Tag Archives: higher education

Changing the Learning Landscape – The Use of Social Media in Science & Technology Teaching and Learning

cll-web-bannerChanging the Learning Landscape – The Use of Social Media in Science & Technology Teaching and Learning.
Date: 13 Mar 2013
Start Time: 09:30 am
Location/venue: The Royal Society of Chemistry Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, , W1J 0BA

Changing the Learning Landscape (CLL) involves a series of activities to enable those involved in higher education to embed learning technologies in their learning and teaching practice.

One strand of activity involves discipline-focused workshops aimed at lecturers, module leaders and programme leads who are either new to, or have some knowledge of, learning technologies and would like to find out more.

‘The Use of Social Media in Science & Technology’ workshop offers an opportunity for those involved in teaching, or directly managing degree programmes, to find out more about the role social media can play in enhancing the student and tutor experience. Through a series of presentations, activities and discussions, led by academics from the science and technology disciplines, participants will be introduced to new social media approaches and see discipline-focused exemplars of social media applied in practice.

Topics will cover:

  • an introduction to teaching with social media;
  • encouraging student social networking in laboratory practical sessions;
  • enhancing fieldwork learning through social media technologies;
  • social media and lecture capture;
  • accessibility aspects of social media;
  • student perspectives on the use of social media in science and technology teaching and learning.
  • These topics will be delivered by practitioners from the science and technology disciplines.

    There is no charge for the workshop but places are limited and you are advised to apply early using the booking form.

    Please note that a similar workshop ‘The Use of Social Media in Engineering & Mathematics’ will be held on 22 May 2013 at a venue in Manchester. Details of, and registration for, this workshop will follow in due course.
    For general enquiries about this workshop please email Alex Fenlon; alex.fenlon@heacademy.ac.uk

    More details are available from this website.

    Festival of Innovative Practice 2011 #CHEP11

    Today I will be at the University of Ulster’s Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP) second “Festival of Innovative Practice”. The event website states the following:

    “The purpose of this event is to showcase and celebrate the wide range of innovative work undertaken by funded CHEP and TFL projects during 2010-2011, and some ongoing work from projects funded in previous years. In addition, and importantly, it aims to allow all participants to share and learn from each other’s practice.

    The Festival will be opened by the Vice Chancellor and will include a keynote address by the Centre’s Visiting Professor, David Boud, on the importance of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The day provides an opportunity to hear snapshot presentations of the outcomes and progress of a number of CHEP Development Fund and Technology Facilitated Learning projects. Project posters and stands will also be available to view in an interactive exhibition hall. The range of topics will include:

    • technology-enhanced learning
    • creative approaches to teaching and learning
    • curricula developments
    • pedagogic research
    • assessment and feedback

    After lunch, Dr David Adams, Director, UK Centre for Bioscience, HEA will facilitate an interactive workshop on Creativity and Innovation.”

    I will be chairing one of the parallel sessions but also in my role as rep for the UK Centre for Bioscience I will be “manning” a stand with useful materials from the Centre.

    As time permits I will also post a few tweets using the #CHEP11 hashtag.

    The programme for the day, as taken from the Festival website, is included below.

    Centre for Higher Education Practice

    “Festival of Innovative Practice”

    June 16th 2011, Jordanstown Campus (21C05)

    Draft programme

    09.15 – Tea/Coffee and Registration

    Photographs of Student Competition Winners

    09.45 – Welcome and Introduction – Vice Chancellor

    “What Makes a Class Un-Missable?”  Presentation to Student Competition Winners –

    PG winner: Eoin Costello, Ulster Business School, Business Development and Innovation;

    UG winner: Amy McCabe, Life and Health Sciences, Dietetics;

    UG runner up: Christopher McAuley, Computing & Engineering, Interactive Multimedia Design;

    UG runner up (and alternative format): Farhaanah Ali, Social Sciences, Law.

    10.00 – Keynote Address:

    ‘The Importance of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning’ – Professor David Boud, Visiting Professor to the Centre for Higher Education Practice

    10.45 – Parallel Sessions A, B, C & D: Project ‘Snapshots’

    11.45 – Tea/Coffee

    12.15 – Parallel Sessions E, F, G & H: Project ‘Snapshots’

    13.15 – Poster Exhibition and Buffet Lunch

    14.00 – Interactive Workshop:

    ‘Creativity in Teaching’ – Facilitated by Dr David Adams, Director, UK  Centre for Bioscience, HEA

    15.00 – Plenary – Professor David Boud

    15.20 – End

    UK Centre for Bioscience – Responses to: Conservation, Consolidation or Creativity?

    I was asked to respond to Kevan Gartland’s piece in the UK Centre for Bioscience Bulletin 32, Spring 2011  “Enhancing the Bioscience Community: Conservation, Consolidation or Creativity?” on the demise of the HEA Bioscience Subject Centre. I have reproduced my response below.  Kevan’s piece and a further response by Julian Park are available in the online version of the bulletin.


    There is no doubt that the UK Centre for Bioscience has done much to raise the profile of excellence in teaching and learning with many in the Bioscience community having benefited from its hallmark, high quality resources and supportive networking events. Despite its many positive attributes decisions taken in recent times appear to herald an untimely end for the Centre. So what can be done to prevent the good work of the Centre slowly drifting off the radar?

    I agree with Kevan that some degree of conservation and consolidation of
    resources must take place; the electronic environment can allow that to happen
    easily. But one of the greatest spin-outs from the work of the Centre has to be the strong network of like-minded colleagues drawn together through its events such as the many and varied workshops, conferences and the excellent Reps
    Forum.  How can this unique resource be conserved and augmented? I suggest
    that in the absence of any other stimulus, social network sites and Web 2.0 tools
    such as Twitter may be one means of helping colleagues band together; with
    occasional blog posts and sharing of papers and ideas helping to keep the conversation going. In fact this in silico networking has already happened to some degree within the bioscience education community and may be the catalyst for the organisation of face-to-face networking opportunities organised around specific themes that emerge in the future.  Could the facilitation of such events be handled by the new structure at the new HEA?

    In its myriad of functions the UK Centre for Bioscience has performed a very important role that lies close to home for each dedicated teaching practitioner in the Biosciences.  It has added a level of credence to excellent teaching practices that may sometimes be overlooked in research intensive environments. It therefore has helped to raise the profile of teaching and learning within institutions thus removing the feeling of isolation that can sometimes exist for teaching-focused colleagues. This aspect of its support will be sadly missed.

    It is my hope that in the post-UK Centre for Bioscience era we who have benefited much will continue to sustain the current network, share resources, encourage and mentor junior colleagues and collectively raise the standard of excellence in teaching and learning in the biosciences. But in this regard the ball is firmly in our court.

    Reps Forum Revisited

    I know this report has been out for a while, but I thought it worth flagging up again.  The content and activities of UK Centre for Bioscience Reps Forum 2010 was encapsulated in the report which is available on their website.   It covers just about everything that happened over the two days and is a great way of recalling all that took place!

    Report on the 2010 UK Centre for Bioscience Reps Forum

    Smilies for Student Feedback

    Yesterday a colleague and I were leading a focus group with a bunch of students who had just finished their first year at University. We were keen to hear their thoughts on the types of assessment we use and their evaluation of year one generally.

    A number of things came up that were not a huge surprise. They liked practicals, exams, class tests and essays but are not so keen on presentations and feel that we could do better on feedback.

    What was a little surprising was just how much they liked getting feedback on electronic formative self-assessment tests in the form of a smiley 🙂 . They described how they would attempt questions over and over again until the smiley appeared indicating they had got the correct result. Coupled with this was their comments on how they needed encouragement to build confidence as they made the transition to University study.

    On reflection we realised that sometimes feedback indicators that in effect say “You’re doing ok” go a long way in giving students the reassurance they need.

    Used in the right context could “smilies as feedback tools” be the next big thing?

    Image credit.

    Festival of Innovative Practice 2010

    Today I will be at the University of Ulster’s Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP) inaugural “Festival of Innovative Practice”. The event website states the following:

    “The purpose of this event is to showcase and celebrate the wide range of innovative work undertaken by both funded CHEP projects and also through the key CHEP sub-committees during 2009-10. In addition, and importantly, it aims to allow all participants to share and learn from each other’s practice.

    The day will involve a keynote presentation by the Centre’s Visiting Professor David Boud and the opportunity to hear snapshots of the projects and visit their posters and stands in an interactive exhibition hall.
    Topics range from:

    * Technology-enhanced learning.
    * Creative approaches to working with students.
    * Curricula developments e.g. problem-based learning, work-based learning, PDP, student induction
    * Pedagogic research e.g. student attendance”

    I will be presenting our work on the use of text messaging as both a communication and voting tool for relatively large year one modules under the “Technology-enhanced learning” theme. The programme for the day is here.

    As time permits I will also post a few tweets using the #CHEP10 hashtag.

    10 Uses for an iPod Touch in Education – #1 Making Notes

    iPod Touch Photo of Notes

    I have recently acquired a 32GB iPod touch to be investigated mainly for its use in a higher education context. I intend in this occasional series to reflect on the various features and applications that I have found to be useful. By implication these applications this will also apply to the iPhone but the plan is to talk about features that apply to both.

    In the first of this series I want to briefly mention the “notes” application which comes as standard on the iPod touch.
    I have found this feature to be most useful; in fact I am using it to write these reflections during a quiet moment in an examination board session as I wait for another course to be considered! Do these things ever run to time?!

    Admittedly it is unlikely you will write a book chapter using this app but to capture ideas or make a quick note to yourself, it then comes into its own.

    In a teaching and learning context notes could be used to make rapid feedback during practical classes or at presentations where background noise or the very disruptive nature of doing so might preclude recording audio feedback.

    The beauty of this app lies again in the handiness of the iPod technology which is much more portable and more readily coaxed from standby mode than even the most agile laptop PC or netbook. Notes captured on this app may be emailed either to a group for feedback or to your own email account for use in other applications.

    My uses or suggested uses are given in the list below.

    Notes for feedback at student presentations
    Notes for feedback during lab classes
    Writing blog posts or sections of papers during spare moments
    Notes during conference lectures if you are not tweeting!

    Of course there are also situations where students could use these devices to record their reflections or for learning purposes. If readers are using Notes for other things in an education context, please add these as a comment below.