This year’s PREP activity is called, iVLE. iVLE is all about academic staff working together in small groups to share good practice when using our VLEs. You can read more about the aims of iVLE here.
Staff are recording their activities using a short, online form. Looking at some of the entries, it is fascinating to read about the activities undertaken. For example, staff in HSS have been experimenting with survey forms, discussion boards, Panopto and the production of videos.
In FMC, there has been an exploration of Brightspace which a proportion of staff are currently using. One member of FMC commented how “This year I have been using Brightspace for the first time. Most of my students are part-time distance-learning, so I’ve always been quite ‘flipped’, but the new VLE does allow you a lot more control over the environment, so I did think about how I would do that, pedagogically.”
In FoM, there has been an initiative around collegiate peer review of lectures and seminars through the sharing of enhancements, co-creation and a philosophy of continuous improvement.
Key themes coming out of the iVLE feedback include how staff are able to improve the student experience by making sessions more student-focused and personalised and also to make better use of their time. From a pedagogic perspective, we can see increasing use of the flipped classroom approach and how staff are working together to share and develop their working practices. These are precisely the goals of the iVLE initiative.
In the year of assessment and feedback, there is also a focus on improving these areas for students. For example, staff in FMC have worked on improving formative feedback which have had a positive impact for students with one reflecting that “To have formative feedback every week has been a breath of fresh air and is a great way to learn. It is a good way of sharing ideas and having a discussion about it with my peers.”
To support staff in this activity, CEL has been hosting drop-in sessions for staff across the university. The dates for these sessions are posted on the CEL and faculty blogs.