Wednesday, 10 September 2008

the kids are alright

I had a conversation with a couple of students at the JISC Users and Innovation seminar about what they thought the e-aware or e-competent tutor should be about, and what attributes would be appropriate for 21st Century HE. Their top tips included the following - they aren't rocket science, but they are usefully re-stated.
  1. A willingness to take risks and explore new tools and techniques with students - a facilitation role in managing decisions about learning.
  2. A willingness to involve students as mentors in learning, and thereby facilitate sharing and co-operation. This should happen across programmes as well as within modules.
  3. The deployment of interactive technologies and techniques in the curriculum.
  4. Give e-learning tools (e.g. Blackboard) a point.
  5. Be responsive to the students' attitudes and approaches - empower them to use personal tools in the curriculum.
  6. Use social tools that help them personalise their experience and share ideas beyond the programme. We need to pull students in, rather than push them.
  7. Give students responsibility for the development of modules and programmes - give them choices and decisions to make about curriculum content and delivery.
  8. Rather than focusing on telling, focus upon students' active involvement in doing and creating. Trust will help build ownership and engagement. Students doing and creating rather than listening is key!
  9. Make better use of technologies to enable non-contact time activities and tasks.
They also pointed out that institutions need to enable the aggregation of tools and content, in order to give students safe places to share, pull in widgets and play.

4 comments:

Downes said...

> Give e-learning tools (e.g. Blackboard) a point.

Sorry... what does this mean?

Richard Hall said...

too many staff put stuff on-line without explaining why they are to be used, or negotiating tools with students, many of whom then bypass those tools. Blackboard - "we just can't see the point at times", is what these guys said.

Suki said...

This blended approach - traditional face to face (f-2-f) and using a VLE - we don't often state the obvious to students on how we expect them to be using their course online as part of their teaching. Students feel misguided -
how and when are they are expected to use VLE in compliation with f-2-f teaching? This may seem simply obvious but can have a massive impact especially when you consider the duration that a student is expected to engage with their online course. If the dynamics are not there students do not see much point. If were not completely virtual - clear guidance & expectations on using tools online should be clear on the outset.

Andrew Middleton said...

Hi Richard, good to see you again. Maybe I mentioned this when we spoke the other day, but it's pertinent to this discussion. In the interviews I conducted around my institutional educational podcasting pilot I heard the same thing from students. To paraphrase: "Teacher, don't dabble with these technologies and call it 'teaching'; don't expect us to play along unless there is a clear, meaningful reason to do so."
And you have to admit, dabbling with allbeit interesting technologies, is very patronising. I've also had students remind me in focus groups that "actually, we're busy too you know." This of course makes it difficult to pilot new learning technology supported ideas. We must do so with great care.