Thursday, 18 October 2007

Article in"The Independent" - E-Learning

I've not really forgottom about this course, it's just been a bit hectic lately! Now that we're two weeks into the teaching and all that. How y'all doing? Thought I'd let you know about an article in today's Independent newspaper, Education Supplement entitled "Professors - Keep Out" by Harriet Swain. I'll try and be really clever and find a link to it in a minute. It's on page 8 and details some of the perceived socialogical impact of Facebook etc. and explores whether tutors ought to be 'invading' the space that students regard as their own.

had a rummage and found the link -

Let's see if it works? By the way, I floated the idea of setting up a wiki with my criminal law students - first year undergrads. In two classes of about ten each, after the tumbleweed had blown accross the floor, there was a flicker of recognition about the concept and even some enthusiasm. This was quite a surprise, given that they're supposed to know about wikis etc. Anybody else come across this? I'll have to contact my module leader and see whether I can set up a wiki for the tutorial questions. My lot are quite chatty and I think it might work with them.

Good job this thing auto saves - just had a moment and lost what I was typing!! Better go, just remembered I've got some marking to do.


Sara said...

An interesting article. I hadn't considered that student's might not want us as tutors to invade their 'personal' space in this way. I suppose this means that an extra sensitivity to this issue would be needed when we use the social networking sites otherwise we could cause students to be less than open and honest on these sites. Also, a heavy handed approach could mean that students leave these sites in droves in order to go elsewhere to state their views..... Just a thought

rangtang said...

This is exactly my issue with some of the web 2.0 technologies. Students firstly are probably not that interested in reading for example, a library blog and secondly find the creation of facebook personas by lecturers, libraries and other faculties and departments an invasion of their social space. Software such as facebook was designed as a social space and I believe that to move into that area is equivalent to wandering into the student bar on a Saturday night which none of us are likely to contemplate. It is known as "social" networking software for a reason.

However, I do think there may be some mileage in creating wikis and blogs as this is potentially a way to engage students in academic discussions outside the lecture room. Unfortunately not something that is appropriate to my subject area being more skills based. Although I watch developments with interest....and yes I do have a facebook profile, it's just not one I would use to engage with students as I don't feel it is appropriate.

(I'll step down from my soapbox now - sorry for the rant/ramble, just something I feel strongly about).


Pam said...

Thanks for posting this, Ivan. It raises different sides of the argument, doesn't it, not least one that suggests that students are more forthcoming in discuissions when they own the space.

Well done for putting forward the wiki idea. I'm not entirely surprised that students weren't that well-acquainted with them- I think the social-networking sites would be more in the forefront for them.

Institutional by-passing is well under-way. I think we have to harnesss what we can; be as savvy as we can but also step back when we need to so that we don't crush something entirely.

Ivan said...

Some feedback there, thanks guys. has anybody else touched upon the subject of a course related wiki?