Centre for Learning and Teaching

Digital Innovation across the curriculum

Wed Jun 18 15:18:00 BST 2014


Dr Emma RichColleagues in the Department of Education have introduced a range of curriculum and assessment innovations as part of a Connected Learning Lab initiative directed by Dr Emma Rich (@emmarich45). These innovations enable students to develop technological skills  for 21st century research and employment. The lab has opened up new spaces for teaching and learning that creatively connect the University with the public sphere. The lab comprises a suite of digital technologies (e.g. digital cameras, IPADs, mobile technologies etc) to support pedagogical innovations and enhance a range of employability skills. This has provided opportunities for students to engage with digital research methods, creating wikis, undertake digital public sociology by writing blogs and develop and enhance student experience through social media.

Dr Brad MillingtonStudents on the final year unit “Filmic representation of the sporting popular” led by Dr Stephanie Merchant and Dr Brad Millington produce a short 5 minute film about a key pressing social issue in sport, gaining new skills in modern digital media production. This is accompanied by papers on both the theoretical narrative and reflections on the production decisions.

Dr Stephanie MerchantIn the flipped “Advanced seminar in sport, health and the social sciences” unit delivered by Dr Emma Rich, Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb and Professor Simone Fullagar, students have produced work developing ideas for websites, social media, media campaigns, videos and other creative methods to challenge particular inequalities or social problems. Throughout the course students use a digital collaborative learning wall, twitter, and digital content produced by an international 'cast' of world-leading professors, and produce a portfolio of seminar reflections which are presented to a staff panel.

Dr Jessica Francombe-WebbStudents have also been using social media to connect with experts in their field and cater to different learning needs. For example students were given the opportunity to participate in a live ‘ in-class’ twitter seminar on human enhancement/bioethics in sport. Students logged into twitter and tweeted comments and questions live ‘in-class’ to an eminent professor in the field. The concept of a ‘ twitter seminar’ has generated international discussion on social media about its value as a pedagogical tool and featuring in the national press.

Students studying “Culture, media and sport” also undertake a new type of assessment. Instead of the unseen exam, students produce 5 short “response papers” to challenging topics, gaining feedback on each, before producing synoptic collection for their final mark. These ‘responses’ form the basis for discussion and debate in subsequent classes.

Prof Simone FullgarWhen dissertation projects are presented at the annual “UR Space” undergraduate research poster event, feedback is provided via twitter from both students and visiting academic and industry guests.  Invited guests have included the British Olympic Association, Scholars, Governing Bodies, Committees and a number of Commonwealth and Olympic Athletes. Twitter provides an opportunity to engage in wider research and employment networks  outside of the university, which is enthusiastically received by students. Through this process students are also developing the skills to develop a professional social media presence.