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Blogging for course content and information literacy: our use of Medium in two taught units - Millson & Hirst


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Presented at LILAC 2018

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Blogging for course content and information literacy: our use of Medium in two taught units - Millson & Hirst

  1. 1. #lilac18 Blogging for course content and #infolit Chris Millson and Dave Hirst @asameshimae @davehirsty The University of Manchester Library
  2. 2. 10-credit unit open to all undergraduates on the intersections of ‘digital’ and ‘society’. Interdisciplinary approach and cohort. Develop: being critical; collaboration; communicating online; ethical awareness.
  3. 3. 15-credit taught option for staff on the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. Open, flexible approach; broad cohort. Develop: critical view of open practice in HE, public and online communication, network
  4. 4. Considerations Aligning with the outcomes of the wider programme Understanding the learners Authentic representation of learning outcomes Purpose of assessment
  5. 5. ‘Medium for learning’ Using a publishing platform to share and build on ideas; to lower the boundaries between students and staff, and between the course and real-world discussions on the topic. OUR APPROACH
  6. 6. Materials Take the form of open online publications Mostly participant-written If you wrote it, you own it Mix of topic exploration, skills development and course unit practicalities Authentic assessment: research and publish something of real value Spaced, increasing weight (summative+formative) Many opportunities for formative development Experience/development Critical reading, thinking and writing; self-reflection Collaboration, community of practice, peer learning Communicating online, licensing, publishing Engaging with others online Assessment SHARED ELEMENTS
  7. 7. Using an open platform ‘Good things that could happen’ versus ‘Important considerations/risks’ ACTIVITY
  8. 8. Let’s be honest ‘Specific to an open platform’ versus ‘Actually we could do that already’ ACTIVITY
  9. 9. Public content Medium gives us… Learners get ‘open practice’, add to something ‘real’ We practice openness and ‘do good’, may build reputation Should consider candour/confidence Must cover ownership/licensing Must consider pseudonyms/verification Must consider risks e.g. reputation
  10. 10. ‘Real’ (=public) blog content Medium gives us… Genuine, valuable experience for learners Exists alongside other ‘real world’ content Can connect with the ‘real world’ Can/should cover online identity Must clarify referencing/tone expectations
  11. 11. Highly learner-owned course content Medium gives us… Built-in feedback and improvement Community of practice feel, all contributions valued Content not just ‘for assessment’ Assessment copies must be carefully captured
  12. 12. Shiny new things Medium gives us… ‘Nice’ experience may motivate learners Must remember role of central systems – easy to find, familiar, assessment, enrolment, communications, grades/feedback, contact details, session details… Greater in-house support requirement (learners and self)
  13. 13. VLE versus Medium What are the different permissions? What boundaries do they create? When do these help/hinder us? A COMPARISON
  14. 14. Materials  Students see materials but often can’t contribute. If they can, it’s fenced-off, e.g. wiki, discussion board  Staff can contribute at the top level. This looks different. No visible author, date, license, comments.  Public have no access.  Students usually see only their own submissions. They may not see past or current cohorts’ work.  Students are asked to follow certain rules!  Public have no access Experience/development  Students can read but usually can’t respond. If they can contribute, likely have little/no control over their work afterwards, and few if any others will see it.  Public cannot take part Assessment PERMISSIONS IN A VLE
  15. 15. Boundaries in VLEs The cohort and the world The course and the public Other students’ assessed work Student and staff content
  16. 16. Materials  Everyone can discover, view, like, share, respond to all materials  Students, graduates and staff can submit materials  Everyone can post to the unit tags (wider discussion)  Posts have author, date, license, maybe comments     Assessed posts are the same as materials – same permissions, but also:  Students are asked to follow certain rules! Experience/development  Everyone can contribute in a way (tags, comments)  Students’ work forms part of the materials, but remains theirs indefinitely  Graduates/guests remain writers for the publication; can submit anything any time! Assessment PERMISSIONS IN MEDIUM
  17. 17. Lowering boundaries Everyone can see, respond Students/staff are equal participants Everyone gets to own their work All assessed work is public
  18. 18. #lilac18 Thank you Chris Millson & Dave Hirst @asameshimae @davehirsty The University of Manchester Library