What do some members of staff from the Schools of Humanities, Sport and Exercise Science, Media, Life Sciences and Architecture do sitting together in a room? The answer is simple and yet exciting: sharing ideas and information, inspiring each other. Believe it or not, this only took three minutes each. This was the time we were allowed to present our innovative curriculum design projects, driven by the Student as Producer ethos, which have been recently awarded funding from The Fund for Educational Development (FED) at the University of Lincoln.
This meeting provided an excellent insight into how the Student as Producer principles have been, and currently are, applied within different disciplines at Lincoln. It was also a great opportunity to realize how many more links than one could immediately think of there are between our FED projects, and how much we can learn from each other.
Our own FED-funded Talking Xerte project, which follows our successful experience with the use of the online Xerte tool by students in History to create digital objects as part of their assessment, was highly motivated by the idea of sharing good practices. In fact, we will run two workshops at the University of Lincoln in June aimed at bringing in colleagues from other Institutions and disciplines (Life Science and Art, Design and Media, as well as our School of Humanities and especially History) who have used Xerte and are happy to share their practices.
We will also talk about our own experience in the use of Xerte in a number of History modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, which has been extremely positive. The students who were involved in our project for the past academic year acquired content knowledge, as well as research and communication skills which met the specific module requirements and learning outcomes, while also enhancing their technical skills and creative ways of preparing and presenting information in a new and challenging way.
In the future, we would like to engage the students even more with practices and management of digital literacy, while making them consider how to build and maintain their digital identity as producers with a mediatic visibility, particularly so if they want to use and display their digital objects publicly or allow us to it on their behalf (for example via out Making Digital History blog).
It was interesting to find out, during the conversation which followed those three minute prompts with the other FED projects leaders, that colleagues from Sport and Exercise Science involved in the very exciting Impress project have already been discussing best practice on how to build up a social media presence for both staff and students.
This provides excellent ideas to consider and reflect upon, while also giving us further opportunities to discuss ideas in an interdisciplinary context.
If a three minute presentation opened so many potential shared pathways across disciplines, I am now – even more – looking forward to attending the cross-disciplinary workshops scheduled for June, which you are more than welcome to join, too!
Sign up for the forthcoming Talking Xerte workshops:
Life Science Workshop on 24th June 2014
Art, Design and Media Workshop on 26th June 2014