Academic Digital

Counterintuitive Assignment #HighEd #EdTech

Interesting ‘counterintuitive’ assignment set on a course on Media Fluency in a Digital Age:

Finding information that’s not online.  Find an article (research journal article, analytic newspaper article, serious magazine article, or scholarly book chapter) that is on the topic of the Internet or new media, but not available (at least, not to you) on the Internet, and acquire a digital copy of that article.  In a one-page, single-spaced write-up, document the steps you took to (a) find the article, (b) ensure that it was not available to you online, and (c) find out how to get it offline, (d) digitize it, (e) use optical character recognition software to make your text searchable, and (f) save the file to MyWebSpace and give your TA permission to view it. Paste the full URL of your file at the end of your write-up.

Read the article to find out how the students dealt with this, and how they learnt to appreciate far more what was online, and what was in the library!

Thanks to @batty_towers for pointing in my direction, and as a bonus, my @ww2poster happy button is hit too #KeepCalm!


An interesting mini report from @SavingStudents1 (@manipm)

In Manipulating Media (a first year media studies module at the University of Winchester), we have set the students a challenge to produce a campaign with regards to changing student behaviour (ensuring that campaigns have gone through Student Union/campus processes). Tomorrow they will present a 3 minute YouTube video highlighting what they covered, why it’s relevant, what they did, and any measurables as to its success (within only 3 weeks). I offered my students the opportunity to give me a mini report to post on my blog, as I’m particularly interested in learning/teaching processes and student engagement:

Our campaign strives to encourage students to budget and spend their money wisely whilst at  the University of Winchester We will be providing tips and experiences from other students, to ensure that others don’t feel the need to spend recklessly to have a good time.

This campaign is run by students at The University of Winchester, who therefore have an understanding of the troubles on budgeting student loans whilst at university. To do this successfully and change students behaviour, we shall be relying heavily on social media to promote our message. Through the use of Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook we hope to engage our target audience and by making our campaign interactive we hope to draw the attention of students. We shall also be using print media such as posters and leaflets to raise awareness and direct our target audience to our useful tips on our multitude of social networking sites.

We have also  created content for a CD ‘leaflet’ to grab the attention of students around Winchester, this CD contains a budget plan, our promotional material and a short video of students giving money saving tips.

The above was written by Alice Plaskett


Submission of ‘Reflective Portfolio’ for PGCLTHE

The Practice of Teaching in Higher Education 29-3-11
The first draft had a lot more quotes/background material in it, but I was asked to pull it back to allow more of my own reflections to shine through (and it was too long anyway!). Let’s see what happens, eh? Taking it into work on Thursday, and assuming it passes (50% +), then I will become a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Academic Digital

Assignment 2 (PGCLTHE), Blended Learning, 70%

Assignment Title: Developing a Community of Practice in Blended Learning at the University of Winchester: Theory, Practice & Reflection

Read the assignment on Scribd.


This report shows just how much effort you have put into the BL Fellow post over the last year.  There have been all kinds of activities both of the social and technical kind.  I can see that you have met many people across the university on many occasions and that you have made a great number of attempts to spread the word by electronic means, going far beyond the BL pages in the LN with which you started.  This all comes through in the report.  It is evidenced by the large number of references you have included, many of which are to postings of your own on various sites.

The report starts by setting the background at a mature level, recognising the issues that confront both the institution at the level of policy and individual academics who are faced with a rapidly changing environment in which to deliver their teaching.  It then goes on to detail how you set about building a BL COP within the university, drawing upon the various approaches that have been described within the literature.  There is a good account of some of the barriers that hinder the take-up of this kind of technology in the ‘Staff attitudes to IT change’ section.

I think a comment I made on the draft you sent me has lead you to remove ‘I’ from the document and referring to yourself always by name.  That reads a bit oddly.  But more importantly, at a deeper level, it may reflect an uncertainty about the methodology that you (and in the past I) have employed and how this relates to the report.  This is not I think a conventional investigation in which, say, a particular technique or technology is tried out and the results are assessed, perhaps by interview or perhaps by change in student performance.  It’s more an account of action research, in which the use of ‘I’ would have been acceptable.  So what I am saying is that, perhaps inevitably, you haven’t included an account of a methodology.  At the end you have attempted to assess the effectiveness of what has been done.  There is some recognition that this is difficult to and  you do give some evidence that there has been an impact from your efforts.  But I think it would have been helpful to sketch out how a more detailed evaluation might have been completed if there had been the resources for it.

A minor point about presentation: I think a Table of Contents for a document like this is very helpful and worth including, especially as it is so easy to do.

Finally I want to reiterate what an enormous amount of work you have put into the BL Fellowship and how it seems, as far as one can tell, that this has been very successful.  I think you have achieved as much as could possibly have been achieved, given the limited resources available to you.  So all in all you can feel very pleased with the report


This  is a very good report, well written and very well referenced. In a sense its academic contribution is to show the development of Blended learning at the University of Winchester within the context of academic and real world changes, which is an important report to make. I think your own voice and opinions could have come through more strongly, especially in the conclusion, which I thought could have been more like a synthesis and an overview, followed by your own ideas and projections for the future. If you had done that then I think your marks would have gone much higher