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Talking About… Learning & Teaching

Talking About…Learning & Teaching

College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1

Flipped teaching approaches to engage students in their learning

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Flipped teaching approaches cont.

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An Introduction to Clicking for Peer Instruction in the Social Sciences & Beyond

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Welcome This edition focuses on flexible approaches to learning and includes examples of educational enhancement from College, Schools and beyond which we hope stimulates your interest and encourages you to think about how these examples and the support available could potentially help you in your own practice. We hope you find the content of interest and welcome your contributions for future editions.

Taxonomy of Clicker Questions for the Social Sciences

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MOOCS Introduction

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MOOC Engagement

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Key MOOC Players

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MOOCs @ Birmingham

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MOOC early lessons learnt

Flipped Teaching Approaches to Engage Students in Their Learning Prof. Jon Green DPVC (Education) & Dr Natalie Rowley (Chemistry)

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Valuing Teaching at Birmingham Professional Recognition: HEA Fellowships

11 Alternative modes of delivery 12 Online marking in Canvas: CoSS Perspective

Produced and edited by: Mike McLinden and Danielle Hinton Please Submit Articles to: d.m.hinton@bham.ac.uk

College of Social Sciences

‘Flipped teaching’ or the ‘inverted lecture’ are approaches that are becoming more prevalent as techniques used to engage students in their own learning and as an alternative to the ‘didactic’ lecture. These approaches are being explored as part of the strand on ‘Transforming Teaching Delivery’ in the Curriculum Review and there are further details about this in the October issue of ‘Education Matters’; this also contains links to recordings of several lectures that were given in a workshop on ‘flipped teaching’ this summer. In ‘flipped teaching’, traditional lectures are replaced by interactive sessions. Students study material before the session (e.g. online screencasts, a recorded lecture or directed reading) and the ‘Just-in-Time Teaching’ (JiTT) approach is used, in which the preparatory material is tested in online quizzes and students can post questions online to clarify aspects that they did not understand. The JiTT exercises have a deadline a few hours before the class, allowing the teacher sufficient time to adapt the forthcoming class taking the student questions into account. The interactive session that replaces the lecture is based around problem solving and/or discussions and collaborative learning through ‘peer instruction’. Peer Instruction (PI) encourages interactivity in classes to engage students and address topics which students find difficult. The lecturer briefly presents a topic and the students are then asked to respond to a question, often using clickers. If an appropriate number of students answer correctly (30-70%) then the teacher asks them to turn to their neighbours and discuss their answers, (in pairs or small groups) preferably with someone who voted differently. After several minutes the students vote again after which the lecturer goes through the correct answer. PI can not only be used with questions for which there is a ‘correct’ answer but can also be adapted to stimulate discussion amongst students where there is no clear-cut answer.

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Flipped Teaching Cont. PI enables students to generate knowledge through discussion with their peers and to actively participate in the subject which they are studying. There is an excellent (short) book that provides the pedagogic background to both approaches, focusing on JiTT, but with sections on PI and applications to humanities and economics teaching – ‘Just-in-time teaching: across the disciplines, across the academy’ (edited by Scott Simkins & Mark M. Maier). Due to the success of the use of ’lecture flipping’ in a range of disciplines around the world we piloted the use of the technique last year, through a CLAD-funded project, in a cross-College initiative involving the Schools of Biosciences and Chemistry. A set of six and a set of seven lectures that had previously been taught traditionally were ’inverted’ as described above. Following the success of the pilot project we are now carrying out a STEM Education Centre-funded pedagogic research project, ’Enhancing the Student Learning Experience through Lecture Flipping’. In this project we are investigating student engagement with, experience of and learning through using a flipped teaching approach. Our experience of trying this approach has so far revealed the following:    

It is important to give students sufficient time to fully explore the pre-lecture material and to answer the online quizzes. The interactive sessions should therefore not be too close together (3 days minimum gap). Students seem to prefer short (10-15 min) screencasts compared with full lecture recordings and prefer both of these to directed reading. The engagement with the approach has been very positive – there have been plenty of hits on the online videos and other resources and also participation in the quizzes. Peer instruction has been shown to work and it has been possible to run interactive sessions with clickers, peer instruction and discussion in groups in classes of 250 students, although clearly this is more challenging than a class of 100 or less.

Enables tutors to help students who struggle most Allows students to pause and rewind the tutor as needed without “loss of face” Empowers students and tutors enabling them to have frequent and more substantial interactions

We suspect that students prefer a mixed approach to teaching delivery and their engagement may be better if not all sessions are based on the inverted lecture. Of course, some of these techniques can be used to make the conventional lecture more interactive, by including 10 minute interludes addressing problems or discussion in between a PowerPoint delivery.

Go to: http://ctl.utexas.edu/teaching/flipping_a_class/what_is_flipped

College of Social Sciences

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An Introduction to Clicking for Peer Instruction in the Social Sciences & Beyond Audience response systems or Clickers are devices or phone apps that can change the class dynamics, allowing the tutor to hear from the whole group (rather than just the loud or confident students), to encourage ‘deeper’ learning (through peer instruction) and provide speedy, reliable feedback for both tutor and students about group and individual. Bruff (2012) and Beatty (2010) provide helpful frameworks that can help you design and run small group teaching in small, medium and large groups. Whenever you introduce a new technique or process into the classroom it is important that the reason for using it is thoroughly explained and expectations are communicated.

Whilst most of the research into the use of clickers and associated technologies have taken place in STEM subjects there is also aplace for their use in the Social Sciences. For those interested in seeing Clickers explained please access one or more of the following videos produced by the University of Colorado at Boulder:

YouTube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1D084014175F46A1

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Taxonomy of Clicker Questions for the Social Sciences Danielle Hinton, CoSS eLearning team (Learning Design Specialism) Professor Jann Freed in the Review of Higher Education reviews Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments by Derek Bruff (2009), “As Derek Bruff states in the preface, this book is "a practical guide for instructors interested in teaching with classroom response systems" (p. xii). In six chapters (207 pages), Bruff shares not only his experiences with clickers (handheld wireless transmitters) but also examples from about 50 instructors in different disciplines at a variety of institutions. The goal was to find out how they used clickers in activities and discussion, the challenges they have faced when using these devices, and the reactions of students to learning in this way.” Chapter 3 focuses on providing a Taxonomy of Clicker Questions (pp 71-112). Bruff categories questions as either content or process questions and provides examples and comments from instructors from a wide variety of institutions. As examples mostly come from STEM subject areas, I have produced an adaptation of this Taxonomy that focuses on providing Social Sciences focused examples were available. Please email d.m.hinton@bham.ac.uk for a copy or request to borrow the book (CoSS only).

You might be interested in Bruff’s Classroom Response System http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/docs/classroom-response-system-clickers-bibliography      

Business, Accounting and Management Economics Education Political Science Psychology Sociology

College of Social Sciences

  

(“Clickers”)

Bibliography:

Introductions to Clickers Literature Reviews Research on Student Perceptions

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MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) The original MOOCs (2008) emphasised “connected, collaborative learning” with the courses built around “a group of like-minded individuals’ platform to explore new pedagogies beyond traditional classroom settings and, as such, tended to exist on the radical fringe of HE” (Yuan and Powell, 2013). These cMOOCs along with range of different initiatives (including iTunes U, Khan Academy, MIT Open Courseware and OpenLearn) gave birth to the typical MOOC we see today. The mainstream MOOC format of today (2010 to the present day) is essentially an extension of the standard pedagogical models practised in most campus based university classrooms, adapted for online delivery. The learning experience is dominated by video presentations, computer marked quizzes and discussion. MOOCs are ‘open’ in the sense that they generally have open registration, do not cost to join and provide no accreditation. A small percentage of MOOCs are also open additionally in the sense that either there are no barriers to access and/or materials are licenced via “Creative Commons”. They are as their name implies, delivered online via the Internet and are similar to campus based courses, delivered on a specific timetable with clear start and finish dates. Click on the image (right) to view the whole Infographic, "The World of Massive Online Courses" created by OnlineColleges.net or go to http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2012/07/11/the-world-ofmassive-open-online-courses

MOOC Timeline, The Maturing of the MOOC, Department for business Innovation & Skills (2013) Yuan, L. and Powell, S. (2013) MOOCs and Open Education: Implications for Higher Education A white paper, [Online] JISC CETIS http://publications.cetis.ac.uk/2013/667 [Accessed: 13 December 2013]

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MOOC Engagement As MOOCs are massive, free and generally not credit bearing, completion can be an issue. The following are a few of the many reasons why people may sign-up to a MOOC: 1. The ‘browsers’: Interested in exploring a. MOOCs generally (what are they) b. Education quality produced by X institution c. MOOC architecture and pedagogy d. Subject (lifelong learning) e. Access to an education not available in their location (eg country) f. Ways to enhance their job prospects 2. The Secondary school students interested in strengthening their university applications and become more independent learners. 3. The Graduates* looking a. For free continuing professional development, perhaps to enhance job prospects b. To assess where they might go in order to obtain a higher qualification c. Access to an education not available in their location (eg country or region) Bruff (2013) in a report of lessons learnt from Vanderbilt’s first MOOCS comments that “participation and completion data,” as with grades are, “ultimately, proxies for student learning” and makes an important point that we need to explore “what aspects of the course design or characteristics of the students might have led to that difference [in completion? It is still early days and there is a way to go in understanding the complexities and characteristics of this still emerging educational market. *Most people who take massive open online courses already hold a degree from a traditional institution, according to a new paper from the University of Pennsylvania. 80 percent of the respondents had a two- or four-year degree, and 44 percent had some graduate education (Kolowich, 2013).

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Key MOOC Players FutureLearn [View] A private company wholly owned by The Open University in partnership with over 20 of the best UK and international universities, as well as institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, including the British Council, the British Library, and the British Museum. FutureLearn commenced in October 2013 and the University of Birmingham is a founding partner.

Coursera [View] Udacity [View] edX [View] Canvas [View] Coursera, Udacity and Canvas are for profit MOOC providers whilst edX is a not for profit consortium that developed out of the work in open education at MIT. Udacity offered its first for credit MOOCs in collaboration with San Jose State University in November 2012 followed by a MOOC based Master’s degree, costing US$7,000.

Open2Study [View] An Australian collaboration that went live in March 2013, Open2Study is backed by Open Universities Australia (OUA) . Two months after launch Open2Study had over 20,000 enrolments and more than 11,000 students from over 100 countries. OpenupEd [View] “OpenupEd is the first MOOCs initiative which goes Europe-wide, with the support of the European Commission… At the start in April 2013 we offered around 40 courses, covering a wide variety of subjects, are available, in 12 different languages. From October 2013 80 MOOCs are offered, and another 100 will follow shortly. Already at the start we offered MOOCs with the possibility to obtain a formal certificate, i.e. official credits that can count towards obtaining a degree.”

Alison [View] “ALISON is a global social enterprise providing essential, workplace training skills free to any individual, anywhere, million learners in 200 countries, ALISON has global reach Since 2007, some 300,000 people all over the world have certificate courses and free diploma courses.”

certified, education and over the web. With 2.5 and a global reputation. graduated with our free

Khan Academy [View] The Khan Academy is a “not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.” It provides a library of content (with a bias towards Science and Maths) for students and learning management facilities for coaches, teaches and parents.

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MOOCs @ Birmingham The University of Birmingham is delivering new MOOCs in partnership with Futurelearn, the UK’s first MOOCs provider established by the Open University. The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and their content is quality-assured in line with our other programmes. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University of Birmingham. The MOOCs currently offered at the University include:  Good Brain, Bad Brain – Basics of the Brain (MDS)  Good Brain, Bad Brain – Parkinson’s Disease (MDS)  Improving your image: Dental Photography in Practice (MDS)  Shakespeare's Hamlet: Text, performance and culture (CAL)  Cooperation in the Contemporary World (CoSS) – coming soon

College of Social Sciences

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MOOC Early Lessons Learnt Here are some early lessons culled from a variety of literature: General • Teaching online is a team effort • There is more to MOOCs than video lectures • Open content is our friend • Cognitive diversity seen in MOOCs is far greater than in closed courses Instructional Design • The instructional model is shifting to be student-centric, away from an institution or instructor-focused model • Sound instructional design is the key to supporting self-directed learning experiences • Ensure students are preparedfor the learning experience e.g. o How to study online and at a distance o How to make the most of the environment • Provide clear signposting (what to expect activity wise, eg. length & number) • Use MCQs or discussions following delivered content to reinforce key points • Design delivery that supports students worldwide, in different time zones • Celebrate achievement at the end of each week MOOC Delivery • MOOC students are normally well-motivated students • MOOC students can be producers as well as consumers of information • Accommodating students on different timetables can be challenging • Instructor presence is important • Anonymity of the MOOC allows students to speak up in a way that they can’t always do under other circumstances Employability • MOOC participation indicates a significant level of motivation and initiative on the part of the job seeker • Completion of a MOOC can be a good indicator of how diligent and goal-oriented he or she may be • MOOCs can provide job seekers with real opportunities to improve their marketable skills • MOOC completition suggests intellectually curiousity Browse •

Bruff, D (2013) Lessons Learned from Vanderbilt’s First MOOCs, http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/2013/08/lessons-learned-from-vanderbilts-first-moocs/

Belanger, Y and Thornton, J (2013) Bioelectricity: A Quanitative Approach: Duke University’s First MOOC http://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/ 10161/6216/Duke_Bioelectricity_MOOC_Fall2012.pdf

University of Edinburgh (2013) MOOCs @ Edinburgh 2013 – Report #1 https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/bitstream/1842/6683/1/Edinburgh%20MOOCs%20Rep ort%202013%20%231.pdf

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Valuing Teaching Clare Saunders, Assistant Director (Educational Development), CLAD The Valuing Teaching at Birmingham project was undertaken 2012-2013 as part of the Reward and Recognition Enhancement Programme of the Higher Education Academy, and was funded by CLAD. The project aimed to investigate “how the University could begin to shape its future, leveraging a real culture change, where high quality teaching is celebrated and widely recognised as a valued and valuable academic activity; and ways in which those who teach could be best supported”. Project methods included surveys (face to face and online) of academic staff, exploring their perceptions and aspirations with regard to how teaching at Birmingham is valued and supported. The project findings identified the following areas for development: • Messages transmitted about teaching when recruiting and inducting new staff; • Support received to meet the challenges of providing effective learning opportunities on a day-to-day basis; • Ensuring appropriate resource is available for promoting teaching development; • Ensuring appropriate recognition and reward of teaching activities; and • Further development of institutional procedures for academic staff seeking promotion. A further update will be provided on how these areas are to be developed.

Professional Recognition: HEA Fellowships The Higher Education Academy (HEA) provides a Professional Recognition Scheme which offers individuals the opportunity to gain recognition at a range of levels and is closely aligned to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). The benefits to gaining recognition as an Academy Fellow include:    

national recognition of your commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education; demonstrates that practice is aligned with the UK PSF; provides an indicator of professional identity for higher education practitioners, It is a portable asset, with UK-wide relevance and is increasingly recognised by higher and further education institutions.

CLAD provides the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) which is a 60credit Master’s level programme for academics with a substantive teaching and assessment role at the University. Successful completion of the first module (Foundation of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) confers professional recognition as Associate of the HEA. Subsequent completion of the second module (Effective Academic Practice in Higher Education) confers professional recognition as Fellow of the HEA. Completion of the full programme meets the probationary requirement for new academic staff and leads to a pay increment in recognition of the professional knowledge and skills gained through continuous engagement with a full range of academic practice activities. We celebrate with the Karen Guldberg and Ian Davison (Education) who have recently achieved the status of Senior Fellow. They were amongst eight colleagues across campus who were successfully recognized as SFHEA in September 2013

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Alternative Modes of Delivery “The “delivery of course content,” or the commoditization of knowledge, must be re-thought in this century. This approach might have collapsed on its own anyway, but the digital age has changed the playing field in so many ways, the collapse is happening faster. Fortunately, an alternative model beckons. Digital tools don‘t have the limitations of paper-based tools, nor do classroom walls block out the world any longer. It is now easier to provide more authentic and experiential learning…” (Batson, 2009). The College of Social Sciences is proud to be at the forefront of many developments designed to cater for the changing needs of students. DISN (Education) and IDD (Gov&Soc) have been delivering online and blended distance learning for over a decade catering for the UK, EU and international markets. The Education suite of programmes builds on a proud thirty years of distance learning experience. The Business School also is involved in highly successful Singapore programmes including the MBA programme which has been delivered continuously for eighteen years. Staff teach in the country as well as provide up to eight hours of videoconferencing between the teaching blocks to enable students to contact them live. The Canvas (and previous WebCT) Virtual Learning Environments are key in providing top quality space to learn and teach. The Schools pride themselves in the development and delivery of a high quality student experience.

Online Learning Processes and Skills – Benefits and Barriers Kilpatrick and Bound (2003) References: Batson, T. (2009) Not Your Parents‘ ‗Course Content Delivery.‘ Campus Technology p.2. Kilpatrick, S and Bound, H. (2003) Learning Online: Benefits and Barriers in Regional Australia Volume I. NCVER, p. 6. http://www.ncver.edu.au/research/proj/nr1F03_1.pdf

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Online Marking in Canvas a CoSS Perspective Joe Berry, CoSS E-Learning Manager Joe Berry delivered a presentation to the Learning Forum at the Medical School this November. The talk focused on the experiences CoSS have had rolling out online marking in Canvas. COSS is ahead of the rest of the University in the scale of its online marking, and being the first UK University to use Canvas we are consequently blazing the trail for the whole country! As with any new system there are quirks and bugs to be uncovered but so far the feedback has been broadly positive from academics andadministrators. Generally, staff find the system easy to use, but concerns have been raised about the Canvas ‘philosophy’ which constantly encourages dialogue between the students and faculty. Nonetheless Canvas is showing potential both for faster online marking, and for more varied forms of feedback. Joe will be compiling a short list of feature requests at the end of this phase of marking to feed back to Canvas in the hope of tightening up some of the weaker aspects of the tool. As Canvas's first UK HE customer we hope to have some traction to mould the system to our needs. Please talk to your local E-Learning Manager to access Online Marking training available in your School. Your eLearning main contacts for each School are: 1. Business: Joe Berry 2. Education: Geraint Evans 3. Social Policy: Dee Partridge 4. Government and Society: Danielle Hinton CoSS has a range of Canvas Programme Specific Technical Help ranging from: 1. Canvas Staff Help: https://canvas.bham.ac.uk/courses/3915 2. Canvas Student Help: https://canvas.bham.ac.uk/courses/185 3. Technical Support Help Form: https://canvas.bham.ac.uk/courses/185/files/76512

College of Social Sciences

Vol 7 No 1, 2013


Talking About... Learning & Teaching v.7 no.1  

Flexible Learning

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