Digital wellbeing is one of the fast-emerging ‘hot topics’ for HE, evident in its new prominence in the Jisc’ digital capabilities framework. JISC, the UK’s expert body for digital technology and resources in Higher Education, Further Education and research defines wellbeing as:
“a term used to describe the impact of technologies and digital services on people’s mental, physical, social and emotional health.”
How can digital competency frameworks offer a different approach to conceptualising student wellbeing?
Mirrored by the EU digital capabilities framework, digital wellbeing is now starting to influence policy at national and pan-European level. An analysis of these two frameworks was carried out by Biggins, Holley and Zezulkova (2017); their work identified ways in which more nuanced approaches to policy implementation would pay dividends in terms of wellbeing outcomes for students. Notably, their work suggests that human learning, underpinned by technological tools, needs to be partnered by a focus on lifelong learning and continuous professional development.
Read on to find out what our piece has to say about digital wellbeing for staff, students and institutions…
original work published as a #Take5 blog an ALDinHE/LMU collaboration
A CEMP production! The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) twitter: @CEMPBU and my ‘home from home’ for technology enhanced learning pedagogic research hosted an event to support staff as they think forward about planning online teaching for the autumn.
Huge thanks committee organisers and session facilitators: exemplary Chair Dr Karen Fowler-Watt who prepped us all for our sessions, award winning journalist Miriam Phillips ; and Dr Salvatore Scifo who is liaising with our management teams to feed back the outcomes of the sessions.
Organised by Prof Julian McDougall and Associate Professor Anna Feigenbaum, co-directors of the Research Centre, 54 staff from across BU took part as we shared research and co-created ideas around 4 themes: large undergraduate lectures, smaller multiple seminar groups, lab productions and smaller groups of students of post grad students.
Prof Julian McDougall started by setting out some key principles, before we were joined by John Potter, our visiting Fellow from UCL, who started with a great quote from his latest book:
Transitioning from offline to online teaching and learning has long been found by its earliest researchers and exponents to be complex, problematic and evolutionary, though it can be done by managing the unrealistic expectations that you will doing substantially the same thing with time, space ad material artefacts as you did in face-to-face teaching.
Key principles: the CEMP Research workshop June 2020
1 teach through the screen, not to the screen. Your teaching space is now a multiplicity of places. A different space, maybe a third space
2. More than a pivot. Mindset – forget we have a campus, think about how the campus limits what we do with our students. Shift to OPEN education?
3. Flip the default to asynchronous, real time as the supplement
4. Dynamic practices – the direction of flow is not about static content being delivered but about open, agentive and productive spaces for both learners and educators
5. Critical pedagogy of the inexpert, porous expertise – real co-creation, of learning design. We ‘own’ the curriculum but not the social practices of teaching and learning
@NicolePonsford joined us, #edtech #TechforGood talking about how to influence and engage audiences, not just our internal student audiences, but far wider, through social media. Her work as co-founder of the Gender Equality Collective (GEC) is an inspiring example of collaborations.
The ‘Learning from Experience’ slot:
Dr Mark Readman talked about a decade of experience with running the Bournemouth EdD in Media Practice online.
Prof Debbie Holley talking about how theory underpinned the approach to scaling online learning in Nursing ‘’in a hurry’. Her talk, co-created with Learning Technologist John Moran ‘Using technology as a mediator: The Vygotsky ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD) revisited’ pulled together the resources from their combined work, now a best practice case study (please contact John or Debbie for a copy if external to BU)
A short break was followed by:
Best practice with designing for engaging and communicating with students using our tools in Brightspace (BU LTs Tracey Webb and Dave Hunt) who talked through recent research on Zoom by students, and shared their experiences of discipline based practice
We all then went into breakout rooms to co-create a padlet around 4 scenarios, before re-convening and having a concluding discussion.
The internal BU documents will be shared through Sharepoint, and this includes worked examples of how to approach different kinds of learning scenarios; please contact individuals for further information on any of the presentations.
Here my colleague Anne Quinney reflects on the recent webinar we ran…
During the Covid-19 pandemic many of you will have experienced academic conferences being cancelled, postponed or hosted on-line.
Prof Debbie Holley and I (Anne Quinney) were scheduled to present at the Association of Learning Developers in Higher Education conference (ALDinHE) to be held at Northampton University but found ourselves presenting remotely last week.
The conference had moved online, using Google Hangouts. We had to change the focus of the paper for the online environment as the workshop format would not be possible. Our online conference presentation proved very memorable – in unexpected ways. Our first challenge was the unfamiliarity of the format. We participated in some other sessions to get a sense of what it might look and feel like, updated our material and worked out how we would approach this new experience. We uploaded the slides to slideshare, so we could share more widely with the audience, and shared them with session Chair – a good idea as unexpected technology glitches happen to all of us working online and this created another layer of ‘back-up’.
Assessment and Feedback is our favourite topic! We talked about the principles of assessment underpinning the revision of the Bournemouth University Assessment Design strategy and policy, drawing on the work of Professors Dai Hounsell (ongoing) and Kay Sambell (2011) for enhancing assessment and feedback practices. We used slides interwoven with questions to encourage participant chat. We shared the BU Assessment and Feedback Toolkit; talked about the options for moving assessments online with a specific focus on examinations. We discussed the student perspective, and the opportunities and challenges online assessment can raise.
The chat questions came thick and fast, and the Chair was really helpful in summarising.
We did have some technology glitches; at the start my camera switched off and I couldn’t configure the screen to see both the slides and my co-presenter. I quickly turned the computer off and started again….still only the slides in view but the camera light was back on! Quickly improvising we decided that as Debbie’s screen was working as expected we would manage with whatever screen view we each had! We carried on, with self-deprecating humour, commenting that this was a real-life, live and improvised experience of the unfamiliar challenges that so many of us, staff and students, are dealing with.
It felt strange not to talk with participants informally afterwards, not to be able to ‘read’ the audience from their body language and facial expressions. Questions and responses came in very fast in the chat box and it was not possible to give time to them all. At the end of the screen time, it was helpful to facetime each other to reflect on the experience, as we would have done if we were physically at the conference.
Whilst we didn’t have to travel upcountry to Northampton, sleep in an unfamiliar bed and eat communal meals at pre-set times, we missed the camaraderie of informally meeting with other delegates, the stimulation of two days focussing only on the conference themes and the opportunity to visit another university. The learning with and from one another that comes from the shared experience of co-presenting was still possible, and we certainly learnt more about improvising with the technology and equipment, about adjusting to a live but distant audience, and to ‘keep going and keep smiling’.
Quinney A and Holley D. 2020. Moving assessment online; resources to support staff in an unexpected distance learning scenario. May 6th. ALDinHE.
Bridging the gap between strategy and delivery, this practical programme presents best practice in blended learning – building the skills that enable the successful integration of face-to-face and online teaching. The programme aims to empower lecturers to translate principles and aims into effective teaching and learning practices, which, in turn, will lead to corresponding improvements in student performance, engagement, satisfaction, and retention. The programme explores all aspects of the blended learning approach, from teaching strategies and course design to assessment and evaluation – clarifying the opportunities available, whilst also analysing the benefits and challenges of this format, and how to build a culture that sustains and embeds blended learning throughout an institution.
This programme is for:
Lecturers and faculty considering a blended learning approach in their teaching and those looking to improve their skills and understanding of combining face-to-face with online teaching and assessment.
@DebbieHolley1 so true what you said about culture as an enabler. Often innovation happens also despite the culture. We all have the capacity to imagine, creative, innovate. We are the culture #digifest21