This paper describes the design and delivery of national PhD lectures with 40 PhD candidates in Digital Arts and Humanities in Ireland. Blended learning approaches were utilized to augment traditional teaching practices combining:
video-conferencing to multiple sites,
social media lecture delivery support -a live blog and micro blogging
shared, open student web presence online
Techniques for creating an effective, active learning environment were discerned via the range of learning options offered to students through student surveys after semester one. Students rejected the traditional lecture format, even through the novel delivery method via video link to a number of national academic institutions was employed. Students also rejected the use of a moderated forum as a means of creating engagement across the various institutions involved.
Students preferred a mix of approaches for this online national engagement. The paper discusses successful methods used to promote interactive teaching and learning. These included:
Peer to peer learning
Workshop style delivery
The lecture became a national, synchronous workshop. We describe how allowing students to have a voice in the virtual classroom they become animated and engaged in an open culture of shared experience and scholarship, create networks beyond their institutions, and across disciplinary boundaries.