Another publication about Making Digital History project


Another publication about Making Digital History, specifically about the use of Xerte to develop students’ capabilities in creativity, is now available. It was produced in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Salford and can be accessed here:

Reference: Kutar, MS, Griffiths, M and Wood, J 2015, Ecstasi project : Using technology to encourage creativity in the assessment process , in: UK Academy for Information Systems (UKAIS) 2015, March 2015, Oxford, UK

Abstract: The notion of creativity has attracted increasing attention in Higher Education in recent years, and is seen to be of importance in a variety of disciplines, not just those which are closely associated with the creative industries. This provides a challenge to educators to understand how the concept can be incorporated into student learning and assessment. This paper introduces the Ecstasi project, which is studying the creative learning journey of students in two different disciplines and institutions, on modules which use an inquiry-based pedagogy. The students are encouraged to creatively utilise information technology to develop artefacts for their assessed work. A key challenge is the assessment of creativity, which we consider this using the dimensions of person, process and product. The paper discusses creativity and its assessment in HE, presents preliminary results from the on-going longitudinal study, and considers the role of technology in this process.

Posted in digital literacy, Dissemination, E-learning, history, Humanities, Learning objects, Lincoln, Making Digital History, Salford, Xerte | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twittering Students – Using Twitter in Teaching Literature

I have been experimenting with using Twitter in my teaching this term at the University of Lincoln, on two separate American studies modules, level one and two respectively. The way this worked was relatively straightforward: I set up individual Twitter accounts for each module and requested that students follow the module account on their already established Twitter account, or sign up for one if they didn’t already have one (this was quite unusual, our students generally all had Twitter accounts already set up, and were very proficient at using them!) Based on weekly texts, I tweeted helpful questions, hints and small portions of analysis before every weekly seminar. I would occasionally post pictures and other forms of media that were pertinent to that particular text (for example, when tweeting about Tennessee Williams’ memory play The Glass Menagerie, I provided photographs of set design, images of different actors portrayals of the characters, and even links to videos demonstrating the enactment of certain scenes – all extremely important to understanding the dramatic text).

Students were required (although not assessed upon) to tweet at least once upon the set text – and the bounds of what could be tweeted was very loose. Students tweeted their opinions, themes and motifs they had noticed and occasionally hyperlinks to other resources from the web. I requested that the student tweet the module account by using the module accounts’ twitter handle. When I received the notification that someone had tweeted the module, I would retweet the text onto the account and generally favourite it. This collated all students tweets onto a central web page.

I found that using Twitter was a dynamic and exciting use of social media in teaching and learning. Students were able to voice their opinions in an unencumbered but very accessible arena. Students generally were very plugged into the system of tweeting, most students being notified of tweets on their smart phones immediately, and able to formulate responses immediately as well. I found that it was also beneficial to re-feed the Twitter platform in seminar settings. I.e –I would bring up the Twitter page on the overhead projector at the beginning of class for the students to see, and single out particular Tweets and ask the student who had written it to discuss it and perhaps expand upon it. This amounted in a sort of cohesiveness between the experience of seminar instruction and out of class student learning.

Generally students loved the inclusion of Twitter in the modules. Students claimed they would like to see the innovation in other modules, with notable enthusiasm:

“I found it really helpful and engaging and it was so helpful to see other people’s views as well as Muzna’s comments and views – they gave me lots of ideas. I got the idea for my essay from the tweets!”

“I liked seeing other people’s opinions on the texts and seeing their feedback next to mine. I’d love to see it for future modules, I think it helps to interact with the module and connect with the texts.”

It’s something I intend on keeping on in future teaching. Here is a link to the Twitter account for a level one module titled ‘Making Americans’

In future, I would like to experiment with using Twitter within the classroom, as well as outside of it. I would like to think through how we might use social media in real time, in some sort of structured activity. What that would look like specifically is something I am yet to explore, but I imagine it might be a dynamic and interesting use of a form of digital media that is both familiar and accessible to our students today.


Posted in Humanities, Learning objects, Lincoln, Media, social media, student as producer, Student research, Teacher Education, web2.0 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Making Digital History publications from Lincoln

Over the past few months we have published two articles in edited collections on the digital history teaching that we’ve been doing at Lincoln over the past couple of years:

Posted in Diigo, Dissemination, E-learning, HEA, Higher Education Academy, Making Digital History, Publications, Social bookmarking, web2.0, Xerte | Leave a comment

Making Digital History update

Here are two pieces of MDH news…

The Making Digital History project has been recognised in the University of Lincoln’s Staff and Merit Awards scheme with a team award for ‘Digital History Makers’. You can see our citation here:

Digital History Makers

The project and the Xerte objects that we’ve made were also mentioned in a JISC Tech Dis webinar on the future of Xerte. You can see the presentation here:

Posted in Awards, Dissemination, history, JISC, Lincoln, Making Digital History, Xerte | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Student-authored training resources published

We’ve just published a number of student-produced Xerte objects on a variety of essay-writing skills at the following pages. Check them out – the students have done a great job!

Posted in apostrophes, digital literacy, essay writing, Learning objects, Making Digital History, OER, Open Educational Resources, proof reading, skills, student as producer, Xerte | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment