next #creativeHE meetup on the 28 Nov> Join us!

#creativeHE is an open collaborative community for creative and innovative practitioners which exists online at https://plus.google.com/communities/110898703741307769041 through which a series of events and courses have been offered by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with Creative Academic and facilitators from a range of institutions nationally and internationally.

We will continue connecting, collaborating, experimenting and learning together online this year and have just launched the Creativity in Practice project led by Prof. Norman Jackson.

This academic year, we have introduced local meetups. Our second one will take place at Manchester University on the 28th of November, 12-2pm. The focus on this meetup is the creative use of pedagogical frameworks and models. Come along to showcase such examples from your practice, share your ideas and develop them further. Staff, students and the wider public, all very welcome. For more information and to register, please access  http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/community/creativehe.php We are very much looking forward to seeing you there.

GooglePlusLogoMore info about the #creativeHE initiative:

It aims to support pedagogical rebels and free-thinking innovators in experimenting with, developing, sharing and getting support for novel learning and teaching ideas as well as initiate and disseminate research activity around these that have the power to transform the student and staff experience within and beyond institutional boundaries.

This community is open to anyone who would like to join, academic staff, students and the wider public. All who have an interest in creative and innovative approaches to teaching and helping others learn.

We meet physically on a monthly basis, each time at a different institution. During our meetups, we will have the opportunity to get to know each other, share and grow new ideas, take risks and support each other in our creative adventures, experiment and play, as well as test and develop pedagogical ideas and identify ways to take them forward.

We will continue using the #creativeHE online community space which now supports and connects a global community of over 600 people. Furthermore, this space will offer additional opportunities for professional development through online discussions, events and courses that are organised through #creativeHE, the Creative Academic and the wider academic community. The openly licensed #101creativeideas project will help us collect and share our ideas and the pedagogic innovators project (#pin) to engage in related research activities.

Our monthly local gatherings will be about 2 to 3 hours. We welcome institutions who would like to participate in #creativeHE events by organising a local meetup. All we need is a flexible space for up to 30 individuals.

We suggest that each meetup features time for socialising. As the meetups will all be free and open, we encourage each participant to bring a gift of food and/or non-alcoholic drinks to share with other participants. Homemade and more healthy contributions are very welcome as are foods from different cultures. In this simple way we aim to encourage sharing of the many cultures that make up our society.

The institutional contact will coordinate the monthly gathering and a booking system will be in place through CELT at Manchester Metropolitan University. If you would like to become a #creativeHE champion in your institution, please get in touch with us.

We are really looking forward to seeing you again online and locally,

Chrissi and Norman on behalf of the #creativeHE team

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE COLLABORATE TO LEARN TOGETHER

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Katrina Ingram our CELT Historian

KatrinaIngram

Katrina our CPD Academic Administrator studied MA History at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015/16.  Katrina chose to research four medieval outlaws for her MA dissertation, which she completed in September 2016.  She decided to put this research to further use and submitted a conference paper entitled ‘Remembering Hereward the Wake and Eustace the Monk’. The theme of the conference was ‘Myth and National Identity’ and Katrina researched how these two outlaws tied in with English Identity.

This conference paper was submitted as an article to HIVE, a new Post Graduate Journal for the Faculty of Art & Humanities.  Well done Katrina who is now a published author.

If you would like to read Katrina’s article just click on this link

 

 

 

 

What are our big ideas about a #coopuni? 9 November 2017 in Manchester

coopuni.jpg

#coopuni event, 9 Nov 2017, Manchester

Chrissi from CELT attended the inaugural event in Manchester that had a focus on a future Cooperative University and writes a little reflective narrative about the day. The plan was to keep it short… but it ended up a bit longer. Hopefully it is useful to others. Here it comes…

I was intrigued to find out more about it. Could a cooperative university present an attractive alternative higher education model? Thank you Ronnie for bringing this event to my attention.

A cooperative university, is a thought provoking idea. But what is the need for such a university? What would it achieve that other universities don’t and how? Is an alternative higher education needed and could such a university progressively transform existing institutions? Is this desirable? Are there opportunities within existing universities to have cooperative clusters, for example? How about open cooperatives?

I was looking forward to find out more about the cooperative university and meet Ronnie Macintyre my open practitioner buddy and others who have a vision to create alternative higher education opportunities through democratic participation. However, is this not what open education is also working towards? How does the idea for a cooperative university link to the ethos and values of open education?

Furthermore, I was interested in finding out how my practice and research in open education (Nerantzi, 2017) and particularly in open and cross-institutional academic development and collaborative open learning relates to cooperative ideas and the cooperative movement.

The aims of the day as communicated at the opening of the day were
> bring ideas together
> facilitate a mutually supportive environment
> establish a co-operative higher education forum (CHEF)

From the delegates list, I could see we were around 90 from a range of backgrounds. In the morning, after an introduction to the history of the cooperative college and related activities especially since 2010, a range of cooperative projects from across the UK were shared. After listening carefully, I think what is different in these educational initiatives is how they operate.

This is what I noticed: I can see how they are (more) cooperative. Or are they actually collaborative? I don’t know much, or very little I should say about the governance dimension of cooperatives. This is something I would like to find out more to better understand what this is all about. But I suspect that the area of governance is what differentiates a cooperative from other initiatives and businesses. It seems to me that cooperatives have the community at the heart, the collective. They aim to empower individuals but also the cooperative as a whole. The cooperative as a community. I think also to create a sense of belonging. The example from Spain of the cooperative University of Mandragora illustrated this really well through its flat structures, autonomy of faculties and the lived and dynamic culture of innovation in learning, teaching and research. It was refreshing to hear about this model that was not just an idea but something that was implemented and working. I would have liked to ask questions especially around the challenges and how these are resolved but we watched a recording so this opportunity was not there. I will have a look online to find some more information about this university as well as related research.
In the earlier examples, learning for life and for learning’s sake where mentioned, often as an alternative model to a focus on employability which is often the case in universities. While I can see value in empowering individuals to love learning, often the people we would hope to reach, are the ones who might be disadvantaged and helping them get a job would be a great achievement. Otherwise, I think otherwise any cooperative university could become exclusive and elitist? Don’t know where these thoughts are taking me now but it is something that popped into my head and wanted to share.

I can see the potential links between the idea for a cooperative university and open education but I struggle to articulate them. Could the cooperative movement provide an attractive business model for open education? Could you have open cooperatives? Not sure if business model is the right term here… but is there an opportunity to marry the two?

As I was seeing the links between open and cooperatives, it was obvious to me. I was expecting to hear something around open education, open practices, open educational resources, open badges but none of the examples shared mentioned something related. The ecological university (Barnett, 2016) and learning ecologies (Jackson, 2016) also didn’t feature. And what about the Porous University (Lennon, 2010; Macintyre, 2016). These concepts don’t promise new higher education institutions but propose to transform the existing ones from within. At least this is my understanding.

Because none of the above were not mentioned during the day, does of course not mean that the links have not been made. I need to do some reading!!! The ethos and values of open education, however, were at the heart of the initiatives that were shared. I am wondering if there is an opportunity or even a need to closer link up cooperative and open learning? What about collaboration? It was hardly mentioned… Also, are the UNESCO and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals relevant to a cooperative university?

Themes that provided discussion foci in the afternoon workshops were the following:
> Democracy, members and governance
> Knowledge, curriculum and pedagogy
> Livelihood and finances
> Bureaucracy and accreditation

I joined the pedagogy group in the afternoon as I felt that my interests would fit best but wondering now if the workshop around Democracy, members and governance would have been useful too. Would this have given me a flavour of what this is all about? We all had questions. I had more questions at the end of the workshop than at the beginning which really made me think hard about what a cooperative university would be about. I am searching for an answer myself and with others in some of the discussions we had. I think more work needs to be done to articulate the purpose and vision for a cooperative university before embarking on defining a specific pedagogical model. I think the working group that has been set-up has this purpose. Something much more organic, flexible or even elastic and open, is needed that would give learners choice. Choice to pursue what they want. And while there were some discussions that the courses might not be accredited… I think accreditation is still very important, especially in cases where such an accreditation of learning through the cooperative university would be a lifeline and not a luxury some individuals can easily find or afford elsewhere. There were mixed views about the use of technology in a cooperative university and my thoughts are that for some the online engagement might be the only viable option, for others it might not work. If such a university is going to empower the ones in real need to engage in learning, they should also have access and be able to work towards accreditation, if they wish. In my mind, a cooperative university shouldn’t be a second or third class university. And I am thinking here of providing access to education to homeless citizens for example for whom such education would give new hope and a new positive purpose in life and help them return to become contributing members of our society.

During the day, I did a lot of listening. What hooked me was the idea of and for positive disruption and making big ideas happen. But what are these big ideas linked to the cooperative university? Have they been articulated? Are they still work-in-progress? I was searching for some of them myself and in discussions with others. What makes a good idea, a big idea that gives it importance, urgency and empowers us to act?

Thank you to all organisers for a thought provoking day. Maybe there is now an opportunity to come together to draw our cooperative university or make a model of it. Such playful and pan-participatory approaches have the potential to release our inner big ideas… share them with others so that we can link them, develop them into concepts and make them happen… together…


References

Barnett, R. (2011) The coming of the ecological university, Journal Oxford Review of Education, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp. 439-455, available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03054985.2011.595550

Jackson, N. (2016) Exploring learning ecologies, Chalk Mountain

Lennon, E. (2010) ‘The Porous University‘, New Perspectives: Arts and Humanities Enter a New Phase, London: Times Higher, Supplement on Trinity College London

Mackintyre, R. (2016) The Porous University, RoughBounds, 9 November 2016, available at https://roughbounds.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/the-porous-university/

Nerantzi, C (2017) Towards a framework for cross-boundary collaborative open learning for cross-institutional academic development, PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University: Edinburgh

Applications for Erasmus+ Europe Staff Mobility are now open

Applications for Erasmus+ Europe Staff Mobility are now open.

The University has been awarded funding to provide travel grants of up to €275 and subsistence grants of up to €160 per day (depending on destination) for approximately 90 Manchester Met staff members to undertake a teaching or training exchange at one of our European partner universities. Manchester Met’s Erasmus partners are listed on the International website. All our European institutional agreements can support staff mobility, though your mobility will have to be confirmed by the host institution to take place. Teaching mobility places will be proportionally allocated based on staff numbers in each faculty. Up to 20 training mobility places will be allocated to non-academic staff.

Applications from staff members who have not previously benefitted from Erasmus funding for teaching or training mobility will be prioritised.

Applications should be submitted to James Rothwell (j.rothwell@mmu.ac.uk) by Friday 10th November 2017.

The International Office advises colleagues not to make any travel arrangements until a decision on the application has been taken to avoid disappointment. Please note that the International Office will not be in a position to fund any staff mobility if a nomination has not been approved in advance.

If you have any questions about Erasmus Staff Mobility please contact James Rothwell in the International Office – email:  j.rothwell@mmu.ac.uk tel: 0161 247 6732.

 

NEW! #creativeHE combines offline & online conversations and activities

#creativeHE is an open collaborative community for creative and innovative practitioners growing out of the Greenhouse initiative that operated from 2014-2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University (Nerantzi, 2016) and the online #creativeHE community at https://plus.google.com/communities/110898703741307769041 through which a series of online events and courses have been offered by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/ in partnership with Creative Academic http://www.creativeacademic.uk/ and facilitators from a range of institutions nationally and internationally. In the coming year we will continue connecting, collaborating, experimenting and learning together online, what is new, is the addition of gatherings locally, initially in the NW of England but ultimately anywhere there is an interest and we are welcome.

GooglePlusLogoThis initiative aims to support pedagogical rebels and free-thinking innovators in experimenting with, developing, sharing and getting support for novel learning and teaching ideas as well as initiate and disseminate research activity around these that have the power to transform the student and staff experience within and beyond institutional boundaries.

This community is open to anyone who would like to join, academic staff, students and the wider public. All who have an interest in creative and innovative approaches to teaching and helping others learn.

We plan to meet physically on a monthly basis, each time at a different institution. During our gatherings, we will have the opportunity to get to know each other, share and grow new ideas, take risks and support each other in our creative adventures, experiment and play, as well as test and develop pedagogical ideas and identify ways to take them forward.

We will continue using the #creativeHE online community space which now supports and connects a global community of over 600 people. Furthermore, this space will offer additional opportunities for professional development through online discussions, events and courses that are organised through #creativeHE, the Creative Academic and the wider academic community. The openly licensed #101creativeideas project will help us collect and share our ideas and the pedagogic innovators project (#pin) to engage in related research activities.

Our monthly local gatherings will be half days. We welcome institutions who would like to participate in #creativeHE events by organising a local gathering. All we need is a flexible space for up to 30 individuals.

We suggest that each gathering features time for socialising. As the gatherings will all be free and open, we encourage each participant to bring a gift of food and/or non-alcoholic drinks to share with other participants. Homemade and more healthy contributions are very welcome as are foods from different cultures. In this simple way we aim to encourage sharing of the many cultures that make up our society.

The institutional contact will coordinate the monthly gathering and a booking system will be in place through CELT at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Our first local gathering will be on the 24th of October at the University of Salford. Register at http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/community/creativehe.php to join us! 

If you would like to become a #creativeHE champion in your institution, please get in touch with us.

We are really looking forward to seeing you again online and locally,

 

Chrissi and Norman on behalf of the #creativeHE team

 

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE COLLABORATE TO LEARN TOGETHER

#HEblogswap Anyone for T ?

#HEblogswap 13 september 2017

Contributed by Sue Watling https://digitalacademicblog.wordpress.com

You see some great ideas on Twitter like #HEblogswap. When Chrissi Nerantzi invited me to exchange and mentioned it was the same week as MMU’s TEL-Fest, it gave me the idea for this post. Over at the University of Hull we’ve been restructured. The TEL Advisors are now Teaching Enhancement Advisors.

T for Technology and T for Teaching. What’s the difference?

In 2017 have they become one and the same thing?

What do you think?

For me the difference is an enhanced opportunity to promote learning design. TEL people tend to talk to the innovators and early adopters. Like attracts like. Using Rogers Diffusion of Innovations model, it can be harder to reach the late adopters. They often self-exclude from digital events, avoid technology workshops, don’t sign up for digitally themed conferences or funding opportunities, and rarely read the educational technology literature.

So I’d be really interested to follow your TEL-Fest to see if you’ve cracked this and if so, please can you share how to attract the digitally shy and resistant.

Rogers Diffusion of Innovations technology adoption curve
image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucgaloppin/4952178612

I think a focus on learning design via teaching enhancement might be useful. Institutions are increasingly collecting data on learning outcomes and student satisfaction, so promoting learning design may have greater potential to reach those parts our TEL identities often fail to reach.

We’ve been busy studying existing approaches such as these:

Connectionist approaches, such as post-it notes, story boards, lego, play dough or activity cards, have been shown to enhance engagement and learning. The University of Stanford’s Reflect Imagine Try workshops use this Activity book and I’m looking forward to trying some of the ideas.

None of this means TEL has gone away; just that Pedagogy-First rather than Technology-First might attract those who say they ‘don’t do technology’.

Which brings us to the issues of digital skills and competencies. Whether the T is for Technology or Teaching, there’s always a need for digital confidence in curriculum design.

jisc digital capabilities model
image from https://digitalcapability.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2015/06/11/revisiting-digital-capability-for-2015/

The Jisc Digital Capabilities model is often quoted as containing the essential elements for living, working and learning in 21st century.  Assumptions are  often made about individual digital skills but when you scratch the surface you find many online initiatives fail because a digital baseline is missing. Not everyone is comfortable working with the internet. In the 1990’s I ran Computers for the Terrified workshops and RSA CLAIT courses for Adult Education yet technology still doesn’t work for me – at least not as easily as it does for others, something my colleagues will vouch for!

Technology and Teaching are on the merge. The question we need to ask is  What does a digital literacy baseline look like for learning and teaching in HE.  If we can’t find ways to attract the late adopters we’ll continue to work with only a percentage of staff.

The digitally fluent and the digitally shy need to get together.

Around a table. Tea and Biscuits. Coffee and Cake.

We need to talk.

coffee and cake image from pixabay
image from https://pixabay.com/en/coffee-cake-caffeine-latte-2319210/

Let’s use #HEblogswap to think about a digital baseline. What skills does everyone needs to feel digitally confident in 2017.  Three ways to join in.

A collaborative Google-Doc has been set up.

Send me or Chrissi an email s.watling@hull.ac.uk or c.nerantzi@mmu.ac.uk

Tweet using the hashtag #DigiConfidenceHE

…which brings me back to the start of this blog and how you find great ideas on Twitter. Those who don’t use it for resources, support and advice relating to their work or research are missing out. But – we also need to consider how those who do use it might be inadvertently contributing to the same digital divides we’re trying so hard to narrow and bridge.

Mond the Gap image from pixabay
image from https://pixabay.com/en/railway-platform-mind-gap-1758208/

European First Year Experience Conference at Birmingham City University

On Wednesday the 28th of June, I presented a show and tell session to a full house at the European First Year Experience Conference. This is the first time the research has been presented outside of MMU and we were really pleased to get some early feedback on the resources, which were well received.

The research I have been working on with my supervisor Rachel Forsyth focuses on the transition from further education to higher education, specifically for ‘non-traditional’ students. Transition to higher education is a complex area with a large body of literature. The findings from this project so far, has not pulled up anything particularly different from the literature, with the same issues in transition as was being written twenty years ago. However, we have used the data collected in this study to refocus our resources. Staff and students at MMU were interviewed who had either recent first hand or professional experience of transition.

At MMU, there is a drive to attract young people in further education to higher education who may not have considered the institution before. More information can be found here: https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/giving/firstgeneration/. I hope that the resources developed from this research will help staff to acknowledge the background of their students and consider what can be done to enhance student experience.

In collaboration with our colleague Liz Walshaw, we designed some resources to be used in the session. This included a poster, role-play exercises, a case study scenario and some illustrations based on the issues first year students may face such as making friends or work-life balance. The resources will be developed into a webpage on the CELT website that is going live in September and a full report following thereafter. Over the next two months, I will be running sessions to trail the resources further. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved with the resource trials and development.

Contact: Henry Coleman – h.coleman@mmu.ac.uk