The first session was a presentation by Mark Gilbert on Action theory and Assessment, linked to E-learning in Dentistry. Which was very interesting, and got a good response from the participants. The innovative aspect was in getting the students to design their own assessments based on a competency framework the staff had created.
We moved into a bigger room during the coffee break, where we had a presentation by Futures Anna Hunter on employability and the Futures award. The main issue they find is getting students to listen and engage early on in their degree as there are many opportunities that are not being taken up. This sparked a lively discussion on paid vs unpaid placements and internships. Also is it reasonable for students to get charged fees during a placement year or semester, especially if they don't get paid for the placement. A solution suggested was to gain additional course credit as a mode of payment and to justify course fees over this time.
The final session was on Social media and interactive teaching. Where I demonstrated the various tools out there and my top 5 tips. I used this blog as an example of blogging and discussed the types of different blogging platforms out there and how you would use one. We used the twitter hashtag #teachingexchange to demonstrate twitter and used an example of how staff in the School of Built and Natural Environment are using twitter in their teaching. This sparked a debate on social media policy in the university and how careful you have to be to not give to much of yourself away online and that you need to behave appropriately regarding the platform you use and the audience you have.
We also agreed you can't force students to use these tools, or invade their space. It has to be voluntary, encourage them if they want to follow your twitter account or facebook group, but don't make it compulsory otherwise they wont engage. Not all social media can be or should be used for teaching, it depends on the subject and the students. You have to tailor it to the needs of your class. We also discussed how you can use twitter to get your research citation rates up by publicizing your research more widely. The uses of academic sites like Academia.edu and Mendeley were also touched upon, as only a few had heard of them. See previous post on Mendeley for a full review.
The feedback for the event was very positive, many stated their enjoyment and how they found it useful. We even had some international participants from a university in China, who said they have nothing like this back home and how useful it was to share practice like this.
Some twitter comments on the event:
Interesting discussion about the use of twitter for staff-student interaction #teachingexchange
Interesting discussion at the #teachingexchange at #uclan. Do students add lecturers to their social networks? Or is it an intrusion?