Friday, 14 November 2008


Learners and Technology Affordances Group
I really like the perspective of technology affordances and always go back to Gaver’s paper to remind myself where the technology part of the affordances discussion originally came from.

So wayback I was involved in a project which produced some guidance of students using technolgy in learning. What I am trying to do is revisit that work and look at it with modern eyes.

Amongst the ideas which emerged then were an activity gradient - looking at different styles of interactions. I visited each area of the gradient and came up with lots of examples for each stage in the gradient. Not sure where it is now, but I do know that I don’t throw stuff away....

Also Hugh Davis and I produced a (rather clunky) slide show which looked at a day in a life of a student - and showed a few scenarios.

What I want to do now is to make a start on re-populating the stages in the gradient and add in the applications which have emerged since the work we originally did. I am planning to start by populating it myself, but then putting it up onto a wiki and getting people in workshops to elaborate it with me.

Since then too, I have got very much into the ideas of disciplinary differences and have been looking at how teaching and student learning varies across disciplines - and given my home area, of course I have quite a lot of stuff on Computer Science, engineering, technology and cognated disciplines.

These ideas link to work which we are doing on student experience following on from our campus benchmarking exercise in 2007-08. I took these ideas to COOP 2008 and they also link in to the proposal I have just put forward to the ALT2009 Programme Committee to run a student YouTube competition for short videos on the theme of their perceptions of learning.

I guess part of the idea for a YouTube competition came from the Guardian who are running something on this theme with a deadline for December 2008. Its also inspired by some of the whacky videos which our own students via the Student Union at Southampton have produced recently.

Maybe we could put a video-booth on campus which students could use, maybe we should involve the students union who ran the freshers TV stuff. Dave Tarrant is our ECS TV PhD person who may be worth talking to, Jason Allen is an undergrad in ECS who has done Freshers TV.

Not sure how this would work, but if could be an adjunct to the student voices work we are just getting off the ground.

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