Students as partners in blending learning
Keywords:Student control, Web 2.0, social networking, diversity and widening participation, blended learning, curriculum design, new generation learners, partnerships between academics and students.
In this paper we argue for university pedagogies to be in tune with the ways in which the present generation of students are constituted as learners through their engagement with technologies. We propose that the technical expertise and the novel modes of being which are characteristic of this generation offer radical pedagogic possibilities for growing learner engagement. In making this proposal, we suggest a reconfiguration of curriculum design in order to foreground students' expertise with technology, particularly Web 2.0. We propose that these capabilities be deployed in partnership with academics. The paper maps out the conceptual terrain and reports on the first cycle of action research projects which have been designed to trial the reconfiguration we suggest. Early findings indicate seven particular and differential ways in which students have profited from this reconfiguration, most notably through the use of peer led Facebook groups as a hub and a means of peer support.
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