Arts and Humanities Conference 2016: session one abstracts

1.1: Materials Alchemy: When disciplines and materials collide: Preparing for merged disciplines in Design and Technology
Design and Technology
Richard Brett and Rose Sinclair, Goldsmiths University of London

The concept of Materials Alchemy was used as an experimental platform to develop and facilitate a one-day session asking students to apply the skills and knowledge relevant their specialist field to other areas within Design & Technology. We asked them to consider what happens when the materials from several separate disciplines collide and how we might re-define materials thinking in future D&T pedagogy. We tried to anticipate what the new constants might be, and how they might be taught/learned through the PGCE program and then re translated through pedagogy in schools.

We aim to share our experience of this session, the ideas, insights and challenges that were experienced and to create a dialogue about the changing subject specification and the challenges that will be faced by educators and students alike.

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1.2: How to... use electronic voting systems creatively in arts and humanities teaching
Dance, Drama & Music
Christopher Wiley, University of Surrey

Electronic voting systems (EVS) represent a learning technology more commonly associated with the STEMM and business subjects than the arts and humanities, but their potential to transform higher education teaching in the latter context should not be overlooked. Drawing on the author’s own academic practice and pedagogic research, this session demonstrates a variety of different ways in which EVS may be used creatively to enhance arts and humanities teaching. Examples presented range from testing students’ baseline factual knowledge, observation of audiovisual extracts, and understanding of key concepts, to soliciting their views on contentious issues by way of prompting class-based discussion and charting how opinion changes thereafter. The session will also consider how the use of electronic voting systems may be combined with other innovative technologies including flipped teaching and online discussion forums, and will incorporate evidence gathered from the students themselves illustrating the effectiveness of EVS to their learning.

1.3: Enhancing achievement and ambition amongst second-year History students: Public history, marketing and presenting the past
History
Ruth Larsen and Ian Whitehead, University of Derby

The paper explores how a second year History module, Public History: Marketing and Presenting the Past, encourages students to achieve highly and inspires them to continue to achieve as they move into their third year. The module requires students to market, organise and deliver as a team a research paper at one-day History conference, which is open to the public. It therefore helps them to be creative, work effectively in a team and develop into articulate public speakers and effective researchers. The skills acquired on the module are directly transferable into graduate employment, ensuring that graduates are well-equipped to meet the expectations of employers. It also inspires students to higher academic achievement, preparing them for postgraduate study, and has led to the publication of undergraduate research.

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1.4: Teaching Literature: Contemporary Gothic, threshold concepts social justice and dialogue
English
Gina Wisker, University of Brighton

Literature teaching and learning is a risky, dynamic experience, an interaction, a dialogue between people, ideas, values, texts. In this session I will share my pedagogic practice as explored for an ‘Innovative Pedagogies’ HEA report, and seek dialogue about theories and values that inform the pedagogical practice of others , and share the learning and teaching approaches and activities we use. The form of the report invited me to be assertive about my practice, which I found a little daunting and hubristic because each student group ,each student is different (context, culture, learning approaches, motivation, mood etc) and I’m conscious of modifying what I do and ask them to do, in practice, to better enable their co construction of knowledge, engagement and enjoyment. In sharing this I hope for us to have dialogue about what the challenges are, the theories and practices and what works for other colleagues.

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1.5: Game jams: Intensive learning and inherent pedagogy
Media & Communications
Iain Donald and Ryan Locke, Abertay University

Game jams are an increasingly popular form of student activity. The goal of most game jams is simply to bring interested parties together to make a game. Although game jams started off focused on rapid prototyping digital games, the format lends itself well to board or card games. Participants are encouraged to rapidly iterate on ideas based around a theme and for a prescribed time period, and at the end are asked to show off their results. The aim of this session is to demonstrate how Game jams embed learning and are a fun, easy process to incorporate into your teaching and can help you educate students, engage with industry and foster innovation. We’ll discuss the benefits of running jams both external and internal to the curriculum, describe the management processes, warn you of the potential pitfalls and give you the tools for running jams at your own institution.

1.6: Embedding digital capabilities in the curriculum
Interdisciplinary
Anne Hole, University of Sussex

This ‘How to…’ session will offer a model for embedding the development of students’ digital capabilities in the Arts / Humanities curriculum. The presentation will outline how the University of Sussex Technology Enhanced Learning team are working with colleagues in the School of English to introduce undergraduates to digital tools relevant to their studies and beyond.

A short card-sorting activity will help participants map digital capabilities against their students’ needs and consider how they can innovate their practice to embed digital skills learning into their courses. Take-away handouts will identify some digital tools/apps that are particularly useful to Arts and Humanities scholars so that participants can try them for themselves.

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Publish date

Thursday, 3 March, 2016

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