Author Archives: Andrew Middleton

About Andrew Middleton

Andrew is Head of Innovation & Professional Development at Sheffield Hallam University with 21 years of experience in higher educational development. He is known for his pioneering work on developing audio feedback and as Chair of the UK MELSIG leading peers in transforming learning with digital and social media. Key successes include his role as editor books on media-enhanced learning, co-facilitating the open course Bring Your Own Devices for Learning, and being Managing Editor of the Student Engagement & Experience Journal.

10 Ways to Use Twitter to Enrich Your Course

The document explains how to engage students by using Twitter in teaching.10 Ways to Use Twitter

If you are not familiar with Twitter please click on the link to view a screencast of how to use it:

2012 What happens when you don’t have time for Blackboard? Engaging busy professional Post Graduates using mobile learning technology

Alison Hramiak

The technological advantages provided by mobile technology are currently being explored in Higher Education with institutions investigating and implementing new ways of reaching students through their mobile devices (Rose, 2008). This paper describes a pilot study that was intended to capitalise on the culture of exploration in this exciting area, and also to try and capture good practice in doing so. It describes a small study that examined how ‘SmartPhones’ could be used with trainee teachers on placement in schools, to communicate with them, and to disseminate course information to them.

After setting up a BlackBoard© (BB) site for the trainees a review at a university session revealed that they did not find accessing the site convenient either from home or school but all had and used SmartPhones on a daily basis. A decision was then taken to utilise their mobile phones to replace the functions that would have been covered by the BB site. For the remainder of their course, the tutor used text and email to communicate with the trainees rather than posting announcements and resources on the BB site.

Trainees were questioned about the use of these mobile devices using surveys and a group interview at the end of the course. An initial quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis of this data using suggests that trainees strongly prefer being able to access course information and communicate with their tutor via their phone rather than through a VLE. The mobile technology provided a more convenient and accessible means to gain the information they needed, and because they could access course information when they wanted, rather than having to find a PC or laptop from which to log onto the VLE, they felt much more connected with their tutor and the other trainees who were placed in other schools geographically separated from them. 

Rose, (2008) Switch that phone on! Extending higher education opportunities for the iPod generation at

C6 – (EN03 and EN34) 14.20

Presentation:  It’s easier to use my phone’

2012 QR Codes in action: a ‘revision wall’ to enhance engagement

Peter Walder, Andy Barnes, Robin Gissing, Tom Jolley

A level 4 core module has consistently generated low assessment outcomes. The teaching team therefore implemented a series of actions, to specifically encourage engagement with the core content of the module. Two distinct strategies were adopted. These were: A) a reconfiguration of the assessment schedule to allow more opportunities for feedback and B) the development of a ‘revision wall’ which would allow students to access summary key content through the use of posters which incorporated Quick Response (QR) codes. This abstract focuses on the second of these two strategies. 

Appropriate representations were made for the purchase of a poster board to support the project; these were successful. A series of approximately 10 A3 posters were created by the teaching team. Each of the posters had an embedded QR code which, when scanned with a mobile device equipped with appropriate software, displayed a movie of one of the module team explaining the content of the poster. Each of the movies was uploaded to YouTube and assigned a URL to enable monitoring of access to the movies.

Students were sensitised to the use of QR codes from the outset of the module via the display of a QR code at the end of every lecture which led directly to the online reading associated with the lecture. Further instruction, regarding the use of QR codes, was provided as part of the Revision Wall content. 

Access to the Revision Wall is to be monitored via Google Analytics and the value of the approach evaluated. It is recognised that an analysis of the assessment outcomes will not be directly attributable to engagement with the revision wall as the approach used to encourage engagement has also involved a change in the assessment schedule. 

Potential Discussion Topics

  • Accessibility to the learning resources in terms of the density of smart phone ownership within the student group.
  • The potential of using the creation of QR encoded posters as a student learning/assessment activity.
  • The potential of using QR encoded posters as part of a ‘flipping the classroom’ learning strategy. 

Note that this project is part of the University’s Mobile Innovations scheme.


B5 – [EN02, EN07, EN14] 11.50

2012 Beyond Employability: Making a Living in Social Justice

Lesley Gornall

In November 2011,  Norfolk County Council put its entire Youth and Community Service out to tender.  At the time,  students had begun to study on the new Level 6 programme, and the tender was incorporated into the Semester 1 module Community Profile.

The Semester 2 Module Understanding Young People was in development.  The module aim was to analyse the needs of all young people, and consider the design and management of effective responsive services.

Given the current employment climate for qualified Youth and Community Workers, and in the light of  the Norfolk Tender,  the module was designed to include a focus on setting up and running Voluntary Sector Organisations,  and Social Enterprise. 

Visiting speakers outlined their funding arrangements and sources, business models, and rate of growth, in addition to considering the needs of particular groups, together with the need to both discover a ‘niche’  and respond to policy.

The paper will examine students’  experiences, and understanding of new ways of making a living, together with module processes, and recommendations for future practice.

B4 – [FU01 and FU43] 11.50