"Teaching takes place as students handle collections, work in labs, engage in fieldwork and argue a position in a seminar."

Dr Bill Sillar, Institute of Archaeology

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Summits & Horizons

Award winning e-learning

The second in the Summits and Horizons Series was a celebration of award-winning e-learning. The awards being the yearly Provost Teacher’s Awards. First up was Adrien Desjardins from Medical Physics and Bioengineering who’d won an award for learning through teaching: a pilot study on student-generated e-learning videos.

The idea of student-generated videos was to stimulate students into active learning. Adrien described how, once the students had created their videos, they then had to answer questions on them within the class room. One drawback which was raised was whether it would be maximum benefit to students to be taught by students but Adrien found the feedback from the students had been very positive 80% finding it useful even though it mean that students were often spending a lot of time editing in their speech which Adrien planned to improve by using text to speech software. Adrien final comments were concerned with an area of student experience which more and more teachers should become conscious of which is how things they do in the classroom can have a positive affect on student’s careers where he noted the portfolios could be used as evidence of digital literacy.

The next speaker was Adam Townsend from Mathematics, who’d won a PGTA Provost Teaching Awards, and spoke very passionately about the interactive ways he was teaching the 40 students on his module on Arts and Sciences. He talked about even before the year started he sent a hashtag in the ‘Welcome to UCL’ brochure which meant one third of the class had already met each other before the course began. He saw using social media, facebook and twitter mainly, as an opportunity for students to join in debates with each other and the staff and as an informal way for students to share with the world things they’ve done. Adam believed that using social media can also help new teachers as it can be used as a forum for sharing with more experienced teachers.

Adam’s approach to interaction between staff and students shows a much more informal approach to teaching rather than merely teachers standing in front of a class and the students writing down what was said although there was a cautionary note in the air from one person in the audience who was concerned that peer pressure would mean students and staff who were worried about government monitoring of social media would feel obliged to sign up for fear of missing out on work etc. Adam assured the speaker that work would also be available through the usual Moodle routes and social media was an extra but I think this is the sort of argument which is set to continue as social media is used more and more.

Page last modified on 19 dec 13 14:42


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