LD@3: Student Blogging in Transition: Redundancy, Engagement and Meaning

01 May 2020 - 01 May 2020

Presenter(s): Graeme Spurr

Session recording: View recording

Description:

In this paper I will examine research findings from a pre-arrival digital resource at University of Arts London, London College of Fashion (LCF), and suggest ways in which learning developers can produce improved and more ‘meaningful’ digital resources, which do not ‘fetishize’ engagement or participation as the key indicator of success.

The LCF digital resource, Runway, consists of student blogging activities alongside core course information held on the Moodle platform. Despite the known benefits of pre-arrival resources (Nolan, Bruce and Leech, 2016), such as orientation through the initial phases of Higher Education; fostering a sense of institutional ‘belonging’; signposting student services pre-entry; and facilitation of student community, the resource has had a perennial and ongoing issue with engagement. Student participation has fluctuated between 25 and 35% in the last two years and in its most recent iteration, despite positive feedback, student engagement with the resource was substantially lower than prior averages.

I will draw out discussions with the conference around why engagement for the resource was so low this year and what suggestions could be taken to improve these types of resources, focussing on embedding options within the VLE, current student perceptions of blogging as a redundant form and whether ‘engagement’ itself should be viewed as the most meaningful way of understanding student participation within the resource.

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