Purpose: Demonstrate understanding of and engagement with teaching, learning and assessment processes. ‘Engagement’ may include using understanding to inform the development, adaptation or application of technology.
2 a) Quizzes and Exercises
Requirement: An understanding of teaching, learning and/or assessment processes
2 b) Social Media Training
Requirement: An understanding of your target learners
|Description/ Evidence||IntroductionSocial media is key to a successful online strategy for both researchers and research facilitators, yet many do not feel comfortable with the technology or confident knowing what to put through social media channels and what to hold back. Having operated blogs for SAS and researched best practice through a scholarship awarded by the Social Media Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) I was asked to respond to a specific need raised by staff and postgraduate students for training on using social media.
What I did
Seminar convening: During the 2013-14 academic year, the School of Advanced Study gained funding from JISC for a one-year social media assessment for research transfer (SMART project). This funding enabled the School to develop a training series of seminars on the topic of social media. The seminars were to be available for free to as wide an audience as possible. I took charge of this project from its beginning, organising each session, providing support, and inviting speakers, including the head of BBC Online, the editor from the Guardian Higher Education Network, and the medieval studies head curator from the British Library. This is evidence in an article I wrote for the 2014 SAS Annual Review.
EVIDENCE: 2014 SAS Annual Review (p. 24)
The seminars proved highly successful and I ran them again in the 2014-15 year, and will be running them again in the 2015-16 year.
Presentations: In the last year I have put on two, two hour workshops as introductions to social media (one for SAS postgraduate students and one for SAS staff) and two one hour sessions to Senate House Library staff. I have also presented at two of the Social Scholar seminars (one on blogging and one on Twitter).
EVIDENCE: Powerpoint presentations from these sessions
The idea of these sessions is to booster confidence in staff members and students to use social media and to give advice for best practice.
Online: As part of the SMKE Scholarship I developed a short guidebook to blogging for postgraduate History students as part of my Blogging for Historians blog. I have since been redesigning this guidebook as a series of short tutorials for PORT, linked with my experience of teaching about social media face-to-face and from what speakers have said at the Social Scholar seminar series.
EVIDENCE: Blogging for Historians tutorial
|Reflection||By talking with the people who have attended the various events I have learnt that there are many researchers and research facilitators who would like to use social media (or use it better) but feel unable to do so as there is little support and no training. It surprised me how common this was. To alleviate some of the fears around social media I have tried to invite speakers to the Social Scholar who would not just tell the audience how wonderful it all is, but will actually talk about the concerns that people have. The sessions about legal issues and privacy problems have proven popular, as have those sessions that practically offer useful insights into best practice such as using social media to promote an event or project.I feel that my initial guidebook on blogging for historians did not succeed in its purpose. It was mainly text with little to interest learners. It is also hidden away on the blog where only some people will find it. I have learnt from that experience firstly, that learners need something that provides more interest than just text if the message is to be fully heard. It also needs to be findable. For that reason I have started to redevelop the content on PORT for greater findability and in a form that is interactive and hopefully interesting.
I am certain that my training is having an impact. After my Social Scholar session on Twitter, one high level academic at the School immediately created a Twitter account for the first time stating to me that he had considered it for some time and that my talk gave him the impetus to actually do it.