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Transforming Technologies

While the very word ‘technology’ carries connotations of innovation, modernity and transformation, ‘technology enhanced learning’ has perhaps a more complex relationship with change. Over 50 years after the first computer was used in higher education we still talk about the “potential” of technology to transform student learning experiences. We invite you to consider some definites: how does technology enable you to create transformative student learning experiences? In what ways does technology push the boundaries of learning and teaching? What challenges have you encountered, and how have you overcome them?

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Session 1B (R1.03)

An Online Resource for Supporting Research

Mick Hammond

Centre for Education Studies

This presentation reports on a project which has aimed to support research students’ use of social theory. This was an interdisciplinary project carried out by a team of research students (n=5) working with academic staff (n=2). The collaboration led to an online resource with four areas:

  • book club: a series of texts (mostly academic papers but some embedded multi media) illustrating the use of theory in social research
  • what theory has meant for me: a series of interview with research students and academic colleagues across the social science faculty describing their use of theory
  • community: links to online sites of interest
  • user guide: a series of focus questions with signposts to the material contained throughout the resource

The topic of social theory was chosen as it a especially problematic for new researchers due to the many different associations made with it, indeed theory is often referred to as a threshold topic within the student research journey. The decision to produce an online resource was taken research students are a dispersed community and we wanted a resource that could be used flexibly in a blended or distance learning context.

This is work in progress but has already provided important insight into producing small scale learning resources with and for students in order to address complex topics. The project is supported by IATL.

Session 2B (R1.03)

Interdisciplinary Study Project from Tallinn University

Katrin Poom-Valickis and Kaire Kollom

Tallinn University, Estonia

Description to follow.

ICUR / Reinvention Update

Emma Barker and Caroline Gibson

Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning

Reinvention and ICUR are two exciting examples of IATL’s undergraduate student engagement activities, both run jointly with Monash University and this session will update our progress. We would love to see you at this session if you have an interest in the rewards and complexity of working with one or more institutions internationally and how technology can help, if you have an interest in undergraduate engagement activities or you just want to find out more about what we’re doing.

Reinvention: an International Journal of Undergraduate Research is in its 9th year and is led by an editorial team of undergraduate students from Warwick and Monash. We and they have learnt to work across institutions and time zones to produce our online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, which is dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate student research. The journal is unique in the world of undergraduate research, publishing the work of students from any academic discipline, from any university in the world, with our peer-reviews individually solicited from academic experts in the field corresponding to each paper.

Our International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) first took place in 2013 and we are now preparing for our 4trh conference in September this year. The conference extends the dissemination opportunities we offer through Reinvention, with students from 11 universities and on 5 continents presenting their research via state-of-the-art video conferencing facilities.

Caroline Gibson is one of IATL’s Academic Managers, is the Manager of Reinvention: an International Journal of Undergraduate Research, and one of the designers and lead organisers of the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR).

Emma Barker is the Managing Editor of Reinvention: an International Journal of Undergraduate Research and the manager of ICUR at Warwick.

Session 3B (R1.03)

Student Champions (WIHEA Digichamps) -- A Creative Workshop for Imagining Great Staff-Student Partnership Projects

Robert O'Toole

Academic Technology

In this workshop we will use accelerated Participatory Design Thinking methods to create and explore ideas for student-staff partnership projects. Participants will work together to specify design challenges, get inspired by our broad repertoire of techniques and technologies, create ideas for solutions, and (most importantly) consider how students can help make it happen by applying the nine role descriptors defined in the Student Champions (Digichamps) framework (the framework document can be found via the HEA website).


Dr. Robert O'Toole has a PhD in the application of participatory design and innovation methods in higher education. He is a Senior Academic Technologist in the Academic Technology Team, and is currently working with WIHEA to establish the Digichamps scheme for funding and supporting staff-student partnership projects.