• Using media based case studies to create spaces for students to practice theory

      Higson, Rob; University of Derby (Association for Learning Technology, 2016-09-06)
      How can we create a space for students to practice with a theory? Can we make a theory tangible, developing employability skills alongside it, within an assessment? As Henry Jenkins, Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts asks “What are you asking your students to do with what you teach them? How are they able to adapt it in a timely and meaningful fashion from knowledge to skill?” (Jenkins, 2010). This presentation explores work carried out to bring theories to life in a mode which allows students to apply them to real world inspired scenarios. In 2015, the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Team worked with academic staff from Health and Social Care subjects to create a case study based on the experiences of Health Care Professionals. Where previously written, content now consisted of video and other media, which students assessed from the perspective of a Health Care Assessor, developing observational assessment skills in relation to theoretical principles in the process. Spreading the case study over different segmented media provided a learning experience more akin to the real world as students were expected to “weigh the reliability of information that emerges in different contexts” (Jenkins, 2010) through developing “the capacity to seek out, evaluate, and integrate information conveyed across multiple media.” (Jenkins, 2010) By utilising these transmedia storytelling (Jenkins 2010) methods, learning resources can “use hermeneutic codes to raise questions in the minds of the audience; their desire to have these questions answered is what drives them forward through the narrative.” (Long, 2007, p. 166) Feedback from students suggests that this approach was effective and enhanced their learning experience: “It gave us an opportunity to practice, and learn from, skills such as observation and helped us to reflect on what we would actually do and see in real life practice. Very insightful” (Anonymous Student, 2015). One student also commented on the use of video over a written case study, “You could see details of Maggie’s house that a written case study would missed out. Also as a visual learner I found it helped to read Maggie’s body language.” (Anonymous Student, 2015). The methods developed during this project have led to further subject areas recreating the practice with similarly successful results. This presentation will demonstrate how applying transmedia storytelling methods to the creation of case studies can engage learners in the practice based theory of their subject area and embed critical employability skills within their learning. It will develop within delegates an understanding of how media based learning technologies can be used to enhance the digital content of modules relevant to their subject discipline.
    • Using Wikipedia to explore issues of systemic bias and symbolic annihilation in information sources

      Ball, Caroline; University of Derby (Innovative Libraries, 2021-11-01)
      Wikipedia is one of the most high profile and heavily used sources of information used by students today. The English language version contains over 5.8 million articles, growing at a rate of some 500+ new articles every day . It receives roughly 15 billion page views per month, making it the fifth most used website in the world . It is one of the first places students to go to find information. However, Wikipedia itself is very far from a truly global source of information. As an information source, it betrays the biases of its contributors. The majority of Wikipedia editors are young, white, college-educated males, technically-inclined, living in majority-Christian, Western Hemisphere countries - a group that has been described as "a bunch of male geeks who are wealthy enough to afford a $2,000 laptop and a broadband connection" . Recent surveys have estimated that only 8.5% - 16% of Wikipedia users are female – even fewer are people of colour . As a result, Wikipedia coverage in many areas suffer from this lack of representation. Articles about notable women are under-represented ; coverage relating to Africa, Latin American and the Middle East is rated by Wikipedia itself as poor to mediocre , and those that do exist are often written from a European or North American perspective ; articles on ‘universal’ topics often fail to include examples from these regions – do people in Africa not eat lunch, for example? If the world increasingly uses a single information source, what happens when that information source is incomplete, biased or misleading, not because of any inaccuracies but because of issues of perspective, notability and bias? Absence can signify ‘symbolic annihilation’ – if people do not see faces like their own in the media and information they consume, the message that sends is that they are less important. Focusing on Wikipedia’s shortcomings in these areas provides an opportunity to explore wider issues of systemic bias and representation with students, using a resource they are all familiar with but few truly understand. It enhances students’ evaluation and critical analysis skills and provides a new perspective on how information is researched, created and consumed – all vital skills in today’s ‘post-truth’ era when scarcely a day goes by without some ‘fake news’ story raising headlines and students’ digital literacy is increasingly under scrutiny. Activities to teach systemic bias in Wikipedia can include: a representation hunt through traditional print media sources; a ‘wikihopping’ activity generating random articles and keeping a log of how many articles about men vs women, western country vs Africa, universal articles that omit certain countries or geographic regions; textual analysis of articles for perspective bias in language used, examples included or not, sources of referenced information used.
    • ‘We will take them from anywhere’: schools working within multiple initial teacher training partnerships

      Mutton, Trevor; Butcher, John; Oxford University; University College Falmouth (Routledge, 2008-02)
      This article reports on a small-scale study focusing on the role of the initial teacher training (ITT) coordinator in schools in England in terms of working simultaneously across and within a number of different ITT partnerships. Data collection involved a review of the relevant course documentation of the four main higher education institutions working in one region, a postal questionnaire to 113 primary schools and secondary schools within that region and semistructured telephone interviews with six school-based ITT coordinators. The data were analysed within broad categories identifying the facilitators and constraints of carrying out the role when working in partnership with a number of different ITT providers. The findings indicate that there is a developing trend towards schools in England working with multiple partners, particularly in the case of secondary schools and that, notwithstanding the administrative difficulties sometimes caused, there are clear perceived advantages to working in such a way, both for the schools themselves and for the trainees in those schools. The implications of this in terms of partnerships between schools and ITT providers are explored, as are the
    • Wiki literacy: using Wikipedia as a teaching tool

      Ball, Caroline; White, Jonathan; University of Derby (LILAC conference, 2019-04)
      Wikipedia has traditionally been viewed with scepticism in higher education, and many academics discourage students from using it at all – a position borne out by our own internal sample of Derby academics. However, statistics show that Wikipedia is still one of the top five most heavily used websites in the world. With this in mind therefore, subject librarians at the University of Derby decided to try a different approach by using Wikipedia as a teaching and learning tool rather than just a source of information. Working with the undergraduate Publishing programme, librarians and academic staff redeveloped an existing module on Content Development to be structured entirely around the use of Wikipedia. Students were set tasks to create new articles, copy edit existing ones, peer review each other’s articles, and research for articles missing citations, thereby developing their academic writing, information literacy and digital skills. An added benefit for Publishing students especially was the opportunity to create content for a worldwide audience, with a potential impact long beyond the usual assignment timeline. In this short presentation we will present on the evolution of this project, our collaborative work with Wikimedia UK and academic staff, and outcomes from the project, including feedback from students and future plans for wider use across the University.
    • WikiLiteracy: enhancing students' digital literacy with Wikipedia

      Ball, Caroline; University of Derby (CILIP Information Literacy Group, 2019-12-03)
      In January 2019 the University of Derby delivered its first module entirely dedicated to and structured around editing and writing articles for Wikipedia. The course focused on using Wikipedia as a means to improve students’ skills in writing for public consumption, in addition to enhancing their digital and collaborative skills. Students contributed to 118 articles across a range of topics, which were viewed over 11.2 million times, providing them with a public platform no university assignment could match, and introduced them to the challenges of interaction and engagement in a global editing community. Students’ confidence in their digital capabilities was assessed at the start and end of the module and showed a clear increase in confidence across all categories.