Healing and Rebuilding Teaching Practice and Learner Identity in a Post-Covid World

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Virtual Learning & Teaching Day 2021

Thursday 20 May 2021

About the day

University responses to Covid-19 have shown considerable resilience in the face of immense disruption. HE has had to become highly resourceful in order to survive immense difficulties at this time, but this has meant a heavy reliance on digital technology, and the rethinking of the use of usable physical space. Once the virus recedes will earlier forms of human interaction reassert themselves, or will “Teams” and similar tools become a new norm within education? Can such a mix of digital and physical teaching be sustained long-term, and what might be gained – and lost – if such a permanent reconfiguration occurs? What, indeed, are the broader implications for universities after Covid, including for UEA itself? How will such changes affect staffing, student numbers, and the daily interactions of those involved? What, in this uncertain future, will a university education be?




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Parallel Sessions

Health Coaching and Resilience Building programme [10.00-10.30]

Sarah Housden, HSC

A successful online integrated ‘Health Coaching and Resilience Building’ programme aimed at UEA Health Sciences students, was designed, delivered and evaluated by HSC lecturers Sarah Housden and Angela Lee. This innovative programme was planned during the March 2020 lockdown as a practical online course which could potentially build the resilience and enhance the wellbeing of students, at the same time as teaching them professionally relevant health coaching skills. This presentation introduces and explores the effectiveness of this 2-day programme, described by a participant as a “game-changer for the NHS”, alongside considering ways to take forward the programme and our learning.

Rebuilding offline as individuals and communities through journaling [10.30-11.00]

Liane Ward, NBS

This talk looks at the practice of keeping a journal and how that can help in challenging times to keep us sane and resilient. How going back to analogue systems such as journaling is useful in tech heavy times and as a antidote to digital overload. Journaling can help us to better shape the future, manage our time and prioritise what is most essential to us both professionally and personally. Although journaling first off is a solitary activity, it can be used also to build communities of practice where ideas can be shared and individuals supported and useful networks can be created and sustained.

Using the COVID academic environment to give students a voice [11.15-11.45]

Kelly Edmunds, BIO

The 2020-21 academic year is a year unlike no other. Many students beginning university this year found themselves moving away from the support of their friends and family and starting their degree under challenging circumstances. We discuss how we helped support >200 students from across the SCI Foundation Year courses with their transition to university study. By reimagining our role, listening to the students and being responsive to student feedback, we have found that we are hearing our students in ways we were not experiencing when teaching was primarily face-to-face.

‘Aurorarisation’: the new frontier [11.45-12.15]

Richard Harvey, CMP

UEA is a founding member of Aurora which has initiated at 10M Euro project to transform education. The short form of Aurorisation is that courses could and should be designed to develop skillsets and mindsets that are relevant to the external world. Aurora has chosen the UN Sustainable Development Goals as framework. This talk will update on what is happening on the project and introduce opportunities for future collaboration.

Cancer education: the student experience of online learning [2.00-2.30]

Martin Galligan, Royal Marsden School

We would like to share our experience of introducing virtual learning during the pandemic and how we have been able to continue to support essential cancer education during extremely challenging time for clinical practitioners. We will draw on our own experiences of adapting to e-learning format and share feedback from students who have completed the first wave of virtual modules with us.

Streaks as a tool for improving self-efficacy and self-awareness during independent learning [2.30-3.00]

Emma Elvidge, SCI

Certain skills – e.g. finding time to read academic literature; finding time to write and organising one’s time – are critical to successful academic performance/research careers but are deeply personal and therefore difficult to teach. They rely on personal development rather than a “watch and learn” blanket approach. One size certainly does not fit all. In this study, ‘streaks’ – a period of time where you repeat one skill or activity daily – were investigated as an educational scaffold to support self-efficacy and self-awareness in developing these skills. Four, month-long ‘ReadStreak’ and ‘WriteStreak’ events have run at UEA, aimed at not only providing a space for enhanced academic reading and writing but also a chance for self-experimentation and reflection. The outputs of four of these streaks will be discussed, as well as future streaks and the opportunity for others to get involved.

Parallel Sessions

Peer Enhanced e-Placement [10.00-10.30]

Lisa Taylor, HSC

Covid-19 forced suspension of traditional face to face Occupational Therapy placements. Placements are a statutory requirement, with compulsory completion of 1000 assessed hours. In order to progress student’s learning, practice placement delivery needed to be reimagined. The Peer Enhanced e-Placement (PEEP) was created by Dr Lisa Taylor. PEEP mirrors many aspects of traditional face to face placements, but is delivered using Blackboard, underpinned by the evidence-based pedagogy of online learning and teaching, and peer group learning. The PEEP has been rolled out throughout the UK, generating more than 6000 weeks of placements, across more than 15 different professions.

Augmented reality and active blended learning [10.30-11.00]

Simon Lancaster, Daniel Elford, Garth Jones, CHE

Exploring how augmented reality exists in a liminal space between the digital and the physical and can enhance the experience of students in both while achieving a seamless integration of active blended learning components. Participants will use their own devices to engage in an illustrative learning experience. We will present our qualitative and quantitative results on the impact of the facilitated pedagogies upon our students.

Learning Science Lab Sims [11.15-11.45]

Carl Harrington, Daniel Elford and Mark Coleman, BIO

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, in AY2020/21 there was going to be a reduction in the amount of laboratory teaching time for UG students due to social distancing and timetabling constraints. We researched ways that we might be able to reduce this impact on our students and thought online interactive lab tutorials would be one way to mitigate the impact, deciding upon bringing the Learning Science Lab Sims platform to UEA. In this session we showcase the Leaning Science resource and its benefits, reflect upon student engagement and feedback, and discuss continued use in a post pandemic world.

Using photo-editing apps to help remote students collect data in Biology fieldwork [11.45-12.15]

Helena Batalha, INTO

One of the learning outcomes for the Foundation Biology module is undertaking fieldwork and group work. With 26 online students in different parts of the world, I designed a fieldwork activity to produce comparable data that could be analysed and presented in groups in class. The activity needed to be safe and simple enough to be done without supervision and with minimal equipment. The students collected data on lichen abundance with a photo editing app and tested for differences between polluted and non-polluted areas. Most students collected good data which demonstrated that non-polluted areas had higher lichen abundance.

Padlets, PowerPoints and Pedagogy: Learning in a Pandemic [2.00-2.30]

Bethan Gulliver, BIO

Preparing to teach a Foundation Year module of over 200 students in the autumn of 2020 required a creativity. Without access to lecture theatres or seminar rooms and with laboratory time restricted, new spaces had to be created in which to work with students. We will demonstrate how we set up virtual seminar rooms and laboratories with high levels of interactivity through the innovative use of Padlet. The ease of providing supervision and feedback on practical work and experimentation in this environment enhanced student engagement and contributed to the success of students.

Using Twine to create interactive branching scenarios [2.30-3.00]

Florence Dujardin, EDU/CSED

Scenarios are important pedagogical tools to enable students to explore facets of an issue, particularly in professionally oriented discipline (but not exclusively). Twine can be useful tool for designing branching scenarios that can be explored online. Twine is an open-source, easy-to-use platform for gamifying narratives or scholarly texts which has been used in schools and universities to support student learning. The designer writes 'passages' of text similar to pages in a book, and then link them to other passages, either in a linear fashion or as branches as in a 'choose-your-own-adventure' book. 'Interactive fiction' describes the philosophy behind Twine better than 'game'. Designers can also add images, videos, audio and sounds. We will use Twine to create a simple scenario collaboratively and we will then discuss the potential for (co)creating online learning environments.

Parallel Sessions

Post-pandemic pedagogy: teaching with courage and compassion, and blending virtual and in-person learning [10.00-10.30]

Matthew Meangru, EDU

Covid-19 has impacted the field of teacher education, making it essential to prepare future teachers to adapt to virtual learning. Newly-trained teachers will be challenged to portray courage and compassion to pupils in a post-pandemic world. The pressure on teachers to not only adapt to virtual teaching, but also explore new ways to promote student engagement in a virtual classroom setting is significant. In this presentation, I talk about teaching with courage and compassion in a post-pandemic world that includes understanding teachers’ affect, as in their attitudes toward and confidence in teaching in a virtual classroom.

Quality over quantity: debating student perception of learning [10.30-11.00]

Callum Perry and Rebecca Westrup, EDU

In recent years the marketisation of Higher Education and foundations of experience from compulsory education have created a culture of outcomes and performance, typically experienced by students through assessments. Anecdotes shared between university stakeholders (e.g. lecturers and officers at UEA Student Union) about students’ experiences during the pandemic have highlighted a shift away from student focus predominantly on assessments and outcomes towards the importance of learning processes. With some students reporting they have ‘lost’ quality, in terms of in-person face-to-face teaching, learning and discussion with lecturers and peers; there is an opportunity for the University community to discuss and gain from this and question how we can develop and support students’ understanding of the learning process.

Lay your cards on the table: facilitating conversations about equality, diversity and inclusion using a card resource [11.15-11.45]

Amanda Clark, University of Hertfordshire

The Student Success and Engagement Team in the School of Education, University of Hertfordshire, will discuss a project on developing the use of a card resource to create a more inclusive learning environment and reduce the BAME awarding gap. We will explain how the cards were developed, their purpose, and the development of guidelines to promote an appropriate context for using the cards. We will explore how they can be used for conversations around equality, inclusion and diversity and, discuss plans to enable more confident discourse across the University community about biases, assumptions and inequalities and how to dismantle them.

Learner, student, graduate? A toolkit for student identity formation and critical reflection [11.45-12.15]

Rebecca Westrup, EDU and Sophie Reading, CCEN

This talk brings together expertise on students’ learner and graduate identities and the role of meta-cognition and critical reflection in this transition process. Depending on a student’s background, the pandemic will have impacted on, and possibly reduced students’ opportunities for developing employability knowledge, understanding their positions in different working environments and building their networks of different job roles and careers. Drawing on examples from an EDU module, we will give insights into what the issues are for students and the developing toolkit used to support students’ identity formation in response to the changed world during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Navigation and negotiation: equipping students to learn and work in virtual and physical worlds [2.00-2.30]

Sophie Reading and Adrienne Jolly, CareersCentral

Following December's successful Unconference ‘Navigating the virtual: Online learning and employability’, attendees requested more opportunities to discuss practical strategies for supporting engagement and the development of graduate identity, underpinned by sound pedagogical theory. This talk will continue the discussion about how our teaching practice and support of learning can equip students to navigate and negotiate learning and working in a physical and virtual world now, and for their future careers. We will consider how can we support students in developing their Graduate Capitals (Tomlinson, 2017), translating their university experiences into possible future careers in a post-Covid world.

Learning through Lived Experiences? Teaching on Forced Migration and Health in the School of Health Sciences [2.30-3.00]

Sophie North, Gervais Kouloungou-Mambs, Marie-Lyse Numuhoza, HSC

UEA has once more gained an award recognising it as a University of Sanctuary. In doing so it has demonstrated commitment to embedding education on forced migration within teaching and learning activities.

This session will discuss how teaching activities on forced migration and health have been co-designed and co-delivered in the School of Health Sciences by those with lived experiences of seeking sanctuary. The speakers will reflect upon how they have shared their lived-experience with healthcare students – and question the role of the “Expert by Experience” in helping students to explore their own ideas, attitudes and behaviours.


Bookings will close at 11.30pm on Monday 17 May 2021.