Walk this way… reflections on a #Twalk

Andrew Middleton, Chris Rowell, Alex Spiers, Santanu Vasant,
Claire Moscop and Jeff Waldock

Active workshop

By the end of the session workshop participants will,

  • Understand the benefits of using a #twalk as a learning space
  • Know how to design their own #twalk
  • Understand how social media can integrate seamlessly with face-to-face activities to create a place for rich experiential learning
  • Know how to engage others after the #twalk through the ongoing use of social media
  • Reflect on how different spaces support a diverse preferences for learning engagement
  • Identify and use at least one principle of good learning space design
  • Be able to recommend qualities informing the future learning spaces

The impact of the workshop will be increased participant awareness of the application of social media in a blended learning strategy and the implications of this for learning space and curriculum design.

The workshop will begin with a round of structured stories from some of the universities who participated in the global #Twalk event on 31st May 2017.

A set of activities will show the potential of the #Twalk as a method for enhancing a higher education learning experience:

Activity 1: Using metaphor and motion– walking changes the learning dynamic and the readiness of a learning network to engage. We will explore the transferability of the #Twalk model and how spatial landmarks can be used to structure discussions by considering how a walk and its ‘pause point’s can stimulate engagement in face-to-face and tweetchat learning conversations in any disciplinary area.

Activity 2 –  Participants will do a micro-Twalk, with a Christmas theme, to try the method and explore different types of learning spaces (formal/informal, ‘real’/’virtual’) by taking a 10 minute route through one floor of the conference building.

Activity 3– Using our #Twalk planning template, participants will draft a ‘Twalk’ for their own institution and discipline with the support of peers in the room.

Concluding discussion and whiteboard activity

Participants will select from the following topics to generate ideas and guidance:

  • Connected future space #1 – learning space beyond the binaries of informal-formal, digital-physical, study-work
  • Connected future space #2 – learning to be agile, networked and nomadic using social media for uncertain futures
  • Reasons to twalk – exploring the benefits of #twalking

Pre and post activities

The organisers will be ‘flipping the twalk’ by running a pre-conference virtual twalk in which ‘walkers’ will follow an online route, interacting with, grabbing, making, photographing and sharing what they find using social media.

Participants will feedback on their activities using social media and will be encouraged to join a collaborative online space to record their future Twalks.


Ellis, R.A. & Goodyear, P. (2016). Models of learning space: Integrating research on space, place and learning in higher education. Review of Education, 4(2), June 2016.

Long, P.D. (2005). Learning space design in action. EDUCAUSE Review, July/Aug., p.60.

Megele, C. (2014). Theorising Twitter chat. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 2(2), 46-51.

Mulcahy, D.. (2015). Re/Assembling Spaces of Learning in Victorian Government Schools: Policy Enactments, Pedagogic Encounters and Micropolitics. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(4), 500-514.


Twitter, Walk, Collaborative, Tweetchat, Learning Spaces, Digital, Placemaking

Relation to the theme

  • engaging, stimulating and challenging learners
  • reaching and engaging different groups of learners
  • innovative ways of meeting learning outcomes and enabling learning gain
  • enhancing employability outcomes
  • building staff and student digital capability and confidence
  • scaling up excellence for broader impact