Promoting HANDSON at St Mary’s University College, London

HANDSON project approaches were  disseminated at St Mary’s University College in an eLearning Workshop (25th June).

The  HANDSON Project is about learning and teaching creatively using ICT tools. Relevant techniques and learning activities will be selected within Work Package 3 (OUNL). The technologies that will make these approaches possible will be implemented at Work Package 4 (UOC), probably in a MOOC.

In this context, Dr. Katya Toneva, a member of Mirandanet HANDSON Team, facilitated a workshop at St Mary’s University College in order to “collect  feedback from academic staff about what technologies have worked for them and  their students in terms of enhancing teaching, learning and  assessment, what technologies they may wish to explore further and what are the challenges in their practices in using technology for educational purposes (Moodle, TurnitIn, Mahara and emerging technologies), and to reflect on the audio feedback approach that has been piloted since the beginning of 2012/13 academic year”.

As a part of this, creativity techniques were explored in a practical way by the academic staff that participated in this session.

One of the group activity was based on  Dr Edward De Bono’s “Thinking Hats” – a creative technique that was used to get a good well-rounded perspective on creative ideas.

Hats - collage1

The main purpose of the session was: “to collect feedback from academic staff about what technologies have worked for them and their students in terms of enhancing teaching, learning and assessment, what technologies they may wish to explore further and what are the challenges in their practices in using technology for educational purposes (Moodle, TurnitIn, Mahara, emerging technologies, and reflecting on the audio feedback approach)”.

The colleagues took different roles and adopted different thinking styles. By mentally wearing and switching “hats”, the participants focussed easily and redirected thought and ideas. As a result, the eLearning Team collected a number of constructive suggestions and ideas for e-learning support and development which will be considered for the next academic year.

The eLearning Development Team at St Mary’s University College have considered the exercise relatively easy to replicate in Second Life (SL) and we may explore the opportunity to facilitate this activity using SL environments or other suitable software tools (in future staff development workshops).

We think that the above creative technique (facilitated by suitable technology) could be explored in our HANDSON Project.

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