Learning and Teaching in Action: Open Issue

Group of students at a computer


Successful Funding Bids

A team led by Mark Stubbs, MLE project director, has been successful in obtaining funding (£50,000) from JISC, in response to a call ‘Institutional Responses to New Technologies’.

The project, entitled ‘Researching Emerging Admin Channels (REACh) ‘ will involve the development of open source software to publish personalised ATOM/RSS feeds from the institutional VLE and integrate it with MMU’s SMS (text messaging) gateway to push urgent messages to mobile numbers that learners supply through a web-based subscription management service.’ The REACh software will be trialled with up to 850 second year students from three areas: Biological/Biomedical Science, Computing and Law. Trials will be managed
by Senior Learning and Teaching Fellows and evaluated by a Research Fellow from the Education and Social Research Institute, in conjunction with a PhD student researching m-Learning innovation. The team include Nick Whittaker (Computing and Maths), Alan Fielding and Edwina Higgins (SLTFs in S and E and HLSS respectively, and Nicola Whitton, a research fellow in the Education and Social Research Institute.

The Alternate Reality Games for Orientation, Socialisation and Induction (ARGOSI) project, a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Bolton has successfully obtained funding from JISC for £50,000.

The ARGOSI project will use an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) to support the student induction process and aims to provide an engaging and purposeful alternative to traditional methods of introducing students to university life. The project is being managed by Dr Nicola Whitton a Research Fellow at Didsbury. Working with her on the team are Scott Wilson (University of Bolton), Rosie Jones (MMU Library Service), David White (Oxford University), Peter Whitton (University of Manchester), Adrian Stevenson (UKOLN) and Katie Piatt (Brighton University). The project has also been awarded an extension to the bid to package the ARGOSI work for reuse at other universities enabling teams to be able to more easily develop and run their own Alternate Reality Games reflecting their locality and areas of curriculum interest.

Dr. Keith Crome, Ms Ruth Farrar, Dr. Patrick O’Connor from the Department of Politics and Philosophy, have been successful in obtaining just under £5000 from the HEA Subject Centre for Philosophy and Religious Studies for a project which aims to promote autonomy among learners.

The project will:

determine the extent to which philosophy students are prepared by their previous educational and life experiences for developing autonomous learning skills
examine and evaluate current pedagogical strategies used by philosophy tutors for developing active and autonomous learning among students
make recommendations for a range of measures to improve the learning experience of first year philosophy students

Summer 2008
ISSN 1477-1241