Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 30, the one with the Hippopotamus

Posted on: 29 January 2024 by Dr Tunde Varga-Atkins in General

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

In Episode 30, in addition to lightbulb moments, treasure island pedagogies/props and luxury items, our discussion focused on gaining skills during the student journey, from critical data literacies through to presentation skills and problem-solving as well as interdisciplinary and problem-based learning and open pedagogies.

Speakers: Edmund Horowicz, Javiera Atenas, Nayiri Keshishi

Date: 29 January 2024

Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 30 podcast

(Treasure Island Pedagogies Episode 30 - 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. 

Javiera Atenas

University of Suffolk, UK

  • Original discipline(s): Information science, knowledge management
  • Current role: Senior lecturer in learning and teaching enhancement
  • Lightbulb moment: I get students to realise that data is their friend and not a monster. I create learning activities for students where data represent them affecting their daily life. For instance, students were tasked to calculate the expense of the diet of celiac and diabetic academics and found they had to spend 30% more than those without any food allergies! Having seen how this affects people, students were very driven to come up with ideas on how to save money, how to work with other organisations and how to influence the ministry of health to take action.- was my lightbulb moment. This experience has helped me develop my teaching approach.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: Critical creative, open pedagogies. I like to focus on our citizenship skills as we will be citizens longer than in employment. How can we use real life examples to offer up problems for students to solve creatively using open-source software, open data- and get students to think critically using these?
  • Luxury item: Just give me a crime book, ice-cream and I’ll play on the sand.

Edmund Horowicz

University of Liverpool, England

  • Original discipline(s): Nurse, then philosophy and medical/healthcare education
  • Current role: Senior lecturer in law and social justice
  • Lightbulb moment: Students going off to work placements and returning, telling me, “now I know what you were going on about”, for instance students of law who become more attuned to considering the individuals, the humans behind the cases.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: : Problem-based learning. It puts real world application to the fore and is also a helpful approach for when there is no one correct answer.
  • Luxury item: A pub and dogs to walk

Nayiri Keshishi

University of Surrey,UK

  • Original discipline(s): Law, occupational psychology
  • Current role: Senior lecturer in learning development
  • Lightbulb moment: In my teaching, I focus on developing students' professional and academic skills, like presenting/ public speaking. One technique I use is a random word generator. Students get a word, like "hippopotamus," and have to give a short, on-the-spot presentation about it. The idea is to show them that how you present matters more than what you say. They learn to use body language, speak confidently, and think on their feet. It's all about giving them the freedom and confidence to succeed in future presentations.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: Incorporating interdisciplinary teaching methods is key to helping students tackle problems from various angles. By blending different subjects together, we give students a wider lens to view challenges. This not only makes learning more interesting but also better prepares them for working in the real world, where they'll need to collaborate across different fields. Through this approach, students learn to be flexible and creative, skills that will serve them well in any role where teamwork and innovation are crucial.
  • Luxury item: Zip wires for a bit of adrenaline and ASMR videos.

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

In today’s episode we covered skill development from a range of perspectives and topics and the importance of a well-rounded education where we can challenge students to tackled problems that have not yet been solved and the importance of engaging students in a way that we equip them with critical thinking skills and the ability to translate their thinking into action. We discussed the opportunities that interdisciplinary learning can bring to the learning experience and the role of reflection in skills development.

Links / resources

From Nayiri:

Videos of different presenting/ public speaking styles (used in my presentation skills workshop)

ASMR Channel

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