Below are some resources that I created to engage and excite my students on their learning journey. Feel free to interact with the content and leave feedback!

A different kind of unit welcome video

I decided to put together a welcome video for my ‘Gamified media’ unit, but in the spirit of all things gamification, I gamified it! Can you find the hidden Easter egg?

If you build it, will they come? Eye catching seminar invites.

This last trimester (T1, 2019), I decided to put my money where my mouth was and model some digital media making by sending out some eye catching seminar invites. I used Mailchimp to build the templates and then copy/pasted into Outlook. Whilst the first template was a time intensive to build, after that all I needed to do was duplicate and made edits.

After week 8’s seminar I gave students a number of options to ‘level up’ their learning. One of them was Mailchimp.

Strangely, I had higher seminar retention this trimester compared to last. Could it be completely attributed to my interactive invites? Perhaps….although I did inject more visuals, case studies and activities into this year’s online seminars via the use of Google slides.

Making online seminars more interactive through story

In week 9 of the ALM201 unit ‘Gamified media’ we looked at gamified dystopias and some darker applications of gamification. Rather than telling my students about the sesame credit system in China, I decided to create a short interactive story using H5P. I wanted to create a fictional ‘lived experience’ for them, placing them in the shoes of a character to build empathy and awareness.

I introduced this in an online Zoom seminar and allowed students to vote (democratically) for their preferred story decision points via the inbuilt chat function.

Luckily, the students welcomed this ‘choose your own adventure’ approach to facilitation as it incorporated a number of game elements – narrative, mystery, unpredictability, autonomy and role play (to name a few).

My alter ego ‘FauxTheDan’

In my ‘Gamified media’ unit, I wanted to provide students the chance to evaluate an assignment example before going out to the world of twitter and providing peer feedback. Instead of singling student’s work out or creating a perfect assignment example (that students would later carbon copy), I decided to construct a twin sister/alter ego – ‘FauxTheDan’. (Which is a blatant rip of Adam Brown’s ‘FauxTheMan’ alter ego).

I (or, FauxTheDan I should say) created a *horrific* blog post that *barely* followed the rubric and assignment instructions. There were lot of obvious mistakes so that students could identify the areas where they would most likely trip up before undertaking their assignment (things like attributing images/music correctly). I handed out assignment rubrics in class and asked students to ‘mark’ the assignment example against the rubric; looking at the standards and identifying areas for development.

After they undertook this, I asked them to leave constructive feedback in the form of blog comments. Rather than providing personalised attacks like ‘this blog post is terrible’, I asked them to give feedback against the standards outlined in the rubric. You can view the blog post here (feel free to scroll down and see the plethora of comments at the bottom). Alternatively, you can listen to the podcast embedded into the blog below (to get a sense of the horror).

Through this exercise I wanted to teach students how to:

  • provide constructive feedback
  • identify where the assignment did/did not meet the brief/rubric standards
  • identify what an assignment brief/rubric is asking of a student
  • but most importantly, I wanted students to strengthen their evaluative judgement.

Furthering on from little in class experiment, I created a comedic online persona for my twin sister in the form of a Twitter account that spouted assignment/study tips that were blatantly wrong. This was all an attempt to use reverse psychology to encourage students to follow the assignment instructions.

The students found this fake persona to be quite hilarious and interacted with the profile by replying and retweeting to it. Adam Brown (the unit chair) even went so far as to ‘play along’.

Modelling vulnerability

In an attempt to illustrate to students how best to setup their Twitter profiles and effectively interact on the unit’s hashtag, Adam Brown and myself decided to parody a special Motown song…

Reaching out for feedback

I’ve been quite lucky that the units I teach in utilise Twitter as a community discussion forum, this has enabled me to ask questions to further enhance my teaching practices. Click on the tweet below to see replies.