - MOOCS:  (Massive Open Online Courses).  What are they and what are the implications for global tertiary education?

The Final Hot-Topics Roundtable on October 26th discussed “MOOCS:  (Massive open Online courses).  What are they and what are the implications for global tertiary education?”

This was a lively discussion lead by National Centre for Teaching and Learning Director Mark Brown supported by Teaching Consultant Jean Jacoby.  The rationale of MOOCs was touched on, and some of those enrolled in MOOC courses shared their experiences.   The general consensus of opinion was “watch this space”!

The session was recorded and can be downloaded from the link below.

Hot-topics6-MOOCS.mp3 (54,901 KB)

For those who wish to follow up on this subject, the following links will be of value.


28th September 2012 - Mobile Learning – how mobile should it be, and what can be learned?

Associate Professor David Parsons lead the fifth Hot-Topic Roundtables session on the topic above.

David presented “Top Five”…

  • Mobile Learning Myths and Misunderstandings
    • Mobile learning is ‘anytime, anyplace’ learning
    • Mobile learning is ‘just in time’ learning
    • Walking along with a book is a form of mobile learning
    • Mobile learning is an extension of e-learning
    • Mobile learning is an extension of distance learning
  • (Unique) ways you can learn with Mobile Learning
    • Augmenting reality with virtual information
    • Placing your learning in a specific context
    • Learning while communicating at a distance
    • Having a learning tool in the palm of your hand
    • Contributing to shared learning resources
  • Applications of Mobile Learning
    • Apply maths, science etc. in the real world
    • Simulate something that isn't really there
    • As a learning scaffold in the classroom
    • Capture learning experience in the wild
    • Learn what you want, when you want, where you want (misunderstandings?)
  • Future Potentials for Mobile Learning
    • All students in a class can use their own device for learning
    • We capture existing technology and practice for learning
    • Everything you want to teach can have an App
    • We reverse the death slide of student attendance by integrating technology
    • We teach things in a practical way that could only previously be taught theoretically
  • Risks for Mobile Learning
    • Entrenched digital divides
    • Digital distractions
    • The opposite of a green manifesto
    • Hawthorn and Dr Fox (Wikipedia) effects
    • Huge effort and investment, no measurable benefit (the ‘IT productivity paradox’)

These and other aspects of Mobile Learning were teased out in the ensuing discussion, which can be accessed in the audio recording of the session below:

Mobile Learning – how mobile should it be, and what can be learned? (48,744 KB)

David also provided the following links for those that wish to follow up the topic:

  • International Association for Mobile Learning
    • –
  • International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (Massey has a subscription)
    • –
  • Learning without Frontiers, and its subgroup Handheld Learning, have some good recorded talks and debates on mobile learning
    • –
    • –

31st August 2012 - Engagement in Blended Learning

In this Hot-Topic Roundtables session, Associate Professor Lynn Jeffrey, Teacher Leader, School of Management, College of Business, Albany led the discussion on “Engagement in Blended Learning”, based on a project a team she and others had recently completed.  Out of this project a framework for engagement was developed.

Lynn made the point that the online environment needed similar strategies to face-to-face but that implementation was different. In particular, the online environment needed to allow for significant student self-management. Here are the principles for engagement Lynn outlined:- 

 (1) Getting students engaged at the start of the course by:

  • Stimulating curiosity
  • Showing relevance

(2) Maintaining engagement during the course by providing:

  • A clear content structure and a well-organized course
  • Clear and unambiguous guidelines for assessment
  • Challenging tasks (e.g. online gaming)
  • Authentic tasks (tasks with relevance to the real world)
  • Timely feedback
  • Elaborated feedback i.e. highly specific feedback which elaborates on the way students can improve their performance.

(3) Re-engaging students that have drifted away by:

  • Monitoring engagement so these students can be identified
  • Personally contacting disengaged students and negotiating a path forward

A wide ranging discussion followed on engagement covering the impact and management of social media for teaching and what motivates students to learn.

An audio recording of the session is available below...

Enagement in Blended Learning.mp3 (45,956 KB)


27th July 2012 - Online assessment: A burden and a blessing

In this session National Teaching Award winner Liz Norman (IVABS) and Fiona Murray (Centre for Teaching and Learning) lead a multifaceted discussion on this very wide area, with a number of staff sharing their experiences. The conversation could only touch on a few aspects but topics covered included electronic assignment submission, marking on printed paper versus electronically on the screen, issues around and importance of feedback and assessing group work. For those that missed it, an audio recording of the meeting is available under the link below.

Hot-topics Round Table discussion: Online Assessment – A burden or a blessing (MP3) (48MB) (47,810 KB)


29th June 2012 - Motivating on-line students.  What does the literature say?

In this session Maggie Hartnett and Peter Rawlins (School of Curriculum & Pedagogy) lead an interesting discussion on the multifaceted area of student motivation.   Setting all jargon aside, it essentially came down to two questions the student would be asking themselves:

  1. Can I do it? (if I tackle this task do I expect to complete it successfully?) 
  2. Do I want to do it? (what value is it to me?)

These aspects were teased out in the conversation that followed, with a particular focus on on-line students.  For those that missed it, an audio recording of the meeting is available under the link below.)

  Motivating on-line students. What does the literature say? (44,267 KB)


May 25th, 2012 - To video or not video…that is the question

Mark Brown (Director, National Centre for Teaching and Learning) and John Milne (Teaching Consultant, Wellington)

 This first “hot-topics” meeting saw a wide ranging discussion covering many aspects of using video for teaching and learning ranging from lecture capture to video snippets deeply embedded in lessons produced not just by the teacher but the students also.   The value of video or indeed any rich media appears to depend on how it is used by both students and staff.  Mark and John lead the conversation based on a literature review carried out in November, in 2011. 


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