From Nametags to Feedback Bunting

#becomingeducational Week 30 plus three: #reGenre17
For many of you the vacation is underway – and oh we do hope that you make time to reflect on the year – and recover from it! 😀
Some of you are probably still hanging around – finishing off assignments – taking internship posts around the University – and/or helping out with the Learning and Teaching Conference…
Whatever you are doing – or not doing – take a few moments to see where we were last week…
We attended #reGenre17 – a Conference on the power of re-genring material – that is – when you turn information from one format to another…
We do a lot of regenring with our own students – one of the first simple ones is where we ask people to produce a small collage reflection on their experiences of the first four weeks of their course… and then to examine their own collages – and turn that into writing…
Another key regenring activity was when we asked our students to present their research findings as a jigsaw puzzle or poem or knitting or 3D object or comic book or animation…
This is not just for fun – though it is – nor just to be more engaging – though it is that too – but the argument is that the act of regenring provokes powerful critical and analytical and organisation thinking…
Anyway – we had a great Conference – and we hope to do more regenring next year!
All the best,
Sandra & Tom

Tactile Academia

Last week was a crazy week for me, but the highlight undoubtedly was the ReGenring Academic Writing and Assessment conference I co-organised at Nottingham Trent University.  (And as co-organiser I might be slightly biased as to how fabulous an event it was…) I promised to write this up quickly for some people who couldn’t join us, so here are my impressions of the day:

The Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching that was hosting us had booked us into a great lecture theatre in their conference centre in the Newton Building. This location worked really well, apart from the fact that they don’t allow you to put up your own signage. Official signage apparently has to be ordered weeks in advance, and we didn’t quite make that deadline, so in a way the day must have started for many people with the challenge to find the room…

But find it…

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Dissertations: What *are* you doing?!

#becomingeducational W30 plus one – are we there yet?

So we’re heading into the summer vacation…

Some of you are leaving – your three years already over (we SAID they’d go by so quickly – and you laughed!). We will miss you – and we wish you well.

Some of you are heading into your second or third years – and for both of these groups, your Dissertation should be looming large:
– heading into the second year you might be toying with some ideas for that final year project
– heading into the third year that dissertation is a reality biting!

Here are some really useful questions to help settle your direction …

Good luck all!

Best,
Sandra & Tom

rattus scholasticus

I wrote recently about using questions to think about writing as a dialogue rather than a monologue and make the reader more present in the writer’s mind. We’re getting towards the summer now, and therefore dissertations, and I’ve been coming back to the use of questions in my teaching to help students get a handle on their dissertation.

Dissertations are a one-off assignment. Students may do many essays over the course of a degree, which allows them to get a feel for them, within the predefined constraints of the task, and feed forward their learning into future essays. Not so with the dissertation. It’s often the longest thing they have written to date, and moreover the most open-ended, as its one of the few opportunities they will have to generate their own question. If writing assessment questions is hard enough for those of us with some teacher training, how much…

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