3B | ​​How could we enable City students to work and connect together? A pinch of Teams space, a Teaspoon of redesign, and a Dollop of trial and error

Rae Bowdler and Elisabetta Lando

Introducing workshop participants to a small-scale staff and student evaluation, carried out by Lead, which explored the use of Teams sites for learning and teaching during the pandemic. The focus will be on what students said worked (or did not work) for them. This includes how they engaged, not only with their teachers and learning resources but equally important, with other students. 

Looking through the lens of Vygotsky’s (1978) social constructivist theories of learning and Dewey’s (1938) concept of student-driven learning through engagement. The focus will be on active learning and peer collaboration as key for an effective educational experience. Furthermore, a social constructivist approach, using platforms like Teams, has the potential to help students develop key digital literacy and communication skills which in turn support employability. 

In the workshop, we will address student findings and our recommendations around Teams sites’ capacity to support active learning, as well as developing a community of learning. One of the aims here is to highlight what students have reported as good practice and explore how to carry that over, in a pertinent way, to current on-site and hybrid teaching scenarios. Particularly positioning these ideas around City as an inclusive commuter university. 

The second half of the workshop is an invitation to participants to work together in groups on an example storyboard. Here they use some learning design principles to think about how Teams can be used for active learning, keeping in mind the students’ comments, as well as support the development of key digital and employability skills.  

By the end of the workshop, participants will: 

  • Be informed of Teams sites (space) linked to Moodle modules offered at City. 
  • Explore and analyse student perspectives around engaging and learning actively on Teams. 
  • Collaborate on a shared document, gather resources to share with your group, and work in groups to create a group Teams site incorporating student recommendations   
  • Come away with strategies to support students in active learning and communities of practice ONLINE.  

Activities and timings:  

Presentation: Introduction to the Teams evaluation site -highlighting key points on a Padlet. (10 minutes) 

Group Activity: Groups to come up with a Teams Site, create a group resource incorporating student recommendations and use a basic learning design model. (15 min) 

Group Presentation: 2 min presentation from each group. (5 min) 

Summary: Final reflections from groups and individuals. (3 min) 

​Pre-reading: Teams evaluation report 2023 and ABC 6 Learning types


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Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) 

Experience and education. New York: Macmillan Dewey, J. (1938) 

Teaching with Teams: An introduction to teaching an undergraduate law module using Microsoft Teams. Trapp & Martin. (2019) 

Building Digital capabilities. Jisc (Accessed 21/03/2023)  

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