Each month our community of SoTL walkers is growing! Make some time in your schedule to join the initiative – it is a great way to connect with others and develop your own reflective practice. Our theme for June is ‘Being Human’ – join now and explore how you bring the qualities of humanness into your work.
Why join a SoTL Walk?
There are two key incentives for joining a SoTL Walk…
- It gets you away from the desk, outside in the fresh air, doing some exercise. There is a lot of evidence to support the fact that getting out and about during the work day is good for physical and mental well-being, productivity and creative thinking.
- It is an opportunity to connect with people you don’t know well and have informal conversations about teaching and learning ideas outside of the more formal work scenarios (seminars, meetings etc).
Walks are open to anyone who has an interest in teaching or supporting students – the more perspectives the better!
How the virtual walk works
We all need flexibility in our calendars right now, so we have a whole week dedicated to the SoTL walk – for May this is 22-26 June. It doesn’t matter when you do it during that week, just choose an hour that suits you.
1 Walk: Get outside and go for a 30 minute walk. Take something with you to record your experience – either a phone/camera or a notepad and pencil (for noting and sketching).
2 Think: Whilst you are walking, think about the following provocation:
Many of us are completely immersed at the moment in building online courses (undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development). We are thinking about how to present course materials and how to design synchronous and asynchronous activities for maximum engagement. And yet one of the strongest messages to be coming through in the literature/commentary is the fact that building a meaningful ‘presence’ is crucial – we need to think carefully about how we present/open ourselves to others and change some of our habits and ‘rules of engagement’.
So what are you doing differently to enhance or reveal the ‘human’ in your work? Maybe you are using video, dressing informally (even dressing up), showing students what your home looks like, making yourself more accessible, getting people to share their hobbies/non-work lives, being honest and open about your own mental health, bringing the outside in….? Are you having to make new rules for presenting yourself and communicating with people? Do you find it uncomfortable or liberating?
3 Share: When you return from your walk, share your reflections online with others. Respond to their ideas too!
The Melbourne SEH ADG team will be walking on the afternoon of Wednesday 24th June. But if you can’t walk then (especially if you are based in another time zone!) that doesn’t matter – walk at a time that suits you. Of course, make sure that you follow all of the local rules about social distancing etc.- walk safe!
Once you have captured your thoughts, you need to share them. Included an image (a photo, video or sketch) and some words which explain your thoughts. There are two options for sharing:
- Twitter – use the hashtag #sotlwalk
- Padlet – click here to post on the padlet wall.
At the end of the week, I will capture all of the postings and discussions in a ‘3 minute read’ blog post.
Any questions email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM on Twitter (@taylor_dr).