Evidencing Learning – TweetChats, ‘Lurking’ and the Value of Reflection

Providing evidence of undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD)(1) or Continual Professional Learning (CPL) especially for HEA Fellowship claims (any category) can resort to a list of courses attended (in person/online). While certainly applauding an ongoing commitment to keeping practice up to date and having enough time to engage in numerous CPD opportunities, providing a list (bullet points or in sentence format) does not necessarily evidence the learning.

The important part is to take stock and reflect on ‘how can I apply what I’ve learnt?’ and if you did ‘what did I learn from that experience?’ ‘What worked well, what might need improvement?’ This demonstrates how you use evidence informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and CPD to enhance your practice (V3 of the UK Professional Standards Framework.)

Evidencing engagement in your Twitter PLN and through Tweetchats have been questions asked of prospective HEA Fellowship applicants. And that in turn has led to a wider consideration of evidencing learning.

  • Is evidence of engagement through responses to the Questions as captured in the Storify/Wakelet sufficient?
  • What if you didn’t actively contribute (2) but afterwards reviewed in greater detail the responses to the questions, refined the answers down to what might you felt was appropriate to your own practice?
  • Does that ‘count’ and if so, how can you evidence it?

Recently, I came across a reflective post using Pebblepad software about evidencing engagement in Tweetchats that I had found a few years ago but had forgotten about!

The recommendations there from David Eddy (@sonofedd) about spending a few moments to jot down your key takeaway message from the Tweetchat is so valuable. As are his observations that if you are engaging/watching, you are building your Personal Learning Network and sharing ideas on effective practice. That’s been so true for me.

As an educator, you can also initiate a subject-based Tweetchat perhaps in lieu of a Q&A session…and perhaps ask all students to produce a ‘reflection’ on key points learnt to enable any ‘non active’ participants to demonstrate their key learning ‘take aways’ – written/audio/video formats perhaps?

This in turn enables participants to demonstrate a great range of ‘deeper’ learning including consolidation, critical thinking and analysis that just ‘contributing’ during the live event may not. It would also address the ‘lurker’, ‘quiet thinker’ or ‘introvert’, acknowledging various ways in which we learn (K3). The ‘reflection’ aspect could address much of the discussion over the past year of trying to demonstrating ‘engagement’ or ‘interaction’ online (synchronously or asynchronously) as a proxy for demonstrating learning (see work of Bozhurt et al, Cain and Honeychurch in the Exploring Further section).

There are a few TweetChats in Higher Education: #LTHEChat and #CoachingHE are ones I follow (not necessarily participate every time), I will look at the curated Wakelet afterwards though if I think the topic may be of relevance to my needs). But there may ones in your specific discipline and so following key people, relevant hashtags and curating tweets, e.g. using Wakelet will help you cope with what can be a high volume of rapid exchanges!

So, returning to the issue of evidencing your own continuing professional learning, perhaps you may want to be selective about what CPD/CPL opportunities you DO engage with and critically review your practice first. What would you like to improve, before choosing CPL activities possibly based on ease/availability? Don’t forget that CPL can be asynchronous or synchronous, individual or a shared learning experience with others (Ferman, 2002). And most importantly, reflect on the impact on your practice afterwards.

Notes

(1) A5 of the Dimensions of Practice of the UK Professional Standards Framework
(2) Often called ‘lurking’ or ‘vicarious learning’, this, often “silent engagement”, does not mean that ‘participants’ aren’t learning because they aren’t contributing to the live TweetChat. There are lots of reasons why participants may be hesitant or unable to contribute ‘live’, including imposter phenomenon – Clance and Imes, 1978).

Exploring Further

About Advance HE and the UKPSF – see SALT’s pages: About Advance HE and UKPSF – Swansea Academy of Learning and Teaching

Cain S. (2012) Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that can’t stop talking, Penguin Books

Clance, P.R., & Imes, S. A. (1978). ‘The impostor phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention’, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 15(3), 241-24. Available from: Dr. Pauline Rose Clance – IMPOSTOR PHENOMENON specifically: 4.3.7-6-IP-High Achieving Women.doc (paulineroseclance.com)

Bozhurt A.; A. Koutropoulous, L. Singh and S. Honeychurch (2020) ‘On lurking: Multiple perspectives on lurking within an educational community’, The Internet and Higher Education, Vol 44, Article 100709. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2019.100709

Ferman T., (2002) ‘Academic professional development practice: What lecturers find valuable’, International Journal for Academic Development, 7(2), 146- 158. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144032000071305

Honeychurch S. (2018) – (@NomadWarMachine) Reclaiming Lurking | NomadWarMachine Blogpost of 12th September 2018

TweetChat Resources

LTHEChat.com: #LTHEchat | The weekly Learning and Teaching in HE chat created by the community for the community – Wednesday 8-9pm – you can access the previous blogposts and wakelets following these chats in the Programme>Archived Tweetchats

CoachingHE Chat: #CoachingHE | SDF – Staff Development Forum

What is a Tweetchat? See What is a tweechat? – Technology enhanced learning (wordpress.com)

 

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