Thursday, July 06, 2006

Notes from HEA Conference - Enhancing the student learning experience

Susannah and Richard at Nottingham station - note gadget!
I'm just here for one of the 3 days (joined by Susannah and Richard - see left) and now sitting in the sun post lunch and thinking that this isn't a bad learning environment.
I attended the plenary 'The Impact of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTaL) on the student learning experience. A general note: in the hour an a half session there was very little room for input from the floor. I think this reflected badly.
It was good to see a panel that represented the US, Canada, Sweden and the UK.
There were several points made about student awareness of and involvement in the SoTaL.
Digital game-based learning: a winner UK higher education?
An excellent discussion session (!) led by myself, Richard and Susannah. It went really well and was well attended. General conclusions were the main challenge will be the cultural change; (especially amongst staff); that a 'binary' of "crusty academics" and neomillenial learners was not a useful interpretation of the position we find ourselves in, especially given another general area of agreement: games are not so new. 'Digital' introduces a layer of technicalities (and opportunities) but it might be more useful to consider how current good teaching practice can be enabled to extend more into the digital domain.
Sue Holmes Key Note - New ways to support an integrated student experience
(Vice Chair - Association of University Administrators)
Yet another Hallam face (this conference seems more like the SHU LTA Conference than a national HE conference!).
I didn't really take anything away from this - I was hoping for a few more ideas and less context setting personally.
Sue likes to refer to students as 'customers', and I know why, but most of the conference seemed to be discussing students as partners, which from an LTA perspective I find much more useful.
I attended two excellent idea-laden sessions in the afternoon. One from Bournemouth College of Art where they have used role play in a court room setting to engage creative students in research and communication. The second was looking at how Case-based learning scenarios could be used and developed. In this I found ideas for the digital media work I'm doing.
Unfortunately I'm now on the train to Diverse and have left those notes in Sheffield, so more on these when I return.


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