Professor Christopher Dede

Professor in Learning Technologies

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Harvard University

Next Generation Media for Online Active Learning

Abstract: The dark clouds of the pandemic offer a silver lining: increased research and development of next-generation media for online active learning in higher education. Immersive mixed-realities that provide rich virtual contexts and systems for blended/hybrid learning that bring remote learners “into the classroom” as if they were face-to-face can bring online learning beyond presentational/assimilative instruction. This talk will describe promising advances and indicate next steps.

Professor Diana Laurillard

Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies

Centre for Global Higher Education

Institute of Education, University College London

Making effective use of blended and online learning


The HE community has learned a great deal about blended and online learning over the past year. It has been an R&D endeavour for decades, but the pandemic has now accelerated developments and brought the whole teaching community into a period of innovation and experimentation. There is a lot to learn, but we are not starting from nothing. The talk will propose how we can frame our experimentation with digital pedagogies within the Conversational Framework, which embraces a wide range of theories of teaching and learning. But the discovery of new knowledge in this field will come from teachers themselves now, so it also introduces the Learning Designer, a free online tool to support teachers in exchanging innovative learning designs, and building on each other’s work to develop this new knowledge base. It ends by showing how large-scale online courses give us the technology to do this as a global HE community.

Dr. Derek Bruff

Director, Center for Teaching

Principal Senior Lecturer, Mathematics

Vanderbilt University

Intentional Tech


The changing circumstances of higher education require a form of adaptive teaching in which technologies are used to support both on-campus and online learning. As our toolbox of technologies expands, faculty and other instructors aren’t always sure how to integrate those tools into their teaching in meaningful ways. Determining what’s possible and what’s useful can be challenging. In this session, we’ll explore several teaching principles for matching technology to pedagogy, principles that can help us make intentional and effective use of technology however we teach.