Alexander Hayes – The Null Hypothesis: On Country, Cyborgs and the Singularity

Learning2gether Episode 341


Download mp3:
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/alexander-hayes-the-null-hypothesis-on-country-cyborgs-and-the-singularity.mp3?

On Sunday Aug 14, at the unusually early time of 1230 UTC, but pushing midnight in Canberra, Vance Stevens had a chat with Alexander Hayes, who filled us in on his dissertation journey in a discussion he had enigmatically entitled The Null Hypothesis: On Country, Cyborgs and the Singularity. By the end of his stream of consciousness explanation, all elements in that title were clearly connected.

Alexander Hayes is at this writing within six months of completing his dissertation, and before it gets locked away somewhere and forgot about I asked him to spare us an hour and tell us about it.

Where? Google+ Hangout on Air

It wasn’t the first time Alex had appeared on Learning2gether. In his most recent appearance, where we talked with him about the thesis research in-progress. I introduced him as follows:

Alexander Hayes has been associated with a number of cutting edge education projects over the years, including exploring the potential of StreamFolio, Talking VTE, POV technologies, Drones for Schools, wearable technologies (and the social implications of surveillance, sousveillance, and uberveillance) and most recently, Google Glass through posting his interviews with 60 Google Glass Explorers on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfhVHi9gqg5TLDTvvpVbI89NI5EJirTw8, and hosting the recent Glass Meetup #1 in Canberra.

I had almost forgot that Alex was only the third guest speaker in this Learning2gether podcast series as it was just getting started in 2010. At the time he asked us to have a look at his dissertation application plan entitled
The Application of Location Enabled Body Worn Technologies In The Education Sector

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1_TGVgWsJjbx5f0wxLQPSSjdsAluvF2Bgpnk9XMw1K4Q

It explores ramifications of the “rapid uptake of body worn, location enabled, mobile network accessible solutions for rich media creation and connection”

More recently I was honored to be interviewed as a small part of the data set in his extensive research, and I’m looking forward now to hearing about how all of that data have coalesced into a thesis soon to be locked away in a cabinet for no one to read🙂 and what it all has to do with ‘on country’, cyborgs, and singularity.

Alex provided us a complete listing of his writings on varied topics

Alex’s previous Learning2gether appearances are listed below

All are welcome to join us and learn more about Alex and his always provocative ideas and innovations.

Announcements

 

Earlier this week

Learning2gether episode 340 Sun Aug 7 noon UTC Vance Stevens at MMVC16 – Abundance in TPD: More than meets the eye

https://learning2gether.net/2016/08/07/mmvc16-abundance-in-tpd-more-than-meets-the-eye/

MMVC16 – Abundance in TPD: More than meets the eye

Learning2gether Episode 340


Download mp3:
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/professional-development-opportunities-online.mp3?


Vance Stevens delivering a talk on Sunday, August 7, at MMVC16 – Moodle Moot Virtual Conference 2016

An abundance of PD opportunities online: More than meets the eye.

This Learning2gether Episode #340 is one of many online PD opportunities that are taking place literally as we speak, and if this is a representative moment, this extrapolates to an abundance of PD opportunities online at any given moment. Abundance in teacher professional development implies TPD that is free, easily accessible, and available as per user interest in the manner of a berry bush, where users pick the most desirable berries from among those most easily reachable. But institutional PD is often approached from a mindset of scarcity, meaning it is time-bound, tied to brick and mortar, and often driven top-down. This presentation will help viewers visualize the abundance in a way that this perspective can be shared with whomever is driving your PD through a scarcity paradigm.

Recordings

Slides
http://www.slideshare.net/vances/abundance-in-teacher-professional-development-more-than-meets-the-eye

Announcements

This was just one part of the 5th Annual Moodle Moot Virtual Conference #mmvc16

Fri Aug 5 through Sun Aug 7 – Nellie Deutsch presents 5th MMVC16

2016-08-06_0004mmvc16pics

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/moodlemoot/

The 5th annual MoodleMoot Virtual Conference (MMVC16) for 2016 free online event will take place August 5-7, 2016 on MoodleMoot Moodle learning environment. The presenters of MMVC16 are educators who use technology in face-to-face, fully online, and/or in blended learning courses. You can access the webinars (available as MP4), presentations, and the content in the courseware of MMVC16 conference area using Facebook, LinkedIn or Gmail accounts to register, enrol, and login each time: http://moodlemoot.integrating-technology.org/enrol/index.php?id=2

Presenters will receive certificates for presenting. Participants will receive certificates of completion, if they qualify. The certificates are free. The criteria for the certificates of completion is to reflect on 3 webinars or recordings, which are available in the courseware of the conference area on MMVC16 Moodle under webinars, in a blog post for each webinar. Use the following template to reflect

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/15SqhuWP6IvZwt9HnknnbhBf0s7hQDtvWiaH2StRaPtQ/edit

Find the complete program here

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10VwwcTMzGvCHjM6uD1sao_bdvGeYkHZDFCjyEDXlOFo/edit

Videos playlist

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8JUcjyABKxlYOOVTZSyxamEnp8Ruvqbx

 

Earlier this week

Learning2gether episode 339 Sat July 30 – Hanging out at EdCampGlobal

https://learning2gether.net/2016/07/30/learning2gether-with-edcamp-global/

Sat Aug 6 1600 UTC Hyperdocs: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps on Classroom 2.0

Saturday, August 6, 2016
9am PT/10am MT/11am CT/12pm ET
Hyperdocs: Digital Lesson Design Using Google AppsWe are so excited to welcome Lisa HighfillKelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis to our kick-off webinar for the new school year! They will be sharing a fantastic digital tool which they created called “HyperDocs.” You will be thrilled to learn all of the powerful uses for HyperDocs to facilitate and enhance learning for your students!Webinar Description: In this webinar, participants will learn how to improve their digital pedagogy instantly by creating HyperDocs – powerful inquiry-based learning tools. HyperDocs are digital tools that replace the worksheet method of delivering instruction. Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis will discuss how using Google apps for packaging and workflow can greatly enhance reading and writing instruction. We will explore the philosophy behind HyperDocs, how to create them, and they will present many examples that you can edit, revise, and use in the classroom. Additionally, participants will learn how creative packaging of digital web tools can be used to transform their lessons into interactive, multi-layered experiences for students. This workshop is great for all grade levels and subjects including administrators and coaches, and each participant will leave the session with new thinking about how to effectively integrate digital instruction.Remember to follow us on Twitter: #liveclass20

More information and session details are at http://live.classroom20.com. If you’re new to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! show you might want to spend a few minutes viewing the screencast on the homepage to learn how we use Blackboard Collaborate, and navigate the site. Each show begins at 12pm Eastern (GMT-5) and may be accessed in Blackboard Collaborate directly using the following Classroom 2.0 LIVE! link at http://tinyurl.com/cr20live. All webinars are closed captioned.

On the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! site (http://live.classroom20.com) you’ll find the recordings and Livebinder from our recent “ Open Mic show “What’s on your Summer Bucket List?”” session facilitated by the always amazing facilitator extraordinaire, Paula Naugle Click on the Archives and Resources tab.

Classroom 2.0 LIVE Team: Peggy George, Lorie Moffat, Tammy Moore, Paula Naugle, Steve Hargadon

Visit Classroom 2.0 at: http://www.classroom20.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Learning2gether with edCamp Global

Learning2gether Episode 339

On Saturday July 30 Learning2gether hung out in Hangout in two presentations (where the presenters had sent invitations) which were part of the 24 Hour online edcamp Global July 29th-30th 2016.

Unlike the traditional edcamp, edCamp Global mounted sessions for 24 hours that accommodate any schedule across the globe. In their words, “We are looking forward to educators collaborating with the whole world. Registration will open and the schedule will be available as facilitators volunteer.” For more information:
http://edcampglobal.wix.com/edcamp

Learning2gether attended these two sessions:

Sat July 30 Jim Buckingham at edCamp Global 2016 – Digital Badges

2016-07-30_1703edcamp

I hope you will join me in discussing the following three basic questions in the context of digital badges and professional development. 1 – what exactly are badges? 2 – why might you want to know more about them? …. and …. 3 – if badges are so great, why haven’t we seen greater uptake of them by others?

Join the conversation at
https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c5ev2mkfjik3j8bb985nd8p7pj0

Watch the video

The presentation linked to three informative documents

The presenter mentioned a chat and Q & A area but this participant was unable to find these during the presentation (later I found out it was the Q & A utility in Google +).

Other participants were interacting with the presenter in these spaces.

Here is how the presentation appeared in
http://edcampglobal.wix.com/edcamp#!schedule/c1204

Sat July 30 1400 UTC Hangout with Jose Rodriguez and EdCampGlobal: Kidcasts

EdCampGlobal: Kidcasts – Podcasts for Kids

New activity on Joe Rodriguez’s event: EdCampGlobal: Kidcasts – Podcasts for Kids

  Joe Rodriguez
Shared publicly on Jul 20, 2016

Join us as we explore the topic of Kidcasts or podcasts for kids. What are kidcasts? How can I use podcasts designed for kids in my classroom? Come and share your ideas. Facilitating Joe Rodriguez 5th Grade teacher at The Ambassador School of Global Education in Los Angeles @edtechjoe and by Lindsey Patterson co-host of the Tumble science podcast for kids,@TumbleCast. Feel free to jump in and join the fun.

Join the conversation:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cdsdq9vbj9u94ukuf521apff0c8

The presentation linked to these resources:

Promotion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0iHpvGaIUUs

 

Earlier this week

LEARNING2GETHER Episode 338 Mon July 18 1700 UTC Globinar with Allan Carrington, imagineer of the Padagogy Wheel

https://learning2gether.net/2016/07/18/globinar-with-allan-carrington-imagineer-of-the-padagogy-wheel/

 

Wed July 20 1800 UTC free webinar in WizIQ on How to teach students of all abilities

Free registration,
http://mailer.wiziqcourses.com/lists/lt.php?id=LE8FCwoPTVAPBFYfBwYKDA9X

 

Sat-Sun July 29-30 Ten in Ten for Terms – Cancelled

And if you visit http://www.efltalks.com/Events.html

you will find

Where before it used to say …

Stay tuned …

 

Globinar with Allan Carrington, imagineer of the Padagogy Wheel

Learning2gether episode 338

On Monday, July 18, Learning2gether helped promote this Globinar with Allan Carrington, imagineer of the Padagogy Wheel

Learning2gether was in holiday hiatus during July of this year. Nevertheless, Jürgen Wagner asked Learning2gether the help promote this Globinar with Allan Carrington – the “imagineer” of the Padagogy Wheel – as Learning2gether episode 338. Learning2gether was honored to have been asked to participate.
We created an event and invited others to join the conversation at

Jürgen posted the relevant materials at the links below:

The PADAGOGY WHEEL in the Flipped Classroom

http://globinars.blogspot.de/2016/06/the-padagogy-wheel-in-flipped-classroom.html

Invitation to FREE webinar:

  • What’s the Flipping Fuss All About – the Padagogy Wheel in the Flipped Classroom
  • Doing “flipped classrooms” is the flavour of the month for educators. What does it mean? Is it new? What exactly are we to flip? How do we approach the Learning and Teaching design to get the best outcomes?  Is this really worth it for students and can teachers handle the change management load?
  • We will introduce the Padagogy Wheel learning design model, which has gone viral on the Internet with over 150,000 copies downloaded and is in front of  tens of thousands of teachers around the world.
  • This approach to learning and teaching is all about mindsets and filtering everything we do as teachers through different grids.
  • We will show how this “disruptive” approach to curriculum design enables teachers to flip more than their classrooms. We will start at the finish (the excellent graduate) and map everything back from there.

As usual, Jürgen has followed up with what he likes to call the post-paratory materials

Click on THIS LINK to open the PDF document with the follow-up materials relating to the webinar 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8905964/Breeze/FUM_Padagogy_Wheel_18_07_2016.pdf

The document contains – as usual:

I replicate excerpts from the above here, in case the PDF document becomes unavailable. Contributors of these links were Peggy George, plus one contributed by Nellie Deutsch:

Leave your feedback for Allan and Tobias in this NEW padlet, please:
https://padlet.com/wagjuer1/globinars

Learning2gether announcements of this event

Additionally …

 

Earlier this week

Sun June 26 1400 UTC Learning2gether 337 – Carry English in Your Pocket!

https://learning2gether.net/2016/06/26/carry-english-in-your-pocket-brimeng-livecode-app-development-from-bangladesh/

BrimEng: Carry English in your Pocket! LiveCode app development from Bangladesh

Learning2gether Episode 337


Download mp3:
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/2016jun26clairsiskin-64k.mp3?

On Sunday June 26  Learning2gether learned how to Carry English in Your Pocket! Claire Siskin introduced a team of teachers from Bangladesh who presented on how they learned LiveCode and used it to make a smartphone app for language learning.

We met Dr. Bipasha Binte Haque and Shamsi Ara Huda webcasting from Shamsi’s office at Daffodil International University in Dhaka. Sadia Zafrin Lia, another of the team of 4 developers from Bangladesh, had planned to join us but was unable to connect from home in Dhaka.

The Elluminate Publish rendition of the mp4 has only the audio and the slide show from the whiteboard. It looks like if I want to include webcams I’ll need to make a Camtasia version from the Elluminate recording below. For the time being, if you want to see our webcams, you’ll have to view that recording.

Where? Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate)
http://webheads.learningtimesevents.org/
Thanks to an ongoing grant from http://www.learningtimes.com/

Recording

They are creating brimEng, an app for Android smartphones.  BrimEng wil be available free of charge.

They are using the Community (open source) version of LiveCode, a rapid application development (RAD) tool. With LiveCode, you can develop on PCs or Macs or Linux and deploy on those platforms as well as Android and IOS.

Links

Announcements

 

Sun 26 Jun 2000 UTC Global Education Day streamed live from ISTE Denver

Time wherever you are:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?msg=Global+Education+Day+streamed+from+ISTE+in+Denver&iso=20160626T14&p1=75&ah=3

Below you will find our general announcement about our next event, Global Education Day. If you will be present at the International Society for Technology in Education conference, this may be of particularly interest. We hopefully will be live-streaming this event next Sunday, June 26th, on our YouTube channel as well. Follow all the action on Twitter using the hashtag #globaled16; our twitter handle is @GlobalEdCon.

At Global Education Day, we will be announcing the Great Global Project Challenge, an initiative designed to coincide with an event we host in September called Global Collaboration Day. We are encouraging educators and organizations to design collaborative projects during the next three months and we will promote these on our GCD site and to the GEC community. Visit this web page for more details. On June 26th, we will also be announcing dates for our main Global Education Conference which takes place every November.

In other ISTE related news, GEC leadership team member Julie Lindsay is organizing the Global Collaboration PLN Welcome and the Global Learning Playground at ISTE as well. If you will be attending this conference, make sure to check out these events in order to grow your professional learning network.

GLOBAL EDUCATION DAY INFORMATION

The Global Education Conference Network, along with its leadership team and supporters, believes in the power of globally connected teaching and learning to change the world. The GEC Network annually presents engaging face-to-face and virtual opportunities for students, educators and organizations in order to foster professional development, improve educational outcomes, and increase global understanding and collaboration. ln addition to the virtual Global Education Conference which takes place every November, co-chairs Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon are the creators of Global Collaboration DayGlobal Leadership Week and the upcoming Global Education Day.

The fifth annual Global Education Day event takes place next Sunday, June 26th from 2 PM to 5 PM at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. Globally minded educators, organizations and companies will convene to share innovative ideas and best practices during this three hour face-to-face meet up. Global Education Day is the perfect opportunity for educators and organizations to create authentic connections and partnerships enabling global action and increased empathy in classrooms throughout the world. There is no cost to attend Global Education Day; those seeking to attend the ISTE conference as well must be paid registrants for official ISTE activities. Travel is the responsibility of participants.

This participatory and interactive Global Education Day will feature inspirational ignite talks by noted educators and organizations, round-table discussions on related topics, and a global resource cool tools showdown in which the best resources for designing powerful global experiences for students will be shared.

Featured ignite speakers include:

  • Nicky Bourgeois, the Wonderment

  • Tia Lendo, Google

  • Niccolina Clements Mangro, Edmodo

  • Michael Furdyck, TakingITGlobal

  • Jennifer Klein and Ross Wehner, World Leadership School

  • Jim Knight, TES

  • Chelsea Waite, Digital Promise Global

  • Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Global Oneness Project

  • David Young, VIF International Education

The full agenda can be viewed here.

Additionally, on Global Education Day, the Global Education Conference Network will  announce  the Great Global Project Challenge. The Challenge will encourage educators to design global projects to be implemented in schools around the world during the 2016-2017 school year. These projects will kick off in September during Global Collaboration Day.

A limited number of seats for Global Education Day are available to those who will be in the Denver area on June 26th. For registration and additional details, visit this Eventbrite page. Additionally, remote participants can follow all the global education action via the GEC’s YouTube channel and on Twitter using the hashtag #globaled16.

Global Education Day is made possible by innovative organizations committed to our mission. Many thanks to EdmodoGoogle for EducationTESVIF International Education, and the Wonderment for supporting this endeavor.

Additional press and sponsorship inquiries should be directed to Steve Hargadon atsteve@hargadon.com.

 

Visit The Global Education Conference Network at:

http://www.globaleducationconference.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

 

Earlier this week

Mon June 20 1000 UTC Learning2gether 336 about Teacher/Practitioner Research from Mark Wyatt, Anne Burns, and Judith Hanks

https://learning2gether.net/2016/06/20/discussion-of-teacherpractitioner-research-with-mark-wyatt-anne-burns-and-judith-hanks/

 

Discussion of Teacher/Practitioner Research with Mark Wyatt, Anne Burns, and Judith Hanks

Learning2gether Episode 336


Download mp3:
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/learning2gether-episode-336-teacher_practitioner-research-from-mark-wyatt-anne-burns-and-judi-hu6apq-6eg.mp3?

On Monday June 20 1000 UTC Learning2gether hosted a discussion of Teacher/Practitioner Research following up on an article written by Mark Wyatt, Anne Burns, and Judith Hanks

The presenters have just published an article in the On the Internet column of TESL-EJ
http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume20/ej77/ej77int/

Teacher/Practitioner Research: Reflections on an Online Discussion

* * * On the Internet * * *
May 2016 — Volume 20, Number 1

Mark Wyatt 
University of Portsmouth, UK

Anne Burns
University of New South Wales, Australia

Judith Hanks
University of Leeds, UK

The discussion is on the evolution of that topic, its findings, and implications.

Abstract

There is growing interest in educational research conducted by teachers and other practitioners in learning environments. There is also a growing willingness among educators to discuss such research in environments that are open and online. However, for some of those engaging with such forms of inquiry in such online spaces, puzzles remain. For example,

  • For it to count as ‘research’, does teacher/practitioner ‘research’ have to be shared?
  • Can this happen in non-academic ways, and why is this beneficial?
  • In what ways is teacher/practitioner research valuable in itself as an activity?
  • What forms of such research are open to teachers, how are they similar and how do they differ?
  • What are the defining characteristics of one of these forms, ‘exploratory practice’, and what does it look like in practice?
  • What kinds of support are required so that teacher/practitioner research is a more viable activity for both teachers and their learners?

These were some of the questions raised in a recent online discussion involving teachers and academics from all over the world. It provided dialogic learning opportunities and encouraged a sharing of insights from educators working from different perspectives but united in the common cause of supporting deeply ethical, empowering teacher/practitioner research. This article represents the moderators’ reflective summary of the discussion, produced with a view to disseminating current ideas on this topic and stimulating further debate.

Where? Google+ Hangout on Air

Announcements

2016-06-24_0919nives336

Earlier this week

Mon June 13 Learning2gether 335 with Peggy George in a Globinar on free PD resources in Livebinders

https://learning2gether.net/2016/06/13/peggy-george-in-a-globinar-on-free-pd-resources-collated-in-livebinders/

Recordings and show notes

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8905964/Breeze/FUM_Livebinders_13_06_2016.pdf

 

Wed June 15 Virtually Connecting from NMC16

2016-07-02_1255vc15jun2016

https://twitter.com/VConnecting?cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email

NMC16 Summer Conference

http://virtuallyconnecting.org/announcements/vc-will-be-at-nmc-summer-conference/

Peggy George in a Globinar on free PD resources collated in Livebinders

Learning2gether Episode 335


Download mp3:
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/2016jun13peggygeorgeglobinar.mp3?

Jürgen Wagner announced his “globinar” on Mon June 13 as being presented by “two outstanding members of the webheads community”. Learning2gether itself derives from Webheads in Action, so all concerned agreed to conduct the event in parallel with this week’s Learning2gether Episode 335.

The two Webheads in question were Dr. Peggy George, talking about Sources of Free or Low-cost Professional Development on Demand and the designated hostess of the event, Rita Zeinstejer.

Google+ Event page for this event:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cadvevu3j2pu3qnk3u7gr4f899g

YouTube recording: https://youtu.be/ZtGwzWTtcrU

Links to recordings and show notes are given in this pdf document:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8905964/Breeze/FUM_Livebinders_13_06_2016.pdf

This includes (I cleaned these links up from the pdf above)

Full link:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8905964/Breeze/peggy_livebinders.pdf

Globinar schedule of events: http://www.lpm.uni-sb.de/typo3/index.php?id=1258

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8905964/Breeze/fobis_2016.pdf 

Announcements

 

When you register for and attend Jürgen’s Globinars you get a nice …

2016-06-14_1929certificate

Earlier this week

Sun June 5 1400 UTC Learning2gether 334 in Hangout on Air with Jeff Lebow

https://learning2gether.net/2016/06/05/informal-learning-with-jeff-lebow-and-rhizo16/

Mon June 6 2000 EDT VSTE hosts Bented on their Minecraft server

Tonight’s meeting is canceled due to the death of a dear friend of VSTE. Here is the notice Loren posted in Second Life. Feel free to join us.

Friends:

With sorrow and regret we have learned that pioneering virtual educator Cyrus Hush has passed away unexpectedly.

On behalf of the VSTE family and all educators, I express my great sympathy. He was a valued member of our community, admired and enjoyed for his humor and intelligence.

This evening’s VSTE event in Minecraft is cancelled, and we will gather informally this evening at 8 PM EST in Second Life for those who wish to be together.

Loren ChrononaiaVSTE Chair-Elect , VE PLN Board Liaison

Special Treat June 6 at 8 PM EDT at VSTE Place, our Minecraft Server! “Bented,” one of the kids on East Coast Miners will be our guest and teach us how to make a variety of banners in Minecraft to beautify our builds!

Please come meet Bented and learn this fun skill. You will be inspired.

Once in the VSTE Place server type

/warp we to get to our classroom.

The server is 69.175.17.26:25565

You must be whitelisted. Email K4sons@gmail.com if you need to be whitelisted.

Fri June 10 – webinar with Dr Bart Rienties from the UK Open University

As part of the EU-funded VITAL project on learning analytics and online language learning you are all invited to a free webinar with Dr Bart Rienties from the UK Open University today (10 June) at 11am UK time.

Further information here on the VITAL project website: http://www.project-vital.eu/en/2016/03/10/upcoming-webinars/

Dr Bart Rienties, Reader in Learning Analytics: http://www.open.ac.uk/people/bcr58

Abstract
The impact of learning design on student behaviour, satisfaction and performance: a cross-institutional comparison across 151 modules”Pedagogically informed designs of learning are increasingly of interest to researchers in blended and online learning, as learning design is shown to have an impact on student behaviour and outcomes. Although learning design is widely studied, often these studies are individual courses or programmes and few empirical studies have connected learning designs of a substantial number of courses with learning behaviour. In this study we linked 151 modules and 111.256 students with students’ behaviour (<400 million minutes of online behaviour), satisfaction and performance at the Open University UK using multiple regression models. Our findings strongly indicate the importance of learning design in predicting and understanding Virtual Learning Environment behaviour and performance of students in blended and online environments. In line with proponents of social learning theories, our primary predictor for academic retention was the time learners spent on communication activities, controlling for various institutional and disciplinary factors. Where possible, appropriate and well designed communication tasks that align with the learning objectives of the course may be a way forward to enhance academic retention.