Student and Staff Collaborative Webinar Series
Each webinar in this series was a partnership between students and staff. Together, we explored key topics in online learning and shared perspectives and ideas.
Rethinking learning in an online world: A student perspective
Xeina Ali, Cara Beard, Oluwapelumi Durojaiye, Jiayu Le, Joel Miller and James Tatam.
The speakers are University of Surrey EduInterns, a group of undergraduate students who have been working across the education portfolio on a wide range of projects for their Professional Training placement.
In this unprecedented time, the traditional environment of teaching in a classroom has shifted to an online world that offers new possibilities for learning. In this webinar, the EduInterns explore this transition from teaching in person to teaching online through activities aimed at rethinking how to facilitate student learning in an online world.
The session covers variations in planning face-to-face teaching in comparison to planning online teaching, benefits and opportunities that online learning presents, and the challenges with trying to coordinate learning online. The student perspective of the interns offers insight into the experience of the learner on the other side of the screen.
Facilitating discussions in an online environment
Dr Marion Heron, Xeina Ali, and Jiayu (Jessica) Le.
Xeina Ali and Jiayu Le are undergraduate students who are currently working at the University of Surrey as EduInterns for their Professional Training placement. Dr Marion Heron is a senior lecturer in higher education at the University of Surrey.
In this webinar, Marion, Xeina and Jessica explore how to facilitate oral discussions with and amongst students in an online environment, such as a seminar or tutorial.
They consider the crucial role of discussions in developing disciplinary knowledge and critical thinking, the differences between discussions in a F2F environment and an online environment, and some of the challenges these differences might bring.
They look to Robin Alexander’s (2008) model of dialogic teaching to inform the design of a dialogic classroom and discussion activities, and explore the types of questions and prompts we can use to encourage participation and extended contributions from students.
Alexander, R. J. (2008). Towards dialogic teaching: Rethinking classroom talk. York: Dialogos.
Approaches to feedback in online learning
Dr Naomi Winstone, Joel Miller, Cara Beard, and Jiayu Le.
Jiayu Le, Cara Beard, and Joel Miller are undergraduate students who are currently working at the University of Surrey as EduInterns for their Professional Training placement. Dr Naomi Winstone is a reader in higher education at the University of Surrey.
Feedback is one of the most time-consuming elements of academic workload yet essential to student development. The literature indicates that digital forms of feedback (e.g. audio, video, and screencast) can take less time to produce than more traditional forms of feedback. In addition, these forms of feedback communicate more than just words through facial expressions and the tone of voice, which can enhance the clarity and personalisation of feedback (Winstone & Carless, 2019).
As well as discussing opportunities for these forms of digital feedback, the webinar explores ways through which cohort-level feedback (i.e. common things done well, common errors, and common areas for improvement) can be supplemented by activities that enable students to extract personally relevant feedback from this kind of generic performance information.
Winstone, N. E., & Carless, D. (2019). Designing effective feedback processes in higher education: A learning-focused approach. London: Routledge.
Making connections: How do we do this in an online space?
Dr Karen Gravett, Dr Naomi Winstone, Oluwapelumi Durojaiye and James Tatam.
Oluwapelumi Durojaiye and James Tatam are undergraduate students who are currently working at the University of Surrey as EduInterns for their Professional Training placement. Dr Karen Gravett is a lecturer in higher education and Dr Naomi Winstone is a reader in higher education at the University of Surrey.
Meaningful interpersonal connections are often of paramount importance to students (and staff!) The literature shows that relationships impact considerably upon students’ experiences of higher education, and the importance of relational pedagogies is increasingly being discussed and prioritised as recent research highlights, that meaningful connections are crucial to accessing support, as well as to developing a sense of belonging.
In this webinar, the presenters think about approaches which might be employed to forge and sustain connections with others, despite the difficulties and challenges posed within an online environment. While arguably there can be no one ‘single care recipe’ (Barnacle and Dall’Alba, 2017, p. 1336), they explore strategies that can be employed in order to build meaningful connections, and what they’ve learned so far in their experiences supporting and teaching online.
Barnacle, R. & Dall’Alba, G. (2017). Committed to learn: Student engagement and care in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, 36, 1326-1338.
Designing and delivering effective teaching to encourage engagement
Dr Simon Lygo-Baker, Cara Beard, and James Tatam.
Cara Beard and James Tatam are undergraduate students who are currently working at the University of Surrey as EduInterns for their Professional Training placement. Dr Simon Lygo-Baker is a senior lecturer in higher education at the University of Surrey.
As teachers we are often frustrated by the apparent lack of engagement of our learners when delivering lectures and this can be even more challenging in an online teaching environment. Learners themselves often report that lectures are not stimulating, cause confusion, are overpopulated with material, difficult to follow and so on.
Drawing on observations across all disciplines at the university and beyond this session combines aspects of good practice recognised from practice and also supported by the research literature and combine this with a template to help participants rethink their design and delivery.
Drawing on work with a researcher in creative writing based around an overview of screenplay design, this session offers practical solutions aimed at focusing on the key content, how to structure a session appropriately, consider ways of engaging and maintaining interest and creating connections both with the learners and to the material. These are considered with a particular emphasis of designing within the online environment, although many of the techniques and ideas can be incorporated or adapted to different situations.