Last week myself and James Leahy (VLE Content Developer) organised a training session for staff teaching the new MA in Creative Leadership.

The aim of the session was to use the VLE to capture and enhance learning activities we tried out in the session.

In the first task the participants had to build a representation of their relationship to Blackboard in Lego! This was a great activity, I built a model of a diving board where a little lego man represented the lecturers I train and the driving board was a metaphor for the journey lecturers embark on, where they are supported and encouraged to use new bits of technology to make their teaching more interesting and engaging. (see below for some photos of the lego models). Next, each staff member explained their model to the rest of the group.

Then we uploaded the photos to individuals Journals in Blackboard. The staff then had to write a short reflection on the activity. I asked them three questions; did they enjoy the activity?, did they find the activity useful?, would they recommend the activity to a friend?

The second activity was a role play. The staff had to pair up and then sit opposite one another. Then they had to take it in turns to talk to each other for one minute (on any topic of their wanted to talk about). The listener had to maintain eye contact for the full minute but not respond in any way, such as nodding or giving any verbal communication. A really difficult activity!

After this each participant had to leave a message on the Wimba voiceboard describing how it felt to be first the ‘listener’ and then the ‘speaker’ in the activity. Most reflections lasted about a minute and then we played back the whole voice thread in one go!

Overall the session went really well and I would do it again. The only thing I would change would be to get the staff to use their mobile phones to take the photos rather than the cameras we provided. Think the staff enjoyed it too!

MACL Workshop Exercises(1)