Immersion – think about learner identity

I am presenting today on some work I have been doing with my colleagues Diane Rushton, Natalie Wilmot and Simon Warwick in Sheffield Business School. The headlines of this work are that:

  • the students successfully engaged with the technology – YouTube Capture app on their personal device. All students (approx n60) has personal smart devices by the way
  • they reported being excited and motivated in the two induction workshops we ran. This was almost without exception (though of course exceptions are always important)
  • the challenge was to do with metaphysical engagement: student’s expectations, self perception, prior experience of critical and reflective learning. This lack of clear personalised vision inhibited their ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’

This echoes Neil Postman’s proposition (1996) about the importance of metaphysical engagement as a precondition for successful innovation.
This conclusion says something about ‘immersion’ – an idea often mentioned in work on technology-enhanced learning innovation, but frequently used to describe the immediate situation. Here, immersion is more about a spiritual buy-in to being a learner, the formation of a new learning identity and all that that means.


Postman, N. (1996). The end of education : redefining the value of school. New York: Vintage Books.


About amiddlet50

Educational developer working in academic innovation in higher education in the UK
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