Academic Exchange 1: Reimagining technology-enhanced higher education post-pandemic

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Monday 7 June, 13.00-14.30

Recording of the Academic Exchange

i. Storyboarded learning: flipped learning in a time of pandemic 

Dai Jones (School of Natural and Social Sciences) 

The global pandemic has hastened existing moves towards blended learning, but in many cases this has involved replacing face-to-face teaching with online provision without reimagining the possibilities for learning. So, sessions often continue to be delivered synchronously, using streaming and perhaps using breakout rooms to support activity.  

During the 2020-21 academic year we took the opportunity to try an alternative model for a small elective module. Taking inspiration from flipped learning, the module has been delivered in a storyboarded mode, where learning is split into a sequence of steps over the course of a week, culminating in an online discussion. Learning activities over the week vary, but include viewing lecture snippets, sharing in online discussions, and contributing to a shared glossary and shared Talis resource list. The approach is supported by using a range of facilities within Moodle.  

Early evaluations suggest that the approach is very popular with students, but does provoke some anxiety and present some challenges for engagement. This presentation will outline the approach taken, demonstrate the use of Moodle, share initial evaluations, and highlight learnings to be taken into future practice. 

ii. Crafting a way through Covid-19 

Frances Cambrook, Heather Newton and Karen Powell (The Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship) 

The Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship (CWF) is an association of ten Anglican cathedrals established in 2006 to provide education and training for the craftsmen and women who maintain cathedrals and other historic buildings. The Foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair was validated by the University of Gloucestershire in 2017 and recruits students from the CWF cathedrals and commercial contractors. The course is delivered through a combination of residential Study Workshops and practical work-based learning projects and assignments.  

The cathedrals were forced to close their doors due to Covid-19 and their staff, among them our tutors and students, were placed on furlough. As with teachers everywhere, the CWF tutors worked hard to adapt and/or create new teaching materials for online delivery, and to devise ways to assess practical work remotely, for craftspeople who are not naturally inclined towards technology!  

Could we replicate our experiential learning in the students’ homes via video conferencing software and remain pedagogically and qualitatively robust? This case study will explain how we approached the online delivery and assessment of one Level 4 module, Principles of Historic Building Conservation, which includes both theoretical and practical elements. We will explore how the students and tutors responded to the experience and reflect on whether this unexpected adaptation may lead to more permanent changes to our delivery methods. 

iii. Talis Elevate: creating equitable, engaged and collaborative sessions 

James Hodgkin (Library, Technology and Information Services), Robert Whitehouse (Business School) and Lucy Clarke (School of Natural and Social Sciences), with Tracey Flesher (Student in the Business School)    

Join James Hodgkin, Rob Whitehouse, Lucy Clarke and Tracey Flesher for an introduction to Talis Elevate. Learn how Talis Elevate can help our teachers provide equitable, engaged and collaborative sessions. Create useful resources co-constructed with your students, which help build and develop digital learning communities within your (Moodle) modules and courses. James will present the LTI Talis Elevate perspective and University aims. Rob will share examples and feedback from the Talis Elevate pilot, including reflective learning, Talis analytics and assessment signposting ideas. Lucy will talk about her experience of using Talis Elevate in Environmental Sciences while Tracey will offer a student perspective.

iv. Digital Poverty@UoG: Realising equality of opportunities for our students 

Robert Whitehouse and Dominic Page (Business School), with Tracey Flesher and Calum Rivers-Cole (Students in the Business School) 

According to a recent survey undertaken for the Office for Students (OfS), during the coronavirus lockdown, 52% of students reported that their learning was impacted by slow or unreliable internet connection, with 8% noting they were ‘severely’ affected. The findings come as OfS chair, Sir Michael Barber, launches a major review of digital teaching and learning in English higher education. A key part of this review is examining the relationship between digital poverty and students’ academic experience.  

Improving equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds is central to our work at UoG. In this presentation, Dr Dom Page, Rob Whitehouse, Tracey Flesher and Calum Rivers-Cole offer a brief discourse and reflect upon Calum’s and Tracey’s ‘first year’ experiences, considering the impacts of ‘digital poverty’ and online teaching and learning. We will discuss our offer of digital capital (resources and learning environment) and digital exclusion and inclusion (from Calum’s and Tracey’s perspectives), considering what we can learn from these experiences. 


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