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Multimedia innovation in the philosophy of language

It has been recently discussed that, film can be used to illustrate philosophical themes (Halper, 2005), as can filmmaking (Anderson, 2010). In this paper we describe and reflect on one module which combined both these approaches in the teaching of a core module in the philosophy of language. Our findings suggest that teachers need to be more cautious when using film in the classroom than one might initially think. We finish by recommending a number of ways of improving the use of film in philosophy classes.

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Textbooks in Teaching and Learning

Introduction Publishers are aware that British students are buying fewer books, and sales of textbooks over the past three years have been disappointing. A group of publishers and booksellers commissioned two studies: one to look at students’ attitudes to university,

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Bridging the Communication Gap

Introduction The discipline of Geography is currently in a state of flux that many within the subject see as having a negative impact on its perceptions by society (Harman, 2003, Murphy, 2006, Johnston, 2003). It is noted that this situation

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Introducing PASS in the School of Biological and Molecular Sciences (BMS)

Background With the recent steep rise in the number of students entering universities, it has become apparent that a significant proportion of them arrive without the essential skills and experience necessary to make a success of their studies. For example:

Posted in Practice Paper

Can E-Learning Foster Intercultural Competence?

This article focuses on strategies and materials devised to enable students both to approach their period of residence abroad in Spain with greater confidence, and to make best use of time spent there. The basic premise is that students risk denying themselves the full potential benefit of their period of residence abroad by not appreciating the need to prepare themselves adequately in advance for the tasks they may be expected to carry out, and for the culture in which they will be operating. Materials were devised for students to access independently in WebCT to help address this deficiency in provision.

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Crossing the E-boarders: The Road to Developing Online Courses

The story that follows is about the development of an online module. It is a story of how the module has evolved over the years to be successful, the lessons learnt, and a reflection on the development process of designing online courses.

Posted in Practice Paper

Investigating a Classroom Management Approach in a Computer Suite

This paper describes my experiences, as a ���new��� lecturer, with aspects of classroom management in a computer suite. It takes as its starting point the differences between teaching ���through��� computers and teaching ���with��� computers, and suggests that students��� experiences of using computers as personal learning tools have implications for their behaviour in collective teaching environments where computers are used.

It outlines some negotiation strategies I trialled to agree on behavioural ground rules for teaching and learning in a computer suite, discusses an approach using musical cues to retrieve student attention, and offers some possible techniques for optimising student attention and cooperation in computer-based sessions.

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Baptism of Fire: Introducing Brookes Virtual to Theology Distance Learning Students

The electronic environment is perceived to offer a potential enhancement of the learning experience not least within a traditional paper-based distance learning context. This paper outlines the rationale behind the introduction of Brookes Virtual and a heightened ‘electronic mentality’ into a theology paper-based distance learning programme of long pedigree, through a targeted activity at a Residential School. An important dimension was a high level of team work, combining the skills of academic, administration, and learning technologist staff (and significantly blurring the boundaries between these in so doing). In order to achieve an ambitious set of goals, the resulting activity required students to engage with the virtual environment in such a way that it contributed directly to their learning and was not simply a support tool. The advantage of jumping in at Mode 2 of Brookes’s Modes of Engagement (a “baptism of fire!” lay precisely in the fact that students quickly saw the benefits for their studies and acquired the necessary skills to incorporate these once they had returned home. Emphasis was also put on group work in order to facilitate peer-to-peer discussion at a distance. The project was ambitious. While one or two aspects left room for improvement, overall it achieved its goals at a wide range of levels and we anticipate greater exploitation of the electronic medium in future assessed work.

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Personal Developmental Planning at Oxford Brookes – Still Developing?

The historical background to Personal Development Planning (PDP) in the context of Progress Files is briefly outlined, together with an acknowledgement of the way in which the recommendations of the Burgess Review may take it forward in relation to new ways of measuring and recording student achievement. There is consideration of a range of difficulties and questions associated with the introduction of PDP into HEIs. Implementing PDP at Oxford Brookes University and what it can achieve is examined against the background of some of these difficulties and questions. The conclusion is that the limited focus and ambitions of the first stage of the implementation of PDP at Oxford Brookes can provide a sufficient platform for worthwhile work to be done with undergraduates focussing on preparation for and transition to employment whilst further research is undertaken in the sector into some of the more problematical aspects of PDP.

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Back from the Brink: A Lifeline for Resit Students?

Progression and retention rates do not just matter to universities; they are enormously important to those students in danger of failing their studies. The opportunity to resit a module provides such students with the opportunity to pull themselves back from the brink – but many fail to achieve this. This article examines the success of a project to provide timely, personalised and generic feedback to such students and the impact that this intervention can have in terms of resit results.

Posted in Practice Paper

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