Supporting Academic Practice in a Digital Age

We are still recovering from the amazing event we held at Exeter last week, mainly for staff involved in academic practice and learning support. Initially we planned this as an internal seminar, but the idea grew until we had over 80 people signed up, most of them external to Exeter. We even had to institute a waiting list!

Supporting Academic Practice in the Digital Age

Supporting Academic Practice in the Digital Age

But never mind the quantities, the quality was superb. Plenary sessions in the morning offered different perspectives on the interface between academic development – and the associated values of self-realisation, critical thinking/being, developing identity – and digital know-how. There were some sharp disagreeements, not least between me in the digital corner, and the student members of our panel, who tended to see digital technology as both a distraction and an unhelpful blurring of the public/private boundaries in academic spaces where students want to feel secure. However, even we were able to agree that the issue needs more discussion, more engagement across boundaries, and more awareness of the risks as well as the opportunities.

The afternoon saw a series of eight workshops, on topics ranging from referencing to giving audio feedback, and from writing in the digital age to new modes of assessment. Outcomes will be available from our project web site as soon as we are able to collate them.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part. You can follow the story of the event on storify here, look at tweets with the #sapda hashtag, and download slides from the various sessions here.

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