Tag Archives: participation

An investigation into the use of Twitter in teaching.

David Strafford

Parallel session 1, Short Paper 1.8

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Short Abstract
This presentation will review an exploratory study examining the opportunities and challenges of using Twitter as an integral part of the teaching on two Events Management modules. Particularly, it explores whether students would actively engage with course content on Twitter to enhance their learning experience and underpin the teaching from the classroom.

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Detailed Outline
The modern student has access to knowledge and information at their fingertips like never before. Ownership of smartphones, tablets and laptops is prevalent amongst the modern day digital learner, with information, knowledge and feedback being demanded faster and faster. Interaction on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest is growing as a result of increased demand for social connectivity. The modern day tutor needs to reflect on this, as to whether these platforms can be tools for teaching.

If students actively and voluntarily spend their time interacting on social media with peers, then it is natural for tutors to ask whether they can engage their students with learning on these same platforms. Therefore as part of the delivery of two Events Management modules, Twitter was used to underpin the learning from the more traditional classroom based teaching. The vehicle was a weekly ‘tweetchat’ hour where tutors and students could come together on Twitter to discuss course related topics. These tweetchats were not compulsory or assessed, they merely supported course material and provided wider background reading through interesting links, articles and videos.

The tweetchat topics loosely followed a particular module’s lecture topics: in Semester One, the Level 4 Events Foundation was chosen and in Semester Two, the Level 5 Charity Events and Fundraising module was utilised. A bespoke Twitter handle was created (@SHUeventschat) and the hashtag #SHUeventschat was used in all tweets during the tweetchats. Storify was used to summarise the tweetchat conversations each week. At the end of each module a quantitative research survey was conducted to establish students’ views on Twitter being used as part of their teaching, with some further qualitative interviews also conducted to delve deeper with particularly engaged students. The results of that research are presented here, couple with recommendations for future use.

Engaging online distance students by building learning communities

Helen Donaghue & Helen Thompson

Parallel session 1, Short Paper 1.3

Short Abstract
Distance students often experience isolation and lack of motivation and instructors designing and delivering online courses also face challenges such as adapting to new learning models, using technologies and supporting and engaging students. This presentation describes how learning communities built for both students and instructors helped address these issues.

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Detailed Outline

This presentation will outline challenges experienced by students and instructors involved in an online distance learning environment. The presenters will describe innovations to an online master’s course which aimed to build a sense of community for distance students. Changes included formalising an orientation package, increasing instructor presence, introducing more interactive and collaborative tasks, exploiting virtual meeting rooms and adding video lectures with embedded tasks. We will also describe how instructors were trained and supported via a community of practice model.

Session participants will have the opportunity to share their own ideas and experiences of engaging online students. The presenters will conclude with recommendations for tutors planning or developing online or blended courses.

281 – The importance of being idle ‘Creative idling’ and the displacement of joint thinking space in the modern Arts and Humanities Curriculum – Melanie Levick-Parkin & James Corazzo

Noun1.creative idling – the act of pursuing an as yet undefined creative goal in a non-linear fashion; participating in task unrelated activities or inertia whilst cognitively pursuing a creative solution.

In this paper we would like to ask: is there a place for ‘creative idling’?

To the uninitiated any creative process can seem unproductive and unfocused at times, often characterized by activities that seem indeterminate, unpredictable and lacking in clear objectives (Danvers 2003). Yet this ‘idling’ is as essential to the creative process as periods of focused activity. But how do you timetable space and resources for activities like being stuck?

The role of space in learning and teaching has been largely under acknowledged Jamieson et al (2000) and Temple (2007) and hidden by a discourse of ‘delivery’ and ‘utilisation’ that fails to recognize that spaces for learning are not ‘containers’ but co-constitutive of the activities that take place in them (Massey 1984) (Latour 2000). In arguing for the importance of ‘creative idling’ in disciplines that seek to develop creativity we suggest an approach that recognises the nexus of ‘pedagogy and place’ (Jamieson et al 2000) is essential.

In response to an HE context concerned with the ‘student experience’ and instrumentation of NSS / KIS an increasing focus on developing course identity and belonging is emerging. We would like to argue that acknowledging the importance of the spatial dimension is essential not only to creative activity but the very notion of student belonging itself.

281 creative_id_shu_lta

2012 Defining student engagement

Caroline Heaton and Helen Kay

The term ‘Student Engagement’ is used widely across the HE sector in a variety of contexts, to refer to matters concerning the perceptions, participation, expectations and experience of being a student within Higher Education.  The Higher Education Academy defines Student Engagement as providing opportunities for students to be ‘active partners in shaping their learning experiences’ (http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/student-engagement).  These opportunities can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  For example, the University of Exeter has developed a focus on Student Engagement which concentrates on student-led action research initiatives (http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/educationenhancementprojects/current_projects/change/) and the University of Lincoln’s ‘Student as Producer’ scheme provides opportunities for students to work alongside staff in the design and delivery of their teaching and learning programmes (http://studentasproducer.lincoln.ac.uk/

The Quality Assurance Agency is about to publish a new chapter within its UK Quality Code for Higher Education (http://www.qaa.ac.uk/AssuringStandardsAndQuality/quality-code/Pages/default.aspx) which addresses engagement in relation to the provision of feedback from students and student participation in quality assurance / enhancement processes.   This is in addition to the chapter: Learning and Teaching which will address students engagement in deep and independent learning. 

This co-lab will introduce and explore the good practice promoted within the codes of practice and will provide an opportunity for participants to consider and discuss their implications for Sheffield Hallam University.  It will include reflection on the various aspects of Student Engagement which are promoted within the sector and consideration of those features of Student Engagement which contribute to the student experience at Sheffield Hallam.  The session will also provide a forum for consideration of how Student Engagement might potentially be defined within an institutional framework.

Link to presentation:  Defining student engagement

B6 – (EN23) 11.50