Social media and e-learning in history teaching in UK HE – filling a gap? Dr Jamie Wood, University of Lincoln. TWO PARTS. E -learning and history teaching in higher education: a survey (2012-13, HEA) My experiences of using social media Questioning the Medieval using social bookmarking
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Social media and e-learning in history teaching in UK HE – filling a gap?
Dr Jamie Wood, University of Lincoln
TWO PARTS filling a gap?
E-learning and history teaching in higher education: a survey (2012-13, HEA)
My experiences of using social media
PART I: E filling a gap?-learning and history teaching survey
What are benefits of e-learning for student learning and staff teaching in History HE?
What are the challenges and drawbacks of e-learning?
Survey (http://tinyurl.com/8kkz524) administered to 1st and 2nd year students at 5 UK History departments
Interview with 1 member of teaching staff at 5 UK History departments
RESULTS (from students) filling a gap?
Virtual learning environments (31 responses); used as:
YouTube/ online library resources/ databases/ university portal (2 responses each)
Preparing for class: 4.26 (staff: 8.3/10)
Preparing for assessment: 4.26 (6.6/10)
Working independently: 4.05 (6.9/10)
Reflecting on learning: 4.03 (5.9/10)
Subject knowledge: 3.79 (6.9/10)
Skills development: 3.03 (5.2/10)
Collaborative working: 2.45 (3.1/10)
SKILLS DEVELOPED AREAS...
NEGATIVE IMPACTS AREAS...
Repositories are useful, but too much reliance on them:
Some skills are not developed:
Students are not ‘digital natives’, esp. within discipline
Researching using the Internet is challenging
Over-reliance on e-learning can reduce independence
A ‘narrowing’ effect, esp. among 1st year and weaker students (the VLE repository contains ‘everything’)
Some resistance to learning activities outside classroom and to interacting with one another
SUMMARY OF PART I AREAS...
Virtual learning environments predominate and, in general, are viewed positively by students and staff
Issues, e.g.: ‘Getting all lecturers to embrace technology would be a step forward‘
PART II: Questioning AREAS... the Medieval using social bookmarking... and other adventures in social (and not so social) media
Internet users manage bookmarks of web pages online (not on a browser) using tags/ descriptions, not folders
Active engagement – students have to do something
Online/ social element – enables collaboration, sharing and visibility
See Taha and Wood (2011) for more on this
‘Challenges AREAS... ’ and ‘opportunities’ (or ‘problems’)
Y1 lecture-based module in History
Solution = use visible & active learning – i.e. require the students to do something outside class that we could all see
Diigo AREAS... education edition
Private, separate logins
Basic weekly activity AREAS...
Students find online resources relating to the weekly topic
Students ‘tag’, describe and share resources
Then post questions based on reading to discussion forum in diigo
Resources + questions = my seminar plan
For some of resources see: https://www.diigo.com/user/pagansxtians
...otherwise it gets boring
See appendix to Wood, 2011, for more on this
STUDENT FEEDBACK AREAS...
Practical: for preparing essays
Independence: enjoyed the opportunity to find own sources
Freedom: ‘There is more freedom of choice about what to read’
Variety: ‘it is much more interesting, and because you are not only reading, it is easier to absorb information’.
LEARNING FROM OTHERS AREAS...
‘it has been good to see what other people have put and there was probably more variation in the questions than if the tutor was to set them.’
‘it allows you to see a wider range of issues that come up from sources - some that you may not even have thought about.’
+ 12 out of 15 students felt that their research skillshad improved
POSING QUESTIONS AND SOURCES AREAS...
‘it forces you to think about the source material and be analytical in response to it’
‘it makes you think about what you're reading a lot more, and opens up the area of reading to different paths of thought.’
Taking charge of learning:
‘I used to prefer having the questions set for me but I think it has been more useful setting them myself as it has made me think about the reading more.’
WHAT’S GOING ON? AREAS...
Models disciplinary processes
For more on this see Wood, 2011 and Wood and Ryan, 2010
‘OUTWARD LOOKING’ LEARNING AREAS...
Theology and Religious Studies looking outwards: knowledge transfer as a strategy for learning and assessment in the curriculum (UoM/ HEA, 2012)
‘MAKING DIGITAL HISTORY’ ( AREAS... UoL/HEA)
Making ‘outward looking’ resources in collaboration with students in the curriculum using Xerte toolkit
Developing online repositories for primary sources,
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS AREAS...
Practice is piecemeal and not universally popular with staff/ students (‘new-fangled’; not what ‘proper’ History is about)
But Social Media develops skills that VLEs don’t seem to (if well-designed and supported):