Car ton bras sait porter l’épée

Am ensconced in the lounge about to begin the long journey back, home, to New Zealand. Today’s wee flights will bring me from Raleigh North Carolina (often pronounced Ca o lahna by locals) to NYC via Charlotte. Tonight will be spent with whānau before the real (22 hour) journey begins tomorrow arvo.

I’ve been attending the 2013 meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) meeting here in Raleigh; in fact, it’s my first time at the event. I have a propensity for hyper criticality sometimes, and I’m a bit of a tough customer when it comes to academic conferences. While this was not flawless, it has been one of the best conferences I’ve attended. The logistics of everything has been top-notch. The facility (Raleigh Convention Center) is a marvellous venue. The timetabling of things was brilliant; the programme offered almost a plethora of quality presentations.

As someone who thinks educationalists need to do more empirical work about what happens in teaching and learning (our disciplines are great with theory, not so great with evidence-based scholarship), I saw more empirical work here than in other similar events. Still not enough, but more. My presentation was reasonably well-received, though I did get what is perhaps the silliest question I’ve ever received at an education conference. No, the number of clicks someone makes probably does not correlate with whether they’ve learned what they’re trying to learn. Even in an online course. 

I plan on coming back for next year’s event, in Québec City. En octobre, avec les feuilles d’erable et le foliage. But in the next 24 hours I shall eat real pizza, spend quality time with my nieces, with my snuggle buddy Homer (70kg of bloodhound awesomeness), and then make my way home to my beloved. He’s just completed his first working week in NZ and while we’ve chatted every day, Facetime does not replace body time.