Welcome to the April LDC blog. In the blog this month:


  • Good Morning City – Neighbours: Meeting the needs of International Students
  • Good Morning City – How twittering 140 characters can support student learning
  • Student Voice Awards is Launched
  • NTFS Project on Assessment & Critical Thinking
  • Dates for your diary


Good Morning City – Neighbours: Meeting the needs of International Students

Supporting international students is essential to the University’s policy that we should be “celebrated as London’s premier internationalist University for professional policy, practice and applied research, dedicated to preparing students for global careers, and working with global practitioners, research and educational partners.”

In this seminar Michael Detyna and Pam Parker will be outlining some of the challenges that are specific to international students, and exploring possible solutions to these challenges, and giving guidance and tips.

There will be a talk given by Lizzie Huckle Senior International Student Adviser from the Student Centre. There will also be case studies and further discussion surrounding ways of overcoming barriers.

All colleagues at City are warmly invited to attend this session, which takes place between 8.30am-9.30am, on Wednesday 20th April, in Room E201 (The MILL). If you would like to join us, please email ldc@city.ac.uk. Similarly, if you have any perspectives or ideas that you would like us to be aware of before the seminar, please email using the above address.

We hope to see you there!



Good Morning City – How twittering 140 characters can support student learning – Susannah Quinsee and Ajmal Sultany led on this session last month and share their insights with us here.

 Twitter is one of the fastest growing means of communication, and has a wide range of uses, including supporting student learning.

Twitter is fast becoming a global communication tool with a variety of uses from news broadcasting to search engine to telling the world what you’re having for breakfast. Twitter is a classic example of what social media is: high user interaction, allowing the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Twitter, in connection with other social media tools, is opening the world to new ideas and behaviours; as one activist in the recent Cairo protests succinctly put it “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world”. Although the academic research is still new, we believe there are indications that the use of Twitter can be extend to support student learning at higher education.

Twitter has grown as a massive force in social media, and there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, it has a very open nature with no cost to entry, and information freely accessible. Secondly, you do not have to initiate a ‘friendship’ with someone in order to follow them, so this takes away a barrier to entry. Thirdly, the short nature of tweets ensures they are easier to start than say a blog post. Fourthly, more and more people are joining, so the website snowballs.

There are a wide range of possible ideas for use of twitter for teaching and learning, and these include the following:

Research: Searching through tweets, and using the information as a resource bank allows a large range of research possibilities.

Teaching: It can be used as a teaching tool, particularly if you use hash tags.

Networking: You can make new contacts through shared interests, and this can be used as a networking tool.

Promoting self identity: It can be a good way of gaining promotion of your self identity including your personal and work interests, and anyone can follow you.

One of the key challenges is ensuring that students are using twitter. Twitter can be seen as a tool mainly for people over 30s, and overcoming this false perception will enable students to better engage with twitter.

You can view the Prezi for this session here



Student Voice Awards – Winners 2010

The Student Voice Awards scheme has now opened for 2011, and students from across the institution will be having their say on which City lecturers and professional staff are the best and most engaging.

While the nominations get into full swing, take a look at the following videos of winners from last year’s competition for inspiration –

Please do encourage your students to nominate a member of staff by visiting the Learning Development student intranet pages.



NTFS Project – Assessment & Critical Thinking


A joint Project Team taken from the University of Westminster and the University of South Australia are currently conducting two online surveys relating to assessment.

The project is focussing on developing students’ higher order thinking skills through the production of authentic assessment artefacts using an online tool to guide the process and the student learning. In order to develop the tool they need to know what students understand about assessment and critical thinking and also how the different disciplines approach these subjects.

Both questionnaires and the whole project have gone through a full ethics process and there is a section at the start of each questionnaire that explains why they are doing the questionnaire and how the data will be used. Students and staff can choose to exit at that stage if they do not wish to take part.

For more information on the project please visit their website: http://www.aacts.ac.uk/LatestNews/News.html

If you are willing to take part in the survey and/or promote the survey to your students it can be found at the following links:

Academic survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2NP5TQN

Student survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AACTS2011

Please take the time if you can to answer the survey most relevant to you.



Dates for your diary

Good Morning City: Neighbours – How to support international students — Wednesday 20th April

Researcher’s Symposium – Wednesday 22nd June

Learning at City Conference – Engaging Students in Learning – Thursday 23rd June

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