Welcome to Episode 73 of the Think UDL podcast: Ultimate Collection of Go-to Faculty Resources with Danielle Hinton. Danielle Hinton is an Educational Developer at the University of Birmingham’s Higher Education Futures Institute in the United Kingdom. She collects, collates, and curates teaching and learning resources like no one I have ever known! I have been following her fantastic Twitter superthreads that run the gamut on topics including assessment, the hidden curriculum, inclusive teaching resources, imposter syndrome, signature pedagogies, games, icebreakers, and many, many more. For each one of these threads, Danielle provides multiple options and resources to give us a full and nuanced understanding of the topic. Recently she led me to the Active Learning Cookbook which had me diving into a variety of resources and as I was happily scurrying down a few rabbit holes, I decided I just had to reach out to talk to her. In today’s conversation, we talk about these fantastic resources Danielle has curated and what they can do for you. We also discuss what it’s like to be an educational or faculty developer (the title changes a little by country, but the work of inspiring and supporting faculty in their teaching, research, and academic and life success remains the same). All of the resources we mention in today’s episode are listed on episode 73 of the ThinkUDL.org website. If you are a faculty member or support faculty, or just like faculty, then this episode is for you!
Find Danielle Hinton on Twitter @Hintondm
Danielle has curated a number of fantastic teaching and learning topics with multiple perspectives and lots of options. You can find them on her Super Thread of Teaching Topics on Twitter
Want to know a little more about Danielle? Check out her profile at HEFi in Birmingham
Check out the Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi), too, to see what amazing things Danielle and her colleagues are doing to help instructors teach and learn better!
HEFi also has curated #BottomLine daily posts which provide succinct understandings of academic articles on teaching and learning (and you can find on Twitter)
Danielle and Lillian mention the University of Birmingham Active Learning Cookbook which provides lots of options and opportunities for student engagement.
And both Lillian and Danielle love the K. Patricia Cross Academy treasure trove of resources found there!
Lillian Nave 00:00
Welcome to think UDL, the universal design for learning podcast where we hear from the people who are designing and implementing strategies with learner variability in mind. I’m your host, Lillian nave. And I’m interested in not just what you’re teaching, learning, guiding and facilitating, but how you design and implement it and why it even matters. Welcome to Episode 73 of the think UDL podcast Ultimate Collection of go to faculty resources with Danielle Hinton. Danielle Hinton is an educational developer at the University of Birmingham’s higher education Futures Institute in the United Kingdom. She collects collates and curates teaching and learning resources like no one I have ever known. I’ve been following her fantastic Twitter super threads that run the gamut on topics including assessment, the hidden curriculum, inclusive teaching resources, imposter syndrome, signature pedagogies, games, icebreakers, and many many more. For each one of these threads, Danielle provides multiple options and resources to give us a full and nuanced understanding of the topic. Recently, she led me to the active learning cookbook, which had me diving into a variety of resources. And as I was happily scurrying down a few rabbit holes, I decided I just had to reach out to talk to her. In today’s conversation, we talked about these fantastic resources that Danielle has curated, and what they can do for you. We also discuss what it’s like to be an educational or faculty developer, the title changes a little by country, but the work of inspiring and supporting faculty in their teaching, research and academic and life success remains the same. All of the resources we mentioned in today’s episode are listed on episode 73 of the think udl.org website. If you are a faculty member, or you support faculty, or you just like faculty, then this episode is for you. I wanted to thank you Danielle Hinton for being on the think UDL podcast.
Danielle Hinton 02:36
Thank you very much for them. But
Lillian Nave 02:39
I am excited to talk to you because I’ve actually followed you for over a, I think two years might have been here somewhere on there, because you’ve got so many good things that you tell me about, and that I’ve learned a lot from you over the years that I wanted to share that with our audience. And we’re gonna get into all that. But I want to ask my first question I asked all my guests, and that is what makes you a different kind of learner.
Danielle Hinton 03:09
That was a very, very interesting question to ponder. And thank you for asking it. So I had, I had to think about back about my whole journey, as as a learner, and I think it sort of really started in terms of my Christian faith. So as part of my faith, it’s very important that my values and beliefs are lived. And part of that is about service. Part of that is about kindness and compassion. And it’s very important to myself, inquiry and actually seeing what I’m, how and what and how I’m advised to live. And that sort of spills over into the rest of my life as as a higher education learner, a higher education teacher. And also, I was reflecting back on the question, too, when I started my undergraduate studies, and I reflected that actually, at the time, I think I experienced quite a bit of, of social anxiety. And I think that’s sort of speaks to where I’m actually quite interested in, in exploring imposter syndrome. Just generally, and specifically in teaching it and another aspect is, I’ve got an intense need desire, an interesting in being creative and I think all of those three sort of aspects have sort of intertwined and have really made me the learner I am. So you know, I got to the end of high school and I thought, Well, what do I want to be when I grow up? I had to decide what what I was going to do at university. I liked reading. So I thought, Okay, I’ll do a library and information management degree. Become a librarian. It has stood me in great stead. And so many of the principles that I learnt there permeate everything else I do. But it really, it really was the basis for everything else.
Lillian Nave 05:51
So it’s really informed your how you are, I think, a faculty developer. So I’ve seen you curate a lot for us. And I really appreciate that.
Danielle Hinton 06:01
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think all of the strands have allowed me to be, hopefully an awesome faculty, educational academic developer, depending on the terminology you use, in what country?
Lillian Nave 06:17
Yes, exactly. And I must say, I’m really interested about the connection you drew between being creative, and also your faith, because that’s an interest that I have. And I’ve explored that in some of my classes, because I do some courses on art and religion and society. Well, and then your, your other part was about social anxiety that, so how all of those things come together. And there’s quite a rich history as an art historian, about how faith informs creativity and how that is in in many different religions. But specifically, there’s directives from the Hebrew Bible from the Christian Bible, to be creative. And to, to bring that as part of one’s one’s faith. So that’s an interesting connection that not everybody makes. Yes.
Danielle Hinton 07:19
And I think it’s also interesting, depending on the society that you grew up in, as well, because I grew up in Australia. I moved to the UK when I was 25. And both of those societies, you’re not necessarily I didn’t feel necessarily the freedom to acknowledge my faith as an important part of my identity. And I think I’m growing into that, as a person as a learner. And I think it allows me as, as a faculty, educational developer, to really empathize with people that have different elements of identity, that might not be considered the societal norm, or who might be excluded and actually ensure that they’re bought in as part of the learning design that were are actually enacting but also the advice that we are sharing with our learners who are staff members.
Lillian Nave 08:29
Yes, right. And there are so many different cultural tactics or cultural ways that we don’t realize, we are learning like you said, in Australia, and in the UK, you felt that there was a cultural imperative to say or not say some things about who you are, and that impacted your learning in the learning environment. And I have definitely found that depending on the cultural context, that certain ways of doing or being things about sharing information, do you start with storytelling? Or do you start with bullet points that you go from an abstract or theory? Or do you start with experiential learning, those are really taken differently in different cultures. So one culture might say, that’s not rigorous at all. This is storytime that’s not rigorous. versus someone who might say you haven’t contextualized that at all. If you haven’t used a story, there’s no use for that information. Right. So it’s fascinating to me, and as educational developers, we need to be mindful of how other students are participating in that environment and how those cultural backgrounds or I like to call it the water in the fishbowl water that you’re swimming in. They don’t realize that somebody else might be swimming in a different you know, in the in different water and see things through a very different lens. I’ve just mixed two Cultural metaphors, but so I really appreciate your take on that. And maybe that’s why you have been such a great inspiration to me in how you are curating some great ways of looking at faculty development. And for me, it was a lot of UDL, like, you were saying, hey, there’s options, options, options. So the first question I wanted to get into after what kind of learning you are is about the teaching resources you’ve curated. So many great teaching and learning resources for all of us on Twitter. And I see you’ve, you’ve pinned it as like a thread at the top of your Twitter feed. So I will link that to our resources for this episode. But can you tell us more about those threads and why you decided to do all of this work for us because I’m very grateful. And it it covers, I must say, I just looked at it right before interview it covers so many things, including assessment using games, small group activities, imposter syndrome, the hidden curriculum, lectures, signature pedagogies icebreakers. It goes on and on. I mean, this is a treasure trove of different options. So please tell me how and why you’ve been doing that for us.
Danielle Hinton 11:24
Thank you very much for the feedback. That’s, that’s really appreciated. I think that the easiest way to sort of describe how the method to my madness is, this is what I do all the time, you’re actually seeing a window into my mind window into what I might be working on, at any one time. So, for instance, the thread that came about, about teaching philosophies and how to write them, I was writing a section for our postgraduate certificate in teaching in higher education, about you guessed it, how to write a teaching philosophy. I thought I could actually just share what I have found in, you know, however, I recreate that and share it with my learners. I could just do that. And you know, most people do just do that. But I thought I wanted to try this Twitter thing out. Okay. And I thought, I want to be very purposeful with Twitter, I want it to be about my professional development, I want to be about how I can support others professional development. What can I give back, because I think it’s very important that we look at how we use or interact with the world and see how we can actually give back and not just take, so I wanted to be useful. I thought I’m doing this anyway. Okay, I might as well just share these resources, as I find them. And actually, you’ll notice a lot of the threads will have started perhaps when I had that first initial thought about sharing, it was about 2019 some time, and some of the threads actually were started then. But actually, if you look right down to the bottom of them, you’ll see that the been continually updated. Yeah, and I really do encourage anybody that finds them useful to a to share that. But also, if you find a resource that we haven’t got on there to add it on, because I don’t think there’s anything particularly structured about them at times. They may just be happen to be the random sequence of, of how I and Google got on that day. But yes, I think it’s about sharing. And I then, because I got into Twitter, as you can tell in such a major way. And I work within the higher education Futures Institute at Birmingham. And I thought, okay, we’re futures looking how, how is that Twitter account actually sharing our philosophy with the world. I really wanted to make sure that there was pedagogy, ideas, advice, tips that really spoke and resonated with the higher education sector. And I acquired the Twitter account as well. And one day, I stumbled over this hashtag called 100 days of CPD. Okay, I thought that would be fantastic. Stick. So I did 100 days of CPD, and then I got to the 100 and first first day of CPD, and I thought, well, what am I going to do? This doesn’t work anymore. So actually, we’re now up to 421 posts on a hashtag called bottom line, all one word. And that in the same vein, as the 100 days of CPD focuses, either on a journal article, or a blog post, or some other related resource that I think would be useful for anybody that teaches and supports learning in higher education, and it’s gone on for a while, and sometimes I think, oh, maybe I should stop. But actually, then I get feedback. And I thought, think, actually, I’m doing this more of it for myself, really. So actually, I’m keeping my eye on trends. What is important, institutionally, what’s important sector really, and actually, just finding an article that I think all that might be of interest and sharing it
Lillian Nave 16:11
great, and, you know, sometimes the, the letters and the hashtags don’t translate over the Atlantic. And so perhaps you could clarify what the CPD of the 100 days of CPD is for the folks that don’t exactly get that idiom?
Danielle Hinton 16:26
Yes. Excellent question. And I think that’s a reminder for all of us that jargon can actually be a barrier for learning and teaching. So CPD is continuing professional development.
Lillian Nave 16:43
So we might say faculty development, possibly in the United States, and there’s also I know, educational development. So there’s lots of kind of the the hashtags are different letters, acronyms that might tell us what those things are. So, yes, so thank you for clarifying that, too. And I must say that when, when you told me that your background is in library science, I thought that makes a lot of sense to me now. Because this curated list, I figured you either were an art historian or some sort of art curator, or a librarian or library scientists, because you had, you had done such a great job curating of all, all these, all these different topics for all of us. And it’s, it’s never just one. One take, it’s, Hey, you should look at this, this, this, this, and this, look at all these resources that we have, rather than just one, maybe blog posts of somebody’s opinion, you’ve got this clearing house of lots of different options, ways of looking at this so that whoever is, you know, reading it might say, Oh, I really agree with this one I’m going to take, I’m going to take this one a little further and can see kind of where it lays in the landscape of the other scholarship. And that was really what drew me to is like, this is a treasure trove of really great faculty development pieces that I feel like is done with a universal design for learning lens that gives us lots of options, and you take a lot of care to bring in those multiple perspectives, different ways of thinking, I see that the cultural lens, as well, that it’s not just from, let’s say, the University of Birmingham, or it’s not just the UK perspective, and it’s not just the Australian perspective, but but you’re trying to bring in multiple ways for us to think about an issue and and that’s, that’s been really helpful to me, did you have that in your mind as you started it, or that’s just the way your brain works?
Danielle Hinton 19:01
I think perhaps it was more subconscious. So I think I might have been channeling my inner Magpie or any similar bird that likes to to, you know, find juicy morsels. Take it back to the nest. So yeah, I think it is. It is about sharing. I think it’s you, you’ve really hit the nail on the head there about the different kinds of resources as well, because somebody mentioned to me the other day that they found the resources useful, and they really echoed that point of it wasn’t just deep and meaningful journal articles. It was a mixture of, you know, scholarly, published resources. It was also blog posts. It was a different mix, and I We can all find use in that different mix of resources.
Lillian Nave 20:05
Absolutely, yes, I certainly can, and have, and our access to those is differentiated depending on our institution. So you being able to curate and make these things available for all of us, I think has been really helpful and has brought a lot of things to my attention. So now I wanted to bring it to all of our listeners attention. And so you’ve been doing a lot at the University of Birmingham and your higher education Futures Institute, which has the capital H, E, F, and then lowercase I find on Twitter. And you’ve put together some fantastic materials, and to help your faculty to engage students. So can you talk about one of them in particular, that caught my eye as the active learning cookbook that you put together, which, of course, I will link on our resources as well. So can you tell me more about that?
Danielle Hinton 21:03
Yes. So this was a team effort. We’ve got six educational faculty developers, and it was born out of the pandemic. So we’d gotten through sort of 1617 months of emergency emergency pivot to online, then online delivery. And then like all of us, we’re kind of seeing hopefully the end in sight, where we can actually pivot back to in person teaching. And we recognized that institutionally, we really needed to really hold on to all of the positive stuff that has come out and the teaching resources that have been developed by all our colleagues over this time. But we also wanted to make sure that a they could be used. But when we get that precious, in person time back, that actually we don’t, because let’s say just from an exhaustion point of view, just revert to talking for 15 minutes in a session, but actually use that real precious time that we’ve been given back in an active, engaging and motivating way, not only for our learners, who also have, you know, they’ve gone through so much, especially our undergraduates, the first and second year, students, they’ve, they’ve income through a pandemic, you’ve learnt in a, you know, the best way they could possibly do online. But now actually is really sharing that joy of the in person and what you can really do in a different way to what you can do online. And we wanted an adjusting time resource that you could dip into when you needed to flexibly on your own terms at your own pace. And would really like to give a big shout out to Celia Popovich, who actually came up with the educational developer cookbook. And we were so inspired by that, because it also had starters, mains and desserts. And we just thought that was a really nice accessible sort of format, to share this practice. And I think we’d also like to make the point that a lot of this isn’t is nothing new either. There’s really a lot of resources. So it was again, bringing together resources that other people more or less had invented, but actually sharing and contextualizing for our institution to support what we saw as increasingly large group teaching. So our large for some disciplines was increasing exponentially due to the pandemic.
Lillian Nave 24:16
So in that, that active learning cookbook, I noticed that it was it was organized, like you said, like the educational developer cookbook cookbook, about starters, main dishes and desserts what what we’re in kind of each one of those categories.
Danielle Hinton 24:33
So we aimed, we aim to actually align them a starter was designed to signal that this might be a technique that you’d use at the start of a session or at the start of a section within a session. Okay. We then sort of categorize desserts as techniques. that may then map on to more ending a session, random valuation and feedback at the end of the session, and obviously means we wanted something to be the really juicy techniques that you could use probably at any time, but actually they were the more fleshed out techniques that could really help engage your learner’s.
Lillian Nave 25:28
So you could choose maybe some form of an icebreaker or something that would get a student thinking about the topic, whether it’s a short answer, or like a little simulation or something like that. And then the main offerings, the main dishes, what might be that signature pedagogy, or what you’re spending most of your class period on, right? And then you finish up with an exam wrapper with a one minute paper with a exit ticket with, you know, the those sorts of things. So,
Danielle Hinton 26:02
exactly. So, you know, one of my ultimate favorite techniques that I think goes into a into the mains is think pair share, um, just just, I don’t know, I think all of us probably have have techniques that, you know, they’re always on our pedagogical tool belt. Yeah. And that, that that’s mine. And I’m so grateful for the work that has been done. Clear how major has co written many books that are just so so helpful, because actually anything practical or going, give me this book, give me this resource. And so those those books as well as the resources from the Patricia K, cross Academy, I think they’re just a shout out to them. They’re just wonderful resources. And they also have, you know, sim similar Active Learning Support techniques, you know, step by step instructions to help you get started to help you feel confident in using a technique.
Lillian Nave 27:20
Yes, I was, I had the great joy and satisfaction in interviewing Claire major. And I will definitely put a link to that episode and also to the K Patricia cross academy that she runs and, and in the met in the last year, I’ve seen that clear is Claire majors doing the how to use this technique, if it’s an in person technique, what it might look like online or a synchronous, right, so, so each one of those techniques is showcased in two different versions, one would be in class and the other would be somehow asynchronous or online or something like that. Fentons fantastic but like, like you, she’s bringing a lot of these in the K Patricia cross Academy, bringing all of these to one place that we can learn a lot from, that’s offering options so that we are not privileging a certain student who always likes to talk, maybe we need to have some students who will need to reflect for a little time and write a little bit. And we’re saying that there are lots of options that we can use, so that all of our students have have a chance to be successful. And that’s why I think when I have my UDL glasses on my lenses, I am looking particularly at these resources that bring in all these options for faculty developers, or educational developers, folks that can use these two are students
Danielle Hinton 28:56
Lillian Nave 28:59
Yeah. So you’ve been doing a lot of this calling and curating I would say, for for the University of Birmingham, and I wanted to ask, particularly to about UDL. So how does Universal Design for Learning figure into your faculty development initiatives at the University of Birmingham and the higher education Futures Institute, outside of the cookbook, which I love?
Danielle Hinton 29:35
So part of the mission of heffy, as we call it, for short, is about supporting the professional development of academic staff and also other professional services staff that teach and or support learning. So We do run lots of teaching qualification courses, we run lots of teaching recognition. Awards. And we’re doing this with our staff. So institutionally, we don’t actually talk about universal design for learning as, as a, as a sticker, as a as a, as a philosophy. We, as a team, at the higher education Futures Institute, and as an institution, are very much committed to ensuring that equality, inclusivity and diversity are actually at the forefront of everything we do. So it is one of our key learning outcomes for our key course. And we spend a lot of time talking with our staff learners about the importance of recognizing that there is nobody actually that is exactly the same as us. That actually, we have to look beyond our own experience. And be aware and be looking out when we’re designing that we are designing for our learners that we get, we’re not designing for us. And we need to actually, really, on a regular basis, really check in and see who are our learners? And what are they experiencing? And how best can we design learning so that actually, they can become passionate about a discipline, so that they can think start to think like a doctor or think like a biologist, or think like a mathematician. So it’s an ongoing process and journey for us.
Lillian Nave 32:03
You know, one of the reasons why I started this podcast is to bring up actually, I’d say, the main reason was to let people know more about Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education. And one of the ways that I’ve seen that this, the word gets out is when we can name the, the fact that UDL is happening, but it may not be under the name Universal Design for Learning, right? Anytime that you are doing exactly what you just said, trying to create an equitable, inclusive, educational environment for a diverse set of students recognizing the variability of your learners. That, to me, is universal design for learning, because you are recognizing that learner variability. And that may be in disability or learning difference. It could be in cultural background, it could be in language, and it could be a neurodiversity. Any number of things. And this is, is relatively new in the higher education landscape, when you just said that we need to be thinking about the students we are teaching rather than trying to teach like clones of who we are. That was very much what higher education had been for so long, which was, here’s the way we’ve always done it. And so you’ll have to pass through the same barriers and get over those courses that are meant to weed people out and suffer really the way that I had to, in order to succeed. And that, to me, Universal Design for Learning is trying to put that on its head and flip that around to just saying exactly what you you have explained that our learners are different, and we need to be learner centered. And it’s, for me a very Invitational way of teaching. Like, I’m inviting my students to be a part of this learning process. And we’re trying things we’re risking, as, as teachers as instructors, trying new things to make sure that all of our students do have a sense of being included, and being successful. And having the opportunity to to participate to their fullest extent.
Danielle Hinton 34:36
Yeah. And I think what you’re also articulating, is that we need to be learners. So to be a good teacher, in any shape, or form, you actually need to be a learner and it is going on a journey with your students. You’ve also made a really interesting point about language and I think that’s something we’re all passionate about. You Sharing language with our colleagues whose focus is their discipline, whereas our focus is higher education teaching. And I think that’s where the challenge comes, especially if your institution uses particular language. And then others use other language, and how do you actually make the connections? Between materials? We’re actually talking about the same thing.
Lillian Nave 35:30
Right? Right. So your diversity and inclusion may not be the exact thing from another universities, you know, desired way of getting to, you know, what the diversity inclusion initiatives might be, because that might be a different understanding right of of the language,
Danielle Hinton 35:51
I think, I think, more or less, most institutions have the same desire, they’ll have implemented in different ways, they will have different cultures that impact on how it’s, it’s actually operationalized, and filters down through different levels. I guess, a good example of what I’m talking about is the whole dialogue about high flex, hybrid dual mode. Actually, those are three terms that are used it used at the moment, at what we hope is the end of the pandemic. But actually, you institutionally or even individually, you could actually be using the same term. Yeah, mean something entirely different. So it’s language is very important. And I think having universal design for learning as a label really signals. Sort of what the nub of, of it is, and we at the minute you use the term EDI, so equality, diversity and inclusion is the acronym. Yes. And there will be acronyms that came before there’ll be acronyms that that come after. It’s about us having conversations at a local level, and also in the sector, not only in the country that we’re in, but further afield. And actually, I think that’s where the real exciting stuff really starts to happen.
Lillian Nave 37:37
Yes, absolutely. And I know, you bringing up the EDI, in a more American North American spaces that’s in a different order. And people are adding justice. So there’s sometimes another letter J, and depending on which which sequence those letters are in, they could spell different words. But, again, it depends, I think, very much on the context, in what area of the country what country one is in, and really how that plays out on each campus. So gosh, that brings me back to your resources that you’ve curated that there are, there’s more than one, there’s so many options for how we can approach our particular situation or a problem, whether it’s a teaching problem, or issue teaching and learning how do we reach our students, or it’s writing our own pedagogy or own teaching statement, something like that. That to be aware of the multiple options is, I think, of the utmost importance because of the diversity of faculty that we have, and the diversity of learners that we’re serving. So what what ways then, at University of Birmingham? Do you see these teaching techniques, whether they’re labeled Universal Design for Learning, or depending on what language I think that’s a big, great point you bring up what language you’re using? In what ways do you see these variety of teaching techniques making a difference for your students at the University of Birmingham?
Danielle Hinton 39:26
So we’re gonna take a specific tact and you can tell me whether I’ve answered the question or not. So, so the higher education Futures Institute was the brainchild of our Pro Vice Chancellor of education, Kathy armour. And she has been really pivotal in sort of providing guidance and direction for where we go as an institute. And she was talking one day with a colleague and said, why we need something around inclusivity to support our staff. So, her brainchild was then brought to life by two colleagues Els Van Geyte and Matt Turner. And they really brought that idea. And I think one of the important things contextually to know, we’re also what is called in the UK, a Russell Group institution, or a red brick, higher education institution. What does that play we are, we are an institution that has been around the longest has been a university the longest. And we do have also quite a bit of focus on research as as well as teaching. So that’s, that’s important context. So the initiative really helped us as an institution think through and signal that we were individually as well as institutionally committed to Universal Design for Learning, or as we call it, inclusivity. So the resource actually helps you look at what are the qualities that are required, it helps you self assess. It really encourages sharing a practice, because that’s one of the things that is, is really so exciting. Somebody from maths can say all I did this, and somebody from English can say I did that. And somebody from medicine said I did something else. And actually, if you strip away the fact that’s got a maths label, or an English label or medicine label, actually they’re just fundamentally good ideas that you could use in your own practice. And that has been then combined with badges. And we’ve had, so so many staff go through and take on that commitment. So it’s about it’s about making a commitment to being an inclusive educator. And it’s, it’s really, so super, we’ve had nearly 450 comments where they’ve shared practice and ideas about being an inclusive educator.
Lillian Nave 42:31
Wow, that’s great. And and has that been a noticeable change on campus? I mean, the I would see that as a great boost to the morale of the teaching faculty. And have you seen that in other places, the students administration, and so forth?
Danielle Hinton 42:55
I don’t think I’m particularly pleased to comment specifically because I’m sent sitting in a central unit. But I think, I think the interesting contextual stuff, this was released just before the pandemic took off in a raging way. So actually, we’ve had, we still had interactions with this, this course was still had staff and colleagues commit to being inclusive educators. So I think that’s, that’s a real positive thing, when when time is very short, you’ve got different priorities you got, you know, your research priorities, you got your administrative priorities. And then if you’re trying to fit in and do justice to your teaching priorities, so it is a bit of a balance and a challenge. Another thing that has specifically come out of the pandemic. And I think this is a really interesting point, actually, as tragic as and exhausting as a pandemic has been, it has kind of shone a light on educational faculty development, it’s shot shone a light on digital elearning staff and the importance that we all play, to inspired to support to help you know, colleagues become passionate about a topic that’s not the at the forefront of their disciplinary experience. So you know, you have a mathematician that is passionate about all of these complicated maths things that actually then seeing them grow and be really excited about how they can make better connections, more connections with their learners is just a wonderful thing. And directly out of that, pandemic wise, is really enabled us institutionally to really look at assessment and actually say, is this fit for purpose? Is the balance of assessment types? What we need in the 21st century? Do we need all of these exams? So actually, we’ve made a lot of progress in looking at exams and how that actually, we can be more authentic. In our assessment, I think when you do more authentic assessment, you’re actually mirroring what the workplace is your giving your learners more options? Yes. Which, hopefully, in many different ways and means helps the learners access, the learning that we have designed, and the opportunities that we are sharing with them.
Lillian Nave 45:55
Yes, you know, my eyes got really big there, because you’re talking about innovative assessments, innovative techniques, and how that mirrors the working world. And if we think about just the last year and a half, how much has work changed? How much have systems and structures, from the biggest company to the smallest Mom and Pop, you know, single organization, you know, one person, it’s changed incredibly, and I think about my children, I have three teenagers, who are one in college, one heading to college next year, and a few years behind him another one, and I’m thinking they’re probably going to have jobs that I don’t even know exist, right? At this point. There’s already jobs that, who knew there would be something called a social media coordinator, right? In a company or somebody who is dealing with technology that didn’t exist five or 10 years ago? And so what do we need to be thinking of as educators we need to be innovating to so that our students, our learners are better able to move and transition and go with the flow that they are adaptive experts, rather than routine experts, which is something I learned from Ken Baines, what the best college students do that we need to, we need ourselves to be adaptive experts and be able to try these new techniques. But where do we go? Where do we find out where these are, and that’s where I come to you and your Twitter threads and your cookbook, your active learning cookbook, then, and the ways you’ve curated these excellent resources, because we are modeling for our students what the real world is, because we are in the real world, you know, we’re not the university is not separate from the real world. It’s real. They’re juggling their own families and their own pandemic issues and their own mental health and all of those things that we’re dealing with in our everyday lives as well. And so I feel like that we need to be as innovative as as we can, and not rely on those old systems, because they tend to leave our students behind. Yeah, and
Danielle Hinton 48:27
I think also, it also speaks to the importance of having support at different levels of an institution that needs to sort of work together to actually enact change, because actually, I keep comparing the university to a to a large supertanker, because it is a very large institution with lots of disciplines, lots of courses, lots of staff. And actually, you know, even even a large amount of change can actually be brought about by just a small measure. And some of the things that have been brought in are very small, but I think, really impact our learners such as we move to an institutional feedback form for assessments. That actually was primarily three boxes. So basically a box of what you did really well, what you didn’t do so well, and how you can be awesome next time. So, you know, there’s so many really simple techniques that can really make a big impact on that student. You know, that might have social anxiety or, you know, a student that’s coming in from another country that is just a tad bewildered about all of the jargon, all of these weird ways that, you know, people in the UK do things, right. We’re all in transition and As learners, and it’s, you know, how can we help each other. And another just little, little change that I think has made a big difference to our learners is actually making the commitment of staff that we will put resources onto canvas, which is a virtual learning environment. So the PowerPoints will go on before the scheduled session. So before the lecture, yes, so it’ll go on before the lecture, it allows everybody to access it, you might argue that, you know, somebody that might have might be an international student, they can benefit because they can read through the English, somebody might have dyslexia, they’ll benefit because they have some time and space to read it in a way that helps them. Right. So you know, just one, one little tweak can actually have a massive impact on the lives of learners, which is slowly is something to really remember that it doesn’t have to be a massive change. Actually, if you do a lot of little changes, they can actually really permeate through a university and make a difference.
Lillian Nave 51:28
Yeah. Okay. So you have just brought up an idea that I’ve learned about and teach about in my course, on cultural studies, intercultural dialogues, and that is the, the correlation between behaviors, which are things that we can see. So the idea of putting those PowerPoints or, or lecture slides, whatever, on a platform where students can access them all the time, before class, after class, they’ve got those options. And that’s connected to a value. And so the value is a belief in in having that flexibility, that learners should have the opportunity to access them, right, that. So maybe that that value is flexibility, or options or choice, that sort of thing. And that is connected to really an assumption. And so these assumptions, power, these values, and these behaviors, and that assumption, on which that value of flexibility is based is that learners are different, you just gave me several different options as to why that would be helpful, why that behavior of putting those slides available, would be helpful to someone with dyslexia, someone who has English as another language, who might be culturally from a different background and needs to, you know, have some time to figure things out. Or maybe they had a headache that day, right? Or they were sick, and they needed to access it later on. And so the assumption is that, first of all, all our learners are valuable, and that they deserve the chance to see these slides. And second, that our learners are different. And we often don’t voice those assumptions that we make. And sometimes our assumptions can be seen in our behaviors, like let’s say, No, I never post, I’m never going to post my, my slides. Because students need to get to class. And my assumption would be that, that the students are choosing not to come or they don’t deserve to learn, unless they learn in the way I say they should learn. And we’re getting at those assumptions, not realizing that’s the foundation of why we have so many of these behaviors on campus and look at you with your your Twitter feed, and your active learning cookbook, and all the things that you and your colleagues wonderful colleagues at the heffy higher education Futures Institute are doing to to really mark those changes in behavior, because those are based on the assumptions that that I think you’re bringing forth change and you and many like you like us are saying what are our assumptions? And then what are we going to do? What are our values? And then what are the behaviors that actually speak towards those values and assumptions? And for me, what you’re saying is students matter. They deserve this opportunity and they’re learning learners are different. And that’s great. Yeah.
Danielle Hinton 55:02
100 100%. And it’s, it’s something that we need to work out every single day. Because it’s, it’s we need to, we need to make sure that all our learners are representative, represented, and feel valued, and feel like they belong. And I think that’s always going to be something that we need to really fight for, and not in a in a negative way. But really, really articulate that. Alan is a really important to us, and we care about them. And we can’t assume that we’re going to see inside their heads. So actually, that’s where sort of, you know, active learning techniques and us as higher education professionals, really finding out what are our options and being inspired by each other, and actually trying things out, you know, adapting, etc, etc. And we will make progress. But it is a journey that we need to do together with our students.
Lillian Nave 56:15
Absolutely. And to borrow your very wonderful phrase 100%. Absolutely. And you have inspired me, in fact, that’s why I’ve I’ve had you on my list for over a year. And I’m glad I finally got the chance to talk to you. So thank you so much, Daniel, for joining me today on the think UDL podcast.
Danielle Hinton 56:37
Thank you so much. It’s been a great pleasure to have a chat with you.
Lillian Nave 56:53
You can follow the think UDL podcast on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out when new episodes will be released, and also see transcripts and additional materials at the think udl.org website. The think UDL podcast is made possible by College STAR the star stands for supporting transition, access and retention in post secondary settings, and the website provides free resources and instructional aides based on UDL principles. If you’d like to know more, go to the college star.org website. Additional support for the podcast is made possible by Appalachian State University where if you call it Appalachian, I’ll throw in Appalachia. The music on the podcast was performed by the Odyssey quartet comprised of Rex Shepherd, David Pate, Bill Falwell and Jose coach as our sound engineer is Tanner Jones and I am your host, Lillian nave. Thank you for joining us on The think UDL podcast.