What exactly are your students up to online?

This is probably not a question you want a comprehensive answer to but it would be handy to know how they are using the Web to engage with the learning challenges you are setting.

I’m currently leading a project with the Higher Education Academy which uses the ‘Visitors and Residents’ mapping process to help teaching staff to gain a better understanding of how their students are using the Web for their learning. Successful applicants will receive £1500 to attend two workshops (12 Feb and 7 May 2014). The first workshop will teach you how map your own online practice to set you up to run the process with a group of your students. The second workshop will review the maps generated by your students and provides an opportunity to explore how you might evolve your teaching practice to engage them in new ways online.

V&R map

Simple Visitor & Resident map

The pilot version of this workshop format proved very successful, with a number of institutions going on to run further mapping sessions at their institutions to get an holistic, high level, sense of how the Web is being using in teaching and learning by both staff and students (with the view to informing overall teaching and learning strategy/policy).

Obviously I’m biased but I like to think that the mapping is a pragmatic way of understanding online learning practices which often go undiscussed in education. It has proved to be a good starting point for reflecting on overall approaches to teaching and for informing how best to work with students online: for example, negotiating the complexities of connecting with students in platforms which are based on a ‘friendship’ paradigm.

It’s only a 500 word application process so if you are part of a higher education teaching team in the UK please take a look at the form on the HEA website. The deadline for applications is the 20th of January. Perhaps I will see you at the workshops? :)

5 Responses to “What exactly are your students up to online?”

  1. Patrick Gardella Says:

    This is for sure only available to UK schools?

  2. David White (@daveowhite) Says:

    It’s funded by the Higher Education Academy so yes, it’s only HE institutions based in the UK.

  3. Barney Rubble Says:

    Will this potentially conclude with a amazingly “sophisticated” photo of an iceberg as the total output of the study, along with “we need stories” and “we know people are using stuff”?

  4. David White (@daveowhite) Says:

    We can only hope the outputs/outcomes will be as well rounded as that. But srsly, this project is about supporting practice directly rather than reporting on a specific area of activity. It’s not strictly ‘research’ in that sense.

  5. Developing new forms of online practice | howsheilaseesIT Says:

    […] the digital visitors and residents metaphor with interest and felt that the visitors and residents mapping methodology would (and this is probably the key part of our proposal) provide a relatively simple way for our […]