Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 1 (Parts 1 and 2)


Posted on: 17 June 2020 by Dr Tunde Varga-Atkins in General


Treasure Chest in the Sand on a Desert Island, with caption: Treasure Island Discs / Pedagogies: One Album, One Teaching Prop and One Luxury Item
The brief on a postcard [image credit and source: @suzyhazelwood]

The age-old question: if you were stranded on an island what pedagogies would you bring? How might you take your lightbulb moments with your students into next semester’s socially distanced campus, your treasure island? Tune in to our very t(r)opical two-part podcast, inspired by Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, in which four @LivUni lecturers share their lightbulb moments and treasure island pedagogies.

Inspired by Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, in Episode 1 - Part 1 of the podcast we asked our four guests, all lecturers at the University of Liverpool, to talk in turn about a lightbulb moment with their students: when they felt that students ‘were getting it’ and they were part of this. To put a twist in the story, instead of being cast away to a desert island, they were asked to conjure up a Treasure Island representing the precious synchronous contact time (whether face to face or virtual) with students, preparing for a potentially still social distancing campus in September 2020. Anna O’Connor (Orthoptics), Stuart Wilks-Heeg (Politics), James Gaynor (Chemistry) and Diana Jeater (History) were then invited to identify what pedagogy, teaching prop and a luxury item they would like to take to their Treasure Island.

(Treasure Island Pedagogies Episode 1 - Part 1 - Podcast Transcript)

Tune it to our Episode 1 - Part 1 podcast to find out more about these items, with a sneak preview in the image below.

Four Teaching Props - Swingometer, Eye Animation, Chemistry Laboratory and a Whiteboard with Marker Pens

The four pedagogies / teaching props travelling to Treasure Island.

(from top left, clockwise: Swingometer, Eye animation, a whiteboard with lots of marker pens and Chemistry Lab)

In Episode 1 - Part 2 of Treasure Island Pedagogies, Anna, Diana, James and Stuart discuss their thoughts and plans about moving towards hybrid active learning in autumn 2020. How might we preserve and carry on these lightbulb moments for our students? The archipelago of our four guests’ islands covers topics including: moving focus away from content to facilitating engagement and offering support, how we can maximise contact hours, offering more smaller continuous assessments, creating space for kindness and community online, the difference between practice-, lab- and clinical-based subjects and others in terms of face-to-face sessions, and taking relief that some of the remote teaching efforts really did work! And finally, a call to reflect on if we can be challenged to teach in different ways from the way we had learnt ourselves? 

(Treasure Island Pedagogies Episode 1 - Part 2 - Podcast Transcript)

Tunde Varga-Atkins (podcast host)
Chris Loxham (podcast producer)
Centre for Innovation in Education, University of Liverpool