I recently had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the DEE (Developments in Economics Education) conference in Cambridge, organized by the Economics Network. Here are a few thoughts on some of the sessions I attended and I will add a few more throughout the week.
Paul Latreille from Swansea spoke about his experience in using the Elgg platform (which is rebranded as Oremi in Swansea), to help students develop an e-portfolio/PDP. Paul admitted there were pitfalls to this approach – the Elgg/Oremi platform is still being developed, students treated it more like a social network than a an e-portfolio/PDP tool and the sheer range of technologies you can use can be intimidating. But Paul’s enthusiasm and willingness to make an assault on a pretty steep learning curve, earned him a well deserved elearning award at the conference dinner.
Judith Piggott from Oxford Brookes reported back on a project that uses video and workshops from professional actors to improve the presentation skills of economics students – and there are even videos on YouTube to prove it!
The idea is that when the students are dressed in light coloured clothing, they are going about things in the right way, when they are dressed in dark coloured clothing, they are making mistakes – further clips are available from YouTube and the full video / DVD educational package will be available via the Economics Network, in the not too distant future.
Alan Hutton from Glasgow Caledonian spoke about using audio as a way of getting students engaged with economic issues and his work with Spoken Word services. One of the keys to getting the best out of such audio assets is to treat them exactly like more traditional ones, so set an assignment on a reviewing a Radio 4 programme on economic issues in the same way you might set one on a book chapter or journal article.