Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 23 - the one with the magic box

Posted on: 16 January 2023 by Dr Tunde Varga-Atkins in General

Host and Guests in Online Meeting
(Host and Guests in Online Meeting)

In Episode 23, our lightbulb moments, treasure island pedagogies/props and luxury items, included team roles and skills, allowable weaknesses, facilitating students to ask their own questions, using creativity and playfulness, online collaboration tools as well as using cameras for reflection, and bringing a magic box full of surprises to inspire new connections for learning.

Speakers: Dr Jennifer Johnson, Amy Sampson and Rachelle O’Brien

Date: 16 January 2023

Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 23 podcast

Treasure Island Pedagogies Episode 23 - Podcast Transcript

Read or listen to find out our guests’ lightbulb moments, teaching props, pedagogies and luxury items that they would take to their Treasure Islands for precious contact time with students. 

Dr. Jennifer Johnson

Programme director, University of Liverpool, England

  • Original discipline(s): Human Resource Management
  • Current role: Programme Director, M.Sc. Healthcare Leadership (online), University of Liverpool, UK
  • Lightbulb moment: During my Beacon research project, when a group of students discovered about their strengths and allowable weaknesses using Belbin Team Roles. They then had many moments of discovery during their interactions with others, as well as enhanced knowledge about their employability.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy:9 chairs, all different colours representing the 9 Belbin Team rolesbelbin-team-roles-9-chairs

    Chairs representing the 9 Belbin team roles

  • Luxury item: I am very practical, so would take an all-inclusive high-quality glamping tent (including bedding and cooking equipment!).

Amy Sampson

Falmouth University, England.

  • Original discipline(s): Creative education / digital learning
  • Current role:Head of Digital Learning, Falmouth University
  • Lightbulb moment: As a learning technologist, I thrive on being given a problem. Group members not engaging was such an issue and at the time when google collaborative tools appeared, I suggested it to our staff and students to solve the engagement issue. This was so that students during the session could work together on documents and engage in discussion. It’s great to see how these online digital collaboration tools have become such an essential part of both our on-campus and online student experiences.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: Mine would be a camera. Lots of our students are arts-based so lots use cameras for journalling to document their process and capture what inspire you or share with each other what and where they are studying. An image can convey so many things at once.
  • Luxury item: struggling to pick between a radio (as love music and spoken word) and a book – any book (a big book!), both great forms of escapism. 

Rachelle O’Brien

Senior Learning Designer, Durham University, England

  • Original discipline(s): Dance, digital education, academic practice
  • Current role: Senior Learning Designer
  • Lightbulb moment: When I realised that my own thinking was being challenged by my students and the questions changed. I realised that if I wanted to get the best out of my students, I had to stop asking questions and support them to get them to ask questions themselves. Everyone brings expertise to the classroom and my role is to scaffold their learning journey and bring this diversity of experiences to the surface in my class so that we can all benefit.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: A box of surprises. I am interested in how surprise is used in learning and teaching – you just have to listen to the podcast to hear what it is my box! I loved taking items that have not been used or designed for teaching and seeing what their capabilities are in a new context.
  • Luxury item: Emotional support animal, preferably a dog (no offense to the cat lovers)

Any sparks? How might our joined-up Treasure Islands look like?

On our island there will be a true team spirit where we enable our individual brilliance to shine and where our values will be of equal importance. We will also be aware of our ‘allowable weaknesses’ and create a space where we can safely fail if needed. Most likely we won’t though, because there will be others in the team who can complement our ‘allowable weaknesses’, and who will step forward in moments of need. Our magic box of surprises will be a constant source of creativity in our students’ learning, whether it’s repurposing our 9 team chairs and using them to build a tower or for musical chairs. Our island will have very practical items such as fishing rods or all-inclusive tent through to music and books to complete our escapism when we are off-duty from teaching. Our treasure island will have communal as well as solitary spaces so that we can traverse between them as needed.

Links / resources

From Jennifer

From Rachelle

Emotional support animals for the island

two happy dogs sitting outdoors

Facilitated by Dr Tünde Varga-Atkins, Sound: Chris Loxham/Sandra Samaca, Web design: Dennis Wong, Neil Murray @LivUniCIE