Using friend feed for reflection with undergraduates


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Presentation for TeachMeet Midlands 20 May 2011, National College, Nottingham.

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  • Dr Jo Badge @jobadge I currently work at Leicester University promoting the use of learning technologies. My main area of research has been the use of electronic detection systems for plagiarism (Turnitin). I've also been lucky to work with pioneering colleagues using social media tools to support students in their learning. I'm attending this teachmeet to share our experiences but also because I'm going to be starting an Upper Primary PGCE course in September 2011.
  • compulsory module for first year biological science students content is maths, descriptive statistics and IT gave up teaching Microsoft products in favour of free online tools which promote collaboration and resource discovery by filtering information
  • We are all being asked to do more with less this course is a good example of the less part! one full time member of staff and around 10% of my 0.5 FTE time plus two demonstrating staff for two hours a week in term one have to go round 253 students we can't give individual support delivery of the content is completely online through our VLE online quizzes test maths content continuous assessment of other online tools needed an online support model to help outside of face to face sessions
  • we needed something like facebook but not facebook threaded discussions, open content, link out to learning objects object centered discussions less threatening, offer an easy way into a conversation
  • friendfeed was our solution started in Jan 2010, now on second cohort of students using it. started by ex-google employees and acquired by facebook in Aug 2009 Many of the new features of the friend news stream in facebook came from friendfeed design auto refresh friend of a friend every student creates and account and follows staff members, can then see other student posts we comment on create search terms on the fly by adding # to a word
  • students began in October using friendfeed immediately as a way to share their concerns about the course and ask advice there was lots of discussion about which text books to buy one other first year student (blue) had already done some research advice from peer mentors on how they used them (green and organe comments from second year students)
  • as term moved on, students posted links from google reader by sharing chosen Google Reader items and making comments in the notes section. These were automatically posted to FriendFeed through RSS aggregation.
  • towards the end of the first term, students started to post about revising for their first set of exams. They were also giving advice on the best methods to use to test their knowledge and understanding, suggesting different text books to use and quizes to work on. Each different colour represents a different student contribution. In all there were 18 different students chatting on this thread.
  • in term 2, we introduced the 'my diary' concept, where students posted once a week to reflect on what they had been doing and how they could improve. This is one example from a student towards the end of term 2. The student was starting to see that they were improving in writing essays and that their lecture notes were useful. They had also thought of a plan to approach a debate they had to prepare for.
  • Figures collected via the API at the end of the first period of using Friend Feed in 2010 Activity for 2010-11 has been roughly comparable (with a larger cohort)
  • Using friend feed for reflection with undergraduates

    1. 1. Using FriendFeed for reflection with undergraduates Dr Jo Badge, Dr Alan Cann, University of Leicester @jobadge  @ajcann
    2. 2. flickr cc-by  Mykl Roventine   f lickr cc-by  AShutterBugChef
    3. 3. doing more with less <ul><li>staff: student ratio </li></ul><ul><li>time </li></ul><ul><li>delivery </li></ul><ul><li>1 and a bit : 253 </li></ul><ul><li>2 hrs/wk x 22 wks </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard VLE + </li></ul><ul><li>Face to face help sessions (80 PCs) </li></ul>
    4. 4. CC-BY-SA Alan Cann
    5. 10. Engagement <ul><li>10 weeks, 134 students: </li></ul><ul><li>  5,376  entries </li></ul><ul><li>  8,151   comments </li></ul><ul><li>  5,232 'likes' </li></ul><ul><li>  199,853 words (average of 1,491 words each)  </li></ul><ul><li>~15% of students continued to use the service more than one month after the end of assessment </li></ul><ul><li>March 2010 </li></ul>
    6. 11. References <ul><li>Cann, A., Badge, J. (2010) Friend Folios - harnessing social scaffolding for reflection . ALT-C  Nottingham 7-9 Sept.  </li></ul><ul><li>Cunnane, S. (2010) 'Don't be afraid to share' Times Higher Education   </li></ul><ul><li>Alan Cann's blog:  Science of the Invisible   </li></ul>