Friday 22nd May, 2015
2:00pm to 2:30pm
Staff/student and student/student communication has always been a challenge in higher education and in recent years it has become more challenging still. There are a number of reasons for this but among the key issues are the following:
*On many courses/programmes, there has been a reduction in the number of face-to-face hours and/or a reduction in the staff student ratio.
*Flexible teaching modes such as part-time, blended and distance mean that communication has to take place outside of the seminar room and lecture theatre and often outside standard office hours.
*Channels of communication that staff are currently familiar with are not necessarily favoured by students. Younger students in particular seem to favour synchronous channels (direct messaging) rather than the more "traditional" asynchronous channels (email, forums, VLEs).
*In very fast-moving subject areas like web design, students cannot be solitary learners. In order to succeed, they need to be able to communicate quickly and easily with one another and to form a learning team, which gathers and collates relevant information.
*Many student cohorts prefer to occupy their own mutual communication space, away from the prying eyes of their tutors. Is it possible or even desirable for tutors to control peer-to-peer communications relating to their teaching?
In order to address some of the above, the teaching team on the MA Web Design & Content Planning programme at the University of Greenwich have this academic year begun an experiment using Slack. Slack is a platform for team communication that is becoming popular in industry. It combines many of the attributes of asynchronous tools with the flexibility of synchronous communication. In addition, and just as importantly, it is platform agnostic and can be used irrespective of operating system, device or location.
This presentation is an updated version of the talk given at last year’s event.
Work = Educator. Knows about web stuff, landscape architecture stuff and photography. Home = Family. Walking the Wainwrights and philately. bio from Twitter
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