Last week, I travelled to London with my colleagues @TraceyMadden and @FabioNemetz to attend the #ESLTIS16 conference. The conference was fascinating (some thoughts below). Tracey and I presented some work that we have done with @DanishMishra on using Social Network Analysis to look at learning in MOOC. Looking at 2 different FutureLearn MOOCs, we show that the one designed to be more connectivist has a more participant-led pattern of interaction. Interestingly, over repeated presentations of the MOOCs, the interaction patterns converge to some extent, as tutors take more of a back seat role.
#ESLTIS16 itself follows an inaugural meeting last year (in Durham). It highlights research and innovation in university education undertaken by academic staff who have a teaching focus (e.g. teaching fellows). Contributions to the conference are welcome from across the HE sector worldwide, regardless of subject discipline.
Research led teaching
- teaching ‘leadership’ roles are often (perceived as) reduced to management and admin – therefore resistance to moving to this role.
- We need to assess the holistic capacity of the team – not the individual.
- How important is ‘scholarship’. Do students want to be taught be people the ‘wrote the book, not just read the book’ ? Or do they just value ‘good teaching’. Does pedagogical research ‘count’
- Research led teaching: does this mean teaching by experts? OR can it mean building up research skills, using research to learn (learning thru research). Perhaps we should use the phrase ‘research immersed’?
- Students need time to assimilate feedback (‘grief curve’) before they can meaningfully engage with a discussion on the feedback. Particularly if they (i) have tried very hard and/or (ii) have never failed before.
- Students learn to ignore repeated error (hence “I keep telling them….”)
- Curriculum should focus on threshold concepts – we can pare down curriculum.
- Can we make students co-owners of their assessment – can we get them to fill out the assessment matrix?
- Can we make formative work compulsory – need to do to get access to other resources
- Students marking assessment – this is NOT useful if students aren’t ready to give meaningful feedback – better for students to reflect on their feedback.
- Some useful examples of programme level assessment (portfolio)
Approaches to Teaching
- Peer Teaching; And ‘near peer’ teaching
- Flipping; Appropriate use of tools like socrativ and kahoot
- Interdisciplinary teaching; Eg Ethics for chemists, entrepreneurship…
- Experiential learning – including a residential critical analysis “reading party” with no mobile reception or wifi!!!
- E learning –a move to digital artefacts encounters staff resistance but great student feedback.
Looking after Students
- Graduate attributes – a pyramid from ‘generic’ to highly topic specific, giving a sense of belonging to a community.
- Transitions into HE including pre induction MOOCS for UG and PGT
- Mature Learners – their challenges including guidance on ‘how hard to work’.
Our presentation can be downloaded here: Structure of the Global Classroom – Mishra, Madden, Cayzer