In our previous blog on hybrid teaching for collaborative classrooms, we looked at how participants from different disciplines could effectively engage in collaborative learning in a hybrid environment.

The study of data is fundamental to hundreds of UTS subjects. What this event at the festival of learning design demonstrated is that diverse groups can bring unique perspectives to data. These perspectives can only emerge through collaboration at scale. 

Moving from patterns in data to possible data stories, then to articulate them into a single headline, highlights the malleability of it all and invites creativity and humour

Giedre Kligyte

Engaging and collaborating are part of our UTS 2027 values and these values underpin UTS’s Social Impact Framework. We know it is vital to collaboratively work through data to have specific social impact on individuals and societies. That’s precisely what our large collaborative classrooms make possible – not just having a single group collaborate on data, but multiple groups working over multiple sets of data for more than one story.

Watch: reflections on using the collaborative classroom space

In this video, Giedre Kligyte and Shibani Antonette reflect on how a large collaborative classroom space had the ideal setup for transdisciplinary collaborative group work, and sharing and presenting insights from data.

Discover: hybrid ideas for collaborative activities

Collaborative learning brings a sense of togetherness through debriefing and emphasises interactions between students and teachers. Large collaborative classrooms are great for transdisciplinary participants to freely unpack dense data packets, frame a problem, and present to the entire room right from their table. Also, the massive screens on all walls allow for a great data visualisation experience.

Pre-COVID face-to-face ActivitiesCOVID-safe hybrid ideas
Groups are set up and given a digital dataset.Participants could automatically be allocated to groups via Zoom Breakout rooms. The dataset could be provided as a file in Canvas for groups to download.
Groups discuss what they thought the data was telling them.Participants could discuss in their Zoom Breakout rooms or via Canvas Discussions. They can also use collaborative whiteboard tools such as Microsoft Whiteboard for brainstorming and planning for ideas.
Groups compose a data story based on findings, written on butcher’s paper.Groups could compose a story in Canvas Discussions, using Office365 apps such as MS Powerpoint, or Google Docs. Data visualisation tools could also be used, such as MS Excel, Tableau or Canva.
Groups present their stories from their table with roaming microphones.Groups could share their stories on the big screen via Zoom screen sharing. Groups could also read other groups’ data stories if posted in Canvas Discussions.

…[We] asked groups to rapidly come up with a service, product or solution… [which] pushes teams to integrate disparate insights into something they need to be able to stand behind/argue for…

Giedre Kligyte

Want to try it?

Free open datasets are available for your class to download and use for their data projects. UTS Library also provides access to Statista for industry-based statistics that could be used to pinpoint social challenges affecting our communities. 

Explore some of the ideas presented by Nick Hopwood in his blog on analysing qualitative data. Groups in class can do more than just code data – they can create unconventional stories out of them for an engaging and collaborative presentation.

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