Engagement and monitoring – M25 winter meeting

On Tuesday 7 December, the winter meeting of the M25 ALT group took place via Zoom with the broad theme of monitoring and engagement, everything from proctoring through to wellbeing, defining what we mean by engagement and the ethical justification for monitoring.

Interesting to see how ‘check ins’ are being widely used. Just asking students ‘how are you’? These can be done in a variety of ways, via a VLE or even a poll at the start of a live session. Matt Jenner demo’d a potential way to enable this via a ‘no code’ web app development platform.

Lots of thought-provoking stuff as usual, but I was particularly interested in the item on feedback from Leonard Houx and Annora Eyt-Dessus from City’s Business School which drew on their experience in learning design and mentioned this new research on approach goals from Sims, Outhwaite and Bennett. The TaLIC team here at Goldsmiths had been having a conversation about retention and motivation earlier in the day – so this was all quite timely. The theory around achievement goals and the difference between mastery and performance goals is clearly something I need to read up on – possibly starting with this work of Hoyert and O’Dell.

Students’ judgement of what is good for their learning is often wrong (eg: writing what you know is more effective than repeated reading – but students prefer the latter approach). Feedback can correct this. Other useful takeaways – present knowledge gaps but not chasms and motivate with regular feedback, be it automated, peer or from a teacher. Provide walkthroughs of how you would solve the problem, vary the difficulty (differentiation) and provide definitions of vocabulary.

So in a nutshell –

Is your teaching too difficult to follow?
Are your students getting enough feedback?


Collaborating on module design using ABC via Teams

You may be familiar with UCL’s ABC workshops for rapid module and curriculum design. They’re an engaging and effective way to redesign a course or map one out from scratch. It’s based on Diana Laurillard’s conversational framework and uses cards to map out the learning journey of the student.

However, given the current situation, it isn’t feasible getting a module team to sit around a table and write on cards.

There are ways to do this online and something we’ve tried at Goldsmiths is using Teams and the built-in ‘planner’. A planner is a series of columns (called buckets for some reason) into which you can add task cards. With a little bit of tweaking you can make this look a little like the ABC cards.

Here’s a video that explains the approach:

There’s more here about ABC learning design from UCL