Using poetry in teaching #TLCwebinar with Dr Sam Illingworth, join us on the 18 Oct, 1.30pm UK time

Dear colleagues,

The TLCs are back after the summer break. We now have a presence on Twitter. Please check out @tlcwebinars and follow if you like😉.

Our very first TLC this year is with Dr Sam Illingworth who will introduce us to the world of poetry in teaching. This will take place on the 18th of October, 1.30-2.30pm.

The direct link to the webinar room is https://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/

Here is Sam’s introduction for the webinar: 

In this interactive session, Dr Sam Illingworth, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University, discusses how poetry can be used as a facilitatory tool to explore a variety of subjects in higher education.

A few words about Sam: 

showoff11-350x350Dr Sam Illingworth is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research is concerned with empowering members of society with science using a variety of different media, including poetry and theatre. As well as researching and publishing peer-reviewed papers in the area, Sam is also a practitioner and an award-winning poet and spoken word artist in his own right. He writes a regular blog in which he communicates recent research via the medium of poetry to the general public (http://thepoetryofscience.scienceblog.com/). Sam is also an experienced teacher and workshop facilitator; as well as being the Programme Leader on Manchester Met’s MSc in Science Communication he is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has experience of running poetry workshops for a wide variety of audiences, from primary school children through to scientists working in research institutions. He was recently commission by the European City of Science to pair scientists and poets to deliver an evening of science poetry as part of the city’s celebrations. He also ran a series of successful workshops on poetry writing and performance at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly (Europe’s largest geosciences conference with approximately 14,000 participants) in April 2016, culminating in a performance of poetry by scientists to a pack crowd of ~300 other scientists. More information about Sam’s research, teaching and public engagement expertise can be found on his website: http://www.samillingworth.com/

We are really looking forward to discussing poetry with Dr Sam Illingworth and all of you.

The TLCteam

 

Follow-up to “S & M in Higher Education: Surveys and Metrics” led by Prof. Mark Langan

Many thanks go to Mark for a fabulous session today.  Informed, insightful, inspiring are just a few of the comments I have received from participants.

As requested during the TLC webinar today here are resources and outputs from Mark’s session.

NSS_Feelings_Responses

 

S & M in Higher Education: Surveys and Metrics

A teaching and learning conversation with:

Prof Mark Langan
Prof. Mark Langan,
Manchester Metropolitan University

When: Tuesday 24th May 12:30-13:30 UK Time (60 minutes)

About this conversation:

Higher Education places a great deal of emphasis on the outcomes of student surveys and other metrics associated with student ‘success’. This webinar is an opportunity to discuss metrics, particularly the outputs of the National Student Survey, and the challenge of interpreting them with appropriate context.

About Mark:

Prof Mark Langan (Chair in Higher Education; Associate Dean for Learning Teaching and Quality) is known for creative teaching designs and research into student surveys and other quantitative educational areas such as benchmarking. He has a research background in animal behaviour and evolution, but has focused on HE research for the past decade. Currently he is exploring data from the first ten years of the UK’s National Student Survey, researching student engagement and identifying predictors of student success. He is former editor of journal Bioscience Education, a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Selected Publications:

Langan, A. M., N. Scott, S. Partington, and A. Oczujda (2015). Coherence between text comments and the quantitative ratings in the UK’s National Student Survey. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2014.1000281

Langan, A.M., P.J. Dunleavy and A.F. Fielding (2013). Applying Models to National Surveys of Undergraduate Science Students: What Affects Ratings of Satisfaction? Education Sciences, 3, 193-207; doi:10.3390/educsci3020193.http://www.mdpi.com/journal/education

Fielding, A.F., P.J.Dunleavy and A.M. Langan (2010) Effective use of the UK’s National Student (Satisfaction) Survey (NSS) data in science and engineering subjects. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 33, 347-368.

Joining the conversation:

Simply follow this link http://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/ and enter as a guest by typing your name, institution and country into the name field and clicking on the “Join Meeting” button.

Whether or not you have previously participated in a webinar or online activity using Adobe Connect we advise that you make sure that you do some checking and preparation in advance. Check your set-up and connection here.

You may also find our Adobe Connect Webinar Participant Guide useful to print out in advance of the session.We really hope that you will be able to join for what should be a lively and highly interactive TLC.

Follow-up on “Hacking Assignment Practice” with Sandra Sinfield

Sandra_SinfieldA really big thank you must go to Sandra for leading a fabulous TLC today (26th April 2016).  It was thought provoking, challenging and inspiring in equal measures.  Thanks to a very engaged audience the chat pod was filled with questions, comments, ideas, experiences and lots of links to useful follow-up resources (see Chat pod transcript below).

One question Sandra was asked but we ran out of time for was ‘How many students…?’ Sandra has already let me know that “class has between 70-90 students (at the beginning of the year – and depending on recruitment) – and Tom & I team teach – keeping them as one large cohort throughout…“.

Please get in touch with Sandra directly if you have any further follow-up questions relating to the TLC at s.sinfield@londonmet.ac.uk or follow her on twitter @Danceswithcloud.

As usual I have made the recording available on the TLC archive page at: https://tlcwebinars.wordpress.com/tlc-archive/

Sandra has kindly shared her slides and I have also provided a link to a copy of the transcript form the chat pod below.

Hacking Assessment Practice: Sandra Sinfield – Slides

Hacking Assignment Practice – Chat Pod Transcript

Thanks so much for all of your excellent contributions during today’s TLC.

The TLC team.

Hacking Assignment Practice: Finding Creativity and Power in the Fissures and Cracks of Learning and Teaching

A teaching and learning conversation with:

Sandra_Sinfield

Sandra Sinfield
London Metropolitan University

When: Tuesday 26th April 12:00-13:30 UK Time (90 minutes)

About this conversation:

Discourses of Assessment can be complex and contradictory with many voices calling for a de-stabilisation of the essay as the sine qua non of academic achievement (Crème 2003):

Moral panics about plagiarism have suggested we design plagiarism out of assessment with more creative challenges than the traditional essay (Viz. http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/TLTC/connorj/plagiarism/Staff/ ); somehow the essay remains.

Tackling disability suggests making ‘reasonable adjustment’ for students with SpLD – and that all students be given the choice of undertaking the alternative assessments thus developed (Ingle 2013a, Ingle 2013b). And still the major adjustment is not to re-design the assessments – but to allow more time in which to complete or submit the traditional written assignments.

The push for TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning), e-learning and/or blended learning implies that this new multi-modal age will usher in more multi-modal assignments that will match the essay in challenge and complexity (Abegglen, Burns & Sinfield 2014; Burns, Sinfield and Holley 2009, 2012); but the technology typically introduces the online submission of the written assignment.

No matter from where the push for alternative assessments emerges, we seem to end up with the same old written assessments.

When asked to populate a 30-week first year module written with Higher Education Orientation (HEO) in mind, without getting caught in the navel gazing trap that language interrogation can lead to (Hayes 2004), we wanted to go deeper – below the contours and fissures (Deleuze and Guattari 1987/2005) of ‘typical’ HEO practice and rhetoric. We wanted to introduce emancipatory education that also acted as a lens with which to critique stultifying academic practices (Sentito 2013). Moreover, we wanted flexibility in the assessments such that students could choose from a range of activities and mini-projects in ways that lit fires in their hearts and minds and allowed them space and time to follow their passions.

This is Learning Development that definitely goes beyond ‘fixing’ broken or deficit students – and instead looks at new ways to help students find their voice and power so that they ‘get’ the multi-faceted range of active processes involved in successful studying and learning.

We would like to discuss how we ‘hacked’ our traditional assessments to provide fissures and cracks (Deleuze and Guattari 1987/2005) in which to promote student engagement, choice and passion based learning.

In the discussion we would like to consider how learning developers, educational technologists and discipline staff can work together to develop and scaffold alternative assessment practices.

References, links and further reading:

Abegglen, Burns & Sinfield (2014) ‘Disrupting learning landscapes: Mentoring, engaging, becoming’in Investigations in University Teaching and Learning Vol 9, Spring 2014 pp15-21

Burns, Sinfield & Holley (2012) ‘The Shipwrecked Shore – and other metaphors: what we can learn from occupation of – and representations in – virtual worlds’ In Investigations in University Teaching and Learning Vol8 summer 2012 pp119-126

Crème P (2003) ‘Why can’t we allow students to be more creative?’ in Teaching in Higher Education Vol. 8, No 2 2003 pp 273-277

Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F., 1987/2005. A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press

Hayes (2004) in Satterthwaite, Atkinson and Gale (Eds) Discourse, Power, Resistance: Challenging the Rhetoric of Contemporary Education Stoke on Trent; Trentham Books

Ingle J (2013a) ‘Writing as exclusionary practice’ in DISCOURSE, POWER AND RESISTANCE: DISCOURSES OF INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION 2013

Ingle J (2013b) Blog post for DISCOURSE, POWER AND RESISTANCE: DISCOURSES OF INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION (http://www.thinkingwriting.qmul.ac.uk/node/131 accessed 01.12.14)
Last Refuge blog (2013): http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/discourse-power-and-resistance-2013.html

Noble, C (2014) Week 12 blog: https://becomingeducational.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/week-twelve-learning-log/

Preventing Plagiarism (2008) Staff website: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/TLTC/connorj/plagiarism/Staff/

Sentito (2013) Leader of the Symposium Strand: ‘Stimulating or stultifying? Education as if learning matters’ in DISCOURSE, POWER AND RESISTANCE: DISCOURSES OF INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION 2013

Sinfield, Burns & Holley (2009) ‘a Journey into Silence’ in Social Responsibility Journal Vol 5 No 4 2009 pp566-574

Joining the conversation:

Simply follow this link http://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/ and enter as a guest by typing your name, institution and country into the name field and clicking on the “Join Meeting” button.

Whether or not you have previously participated in a webinar or online activity using Adobe Connect we advise that you make sure that you do some checking and preparation in advance. Check your set-up and connection here.

You may also find our Adobe Connect Webinar Participant Guide useful to print out in advance of the session.We really hope that you will be able to join for what should be a lively and highly interactive TLC.

Reflections on a “dual audience” webinar

Once again I have been reflecting on the format of our most recent TLC.

This months TLC was led by Doris Dippold from the University of Surrey on Teaching linguistically and diverse cultural groups.  What was different about this TLC was that it had two quite distinct audiences.  Not only was the TLC delivered online via Adobe Connect to an online audience but it was also delivered from a seminar room at the University of Surrey to a live audience of approximately 25 students.

The Set-Up

Technically there was a little bit of advanced preparation involved to set things up (thanks Ceri) which we worked out the day before the webinar. Rather that Doris sitting at a desk in front of her computer webcam, we wanted to see here in action in front of the live audience.  To achieve this a networked laptop running Adobe Connect was set up in the seminar room.  A good quality, echo cancelling room microphone was attached to the laptop and positioned at the front of the seminar room where Doris was speaking.  So that the the live audience could hear the audio from Adobe Connect, external speakers were also required (hence the need for the echo cancelling mic).  The webcam on the laptop was simply pointed at Doris so that the online audience could see her as shown in Figure 1.

Connect Set UpThe laptop screen was projected onto a data projection screen at the front of the seminar room enabling the audience there to see Doris’s slides as well as the chat box text stream in Adobe Connect.  We had a minor issue with the external speakers before the webinar started but other than this the technology held up really well.  The audio quality was very good while Doris was speaking and the video, although a little grainy and dark was good enough for the online audience.  Several of the online participants struggled to hear questions posed by members of the live audience – we will come back to this issue later in the post.

Delivering the webinar

As has become normal practice for our TLC webinars, while Doris focused on presenting and facilitating the TLC a second person (in this case Simon Lygo-Baker) monitored and responded to activity from the online audience in the chat room – now a tried and tested technique. I think it is fair to say that this was particularly important for this webinar format. Doris’s attention was primarily on the live class in front of her and it would not have been possible to monitor the chat pod in Adobe connect at the same time.  Simon did a sterling job of identifying comments and questions and drawing Doris’s attention to them at appropriate points.  Although the audio quality when Doris was speaking was good it was difficult to hear questions and comments made by members of the seminar room audience.  Simon came to the rescue by reiterating questions to the Connect audience via the chat pod.  Generally, this worked well although there was a slight delay in the typing which meant that Doris was sometime responding to questions before that online audience had not quite finished reading.  Two possible solutions occur to me in relation to this. Firstly, presenters could make sure that they reiterate questions before answering them, as is often done at large conferences where presenters are using microphones but the audience aren’t.  Secondly, with an addition bit of technical know how roving/wireless microphones could be used for the audience questions.

Part way through the session Doris introduced a group discussion task for the seminar audience.  Online participants we asked to make their contributions individually via the chat pod.  As the group activity got underway, the sounds of animated and enthusiastic discussion could be heard by the Adobe Connect participants.  As the meeting host I thought this might be a little bit distracting so I temporarily muted the audio from the seminar room.  The response from some of the Adobe Connect participants via the chat pod was really interesting as the following (partially anonymised) extract hopefully shows.

Participant 1: sound has gone?

Participant 2: cant hear anything

Simon Lygo-Baker: Just turned the sound off while group chatting

Participant 3: Yes. My sound gone too

Audio is then turned back on

Simon Lygo-Baker: Should be back now

Participant : Its back!

Rod Cullen: We muted temporarily while the group work was going on at Surrey

Participant 1: shame. the sound of group chatter was most reassuring😀

Rod Cullen: @Participant 1 – ah OK – will leave it on next time🙂

Participant 1: Yes Please. The chaotic buzz of the room was not only life affirming but also useful to know the sound hasn’t cr**ped out again🙂

It very much seemed that some of online participants wanted to feel connected to the face-to-face activity, even though they were not directly involved, and the sound of the group chatter helped in this respect.  I didn’t expect that level of attachment.

Overall, another successful TLC but this time bringing together a face-to-face seminar and an online audience.

Materials from Doris Dippold’s TLC

Many thanks to Doris for such an interesting and thought provoking TLC yesterday on Teaching linguistically and diverse cultural groups.  This topic really generated a lot of interest and I received several requests for access to the recording of the webinar both before and after the event from as far afield as the USA and Australia.  Doris has kindly shared her presentation slides and provided links to additional resources including the details of her book which she mentioned during the session.  We had lots of interesting contributions during the session via the chat pod, including useful links so I have included a transcript below.

Teaching linguistically and diverse cultural groups – Webinar recording

Presentation PowerPoint Slides

Chat Pod Transcript

This the book that Doris has written on the subject: Classroom Interaction: The Internationalised Anglophone University

Further information about Doris can be found at the following links:

Doris Dippold Biography

Doris Dippold Publications

Teaching linguistically and diverse cultural groups

A teaching and learning conversation with:

Doris_Dipold
Dr Doris DippoldUniversity of Surrey

When: Tuesday 22nd March 12:30-13:30 (60 minutes)

About this conversation:

Internationalisation is now a reality in higher education institutions across the world. University strategies  tend to carry large banners advertising internationalisation as a strategic goal and a desirable ability, whilst their marketing often focuses on an institution’s ability to turn students into global graduates.

This  Teaching and Learning Conversation focuses on the issues university tutors and lecturers encounter when teaching linguistically and culturally diverse groups. Rather than focusing on cultural difference, it will discuss the linguistic issues participants encounter when using English as an educational lingua franca, and how to address these.

It will also provide a space to discuss the role of the ‘home’ student, who tends to be neglected in the discussion on internationalisation in higher education.

We hope that you can join us,
The TLC team

Suggested Links:

Doris Dippold Biography

Doris Dippold Publications

Joining the conversation:

Simply follow this link http://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/ and enter as a guest by typing your name, institution and country into the name field and clicking on the “Join Meeting” button.

Whether or not you have previously participated in a webinar or online activity using Adobe Connect we advise that you make sure that you do some checking and preparation in advance. Check your set-up and connection here.

You may also find our Adobe Connect Webinar Participant Guide useful to print out in advance of the session.We really hope that you will be able to join for what should be a lively and highly interactive TLC.

Reflections on an internationally presented TLC

Adopting a transformative curriculum approach to teaching in a global higher education context: perspectives from a South African Institution – presenter by Dr. Rita Kizito
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

I have been a little bit slow to share my reflections on our most recent TLC but I have finally managed to get some thoughts together.  As usual my reflections are not out the topic of the TLC, but on the webinar format itself.  I have, however, shared slides and transcripts for the chat pod as requested at the end of the post.

The main aim of Teaching and Learning Conversations webinars has always been to bring together like minded colleagues from far and wide to share and discuss experiences of teaching and learning.  We have sought to have as wide an engagement as possible but I think it is fair to say that TLCs normally have a UK Higher Education focus and have engaged a primarily UK audience from HE institutions old and new from across the whole of the U.K.  That said it is not uncommon for TLCs to drawn interest from farther afield and increasingly participants join in with TLCs, in real time, from many countries including USA and Canada, Russia, India and even as far away as Australia.  It may also worth pointing it that we have a “strong international” contingent within the TLC organising group.

Despite the increasing robustness of web conferencing tools like Adobe Connect and the prevalence in many countries of broadband internet connections remote participation in webinar events is not without its technical challenges.  The fact is that the more physically distributed a webinar audience is the more technical “stuff” there is in-between to potentially cause a problem.

In part, such challenges are mitigated by the design of the TLC webinar formats.  For example, we tend to invite participant questions and comments to be expressed via the chat tool while audio and video contributions from participants are managed using the raise hands tool so that we have one contribution at a time.  Not only does this provide order and structure to question and answer activities but it also minimises pressure on available bandwidth which is probably the major cause of audio and video problems.

This webinar was something of a first for TLCs in that our presenter, Dr Rita Kizito, was actually in South Africa at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.  I will be honest and admit that I was slightly nervous.  If we encounter technical problems with participants audio we can easily fall back onto the chat tool for them to make comments and/or put questions to the presenter/facilitator.  Not so with a presenter, and encountering technical problems with the presenters audio would probably end the session prematurely.  In preparation, the day before the TLC, Rita and I logged into the webinar room to test things out and after a few minutes we had everything working as we wanted.

One the day, the TLC itself went without a hitch.  Rita presented expertly on the topic and engaged participants in two activities using the chat room to share experiences of developing a transformative curriculum. A full recording of the session is available at:
http://mmu.adobeconnect.com/p7i6f0p3tlf/

Rita has also kindly shared her slides from the TLC:
Rita Kizito: Adopting a transformative curriculum: Slides

During the activities colleagues shared their ideas and experiences and also links to useful resources and further reading.  A copy of the text transcript from the chat pod including the links to these resources has also been made available:
Transcrip of chat pod including posted links

I think we can say that our first internationally presented TLC was a great success and we look forward to including more international topics and presenters in future TLCs.  As I have said in previous posts I believe that good planning, preparation and taking the time to test things in advance is key to successful webinars.

Adopting a transformative curriculum approach to teaching in a global higher education context: perspectives from a South African Institution

A teaching and learning conversation with:

Rita_KDr. Rita Kizito
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

When: Tuesday 23rd February 12:30-13:30 GMT (60 minutes)

About this conversation:

One of the main purposes of TLC programme is to bring colleagues together to share and discuss interesting and challenging experiences and to learn from one another.  We therefore delighted that our next TLC will be lead by Dr. Rita Kizito directly from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa.

Rita has provided the following overview of what promises to be a fascinating insight into challenges facing staff and students alike in South African universities.

“Since 1994, South African Universities have been grappling with issues of transformation at strategic and operational levels. This is primarily because the social, political and economic inequalities still persist at all levels of society, including higher education, even after 20 years of democracy. Despite engagements at different levels including the setting of policies, committees and plans to address transformation, there is still no real broad consensus around what curriculum transformation really means and what is at the nexus of the curriculum transformation agenda. The South African literature in this area signals two main approaches to curriculum reform. The first one is a representivity approach with a focus on which group (racial, gender, class) is succeeding and likely to succeed in higher education. The second approach is ideological and considers distribution of economic and political power within the higher education system. Both these approaches have a direct influence on what is taught and how it is taught. This webinar is an invitation to a discussion around the conceptualisation of a project which is exploring academic and student perceptions of curriculum and teaching transformation at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University , South Africa. Both representivity and ideology need to be confronted if meaningful transformation is to occur. At the heart of the discussion is a need to develop curricula responsive and relevant to the conditions in which both staff and students find themselves. The primary challenge is in how to adopt a transformative but integrated, coherent approach to teaching in higher education while responding to local and global demands.”

We hope that you can join us,
The TLC team

Suggested Links:

Badat, S. (2010). The challenges of transformation in higher education and training institutions in South Africa. Development Bank of Southern Africa. Available at :
http://www.dhet.gov.za/summit/Docs/2010Docs/The%20Challenges%20of%20Transform
ation%20in%20Higher%20Eduaction%20and%20Training%20Institutions%20in%20South%20Africa.pdf

Soudien, C. (2010). Transformation in higher education: A briefing paper. DBSA. Available at:
http://www.dhet.gov.za/summit/Docs/2010Docs/Transformation%20in%20higher%20education-%20A%20briefing%20paper%20by%20Crain%20Soudien.pdf

The Transformation of  South African Higher Education. 2nd National Higher Education Summit, 15-17 October 2015. Available at:
http://www.dhet.gov.za/summit/Docs/2015Docs/Annex%208_TOC_Transformation%20of%20SA%20HE.pdf

Joining the conversation:

Simply follow this link http://mmu.adobeconnect.com/tlc/ and enter as a guest by typing your name, institution and country into the name field and clicking on the “Join Meeting” button.

Whether or not you have previously participated in a webinar or online activity using Adobe Connect we advise that you make sure that you do some checking and preparation in advance. Check your set-up and connection here.

You may also find our Adobe Connect Webinar Participant Guide useful to print out in advance of the session.We really hope that you will be able to join for what should be a lively and highly interactive TLC.