In the lead-up to the UTS Teaching and Learning Forum next week, Simon Knight, Lecturer in the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, talks with us about how he and his colleagues are enhancing learning with data.

Simon will share this work via four scheduled presentations and is one of 60+ presenters from across the university who are volunteering their time to share their knowledge at this annual UTS forum — a day for teaching staff to share ideas, network and see inside a variety of learning experiences across campus.

What will you be presenting on at this year’s UTS Teaching and Learning Forum? 

I’ll be presenting at four talks with various colleagues across UTS (that’s Kirsty Kitto, Andy Leigh, Yvonne Davila, Leigh Martin, Antonette Shibani, and Sophie Abel). We’ll show how we’ve collaborated around how we develop student’s critical academic literacies, especially around how they use evidence and data, and how we use technology to support that development.

Why did you volunteer to present at the forum?

Across the collaborations, we’ve been developing and researching innovative approaches to support student learning. We want to develop and extend those ideas with people, so that it’s not just confined to a journal article or in one classroom.

What do you hope colleagues will take away from your presentation? 

We’re aiming to have some hands-on elements to each talk, showing the tools and resources we’ve used, and discussing the evidence we have so far of impact on learning.

How does your work benefit students?

At the forum we’ll be talking about three projects, including how we’re understanding their impact on learning:

> In Computerised writing support with AcaWriter – Examples from three learning context, we’re look at the AcaWriter project and how it’s supporting student academic writing. We have written papers about how that’s going. You can find more info here

> In Noisy sheets Accountable learning with authentic data sets we wanted to make student’s statistical thinking and communication more visible. I wrote a bit more about it in a pair of Futures posts

> In Calibrating assessment literacy through benchmarking, we’ll show how we’ve been analysing years of data from benchmarking tasks. We’ve been drafting a paper showing how performance on the benchmarking task relates to other indicators like self-assessment and developed some resources to support students and tutors in providing great feedback (Watch out for an upcoming Futures blog post on this!)

> And lastly, in Where is your data in the teaching?, we’re getting started thinking about where and how UTS students develop important critical data literacies needed for civic participation and work, including through future modules on UTS Open.

Name two resources you’d recommend your colleagues take a look at?

I use Feedly a lot to follow websites and blogs, it’s not really a T&L resource, but it’s incredibly useful as an aggregator for material of relevance to my teaching and research. I’d also recommend checking out the short courses in UTSOpen, if you haven’t already. There are a bunch of great short courses and it’s fascinating to see what academics in other faculties are doing.

What two technologies do you most use to innovate teaching?

I’m thinking a lot about technology that helps me and my students ‘check in’ on student understanding at the moment, to make learning ‘visible’. I’ve used Google Docs a lot, for example, to ask students to collaboratively edit a document (that I also have access to, and can give feedback on). I’ve also use really simple things like mini whiteboards (many pod rooms across campus have these), to ask students to give short answers on.

Data talks at the Forum

  • 1.30pm: Computerised writing support with AcaWriter – Examples from three learning contexts with Antonette Shibani, Sophie Abel & Simon Knight
  • 1.55pm: Noisy sheets: Accountable learning with authentic data sets with Simon Knight
  • 2.20pm: “Mastering through Modelling”: The use of annotated authentic texts to guide students with writing David Sotir & Simone Olsen
  • 2.45pm: Calibrating assessment literacy through benchmarking with Simon Knight, Andy Leigh, Yvonne Davila & Leigh Martin

Check out these presentations and more at the UTS Teaching and Learning Forum on Monday 12 November.

Pictured: Kirsty Kitto, Senior Lecturer, Connected Intelligence Centre and Simon Knight, Lecturer, Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation




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