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How Can Digital Media Enhance Students' Mastery of Troublesome Knowledge?

About the Project

This project will examine the affordances of digital media in supporting students' investigation of troublesome knowledge. By its very nature, digital media occupies a ‘third space’ – crossing temporal and physical thresholds. In this space, troublesome knowledge can be visited and revisited at intervals allowing students to bring new insight and make fresh connections throughout their learning journey. Digital media can provide a window on otherwise inaccessible places. New ways of ‘knowing’ can be created when threshold concepts are presented in multiple formats, and knowledge can be shared across disciplines or even communities, providing fresh perspectives on accepted norms. By taking an interdisciplinary approach in this project, we will explore what troublesome knowledge means to a diverse group of students and staff and design digital media solutions informed by multiple perspectives.

Project Aims

This project aims to enhance students’ mastery of threshold concepts within their discipline. It will help them to meet learning outcomes and even move them beyond this to a fuller understanding of their field. The persistence of material in the online space means that students can revisit online teaching content at a time that is relevant to them and the stage they are at in their studies. Ideas can be presented in a range of formats to promote fresh perspectives but also to accommodate preferences and increase accessibility/inclusivity for students with dyslexia, autism, English as a second language, or even shyness. Teaching staff will have a greater understanding of what students find difficult in their course and can focus attention to those aspects without losing time for other teaching.

Project Impact

This project will not only explore students' experience of troublesome knowledge across disciplines here at Warwick, it will also seek to find sustainable solutions for both students and staff. Resources will be developed that can either be used within a course as part of a blended teaching approach or as more general teaching resource. Digital teaching resources can be rolled forward from one year to the next and may be applicable across more than one course. Details of the project can be shared via TEALfest and Education forum presentations and could be added to the Digital Pedagogy Library.

Project Lead

Edwina Jones

Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)

Project Co-Lead

Will Haywood

Centre for Teacher Education (CTE)


  • Helen Jones
  • Susan Wakeman
  • Nicola Knowles


  • Lauren Ketteridge