Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Report on Alex Chapman, Caroline Reid & Alan Durrant's workshop

Web 2.0 for learning and teaching: the teachers’ tale

Alex Chapman, Caroline Reid, Alan Durrant

This workshop reported on 2 projects from within the university which have utilised the social media of Web 2.0; Blogs, Facebook and the use of small ‘Flip’ digital camcorders.

The first project discussed was the ERASMUS funded Mentoring in Nursing Europe (MINE) project conducted by Caroline Reid and Alex Chapman. This project focused around a 2 week intensive period of learning for nurses from four different countries.

The decision to embed Web 2.0 technologies into the course was taken for two reasons: Firstly, The students of the four cohorts had never met prior to the Intensive Period, and the use of a ‘private’ Facebook group allowed the students to ‘meet’ virtually prior to meeting face to face. This was reported as having worked successfully with the students reporting feelings of ‘knowing’ each other during the initial days of the face to face period. The second reason for using the Web 2.0 technologies was one of pedagogy. The course leaders constructed the course in order to allow for a cooperative enquiry approach. The use of the Facebook group allowed students to connect and enquire into others work and reflections in order to enhance their own knowledge and understanding.

The Second project discussed was taken from the experiences of Alan Durrant when embedding the use of Blogs into a Work Based Learning Professional Practice module.

The disparity between student’s view of Education (as a motherly guidance from a teacher) and that of the professional world (far more independent) was highlighted and the question of rectifying this imbalance was posited.

This module had looked to address this imbalance by using personal Blogs as the medium of delivery, assessment, feedback and reflection. Informed by the connective theory pedagogical approach, the blogs were embedded in order to connect disparate students in a constructive educational network of peers and tutors in order to allow them to view, comment upon and critique the work of other students thus redressing the disparity outlined above. The tutor would also highlight good exemplars from which students could evaluate their work and thus construct new knowledge and evaluate that which already existed.

The blogs allowed professional students a medium through which to develop and monitor a digital professional identity something which they will likely need to do throughout their professional careers.

Dave Westwood
e-Learning Research Developer
e-Learning Research and Innovations Team
Middlesex University

Discussion notes from session Q&A

Suzanne Docherty, Middlesex University


  1. Louise, eLearning Development1 July 2010 at 11:40

    I would like to have attended this workshop too. Having attended Digital Stories, I can see the benefits to health profession students from content created by themselves or those in their care, especially when created and delivered in the right framework.

  2. The projects mentioned here are excellent examples of Web 2.0 success stories in education and provide evidence that "becoming a digital citizen", as discussed by George Dafoulas in his "Effects of Social Networking in Academic Literacy" session, is a worthwhile exercise.