From September 10-12th the Digital Learning Playground (DLP) toured Exeter’s campuses for the very first time. Coordinated by the Education Incubator with support from EdTech Exeter, the event reached over 200 colleagues and created a real buzz!
The DLP was a bit of an experiment… we weren’t sure if it would work… it was a new format for knowledge-exchange…. but we felt something was needed to encourage colleagues to share digital practices across campus… so we got to work!
Digi Learning what?
DLP was a peer-to-peer, hands-on, digital dissemination event that created a space for colleagues to showcase and share digital tools that enhance teaching and learning.
We asked colleagues to showcase digital tools that could be picked-up and implemented easily and effectively by colleagues in time for their Term 1 modules and workshops (hence the event’s strap-line ‘quick wins for the coming term’). We were heartened by the positive response we received from colleagues keen to collaborate across the campuses.
54 colleagues volunteered their time to contribute to DLP. Some ran table-top stalls showcasing digital innovations used in their modules, others provided demonstrations of responseware and toolkits, and others led workshops and mini-tutorials. We even had a pop-up film studio run by TEL for guests to film their first video in ELE.
To see the the complete list of contributors, workshop summaries, and listing from the DLP roadshow please see the full event programme.
Amongst the contributors were both academic staff from across the university’s Colleges and colleagues from professional service teams including Exeter IT, Digital Humanities Lab, Technology-Enhanced Learning, Library Services, Wellbeing, Academic Development and EdTech Exeter. We were delighted by the positive response from colleagues to support each other in this way.
The themes addressed at the event included ‘Efficient Use of ELE’, ‘Making Audio and Video Content’, ‘Increasing Engagement in the Classroom’ and ‘Assessment and Feedback’. You can also see digital tools and tips posted by our contributors on contributors’ Padlet
There was also lots of peer networking and an ice-cream van supplying locally-sourced treats keeping our blood sugar levels topped up!
Over 200 colleagues signed-in to the Digital Learning Playground, which was more than we were anticipating. It was the biggest event the Incubator has put on to date.
Colleagues attended from all colleges, and also from a variety of professional service teams including INTO, SEAS, Widening Participation, and Global Advancement.
We captured guests’ aspirations for the event as they walked in to the playground asking the question: ‘what are you hoping to get from attending today?‘, and surveyed them as they exited to find out what they learned by attending: ‘what quick wins did you pick up today?’.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive – check out #DigiLearningPlayground for a record of tweets from the day and typical examples of feedback given.
You can see photos of the Streatham DLP taken by Steve Haywood.
We hope the Digital Learning Playground concept lives on. There is certainly an appetite for it! The coordinators of the event will be sending out a survey later this term to see whether tools picked up at the DLP have been implemented and whether this kind of event is a game-changer for pedagogic practice.
What did you think? Did you attend the Digital Learning Playground? Do you have ideas about how we can diffuse and support digital teaching practice amongst staff? Please leave your comments below…