Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 29, the one with the collabetition

Posted on: 15 January 2024 by Dr Tunde Varga-Atkins in General

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

In Episode 29, in addition to lightbulb moments, treasure island pedagogies/props and luxury items, our discussion covers gamification for learning as well as the use of laser pointers, a self-created AGILE tool for reflection and the technique called Creative Enquiry Methodologies.

Speakers: Karen Clinkard, Louise Younie, Russell Crawford

Date: 15 January 2024

Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 29 podcast

(Treasure Island Pedagogies Episode 29 - 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. 

Karen Clinkard

University of Southampton

  • Original discipline(s):Marketing (previously Marketing Manager in tech firms)
  • Current role:University Lecturer since 2002 and Principal Teaching Fellow
  • Lightbulb moment: During my Masters in Research Methods, as a mature student (pracademic!) listening to what students told me when I was conducting qualitative interviews my undergraduate students, reflecting on their employability development experiences, after returning from placement roles into their final year. Listening to their stories – the influence of these placements - was my lightbulb moment. This experience has helped me develop my teaching approach.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: : My own AGILE reflection tool which helps students write accounts of their past employment and entrepreneurial experiences, to evaluate the skills they’ve developed and set action plans (if that’s not too egotistical! I genuinely love hearing about what they've done outside of the classroom).
  • Luxury item: : A glitter ball and decent speaker to listen to soul and Motown music so I can sing along, dance and relax, (preferably with other fans in a sunny place)

Louise Younie

Queen Mary University of London, England


  • Original discipline(s): Medicine
  • Current role: Professor of Medical Education and GP
  • Lightbulb moment: Became an academic and GP at the same time and realised it was very messy and a lot of things didn’t fit into the tidy boxes I was taught in medicine. How would I educate students about the messiness? I started using the arts and engaging in what I call Creative Enquiry Methodologies to explore person-centred care for patients and human flourishing for clinicians. These methods help students to draw upon and process their lived experiences, which in turn can help both personally and professionally.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: : Postcards are a powerful way into the Creative Enquiry space for people who may think they are not very creative. Anyone can pick a postcard that resonates with their lived experience. Postcards enable interesting conversations drawing on the metaphors found there!
  • Luxury item: Cycle, Chocolate, Crochet

Russell Crawford 

Falmouth University,UK

  • Original discipline(s):  Pharmacology, biochemistry and biomedical teaching
  • Current role: Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Services)
  • Lightbulb moment: Learning and sharing on that nothing that happens in the classroom environment is random. That is all is designed and implemented in a careful and calculated way to positively impact learning. I give a lecture to other teachers on how to give a lecture, which is a tall order! I start with a 15-minute lecture and then deconstruct all that I do as a lecturer from body language, the psychology and science of teaching, calling attention to all the preparation involved.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy:  Playful learning (gamification for learning), designing the game for the learning you need. An example is my blank deck of cards with a reusable marker – you can easily turn this into a game of collabetition (collaboration+competition).
  • Luxury item: Lego, because ...why not!

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

We spoke about the use of narratives and stories to draw out our students’ lived experiences as well as the many uses of reflection to support our students’ learning, the role that we do when we listen to our students’ experiences to help us then re-use their own language and words to help them relating our teaching intentions authentically to their own lives. We added a few more teaching props to those above, such as a laser pointer that can make you invisible as an educator by directing attention onto exactly where you want the attention to be. We will also bring wipeable virtual or physical whiteboard and lots of coloured pens to keep the playfulness in our learning environment. Ideas from all of our three guests covered person-centric and innovative approaches to learning that locates the learners at the core of activity. No matter the format, from reflection to didactic lectures this means active learning is taking place on our island.

In addition, we will bring lots of arts and crafts materials to support learning on the island. In fact, we may build a big pile in the middle of our island like in Hunger Games so that everyone can pinch items from it for our learning. We also talked about educating students with important cultural markers that they may have missed due to their youth, and creating flourishing spaces that can help arm us against professional burnout caused by trauma, loneliness and anxiety. Creating such engaging, kind spaces for listening, sharing, healing and reflecting, where we can release some of our pressures and emotions, which will in turn benefit our students, and equip them to deal with their future professional life.

Links / resources

From Karen:

AGILE reflective tool

  • AGILE seminar exercise and the model image, feel free to review the associated publications. If you wanted to use the AGILE recording form with your own students, please message me and I'll send you a new Google or MS Form for your institution

From Lousie:

Flourishing Spaces

  • Flourishing page with the model, podcasts, writing etc
  • An example a flourishing space might look like this – a year 2 Creative Enquiry Student Selected Component medical student writes Dec 2023:
    • "Here, I think it is the right time to discuss the appreciation and respect I have more my colleagues during this SSC. It was so refreshing to have a group of people that are so open to creative thinking, and are so respectful of each other. I was deeply impressed with a lot of the group’s ability to share stories of their life and experiences which were so meaningful, and that I am sure were difficult to discuss – especially with strangers. This sharing was so beneficial for the topics of the day."
  • Here are some of the student projects.

From Russell:

  • Crawford, R.M., (2016). The Traditional Lecture: A case of Academic Chuunibyou?. Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, 9(13).
  • Advance HE blog / article by Russell Crawford (2022). Is it possible to measure collaboration?

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