Bring a Buzz to your Tutorials with the OU Blog
Don’t you love asking questions in tutorials and having the crickets chirp as the tumbleweed rolls on by? Isn’t it just fantastically awkward? You start to think there is something wrong with you, but then you realise, no, it’s the students who are wrong. Well there is a way to change this type of situation, and it’s fairly easy.
In a recent reflection, Dr. Alison Holland discusses her thoughts on student engagement and how she turned her classrooms from being what was described above, to a sessions full of discussion, engagement, community and insight. I spoke with her for sometime about how she felt about diving head first into a different way of teaching students using the OU Blog during session 1, 2015.
At first, the nerves were high, but as the session went on, it appeared the OU Blog proved an asset in increasing student engagement across her brand new unit. One of the things she highlights in her reflection is how the blog helped create a sense of community throughout the cohort with students referring to each other’s posts during in class discussions. It sounded as though students were coming to class with a lucid understanding of each other’s opinions – which meant they needed to be up to date with the weekly readings. They read the weekly readings. STUDENTS READ, NOT SKIMMED, THE WEEKLY READINGS!!
Dr. Holland was blown away by how effective the OU Blog was in increasing student enthusiasm, but what about the children? One student who recently undertook the unit has also offered his reflections on the blog and the activities surrounding its use. One of the major points I got from Jeremy’s reflection is how much work was involved from students. Although there was a lot of work involved, it was not in vain. In fact, it was rewarding and helped provide students with a deeper understanding of the unit content.
If you feel you would like to use something like the OU Blog in your unit as a different way of delivering content and learning and teaching, please contact your Faculty Educational Designer.