Thursday, 1 July 2010

Report on Steve Chilton's workshop

Learning to Learn Online

Participants at "Learning to Learn Online"

This Workshop entitled: Learning to learn online was used to disseminate information regarding a new module being developed at the university to address certain core skills necessary for the ‘digital’ student to excel in a modern university. The workshop was not however just an overview of the module itself, rather a look at it’s pedagogical underpinnings as well as highlighting a number of points such a module would need to address in order to be a success. Points such as:

  • How to ‘teach’ students to keep on task and not to be distracted by other media.
  • How do we make Students aware of what Feedback is within a University and how do we make them realize when they are receiving it?
  • Online activities such as those to be utilised in an online only module (such as this) are great for ‘reflection’ – Caveat; do our students know how to reflect?
  • Students need to be critical – professionals demand ‘thinking’ not just knowledge.
  • Communication is more than just an exchange – it is a discussion of relevant question.
  • Students need the skills to be able to; select, analyse, critique and justify the use of primary sources.
  • The need for students to realise the necessity to take notes and have the ability to paraphrase.
Steve did offer forward one task he was asking the students to take the module to do in order to truly engage with a piece of literature. Students were to read a 1500 word document and to initially condense this into a short 100 word document. This meant they would need to analyse and be critical of the original and decide just what the major points were. On completion of the 100 word document students were to further edit this into a single ‘tweet’ (statement of 140 characters or less). This task was a point of discussion with the majority of people thinking it was an excellent way of asking students to engage with a piece of literature.

Finally, what I believe to be a very powerful point was made: We (as educators) do not currently reaffirm or reinforce the core academic skills often or adequately enough with our students.

Dave Westwood
e-Learning Research and Innovation
Middlesex University

Steve Chilton presents

1 comment:

  1. I would just like to add that I did also discuss the fact that this was a self-destructing module that was being developed. The end-game is to convince the academics/schools to embed the necessary learning to learn online elements in their curriculum. The task of convincing them and helping them deliver appropriately is one I think may well turn out to be harder than developing the module as standalone.