Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 4 - the one with the real Treasure Island

Posted on: 4 January 2021 by Dr Tunde Varga-Atkins in General

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

In Episode 4, we discussed the challenges and opportunities of doing role-play, group discussions in an online Covid setting and bartered teaching ideas and also had a special mention of the original Treasure Island.

Speakers: Dr Marieke Riethof, Chris Barlow, Jennifer Klunder-Rosser and Dr Joel Haddley

Date: 03 December 2020

This episode was recorded with four guests from the University of Liverpool. They all shared their lightbulb moment (when they felt their students were ‘getting it’), an essential teaching prop or pedagogy and one luxury item to relax off duty.

Treasure Island Pedagogies: Episode 4 podcast

(Treasure Island Pedagogies Episode 4 - Podcast Transcript)

Dr Marieke Riethof

Modern Languages and Cultures (Latin American Politics)

  • Lightbulb moment: getting students to show understanding of their target culture by working in shared collaborative documents – which in the new online setting can work really well with students producing great shared documents or presentations in different formats.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: assuming the role of guide, taking students on a journey of discovery on their own, helping them find treasures.
  • Luxury item: my greatest discovery of the pandemic: listening to podcasts whilst walking or cooking.

Chris Barlow

Accounting and Finance

  • Lightbulb moment: integrating skills development in modules on an ongoing basis to promote student engagement.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: Kahoot quiz to keep students engaged.
  • Luxury item: mobile phone to check football results, keeping up with the news and social media.

Jennifer Klunder-Rosser


  • Lightbulb moment: one of the most fun I have had was planning a role play for students, creating a humanitarian warzone for a global healthcare context, with student groups representing different global healthcare organisations, having to research and prepare how they would act in specific scenarios, culminating in presenting their response to the press. This enjoyable teaching experience also helped me ease into my own preferred style of teaching (active learning).
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: can I please choose two: active learning and a skeleton (to help me point out trauma injuries).
  • Luxury item: absolutely no tech! I like to go running in my shoes, leaving everything behind (though a possible tech I could use is a bit of Strava for motivation)

Dr Joel Haddley


  • Lightbulb moment: discovering the value of designing high-stake, high-value assessments which help students assimilate and synthetise knowledge; moving away from high-stake, lower-value assessments. The former seems to promote deeper student engagement, whilst the latter attracts strategic engagement.
  • Teaching prop or pedagogy: Mobius assessment platform – this is a specific platform for mathematics, which enables true randomisation of mathematical problems. It promotes student collaboration versus collusion. Students used to ask of each other: what result did you get? Now they ask: what method did you use to work it out?
  • Luxury item: something that would benefit all those around me too: coffee equipment fresh coffee beans, grinder and my Aeropress.

Any sparks? The discovery that the original Desert Island is in Chile (one of Marieke’s country of research), called Juan Fernandez island. We bartered teaching ideas: Mobius might work really well for accounting, and Jennifer’s role play approach is what Marieke uses with her students asking them to negotiate democratic transitions in Latin America. We discussed the challenges and opportunities of doing role-play, group discussions in an online Covid setting. As for luxuries: we all covet Joel’s coffee knowledge and Aeropress machine. Joel has offered to treat us to a round once ‘this’ is all over (putting it into writing so that he cannot go back on this offer).