Solutions Lab 30: Improving Engagement & Supporting Deep Learning via Weekly ‘Reflective Provocations’

Getting students to think critically and connectively about concepts and topics can be a real challenge in the online environment. Text-based tools like quizzes and discussion boards are commonly used to facilitate deep learning, but not all students engage with them successfully. Indeed, it is hard to design an approach which motivates and inspires students to pause, reflect and apply their knowledge to real world problems – individually and collaboratively – at key points in the syllabus!

In this session, Akbar Khatibi (School of Engineering) explained how he has been using end-of-week ‘reflective provocations’ to enhance his 4th Year Advanced Aerospace Structures course. Inspired by educational research on podcasting, he has developed a series of 10 minute recordings in which he gives a personal reflection on the week’s activities, summarising the key points and themes. Each episode concludes with an open-ended problem question for students to consider; they are invited to record their own audio/video response to the set question and share them via Canvas. Akbar then curates their answers and integrates them into the next scheduled lecture; this helps him to make links between topics and gives students a more personalised, dynamic learning experience.

Akbar also explained what is involved in producing the weekly episodes and curating the student responses in preparation for the live lecture, using a range of real examples to show what can be achieved. He will also share the students’ reactions to the approach and explore potential future adaptations/applications.

The video below is an edited version of the webinar conducted by Akbar, technical glitches and Q&A removed.

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