However, an interesting discussion ensued with the 20 participants. The critical areas for discussion focused upon:
- a concern that students are not reading and evaluating enough. Shafi responded to this, stating that he had used a combination of online journals and commenting through wikis to motivate students, and he used the lovely phrase "unfolding a story". This clearly connects into personalisation and ownership of a learning process, where feed-forward is as important as feedback;
- Rob argued that getting students to read more is an aspiration with a long history of disappointment. The key is to stimulate their appetite, and the use of appropriate tools may act as motivation;
- Simon argued that writing does not deteriorate due to online work, as long as the appropriateness of academic writing and academic literacy was highlighted by staff;
- Peter wondered what students' experiences were prior to higher education - perhaps we need to look at BECTA and DEMOS and JISC;
- Tilo was undertaking participative research with young people who have a culture of using these tools to engage with new ideas, and wondered how read/write Web tools might help the research process;
- Malcolm noted that we were about to buy Penfield Hospital from the University of Huddersfield, and this virtual hospital simulation should help empower students decision-making.