Welcome to the first online tutorial for #SGM15

Didactical and psycho-pedagogy university module

Student Group Management Unit (#SGM15)

Website is here: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/dppm/index.html

#SGM15: Tom Burns & Sandra Sinfield

1: Welcome

2: Get Digital

3: What we can do to promote better student behaviour

4: Feed forward

1: Welcome

Welcome to Student Group Management online! We are really looking forward to working with you – both here in our virtual space and when we come to see you May/June.

We are Tom Burns and Sandra Sinfield – and you can see a bit more of us in the video clips on the #SGM15 website (http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/dppm/index.html). We hope to get to know more about you as we read your blogs over the next three or four months.

As this is the beginning of the first month of our online course and conversation – this is the week where we urge you to get digital – to set up your blogs and start blogging about the course overall and about this Unit in particular. It is where we suggest that you join Twitter and find and ‘follow’ academics in your field – and where we urge you to find and follow a MOOC (massive open online course).

Tip: We want you to alert us to what you are doing and reading and thinking about #SGM15 – by including the hashtag #SGM15 in all your tweets – and especially when you tweet out your blog posts!

Here’s most of that again – but a little more slowly!

2: Get Digital

Entering the age of digital teaching and learning can be unsettling for students and staff alike: we know all this technology is there – we even play with some of it – but we may not know how to harness it effectively in our practice. As part of our online work with you, we want you to please ‘Get digital’! We would like you to use the whole Student Group Management Unit to explore your learning in online spaces. So we want you to set your blogs and to use them to reflect on everything that we do together over the #SGM15 virtual and Face-to-Face (F2F) course. Every time you undertake one of our activities – or undertake some reading on the topic on your own initiative, we would like you to reflect on what happened in a short, reflective blog post.


  • Blog posts need only be 300-500 words long – the point is to be reflective and useful rather than descriptive.
  • Your audience will be other teachers just like you – so write your posts for them: why will they be interested in what you have done or learned? What will you want them to think or do after reading your blog post?
  • Blogs are less formal than articles or essays – so find a writing style that works in a blog.
  • It can help to add pictures (photographs or drawings) to make your blog more user-friendly and readable.
  • We will want you to read as many blogs from other students as possible!!
  • Each time you read someone else’s blog – ‘like’ it – leave a Comment. The point with the blogs is to create a friendly dialogue about what we are doing.
  • Your final assignment for us will be to write just one 300 word blog post on what you think has been the most useful aspect of this course. You will be assessed on how well you demonstrate your engagement with the Learning Outcomes of the module – and how well you have engaged with the blog dialogues of your peers.

Note: For each block of teaching that we deliver – we want you to write at least ONE blog post – and to read and comment upon at least THREE blog posts from your colleagues.

Community of Practice and Personal Learning Network

A desired outcome of this module is that all participants collaborate on their learning in open webspac; to use that experience to begin to act and feel like a Community of Practice and to build your own Personal Learning Network (PLN). We want you to initiate this by ‘blogging to learn’ – and we hope that this blogging continues after the Unit itself concludes – such that you continue to have dialogue with each other as you put the theory of the Unit into practice in your own contexts.

Activity: Read this post on the evolution of PLN – think how this can help you with the blogging that we want you to undertake on this Unit: http://www.teachthought.com/learning/3-ways-personal-learning-networks-are-evolving/

What we would like you to do:

a: Blog to learn:

We would like participants to blog about their learning on this Student group management Unit. We want you to blog about your engagement with the contents of the Work Book; blog about your experiences on this the online part of the Unit; blog about the F2F sessions; even blog about how you went about setting up your own blog for this course – and how you feel as an academic about putting your thoughts – your experiences – your learning – ‘out there’.

Activity: Read and blog:

Big Activity: Set up your own blog. Give it a catchy title – and start blogging about the #SGM15.

To set up your own blog – try WordPress, Weebly or Blogger:




b: Twitter for learning:

Twitter is NOT about what you had for breakfast or who that celebrity has married or divorced this time. Twitter is the site to join to keep up with the latest research in pedagogy and everything else you could possibly be interested in. We think that to be a successful academic in the 21st Century, it is essential to join Twitter and ‘follow’ academic leaders in the field in which you wish to excel.

Activity: No matter how sceptical you may be of Twitter – please open a Twitter account to use at least for this course and ‘follow’ your tutors and other academics: https://twitter.com/

Tip: Check out the Education Twitter chats captured on this list: https://sites.google.com/site/twittereducationchats/education-chat-official-list

c: Do a free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course):

A key aspect of teaching, learning and assessment (LTA) in the 21st century University is the ubiquity of the digital. We have found that one of the best ways to become informed about LTA in a digital and multi-modal world is to undertake a free MOOC and to reflect on it.

There are MOOCs on everything from Quantum physics to Song writing and they are usually quite short, only a few weeks long, so they provide an intensive experience of what it means to be a student in a digital environment. From there you can move on to becoming a skilled teacher in a digital world.

Creative MOOCs that interrogate teaching and learning include:

#ccourses: http://connectedcourses.net/ – which explores the nature of co-creating knowledge in a connected world. Even though the 2014 course has concluded, the resources are all cached on the website – with many videos to watch – and a blog roll of course participants which you can explore.

#rhizo15: http://davecormier.com/edblog/2014/12/05/rhizomatic-learning-a-big-forking-course/ – which explores rhizomatic learning and the notion that the community is the curriculum. This MOOC very much explores process over content – especially the processes of LTA in a digital world.

#ds106: http://ds106.us/about/ (refer back to the Case Study above). DS stands for Digital Storytelling and DS106 started as a synchronous MOOC in 2010. This MOOC was so popular that the community created refused to die! On this site the resources and activities are cached – and a new synchronous course springs up from time to time. If you have always wanted to ‘get digital’ but been afraid to try – this site will take you on a friendly journey to digital storytelling.

Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/courses – for more traditional courses. Search Coursera and see if they have anything on offer that you would like to undertake.

Tip: Even if you feel that you have no *time* to do a MOOC right now – find a course that is running – join it – and just ‘lurk’. See how people teach and learn in the online space. Find the various fora in which people communicate – and follow some of the posts. Just enjoy it… and blog about it.

3: What we can do to promote better student behaviour

Please watch this video on ‘Why we need a why’ – accessible here from #ccourses: http://connectedcourses.net/thecourse/why-we-need-a-why/

The video is one-hour long – and begins with an exploration of the presenters’ ‘best ever learning experiences’ – and the idea is that we can be better practitioners if we learn how to harness our own experiences of learning – and if we engage with how our learners learn best.

When we plan courses we might think about the Content (the what) – we might even think about our teaching and assessment (the how) – but one of the things that can help us to keep students engaged in their learning, is if we really know the WHY of our courses. This video is designed to seed our own thinking about how we can adapt our practice to make more engaging courses – and thus create ‘better learners’.

Make notes as you watch the video – and blog about what you personally have gained from it – and how you might apply the lessons learned in your own practice contexts. Try to really address: What is the real WHY of your course? Why should students take it? How will they be changed by it? Why does it matter?

Follow up activity: go to Why Do You Teach – and watch Mike Wesch’s Vision of Students Today (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o) – and think about contributing your own thoughts on why you teach: https://whydoyouteach.wordpress.com/

BONUS DIGITAL ACTIVITY: If this has given you the digital bug – you may want to look at the Syllabus of this course for Producing Online Teaching: https://sites.google.com/site/potcertclass13/syllabus

The ‘Where the hell do I start’ tutorial is introduced by a video discussion of the sorts of pedagogy implied by our own preferred way of teaching material – and of students learning it: http://mccpot.org/wp/2012/03/self-paced-where-the-hell-do-i-start/ – a great way to remind us of what we are doing and why… and most importantly HOW.

4: Feed forward

Final Activity: Read through the list of things that will be covered both in the workbook and the virtual and online aspects of this course (below): remembering that the Learning Outcomes for this Unit are:

SGM: Specific competences:

* Managing the learning environment through a student-centred approach;

* Effective interaction with different groups of students;

*  Adapting teaching styles to different learning styles of students;

*  Prevention and /or management of educational conflicts that may occur in the group of students.


What do I already know about these topics?

Why has the course been structured in this way?

What do I hope to get from this Unit?

THEN – Blog it!

#SGM15 Overview:

Setting the context:

  • Present changes and their impact on learning styles of youngsters and of new generations of university students.
  • Analysis of the impact of scientific information on learning and teaching styles.
  • Analysis of the impact of cultural and social phenomena on learning and teaching styles.
  • Cognitive strategies.
  • Transforming data and information of analyses in both strategic / methodological approaches and in didactical tools.
  • Narration as strategic tool supporting the “sense of belonging”.

 A student-centred approach:

  • Student attitudes and pre-University educational experiences of LTA (learning, teaching and assessment).
    • Pre-University experiences
    • Do we change the student – or our practice?
  • Learning Environment, student-centred approach, “student engagement”, sense of belonging.
    • Building a student-centred blended programme
  • Teaching styles and effectiveness within educational and training settings.
    • Developing positive student qualities
    • Supporting students with engaging learning
  • Adapting teaching styles to different student learning styles – preventing conflict – and creating more engaging assessments.
    • Association for Learning Development in higher Education
    • Critiquing traditional teaching – and promoting multiple intelligences
    • Visual and creative strategies
    • Collage
    • Collage and critical thinking
    • Simulations and role plays
    • Question-, Enquiry- and Problem Based Learning – and the flipped classroom
    • Writing to learn: Writing in the Disciplines/Writing Across the Curriculum
  • Effective interaction and formative assessment.
    • Helping students learn how to be students
    • The Context for the Case Study Module
    • Becoming an Educationalist
    • Models of learning: Communities of Practice and effective interaction
    • Facilitating belonging, collaboration and formative writing
    • A focus on writing: The essay – The blog
  • Formative Assessment.
    • Blogging to learn – and for formative assessment
    • Peer Mentors for interaction and Blogs as knowledge-construction
  • Blended learning.
    • Extract from: Burns, Sinfield and Holley (2009) ‘A journey into silence:
    • The Policy and Pedagogy Contexts?
    • Technology as a Central force in Economic Competitiveness
    • Technology as a Change Agent
    • Embracing technology in the complex learning dance
  • Competences and tools for blended learning.
    • Scaffolding student digital competences – the Salmon model
    • Narratives of the self
  • Scaffold student digital development – design engaging assessments.
    • Blogging the learning
    • Digital Storytelling
    • Join #ds106 and sign up for the teaching blog roll
    • Design engaging assessments: Digital Artefacts
    • Twitter for study
  • Basic Didactical tools for supporting Blended Learning.
  • The competences required for Blended Learning.
    • Why is learning changing?
    • How is learning changing?
    • Making sense of MOOCs
    • Heutagogy and technology
  • The impact of new technology
  • CASE STUDY: ‘Becoming an Educationalist: reading, writing and enquiry


* Start and Keep blogging

* Put the link to your blog in as a COMMENT on this blog!

* We look forward to working with you again week beginning 13th April.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to the first online tutorial for #SGM15

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