The end of the reflection- The pair seminar and widening participation

This could be the last reflection before I hand it in. Its been an interesting week running a wiki and reflecting on social presence. It was even more interesting when our students won 1st for team project catagory, second in the games design category and third in the games art category.  The competition was organised by Games republic and the participants were from other Universities in Yorkshire. All entries were judged by a number of top games companies, including team 17 and rockstar productions ( worms and grand theft auto). What was great was that one of the team that one the first prize was a mature student from Belfast who got direct entry, not on qualifications but on his portfolio. His work goes from strength to strength. He is now in his final year with all the rest of his fellow prize winners, what does that mean for widening participation ?

I wonder how my students would have got on, using blended learning ie they need face to face contact among themselves to work as a team, not sure how that would have worked out if they had to collaborate on -line. also the subject is very different ie it very creative, hence visual, from inital sketches , art work to the final programmed 3D game. Would other subjects such as Maths, Sociology, geology and humanities be any better ?

The Wiki showed that creative writing was a good vehicle for collaboration and we got the majority of our course to participate. One of the major things I learnt as a tutor of the Wiki was to be patient, lose a little control to the students and don’t try to artificially  prompt students along to much, that’s pretty much the same for F2F ie let the students do the learning. It is probably very easy to panic a little when students don’t engage immediately with a set piece of work, a little prompting is Ok. Another big faux pas was to not declare myself as being one of the prompters ,I crossed the line and  should have declared myself as a tutor ie  I pushed the trust too far . My co- tutor was very clear and stated that it was her who was giving instructions. Any way valuable lesson.

Not sure how weaker students from a widening participation initiative will cope with an on-line educational community ie they are sometimes lacking in confidence and educational skills. I am sure they are perfectly OK on bebeo, twitter etc where grammar, spelling and intellectual discussion are not the main reason for participating. I must try and find some research which has investigated this.

I will try and do a little more tomorrow.



I have found Keiths readings on Social presence very useful, especially the military one where they all meet before starting on-line learning. I guess the have a good image of the people they are dealing with when it comes to group work.

I found these references for social presence which reenforces our findings for the seminar activity:-,%20Awareness%20and%20Social%20Presence.pdf


And for widening participation







2 Responses to “The end of the reflection- The pair seminar and widening participation”

  1. Christina Says:

    Hi Steve, Can I just verify that you have completed your reflective blog for submission? If so, please could you ensure that a backup is made and that you email it to me as well as keeping a copy for yourself. Anything that our own C&IT can’t back up overnight is our own responsibility and open source providers are not necessarily reliable in that respect. Thanks very much. Cheers, Christina

  2. wilkotec Says:

    Hi Christina,
    this was the last one.

    I will e-mail it to you.
    Many thanks

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