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Pedagogical impact of engaging students and partners through collaborative learning in Shadow Modules

Rutherford, Stephen and Amici-Dargan, Sheila 2017. Pedagogical impact of engaging students and partners through collaborative learning in Shadow Modules. Presented at: International Federation of National teaching Fellows World Summit, Birmingham, UK, 16-18 February 2017.

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Engaging students as partners in learning is a key priority for contemporary Higher Education. By working in partnership with students, there is the potential for a positive impact on both student learning and curriculum development. We have introduced ‘Shadow Modules’, student-led and student-focused collaborative learning communities which parallel taught modules to support student learning. Shadow Modules utilise collaborative learning, where learners work together to develop a shared understanding of a subject. Activities are coordinated by a student volunteer, who interacts with, but works independently from, the academic leading the taught module. Shadow Modules format is either face-to-face collaborative groups, peer-teaching or online discussion communities (frequently a combination of these). Participants create and share resources, engage in discussion and develop a mutually-supportive learning environment. Through the use of Web 2.0 collaborative technologies, outputs of Shadow Module activities can be shared with the wider student cohort, benefitting both actively-engaged students and passive observers. This paper evaluates the pedagogic impact of Shadow modules on all stakeholders. Active engagement leads to significant improvement in module outcomes, but use of shared resources by students who are not actively engaged in the collaborative activities is also observed. Qualitative analysis of student perceptions suggests that Shadow Modules make studying more efficient and effective, and foster engagement, confidence and a sense of community. The ‘Shadow Module Leader’ also experiences significant benefits to personal development, increased confidence and communication skills. A Shadow Module can also impact positively on the structure or delivery of the taught module it parallels, through feedback from the Shadow Module Leader and learning resource creation. Through student-led collaborative activities working in parallel to academic teaching, Shadow Modules provide a substantial (and multi-faceted) positive impact to the student experience.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
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Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 01:50

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