Learning through co-production makes sense to me. It suggests a form of purposeful, active learning with peers. This is the approach we are taking at the next Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group (MELSIG) event in Sheffield on 21st June. It’s not new for MELSIG – we’ve run workshops, co-produced research and books, and developed social learning methodologies like the #Twalk. All of these have purpose, require active engagement in making things, and all are social in nature.
One of the premises for MELSIG, that’s always been there, is that it doesn’t matter what you know or think you are capable of doing. What matters first and foremost is that you decided to turn up. Not everybody does, not everybody can, but you have proven, by turning up, you want to commit some time and energy to what’s on offer.
At our first event in 2008 (when we were known as the Podcasting for Pedagogic Purposes SIG) it was clear that some people knew more and were more experienced than others. It was great that self-declared ‘novices’ worked alongside immodest self-declared ‘experts’! The reality, of course, is that everyone is valuable in these situations.
People who have particular knowledge and skills about the use of digital media to enhance learning are rarely fluent in all departments. They may know about media, technology, pedagogy and academic innovation and change in varying degrees. They may understand their university context, but not colleges, faculties, or particular disciplines. And vice versa. They may be a student, academic, technologist, developer or something else.
So, in a co-production we recognise that each of us has value and each of us is able to fill in gaps for each other.
At the MELSIG event we will use an emerging methodology called ‘toolkit in a day.’ It is based on this philosophy of co-production. We’ll be constructing three much needed toolkits. After the event we’ll use the toolkits to inspire and support academic innovation at our respective institutions. The toolkits will be on:
- Podcasting for Pedagogic Purposes
- Social Media for Learning
- Flexible Active & Blended Learning
It will be great to revisit some of these areas and apply what we have learnt over the years in the form of practical and inspiring resources. This will bring the MELSIG toolkit count to five as last year we developed toolkits on Audio Feedback and Twalks.
We may arrive thinking we know nothing or very little, but we’ll leave knowing a lot about the three topics and we will have networked and made some good contacts and friends in the process.
Purpose: make something we all need using what know or want to know
Engage: we bring knowledge, skills and good questions that have value
People: we can do things together that we couldn’t dream of doing on our own