Academic Exchange 1A

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Adopting technology for an enriching and sustainable learning experience

What are Academic Exchanges?

Our Academic Exchanges showcase innovative academic practice and support for learning from staff across the institution and partner colleges. Each colleague participating in an Exchange has produced a short digital artefact, which addresses an aspect of good practice in learning design. Many colleagues share their direct experiences of moving teaching online, whilst others showcase pedagogic approaches that are important to transfer to blended learning environments. These approaches include engaging with students as partners, delivery of inclusive and personalised learning, and embedding learning-oriented assessment.

Recording of the Q&A webinar

i. Succeeding in quality, accessible education online

Catherine Hartell, Nikki Buck, Moira Walker, Sally-Anne Wherry (Academic Development Unit and Health & Social Care)

In response to Covid-19, we developed a learning package that allows students to engage with learning while dealing with pressure within home and professional lives. Students continue to work in nursing practice, in extraordinary circumstances, and balance their disrupted home lives with their studies through:

  1. Student engagement – due to the requirements of the profession, there is a need to monitor their engagement with their scholarly activity.
  2. A cohesive approach – we map and plan our delivery to form a cohesive whole-course approach, allowing students to recognise the structure in every module.
  3. Making learning interesting – we engage students in a range of activities to support their different learning preferences. This encourages them to develop their online learning skills and supports them during this difficult time. 
  4. Technology – our team uses a range of technology-driven solutions to provide a platform for students to engage with. This includes BigBlueButton, Moodle activities such as forums, wikis, and lessons, student co-creation of resources, and recorded presentations for a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. We scaffold learning throughout the course using technology, allowing the students to build on their understanding and support them through reflection sessions.

ii. Developing individualised support for students

Rachael Bullingham (Sport & Exercise)

This presentation will outline the formative assessments and online learning planned as part of a level 6 module running in the Sports Leadership, Education & Society (SLES) community.

The module has one assessment point and allows students to examine any unsolved issue within sport using an appropriate sociological theory. Student drop-ins were used, prior to the lecture time, for students to discuss potential issues in order for them to read over the Easter break.

Although this is a large module there is a focus on both individualised feedback and peer learning through three formative assessments. These assessments included a range of asynchronous activities, such as forums, to allow students to engage with their own assessment as well as provide peer feedback to help develop an online community.

Additionally, other platforms that enable synchronous and asynchronous learning, including Microsoft Teams, Teams assignments, Microsoft forms, Forums, and videos on Moodle, have been used to ensure that students are engaging in the module since the introduction of remote delivery.

The formative assessments and technological interventions aim to ensure that students have an appropriate title, theoretical framework, and case study for their essay.

Finally, students are asked to provide recommendations to solve the issue that they have covered to allow them to think beyond the problem and through to a solution.

iii. Site visits in challenging times

Alan Marvell (Business & Technology)

Thinking ahead to the next academic year what is the future of student visits to local businesses and fieldwork?

Based on a series of successful industry visits to Cheltenham Town Hall and Gloucester Guildhall, students studying Events Management, International Hospitality and Tourism Management and Sports Management have participated in talks and activities on the topic of managing risk. The visits form part of an assessment brief for a second-year module, Risk Management and Legal Issues.

Due to current and potential future challenges surrounding Covid-19, the presentation considers the future of site visits with students. Are alternatives such as simulations and video material adequate substitutions? What alternatives can be deployed?

The presentation will potentially raise more questions than provide answers. However, changing Government regulations and the limited availability of local businesses to offer such visits, will potentially affect the student experience.

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