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October 15, 2020 Thursday 01:06:57 PM IST

Expert develops kit to help students to study online during coronavirus crisis

Teacher Insights

In response to the challenges of teaching during the coronavirus pandemic, an expert from The University of Manchester has developed a new tool to help students to learn effectively online while their physical lectures and seminars are not taking place. Dr Joanne Tippett, a Lecturer in the University’s School of Environment, Education and Development, is an advocate of engaging the senses in learning – particularly learning through active physical engagement. Her award-winning methods combine visual communication, the written and spoken word, and hands-on movement of ideas to create clusters and develop connections.

The kit can also drive engagement in physically-distanced lecture halls, and Dr Tippett will pioneer its use in hybrid teaching, coordinating learning and discussion simultaneously with her students in face-to-face lectures and online, to help build a learning community between the students studying remotely and those on campus.

Based on a tree that the student can ‘grow’, ‘leaf by leaf’ on a felt workspace, it has sticky, colour-coded ‘leaves’ that can be written on and icons for prioritising ideas. They can add and rearrange ‘leaves’ to capture thoughts and ideas. The ‘tree’ grows as the lecture or discussion goes on, and the fact that everyone is using the same physical toolkit at the same time - even when they are in different places - increases a sense of belonging to a learning community.

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