Tag Archives: blogging

Thinking ahead


By Jill Lebihan

(Student Engagement, Evaluation and Research)

Don’t judge me too harshly but I was pleased that this week (9th June 2016) saw the release of the results of the 2016 HEPI Student Academic Experience survey.  The HEPI report is based on a relatively large survey of the student population (a bit over 15,000 respondents from across the HE sector).  The report covers the usual satisfaction and value-for-money/student-as-consumer stuff, but it also reports on students’ happiness and their own sense of motivation and responsibility for learning.  Many of the issues that the report considers will be discussed at SHU’s forthcoming Learning and Teaching Conference and I have a vested interest or two.

One area of the report which shows there is dissatisfaction is in support for students to develop their own interests. So I’m drawn to sessions in the Learning and Teaching conference that address this problem, in particular to the solution of co-designNatasha Taylor and Will Roberts have used Google+ to engage students as active participants and co-producers of their learning resources, rather than passive consumers.  Getting students to design their own learning package is a way to support them to develop their own interests and share those with peers, so I’m going to see what practical tips Natasha and Will have to offer.  Stella Jones-Devitt is also concerned with student engagement and she is going to be looking at ways of making barriers to participation more permeable, allowing a bit more flux and flow between roles of teacher and student.  She’s asked me to do a bit of roller-derby-style blocking in that session, so I’ll be digging out my shin pads.

HEPI, with impeccable timing, have also just published a report on students’ views on freedom of speech on campus, and their conclusions provide food for thought for Liz Austen and my own session on ‘Safe Spaces’.  The HEPI/YouthSight report suggests that many students are not as opposed to restrictions on speech and discussion on campus as we might assume, even though the NUS has been very vocal in its opposition to Prevent.  The report concludes that students are, at the very least, confused in their views on freedom of speech.  I think we may find, in our workshop, that lots of us are conflicted on this matter.  I’m looking forward to having the chance to explore all of this a bit further with colleagues at the event.

263 – Using e-learning to enhance personal and professional development: how reflective blogs can illustrate transformational learning – Emma Taylor, Claire Craig

The module Occupational Approaches to Health   and Wellbeing is a distance learning (DL) module that considers how the   Lifestyle Redesign Model can be applied in the context of health promotion.   The module delivery was structured over five teaching sessions that involved   online collaboration between the students.    The module had a small cohort of 10.
Students were also asked to complete a reflective blog after each session.   The blog was a shared one which allowed other students to read and comment on   it. The students were given directed questions, relating to the session   content, to reflect on in their respective blogs

 Why   did I choose this module?
How does policy impact on both your personal and professional life?
New knowledge and you: has the earning impacted on you personally in any way?
How can you integrate behaviour change principles into your work?
What now? Reflect on your new knowledge both personally and professionally.
What transpired over the period of the module was a clear development of the   students both professionally and personally.

Students consistently applied the principles from some of the sessions to   their work and shared the successes and frustrations of this on their blogs.   Peers offered encouragement via the blogs which initiated further blog   dialogue between the students and supported each other in applying their   learning in practice.

What was particularly interesting was how students started to apply the   theories being taught to their personal lives and also shared these in their   blogs (e.g. joining weight loss programmes). What was apparent was the   support from the other students in making these changes in their lives.   Students that blogged would receive   comments from tutors and students which seemed to motivate them to add   further comments.  The tutor could have   moderated the discussions should this have been necessary.

Student feedback was very positive and so the use of reflective blogs has   been introduced in all the DL modules on the course to help with personal and   professional development.

ref: Cranton (2010) Transformational learning in an online environment. International Journal of Adult Vocational Education & Technology 1(2). 1-9.

 263 Using e-learning to enhance personal and professional development