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Latest Articles

Personal cartography: An induction activity to support new student engagement

An induction project for first year students in September 2019 was to create a personal cartography of the University’s campus. This helped students to explore and record the campus in a visual way that was meaningful for them. Students identified landmarks and topological features that held personal significance to help with orientation and settling into the university environment.

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Playful learning with origami ‘fortune tellers’

To increase engagement with a reflective writing assessment, I incorporated the use of origami ‘fortune tellers’ in an activity where students discussed the marking criteria in relation to three reflective writing examples. The activity demonstrates how playful and active learning can aid reflective thinking and writing skills. My inspiration for this activity came from this CreativeHE blog post.

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Developing study skills: My advice as a student with learning difficulties

Throughout university, something I have done which helped me become more engaged with my studies has been going to tutoring sessions offered by the student support services in my university. As a student with a few learning difficulties, I have regular meetings with a study skills tutor. In these meetings, I can discuss any issues or concerns that I have with my assignments…

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From ‘consumer’ to learner: A workshop for developing students’ identities as learners

A workshop (described in this article) was developed to enable students to reflect critically on the notion that they are ‘consumers’ of their education and to support them to develop stronger identities as learners. All materials to run the workshop are freely available at www.brookes.ac.uk/SIIP and specific details are available for educators who would like to run this workshop with their students.

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Working with students as partners in curriculum co-creation

In order to explore how we might embed graduate employability into our curriculum, we invited academic staff, undergraduate students, graduates of our course, careers advisors and potential employers to work in mixed teams to co-create viable methods for optimising the employability of our students and graduates. The overall aims of the work were two-fold: to boost students’ employability

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Warming up: Using icebreakers and small group work to build learning communities online

I was involved in the design of learning activities for a new module for first year student nurses. The students had not had the opportunity to form relationships with their peers or faculty as their programme had moved online due to Covid-19. In order for the students to feel engaged as part of a learning community, I encouraged the use of icebreakers during seminars.

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Reading lists as a pedagogical tool: Lessons learnt from Covid-19

During the first UK lockdown in spring 2020, like our colleagues around the country, Oxford Brookes Academic Liaison Librarians (ALLs) had scrambled to locate alternative online access to key resources for panicking students who had left Oxford at very short notice, and who were trying to finish assignments and dissertations without physical access to the Library. This experience made us determined to work with our academic colleagues to plan for easier…

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Speed research pods: A flexible tool for collaborative and authentic learning experiences

Peering at rows of busy frames with small, static faces and navigating staccato speaking cues is not exactly the perfect recipe for comfortable, collaborative or creative classroom sessions! Whilst Zoom has enabled valuable synchronous learning opportunities and ensured a vital continuation of learning during the pandemic, it has not been without its challenges for teaching. In particular, in encouraging meaningful student engagement.

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The map to success: How mind-mapping helped me become a curious and self-directed learner

This is my story of when everything clicked. One day, a lecturer was explaining a concept in criminology, using sociology. At that moment, I became aware of all the existing connections between the subjects I was studying. From that point on, I started creating mind-maps to visually represent the connections of everything I had learnt in a particular week. Explaining an unknown concept using information from other subjects became second nature.

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The power of storytelling: Re-writing childhood stories to foster student engagement

This activity invites students to re-write their favourite childhood story by inserting themselves as modern-day protagonists in their contemporary socio-cultural contexts. The activity was practiced in an undergraduate Sociology course in which students were learning about the connection between personal experiences and social issues, as well as concepts related to positionality and social life.

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