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How do you engage with your students? Do you use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest? Do you embed collaborative learning tools such as blogs and wikis in your course design? Do you undertake collaborative note-taking?
In this seminar, colleagues and students shared their experiences. There has unfortunately been a technical glitch with the recording of this seminar but the slides can be viewed below, and we hope to have an audio file soon.
Louise Starkey, Faculty of Education: teaching and learning in the digital age
Prezi presentation: http://prezi.com/zjbmecxevv6q/teaching-and-learning-in-a-digital-age/
Lightning Talks by:
Rebecca Priestley, Science in Context: Twitter assignment
Lorena Gibson, Anthropology: Facebook, Twitter
Xavier Marquez, Politics and International Relations: blogging and/or simulations and role playing
Michael Dudding, Architecture: blogs and wikis
Stuart Brock, Philosophy: “Notable” collaborative notetaking
Jillian Pawlyn, CAD: Social Media in Teaching - VUW social media strategy
The student perspective:
As part of this seminar, we also had a "round table" discussion with students from across Victoria including philosophy, psychology, and architecture. Below the key points that students made:
Regarding the usefulness of class Facebook pages: They are good resources when run by lecturers, or when used in small-group honours classes, but less useful when run by students for undergraduate classes. One issue with student-run Facebook pages is that people tend to ask the same repetitive questions. Another is that they may serve to magnify students' anxiety about upcoming assessment deadlines in an unhelpful way. Also of concern that anything posted on there (for example, lecture notes) becomes the property of Facebook, and that it is difficult to manage the privacy settings in a way that students from the course can find it but no one else can.
Regarding Twitter, following up on a previous suggestion that it is not used by young people and students in NZ: there was a suggestion that it's not a younger-older divide but rather people in New Zealand use Twitter for aggregation of information and news rather than for connecting with other people. Students from the Psych Society confirmed that they have a Twitter account that they use to post announcements, but confirmed that Twitter is not well-used by the group as a whole. Rhian Salmon related her experience of Twitter continuing to be used by students at Canterbury after its inital use by the student army who helped with clean up after the earthquake. So there may be potential for it to be useful to NZ students.
Regarding other social media sites that students have used: Google Drive is good for group work. Notable (as recommended by Stuart Brock earlier in the session) is good except that it doesn't work well on Android devices. Quizlet, an online flashcard app, is useful for exam revision.
Regarding uses of Blackboard: the discussion forum is not well-used by students. Facebook pages might be used to notify students that lecturers have posted an announcement on Blackboard.
The Twitter Stream from the event can be viewed here: http://storify.com/acmacaskill/vuwteach
Many thanks to Sydney Shep for coordinating this session, to Jonny Flutey and Roger Ward for technical support, to Anne Macaskill for taking notes, and to all the new L&T twitterati. We'll keep #VUWTeach going for future events.
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