First Workshop

First CIP workshop: Partnering with students in teaching innovation

26 April 2016

Image of part of the event flyer

The end of April saw the first Centre for Innovation in Pedagogy (CIP) Workshop where we celebrated collaboration and innovation in teaching and learning between what we have called the ‘non obvious’ partnerships; between students and academics and academics and learning technologists. With the theme of “Partnering with Students in Teaching Innovation” we discussed how we could work better with students to innovate in their learning environment.

We heard presentations from John Pal of Alliance Manchester Business School, from the student innovation teams, from elearning technologists, Will Moindrot and Phil Styles, and from Conor Dumigan of Turning Technologies. The student innovation teams headed by Rebecca Gilbertson included Rex Chkujama, Jun Gao, Wei Ka, Vanessa Mbamalu, Marwan Mohamad and Mariola Yankova.

Students don’t (always) know what’s good for them, do they?

In a passionate opening keynote speech, John Pal set the tone by drawing our attention to the difference between the student’s perception during the courses and their perception afterwards when they have had time to reflect back; there is often a stark difference.

We should be careful about making knee jerk reactions to student feedback without careful consideration of the ultimate developmental needs of the student. John also discussed his experience of building a course from scratch and how different the structure would have been if he had stuck to the traditional linear format of tutorials and lectures.

Report from student innovation team 1

Opening for the students was Rebecca Gilbertson who began what was to be a highly interesting and professional contribution from the student innovation team as a whole. Rebecca discussed her personal experience from a course where students were given ‘thinking’ questions at the beginning of the course that would help to reinforce learning objectives and help to keep students engaged throughout the course.

The second half of the first student presentation was given by Rex Chukujana who gave a very interesting student perspective on how academics might make better use of students feedback earlier in the course than the current end of course provision.

Classroom voting, an example of technologist / academic collaboration

After the break we heard from William Moindrot, a learning technologist from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). Having set the attendees a task to complete over lunch on the subject of ‘Open Badges’ went on to discuss how learning technologists, students and academics could work together to improve the learning environment; tapping into underutilised productivities from student’s innovations and staff specialisations.

Developments in classroom response systems

Following on from William was Phil Styles who gave a talk of particular interest to staff attending on how to access and make use of the data that turningpoint responseware generates for the purposes of pedagogical research.

It was also very interesting to see data showing the historic take up and growth in use of classroom voting technology at the University of Manchester.

Report from student innovation team 2

Second to present for the student innovation team were Vanessa Mbamalu and Marwan Mohamad. Marwan put up some very interesting material and compared famous performers with famous lecturers. He suggested that we might think of the lecture as an interesting and motivating performance rather than the traditional delivery of material.

Vanessa spoke about how students found physical activities in contact hours enjoyable and gave an interesting account of when her tutor used m&ms to demonstrate probability draws! Vanessa also proposed coordinating the timing and planning of assessments within academic departments in order to avoid periods of over stress during semester.

Talk on TurningPoint Cloud / 7

To conclude our workshop we heard from Conor Dumigan of Turning Technologies. Conor gave an update on the latest news from the new version of Turningpoint Responseware (TP Cloud) which contains even richer features than before. Teaching staff from Manchester fed back to Conor on the changes and the improvements we would like to see going forward in the design of this interaction interface.

Many thanks to the staff who took part and especially to the student innovation team that worked so hard on the run up to the workshop.