Harri’s HE Lecturing – using Tumblr to document progress
I love Tumblr. And this morning I delivered a lecture to Drama students at Glamorgan University on the subject. Now, I don’t normally ‘lecture’, I run workshops. And I don’t normally have such big classes – 10 or fewer in the current job. 35 faces staring back at me was a little scary. It was also daunting to think that I was delivering to HE students, as opposed to delivering community-level training. Still, explaining shit to people is just that – doesn’t matter how many people there are, or how old, or well spoken they may or may not be, I still have to make sense to them…
The class are studying a module on cabaret (no, not the film) and required to submit their course progress journal as a Tumblog. The session very much focused on the practical – demonstrating to students how to use Tumblr and all its functionality in order to create innovative, expressive journals. As it happens, I actually rather enjoyed the whole experience, and it has reinforced my love and dedication to the Tumblr platform
I think it’s a really neat idea to require students to work in this way. Almost a no-brainer since it levels the skills playing field. Students are not confined to mainly presenting their work in written form thanks to the various blog platforms that are now available. Through Tumblr (and others) they can easily convey their thoughts, arguments and conclusions in a number of creative ways. Some people prefer words to pictures, others prefer audio… Tumblr/blogging generally allows people to present their information in the way that best suits their strengths.
The requirement placed upon students to submit their work in this format ensures that students develop a number of key transferable skills which will be significant of value in the big, bad real world. This kind of ‘breaking with tradition’ approach to teaching and learning also encourages creativity and curiosity amongst students, leading to new avenues of learning and skills. I was surprised to learn that only one of the students blogs, but not surprised to hear that he uses Tumblr to do it!
The above link is to the tutorial site I knocked up in about 30 mins after last night’s ARK meeting as a live example for the students. Other materials, inc. lecture content and notes on the Tumblr process are also available for sharing.