Listening to teachers: #Digifest19 preview

Donna Lanclos and I have just finished and about are about to publish our work

“Listening to teachers:  a qualitative exploration of teaching practices in higher and further education, and the implications for digital”

We are going to be talking about this on our panel on Wednesday of Digifest (13th March) so come along and ask us some questions, or ask us, @Lawrie and @DonnaLanclos on Twitter and using the hashtag #Digifest19.

Firstly we want to thank the participants, and we also want to thank those people who supported and helped with the writing and research: James Clay, Damian Chapman, Sarah Davies, Marcus Elliott, Andrew Preater and Chris Thomson, Kwabena Adjei-Owusu, Paul Bailey, Sarah Knight, Andrew McGregor and Sarah Ney

The report distils what we’ve learned and provides insights beyond the technology-led.

Participants in the study talked about topics that related directly to their teaching practice including assessment, accessibility, active learning, employability, student experience, off-campus learning and wellbeing.

They also described issues that have an impact on their practice such as bureaucracy, ethics, class sizes, leadership and time constraints.

We focus in the report on five overarching themes:

  • Teaching places
  • Students
  • Change, innovation and risk
  • Organisational support
  • Technology

Participants said their efforts to re-evaluate and update their teaching practice are made more difficult by many factors, from the lack of sufficiently flexible learning spaces to a lack of support – both from risk-averse management and from students with overly conservative views about what ‘teaching’ is.

But they also described how they’re forging ahead with adapting and refreshing their teaching practices and about how they’re implementing workarounds to overcome some of the barriers they face. They’re finding new and less formal spaces to work in, growing rapport and trust with their students so they’re happier to go along with experiments, building supportive networks – and using digital technologies to keep them connected with students, search out solutions to their own staff development needs and keep their teaching fresh and relevant.

Please come see us in Birmingham, and if you can’t make it, well you know the hashtag!

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