At the start of this event there will be an update on Learning and Teaching Strategy progress, activities and events.

Following this, we will be showcasing the teaching and insights of two Imperial staff members.

Learning Fitness: Empowering Students to Become Efficient, Effective and Resilient Learners

Elizabeth Hauke

Over the last two years, staff and students within the Change Makers field of Imperial Horizons have co-developed their own ‘Skills Manual’ to help define a range of skills that are essential to effective learning and development. Divided into five skill families, these cover many typical ‘skills’ that are seen in higher education literature, programme and module learning outcomes and are often listed as key graduate attributes. However, the skills have been re-imagined by the students to make them more accessible and relevant to their day to day learning. This presentation will focus on skills in the ‘Learning Fitness’ family including time management, managing disagreement, giving and responding to critique and building enduring study habits. Opportunities to embed these into different types of learning activity and assignment will be explored, including use of both contact and non-contact learning encounters.

Gamification: gimmick or game-changer?

James Moss

Although most learning as a young child is achieved through playing games, this approach to learning (and teaching) tapers as a student progresses through the primary, secondary and higher education systems. Gamification in education is the incorporation of game elements into teaching, which may enhance students’ involvement, engagement, peer-to-peer learning and application of knowledge. Our approaches to gamification are deliberately low-tech, and utilise table-top paper-based resources. Sessions are designed to promote collaborative enquiry by providing small groups of students with focal themed tasks of increasing complexity within a central ‘sandbox’ (a shared workspace to which students can freely add, amend or remove ideas).

Students reported sessions to be more engaging that traditional tutorials. They found the structure useful to integrate discrete concepts, promoted active learning and improved understanding of systems physiology. Students [players?] engaged differently with different game elements; some were actively conscious of remaining time and strategies for scoring, whereas others were less immersed in the game characteristics. A range of opinions were collected on group sizing and parallel tasks, with some students preferring splitting tasks and smaller groups, and others preferring to work as a larger group on a single task.

This talk will provide an account of experiences on gamified educational activities being used in the School of Medicine.