In this session we share our experience on engaging staff and students at a research-intensive institution in an on-going collaborative project to transform the use of a Moodle based virtual learning environment (VLE) in one large, recently amalgamated School. The project sought to build a sense of identity using the VLE, and to increase learning use.
The session will provide delegates with opportunities to discuss the life cycle of such a project from rationale, development and implementation processes and crucially will seek to share lessons-learned including challenges and successes.
The ways in which both staff and students have taken the lead at different points of the project, the involvement of both is a key part of this session. How change has been encouraged, and how it has worked will be examined.
Whether students particularly have been able to influence the cohesion of their learning journey through their degree programme by their involvement in this project to make a connected, relevant VLE will be explored during the session.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
We are expanding significantly on Skinner’s (2007) use of a VLE to create a community of learners – whilst she was looking at a community of students, we are expanding the community of learners to staff and students working together in a symbiotic relationship to develop their learning community with the VLE as a vehicle.
This project is seeking to empower staff and students within not only a university wide but a school-wide approach to developing identity – not a top down approach but an academic response in a school using the VLE to develop a cohesive sense of identity for staff and students. This is a large School which has recently been created from a merger of two Schools with separate identities. The impact of a single, shared, mutual project around a shared technology for learning in seeking to develop collective identity is examined within this session. Drawing on the identities and perspectives of the different groups involved the presenters will be developing a depth of understanding with colleagues in the room as to the complexities and approaches of the project.
Delegates will be invited during the session, to share and explore the challenges of undertaking such a complicated and innovative project.
Encouraged by the presenters, delegates will be challenged to think broadly of innovative ways to aid teaching and learning in HE using such joint projects, and exploring the staff-student relationship surrounding any change where learning and teaching can be a mutually unifying catalyst.
The ways in which success is being evaluated and continues to be evaluated within the project includes:
• An increase in student use of the VLE
• Engagement in the project of staff and students
• Staff uptake of training
• Increased examples of effective use of the VLE for learning and teaching
• Response improvement to a sense of discipline identity in the NSS
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Mantz Yorke (2016) The development and initial use of a survey of student ‘belongingness’, engagement and self-confidence in UK higher education, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41:1, 154-166
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Yorke, M. 01/2016 In : Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 41, 1, p. 154-166 13 p.