Outstanding book award to Matt Bower

Earlier in the year it was great to hear that one of our teledvisor community, Assoc. Prof. Matt Bower, had won the 2018 Association for Educational Communications and Technology Design and Development Outstanding Book Award for his 2017 book Design of Technology-enhanced Learning.

Book cover, Design for LearningMatt Bower announced the publication of his book on our TELedvisors forum last year (along with an author’s discount code ;). When I reviewed the book, I felt it met many of my requirements as a core text for a unit on technology-enhanced learning in our institution’s Graduate Certificate in Higher Education:

  • It covers many of the historical developments in educational technology for students new to the field.
  • It has been written to sustain relevance for repeated offerings over the current curriculum review cycle, which is five years for us (a long time for a technology unit!)
  • It collects a lot of research (including Australian studies) from the last decade, with the inclusion of selected older “classics”. The scholarship of technology-enhanced learning is not as visible as the main texts of higher education scholarship are, so I need to get expert guidance through this always developing field.

Logo of Association for Educational Communications and TechnologyThe Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) must have seen similar strengths when Matt submitted his book for consideration in their Design and Development Division prizes this year. Their award of Outstanding Book puts Bower in the company of such significant authors as Richard Mayer (AECT Design and Development Division Outstanding Book 2015), M. David Merrill (2014), and Ron Oliver, Thomas Reeves and Jan Herrington (2010), among others. Except for this last one, Australian works are not well represented in the different publication awards presented annually by AECT, which come from several divisions of the TEL field, including “culture, learning and technology”, “systems thinking”, and “research and theory”. It is good to see someone from Australia, and Macquarie University, featuring in these lists.

Meanwhile, I did adopt Matt’s text as required reading for the unit I was teaching, and some of the staff / students have found it very useful. Given that these students in the grad. cert., who are teachers across all the different schools of the university, are squeezing in their studies into weeks already packed with their own teaching, you want the experience to be enjoyable as well as productive. Matt’s strong authorial voice (honed from handling a generation of initial teacher trainers as well as long expertise in the field) adds to the learning experience of the unit, as do the big variety of TEL-in-use case studies.

The heart of the book is Chapter 6, which is supplied as a sample chapter by the publishers.While I personally found this chapter excellent and addressing some really important topics, I did see feedback from a couple of teacher-students that it was not relevant to the work that I wanted them to get done in the unit, which was primarily to develop a learning sequence with a TEL activity at its heart. If you want a good summary of the major models of designing for learning, however, you should definitely give it a read.

Congratulations to Matt on this publication and this award.

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