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Research in Distance Education (RIDE) conference 2021: Learning through disruption 

Event information>

Event type

Conference / Symposium

Following a tumultuous year since our last Research in Distance Education, (RIDE), conference gathering in 2020, we successfully delivered an online conference to a global audience, uniquely delivered over three focused half days of  interactive sessions on the 16, 17 and 18 June 2021.

Select the conference blogs for each day and follow the links there for video recordings of all the conference sessions.

The conference theme for 2021 was Learning through disruption. This broad topic was examined through the perspectives of key stakeholders - the practitioner/educator, the student and the Institution- providing an in-depth exploration of research and evidence from practice across three sub-themed sessions:

DayThemeProgramme at a glance

Day 1

Wednesday 16 June

9.15 - 12.50 BST

Student Support and Student Engagement

9.15 – 10.15 Opening and Keynote 

10.30 – 11.30 Parallel Sessions

11.40 - 12.10 Invited Talk



Day 2

Thursday 17 June

14.00 – 17.15 BST

Redesigning Assessment

14.00 - 14.45 Welcome and Keynote

15.00 - 16.00 Parallel Sessions

16.15 - 17.15 Invited Talks

Day 3

Friday 18 June

9.30 – 13.15 BST

Rethinking Teaching and learning

9.30 - 10.30 Welcome and Keynote 

10.45 - 11.45 Parallel Sessions 1

12.00 - 13.00 Parallel Sessions 2

Each sub-theme session included a keynote presentation discussed with a supporting respondent expert, and audience participation. Participants were engaged with further presentations of evidence from academic practice, discussing concerns, findings from research and evaluations and reflecting on achievements. 

Invited talks from:

  • Dr Betty Vandenbosch, Chief Content Officer, Coursera
  • Sam Brenton, Director of Online Education, University of London
  • Jonathan Baldwin, JISC

Twitter: #RIDE2021


Programme summary

Wednesday 16 June, 09:15-12:50: Student Support and Student Engagement

Professor Ellen Helsper, Department of Media and Communications at London School of Economics: Digital Disconnect: Educational inequalities in a digital age

Parallel session speakers include:

  • Stephen Brown and David Baume, CDE Fellows: What do we know about how students learn at a distance?
  • Virna Rossi, Ravensbourne University, London: Roots to Shoots: Inclusive Course Design to Support Wellbeing
  • Nicola Byrom, Kings College, Principal Investigator, SMaRteN (the Student Mental Health Research Network) and Founder and Trustee, Student Minds
  • Sue Beckingham, Sheffield Hallam University: Students as Partners co-creating innovative scholarship: Reflections on achievements using the 4M framework
  • Mario Barahona Quesada, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Costa Rica: Towards a framework for developing digital learning competences in higher education
  • Elisabetta Lando, Educational Technologist, Ellie Gill, Support Officer, City University of London, Building an online support community for students

Thursday 17 June, 14:00-17:15: Redesigning Assessment

Keynote Panel:
Dr Linda Amrane-Cooper, Professors Stylianos Hatzipanagos and Alan Tait, CDE University of London, Moving assessment online at scale: evidence informed developments

Parallel session speakers include:

  • Simon Walker and Norbert Pachler, University College London: Exploring the frontiers of digital assessment
  • Alan Tait, CDE and Gwyneth Hughes, UCL Institute of Education
  • Simon Jarvis, Head of Student Wellbeing, Student and Academic Services, Queen Mary University of London: Special exam arrangements and online assessment (title tbc)
  • Elisabeth Hill, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Ines Gil Jaurena,  National Distance Education University in Spain: Changing assessment in a distance education university: students' and faculty perspectives

Friday 18 June, 09:30-13:15: Rethinking Teaching and Learning

Professor Neil Morris, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation, University of Leeds:  Enhancing student learning and engagement through effective use of digital technologies and online learning

Parallel session speakers include:

  • Eileen Kennedy, Centre for Global Higher Education, UCL: The matter with interaction: supporting a pedagogy of care for online teaching and learning
  • Oscar Mwaanga, University of London: Decolonialisation as a framework for rethinking teaching and learning
  • Sarah Sherman and Julian Bream, Bloomsbury Learning Exchange: Workload and resource implications Informal approaches of helping peers to support wellbeing and development in lockdown (and beyond)
  • Stephanie Marshall, Queen Mary University of London: Education 4.0 - what have we learned from the pivot to on-line?’ A case study of QMUL.
  • Julie Phillips, Assistant Provost for Faculty Development, Curricular and Instructional Design,  Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA: Borrowing Evidence-Based Practices from Online Learning to Enhance Teaching & Learning in all Classrooms: A Faculty Developer’s Perspective
  • Sally Parsley, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Tana Wulji, WHO: Rethinking education: WHO Academy
  • The Careers Group, University of London: Enhancing employability and careers education through innovation
  • Maynor Barrientos Amador, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Costa Rica: (Re)Imagining Social Learning in Latin America: Digital Transformation in the Heart of Collective Learning