Teaching Medieval History: The E-Learning Landscape

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Co-presentation with Dr Antonella Luizzo Scorpo (History, University of Lincoln) from the Teaching History in Higher Education: the 14th annual Higher Education Academy Teaching and Learning Conference 2012

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Teaching Medieval History: The E-Learning Landscape

  1. 1. TeachingMedievalHistory:The E-LearningLandscapeDr Antonella Liuzzo ScorpoQueen Mary, University of LondonDr Jamie Wood,University of Manchester
  2. 2. Overview• Context• 1. Student-teacher dynamics in e-learning• 2. Activities for learning• 3. Engaging with sources• Conclusion
  3. 3. Teaching Pre-Modern History:E-Learning Challenges and Opportunities• https://sites.google.com/site/teachingpremodernhistory/
  4. 4. Aims of the workshop• To showcase best practiceand share teachingexperiences usinge-learning platforms• To identify and solve problems• To promote innovation and creativity in the use oftechnology
  5. 5. Our forthcoming report focuses on• Engaging with sources: informationliteracy, visual sources, archives and sourcerepositories• Collaboration and independence: how todevelop and improve student’s skills, shareresources, integrate learning across modulesand levels of study
  6. 6. Todays’ presentation• Builds on workshop• Draws on JW’s research into e-learning in Historyteaching in HE• Three areas to explore– Teacher-students dynamics– Activities– Sources• Focus on MEDIEVAL history: what specificchallenges does it pose and how can technologyhelp to overcome those? Or…does it createmore problems than it solves?
  7. 7. Survey (May 2012)• L1 and L2 from 5 different Institution inUK• Their experience of learning and opinionsabout teaching history (all periods)• General overview• Findings applied to the themes we choseto discuss today
  8. 8. 1. Student-teacher dynamics in e-learning environmentsHow and to what extent does a “blended system” challenge thetraditional face-to-face dynamics?How can online and face-to-face teaching be combinedeffectively?
  9. 9. In a “blended” system…• Interactive connections should remain open• Changing roles in the learning life-cycle: e.g.students as active protagonists and creators ofsome activities• From the survey:– E-learning as a fundamental learning tool (32 out of 38respondents)– It provides a hub for info + (to a lesser extent) communicationwith peers and teachers– Varieties of approaches and teachers’ levels of engagement– IT skills and technical issues
  10. 10. 2. Activities for learning- Sources available at different times, places and paces- Interaction between individuals and groups- Sharing of sources and resources- Generating awareness about interdisciplinary approaches- Reflecting on the relationships btw “medieval” and “modern”- Re-assessing scholarly materials and presenting them to widerpublic- Specific and generic IT skills- Update contents regularly and remotely
  11. 11. Activity Technologies available Examples BenefitsDiscussion and debate outside ofclassDiscussion boardsBlogsSocial networking sitesIn virtual learning environmentsWordpress / BloggerFacebook / TwitterDevelops skills inarticulating and sharingideasProject work (creating resourcesindividually or collaboratively)Web-authoring servicesBlogsWikisGoogle SitesWordpress / BloggerPB wikiEnables students toexperience processes ofknowledge creation; tocreate a product that isshared with others (ratherthan just assessed by thetutor); improves group-working and project-management skillsSearch for and share information Social bookmarking services Delicious / Diigo Improves informationliteracy; useful for revisionand essay-writing; can besold to students as efficient(if they are sharingresources with one another)Engage with images Photo-sharing websites Flickr Helps contextualizinginformation and drawinginterdisciplinaryconnectionsReflect on their learning process Journalling softwareBlogsLivejournalWordpress / BloggerIncreases students’awareness of their learningprogresses; encouragesfurther development;develops criticalunderstanding
  12. 12. Construct timelines/ clarify narratives Timeline software Timeglider (http://timeglider.com/)tiki-toki (http://www.tiki-toki.com/)Helps clarifying ideas andcontextualize events andprocesses; brings students toconsider themes and ideason a wider scheme.Share and creating materialscollaborativelyCollaborative editing services Google docsDropboxSlideshareEncourages collaborativestudy and research;challenges set ideas andapproaches; stimulatesalternative thinkingPresenting material to students (orshare their presentations online)Presentation sharing softwareGenerative/ reusable learning objectsSlidesharePreziGLO-makerImproves planning,presenting and debating;enhances communicationskillsWhat impact do these activities have on studentlearning and how can we improve the ways we designblended learning activities?
  13. 13. Survey findings• Some use to promote discussion andcollaboration; positive impact on learning• Technology– Aids preparation for class– Enables independent working• But are students viewing VLEs as closedspaces rather than as starting points forindependent work?
  14. 14. 3. Engaging with sources• How different is working with medievalsources?Geo-tagging classnotes using GooglePeer-assessedpresentations andwikisBlogs, bookmarksand student-generatedseminarsOnline portfolios
  15. 15. Please tell me about the top threeareas in which your skills improvedusing e-learningCritical analysis ofsources.By using a widerrange of sources Iwas able to look atthe unfolding ofevents studied fromdifferentperspectives.I could not have donethis if I had to buybooks or borrowthem in physical formfrom the library…Surveyfindings• improvedresearchskills• improvedsubjectknowledge
  16. 16. Conclusion- Resources online: starting or“stuck” point?- Mixed effects of “blended”systems- What is peculiar aboutteaching (and applyingtechnology to the teachingof) medieval history?
  17. 17. Thank you!Feel free to askquestionsand/or give usyour opinionand feedback

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