This is an excellent scenario and one which is common amongst students at Sheffield Hallam. I’ve met many students like this mother who actually really needs to communicate and engage with other people – especially informally to give her a sense of belonging and so she can share the extraordinary effort she is making and compare it with peers, on her course and elsewhere. How some students manage amazes me.
Modularise tion has fragmented the learning experience of many students and I am trying to take a leading role in addressing this at SHU and taking quite a holistic view of it. I do really care about this, especially as it seems so thoughtless and unnecessary and something we accept because the system (timetabling) imposes on us.
So, one of the big drivers here for me is BYOD4SE – that is Student Engagement. What does it look like when it’s working then?
- QR Codes – connecting to Facebook groups and printed on student produced posters
- Twitter – talking to students and producing leaflets about using social media, though really the SU needs to be taking the lead. The University just needs to signal it is good practice and ensure there is information about digital literacy around etc etc
- Instagram, Flickr – competitions and recording activity.
- Digital Voice – encouraging staff and students to do more with audio and video to accentuate and value personal connectivity and discourse e.g. Audio feedback, co-produced audio summaries, peer video reflection, assessment audio briefing for timely re-engagement, etc, etc (plug: see the million ideas in the Digital Voices book!)
- use of Google Docs/Drive (etc, etc) and group projects
- etc, etc!
A lot of this will crop up in discussions tomorrow about Collaboration (Day 4). Perhaps the highlight point here is making sure all students are included and the suggestion of informal, non-formal and formal peer engagement is loud and clear. Working together is what makes University different to just reading books and we need this mother in the centre of it all!