Fine tuning your practice – getting ready for the new Academic Year 

Person holding piano tuning fork and tools against open piano

There’s been so much to think about in the past year.  At the forefront may be how you can adjust your assessment approaches to be more authentic and address concerns about potential (mis) use of Artificial Intelligence platforms. 

SALT offers a range of tips and resources to help you consider carefully your engagement with students about effective use of AI, preparing them for the realities of using AI in the workplace or indeed considering changes to your assessments.  There’s also the recordings of the webinars available to watch back. 

We have past recordings of Effective Practice sessions for you to consider aswell as more planned for the coming academic year – check out our Eventbrite page for details and to book.  And a range of resources about being an inclusive practitioner and building accessibility into your planning, delivery, learning environment and assessment approaches. Hopefully these resources give you some ideas for what might work for you in your context.  

In September 2022, I wrote a blogpost providing a range of tips to get yourself ready for the new academic year.  It was stimulated by the blogpost of a peer and developed further by crowdsourcing.  I did that via Twitter.  The changes since last year to that social media platform has caused me considerable reflection since Twitter (now ‘X’) was – still is – a major source of CPD for me.  I now wonder how my links to colleagues and resources are hampered and we consider switching to alternative such as Mastodon, BlueSky or Threads.  A post from an individual at LSE outlines the challenges of using social media to support the development of academic communities: Where now for academics on social media, post Twitter? | LSE Higher Education

Do reach out and find a network of supportive peers to help you develop your practice whether that’s online or in person! 

The categories offered in last year’s post about preparing for the new academic year however still apply and hope you find these useful reminders as you prepare to teach/support learning using effective and inclusive practices in 2023/24! 

Read on for the tips….

Continue reading “Fine tuning your practice – getting ready for the new Academic Year “

JISC Digital Media on e-Learning Stuff

My first Podcast of the Week over in Fresh and Crispy was James Clay’s e-Learning Stuff. The latest episode (episode 61) is a small gem in which ILT & Learning Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College James Clay interviews Zak Mensah of JISC Digital Media about ten new advice publications that have recently been made available on the JISC Digital Media website.

The guides are

  1. Introduction to e-Learning
  2. Designing Learning Experiences
  3. Common Methods for Viewing, Using and Producing Digital Media Resources
  4. Considering the delivery of digital media online
  5. Organising Digital Media Content in a VLE
  6. Mobile Learning for Education
  7. Providing Live Support to your Community over the Web
  8. Audio Feedback
  9. Telling it like it is – a how-to guide on creating audio feedback
  10. Using Multimedia in a PDF

In the podcast A Conversation with Zak, James and Zak discuss each of these guides and why you might want to read them. Should be worth a listen if you are interested in the issues around creating and using digital media in your teaching.

Practical Advice for Teaching with Twitter

This interesting post from the Prof Hacker blog in the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses how you might use Twitter in your teaching. The assumption is that students will be expected to contribute to an ongoing class discussion, which might not be how you’d want to do things, but for all that it contains useful advice. For example it compares the use of lists versus hashtags, frequency of tweeting, archiving the discussion, and displaying the results.

One idea from the US that I’ve seen in a couple of times now is the award of a part of the grade, say 10-20%, for class participation. Adoption of this idea might be a good way to encourage engagement with you modules. An alternative to using Twitter is the use of FriendFeed as a discussion channel. Alan Cann at Leicester uses this in a first-year course he gives on Personal Learning Environments. He calls it FriendFolios and sells it as a Facebook for uni.

I have created a short collection of related articles on the use of Twitter in HE from ProfHacker and other sources. It’s in my delicious collection tagged edutwitter. You can also use a new delicious feature to browse these bookmarks.