#LTHEchat 176: How do students engage with learning technologies? With guest host Professor Momna Hejmadi @bssmvh

The impact of covid has brought with it the potential to rethink, maybe radically, traditional pedagogies. However, the emergence and adoption of new technologies may not necessarily be used in a consistent manner across modules, courses and institutions. This diversity of teaching and learning situations in which learning technology might be used, coupled with the heterogeneous nature of the tools themselves, can also have a bearing on how we understand the impact of technology within education.

A plethora of data (gathered through surveys or interventions) highlight the benefits of technology -enhanced learning, particularly the way in which they can facilitate student engagement both within and outside the classroom, but there is a lack of scholarly consensus on the impact of technology on student engagement with their learning. In this chat, I explore how we might define or differentiate different types of engagement with technology. For instance,

  1. Is academic engagement (time on task, completion of assignments) distinct from behavioural engagement (attendance in online forums) or cognitive engagement (strategies for learning, self-regulation)?
  2. Should emotional engagement (enjoyment, enthusiasm) be subsumed within affective engagement (a sense of belonging to an online group)?


Momna Hejmadi is a Professor of Bioscience Education & Technology, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science, University of Bath. She oversees the Faculty of Science’s undergraduate and postgraduate taught learning, teaching and student experience for the 7 departments within the faculty. She was awarded the UK National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) in 2015.

Professor Momna Hejmadi

Given the current gap in literature, Momna has a thematic analysis underway on student engagement with learning technology. In the meantime, the reviews by Christenson and Reschly 2019 might be of interest.

Links: University of Bath, NTF

Curation of the chat:

The Wakelet from this week’s chat is now available!


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#LTHEchat 175: Teaching as performance: performative aspects of teaching in higher education with guest host Dr Richard Bale @RichBale

When you are teaching, to what extent do you feel like you are performing, acting, or entertaining your students? What inspiration might we draw from the skills and techniques of actors, singers, dancers, stand-up comedians, improv troupes, and other performing artists? These are some of the questions that we will explore in this LTHEchat.

In some educational contexts and cultures, teaching as performance is well established as a way of thinking about the performative aspects of a teacher’s role. In North America, for example, colleagues seem accustomed to reflecting on their vulnerabilities as teachers, and on how their teaching role relates to the performer’s craft. See Sarah Rose Cavanagh’s piece All the Classroom’s a Stage for an illuminating reflection on this topic. 

In the training of primary and secondary school teachers, there are often courses exploring the links between teaching and performance. During my own PGCE in Secondary Modern Languages, for example, we had input from actors and singers to help with confidence when speaking and presenting, and to practise breathing techniques and voice projection. This seems to be less the case in the higher education context, though some universities offer one-off sessions in performance as part of professional development for staff. In my previous role working with Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), I developed a course called ‘Performative Aspects of Teaching’, in which participants explored their own feelings of ‘stage fright’ and aspects of their teaching performance. With yoga mats, breathing and relaxation exercises, and wacky activities inspired by acting and improvisation, this course provided a different way for participants – STEMM doctoral researchers – to think about their teaching role.

I hope this LTHEchat will spark some interesting discussions, both from those who are sceptical of viewing teaching as performance as well as from those who have experience of applying creative, performative approaches to teaching in higher education.

Photograph of Richard Bales


Richard Bale is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Educational Development at the Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship, Imperial College London, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). He has a PhD in corpus linguistics, translation and interpreting, and is the author of Teaching with Confidence in Higher Education: Applying Strategies from the Performing Arts.

See the Wakelet for this chat: https://wakelet.com/wake/HVNo5hYk5-sfAuvOZjzWC

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#LTHEchat 174: Do Games Technologies Have a Place in Higher Education pedagogy? with guest host Dr Chris Headleand @ChrisHeadleand

Intro: The technologies behind video games have been applied to a range of sectors. The playful nature of games combined with their intractability and aesthetic quality make them highly engaging. As such, serious games, and general gamification of content and process have become popular tools in many sectors. However, more recently people have been looking at applying the technologies of games more broadly to address challenges. Hosting conference calls in online role-playing games, or used building/sandbox games to teach basic mechanics. In many cases other (non games-based) software exists to tackle these issues, but occasionally the games platform provides additional benefits ranging from reliability to accessibility. In this LTHEChat we will discuss what, if any role Games-based technologies have to play in Higher Education.

Chris Headleand

Chris Headleand is an Associate Professor and the Director of Teaching and learning in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln. His research interests include Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Student Engagement, with a specific focus on to gaming applications and platforms. He graduated in 2009 with a degree in Design Education, a MSc in Computer Systems, a PGCHE, and a PhD in Computer Science from Bangor University. Beyond his Higher Education experience he has teaching experience, in the secondary and further education sectors, and he currently acts as a Governor for the Lincoln UTC. Chris has been exploring the use of video games in educational, and student engagement initiatives for 6 years.

See the Wakelet for this chat: https://wke.lt/w/s/xnMbwc

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So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

Dawne and Nathalie want to say thank you everyone for joining us during our tenure running the LTHEchat in the first quarter of 2020! We had over 3700 blog visits in March and are delighted to have been able to support the community and help gather resources and encourage conversations during the beginnings of a global pandemic, the outcome and reach of which is yet to be determined.

Colleagues and students alike have and are facing a complex multitude of challenges and we want to encourage you to stay connected, use the #virtualcoffee hashtag or revisit the resources on the blog here or visit the Wakelet in which we tried to curate some of the key resources.


If you want to catch up on the Covid19 Special Edition chats and resources, please feel free to use this open Google Sheet. The LTHEchat community has shared not only their thoughts and debates but also many resources.


If you want to explore the network of participation have a look the the special edition Tag Cloud here:

And if you want to have a look about the reach of the LTHEchat, the following map depicts about 70% unique users (there were some issues with geo-coding so we did not manage to catch everyone)


Thank you everyone,

Dawne and Nathalie

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LTHEchat Easter-Egg

The Image above is an interactive image, click on the yellow decorations and get links to fun stuff to do during your Easter Break.

For accessibility the links are also listed below:

Free Virtual Museum Tours and Exhibitions

12 Virtual Museum Tours


Open Culture Article with various links to Chinese Museums that have gone online due to shut down


Free Films and Audio

Free 80s and 90s Pop Culture VHS recordings


Free Children and Young Adult Audiobooks during school shut down


Free Collection or courses, books, and media on Open Culture


Historic Newsreel Films


Charlie Chaplin Films


Concerts and Plays Online

MET streams live opera


Globe London recorded Shakespeare Plays


Arts and Crafts

Free Museums Colouring Books


Mo Willems is teaching to draw on YouTube

Free Books

Guggenheim Free Art Books


New York Public Library


Free eBooks but also virtual objects and exhibitions


Free libary Resources

Recommendations from the LTHEchat Community

Hope we found them all! Please keep adding as you find things into the comments below, and thank you everyone for their suggestions!

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Quick link to Resources

During our week long #LTHEchat 170 we invited you to share your ideas, information, links and planning in order to create a compendium of virtual resources.

Our list has now merged with SEDA’s and is offered in the spirit of supporting teaching, learning and both the student and staff experience. The resources are not presented as ‘recommendations’, but as suggestions, with users best placed to select and adapt what works for them.

The master list of resources can be found here.

Aware of that the volume of resources available maybe somewhat overwhelming during #LTHEchat 173 we posed Question 5 to help curated the very best resources, pulling them together into a single space for ease of navigation.

So if you are able please use the same link to add in your favourite ‘go to’ resources.

Also to save you searching here are links to other spaces and places for the latest guidance, advice and support from @Seda_UK_, AdvanceHE and ALT

…and as our tenure as #LTHEchat organisers comes to an end we would like to thank everyone for participating,

@simonrae for the adorable images!,

#virtualcoffee and #LTHEchat

and all of our special guest hosts:

Professor Sally Brown, Dr Vicki Dale, Professor Martin Weller, Dr Laura Gibbs, Simon Thomson, also special thanks to Sue Beckingham, Chris Jobling, Kay Hack and Chrissi Nerantzi for supporting us, and also Professor Peter Hartley, and all of our colleagues at SEDA, AdvanceHE and ALT.


#staysafe and #stayhome

Kindest regards and warmest wishes

Dawne and Nathalie

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LTHEchat 173: Student and Staff Voices during a Pandemic and Online Pivot

Student (and staff) Perspectives and Feedback on current arrangements for Learning and Teaching with @suebecks, @belld17 and @drnsheridan

This is the last LTHEchat before the Easter Break and given the current circumstances of remote working, self-isolation, and online pivoting we collected the perspectives of students and staff experiencing this situation and created questions based on some of the key themes. We all hope that LTHEchat over the last weeks was able to offer you some support, resources and the feeling of belonging to an international community. And look forward to seeing you again after the Easter Holidays.

Word Cloud of Themes, for details follow this link: https://wordart.com/5qagkfppll3n/word-art


We are not letting you off into the break without a little bit of fun! For many of us the Easter Break, will very likely not be much of a break. To cheer you up and we have hidden a little Easter Egg in the questions. And will post an Easter Egg blog on Wednesday evening.

Your LTHEchat team!

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#LTHEchat 172: (How) Does assessment motivate students? with guest hosts Beverley Gibbs and Gary Wood

(How) Does assessment motivate students?

The concept of intrinsic motivation covers a number of ideas including students recognising that they are instrumental in their own success, believing in their own ability to succeed, and developing the deep personal interest that drives engagement and learning. It is accompanied by the hotly-debated idea that external rewards undermine the development of intrinsic motivation (Deci, Koestner & Ryan, 2001). This tweetchat invites the community to consider the ways in which summative assessment promotes or undermines intrinsic motivation.

What is less arguable is that assessment has proliferated across higher education. Modularisation, and the compartmentalisation of learning it has encouraged, has contributed to this escalation. There are more assessment points, more assessment types, and more reasons for adding assessment. As its best, assessment provides feedback opportunities (formative assessment) or measures learning in the progress and conclusion of a unit of study (summative assessment). However, we also use it for more pragmatic purposes such as managing students’ behaviour: to make them read texts, complete risk assessments for practical work, use particular facilities, to turn up and engage – to name but a few.

An important question, then, is what would happen if we stripped away assessments primarily to control behaviours? Is their only value to corral students with lower levels of intrinsic motivation to engage with study? To the extent that they achieve that aim, what detrimental impact do they have for the development of intrinsic motivation? Which students would thrive, and which would struggle, if we removed assessment for behaviour management, and what alternative scaffolding devices might help? Join us for this #LTHEchat to explore these questions, and share your experiences.

Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (2001). Extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation in education: Reconsidered once again. Review of educational research, 71(1), 1-27.



Bev is Director of Learning and Teaching (Strategy) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield where she looks after accreditation, pedagogy, curriculum and employability across the Department’s educational portfolio, and is Programme Director for 750 students on MEng and BEng Mechanical Engineering degrees. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has long-standing interests in student empowerment and in interdisciplinary learning. @bevgibbs

Gary …

Gary is a National Teaching Fellow and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is Head of Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA), an interdisciplinary, experiential development programme for high-potential undergraduate engineers, and University Teacher in Professional Skills, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. His work connects students’ learning to their career aspirations, with a focus on personalising their learning experience, and integrating learning through working on projects. He is passionate about student engagement in learning design, and the value of co-creation. @GC_Wood

The Wakelet for this Session

Coming soon…………….

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Following on from our very special week long #LTHEchat 170 https://lthechat.com/2020/03/11/covid19-special-edition/

we are keen to continue the support, especially with many of us now working at home alone new issue are likely to arise.

Social distancing’ doesn’t mean ‘social isolation!’

So lets help reduce anxiety by talking #PhysicalDistancing rather than social!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is virtual-coffee-5.jpg

So use #LTHEchat during the week to grab a #virtualcoffee (or tea!)

and as a community lets continue to support each other as we all work to continue to support our students

In addition to the weekly Wednesday evening 8-9pm (GMT) chats please remember that during the week you can continue to add to previous conversations, adding to or answering any of the questions posed.

Also to save you searching here are links to other spaces and places for the latest guidance, advice and support @Seda_UK_ and AdvanceHE

During the special week long chat #LTHEchat invited you to share your resources and contingency plans. Thank you to everyone for posting here, this link: https://tinyurl.com/w9txrq3 will now close and we have copied and pasted the information into SEDA’s list:

SEDA’s Coronavirus Resources and Links can be found here

The links to other resources created and collated during our special week long chat are here:

Professor Sally Brown: Assessment. https://tinyurl.com/tjhjrwf

Dr Vicki Dale: Online Pedagogies. https://tinyurl.com/r92q8d9

Professor Martin Weller: Effect on Students. https://tinyurl.com/u8pqqud

Professor Patrice Torcivia Prusko. Sharing Resources: Amalgamated into SEDA’s document.

Dr Laura Gibbs. https://tinyurl.com/twdatmn. And for Laura’s Blog please follow here: https://oudigitools.blogspot.com/2020/03/taking-your-students-on-tour-of-your.html

Simon Thomson. Please click here to visit Simon’s remote working guidance: https://t.co/hHkHvsBeBN?amp=1 and his blog post https://t.co/G8JloDLRLC?amp=1

So please feel free to post a question or invite a colleague for a #virtualcoffee!

Kindest regards and warmest wishes

Dawne and Nathalie

and thank you to @simonrae for the adorable images!

#virtualcoffee and #LTHEchat

Also thank you to all of our special guest hosts!

Professor Sally Brown, Dr Vicki Dale, Professor Martin Weller, Dr Laura Gibbs, Simon Thomson, and also special thanks to Sue Beckingham, Chris Jobling, Kay Hack and Chrissi Nerantzi.

and to Professor Peter Hartley and our colleagues at SEDA

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LTHEchat: 171 Learning in the Time of Covid19 – a Student’s View

As universities cancel face-to-face lectures and start to close libraries and other learning spaces, Principal Adviser for Learning and Teaching (Advance HE), Dr Kay Hack speaks to Ailbhe Kendall, a final year engineering student, about his concerns and thoughts on continuing to study through this public health emergency.

  1. What are the main concerns for you and your course and flatmates at the moment?  

The biggest worry amongst my friends is bringing the coronavirus home. Because of how students live and come into such close proximity with each other both at home and at university, there is the worry that it will spread extremely quickly through the student body. This is especially true for the large student accommodation blocks where you may have a couple of hundred students all in the same building. Because of the low mortality rate for people in our age group, catching it is not the major worry, but no one wants to travel home and risk introducing it to grandparents or other vulnerable family members. Although I know a few people are going home, most aren’t due to concerns about spreading coronavirus. I think most people are generally quite clued in and are paying attention to the discouragement of unnecessary travel and deciding to just stay at uni over the Easter break.

  • Your classes are scheduled to stop this week- how does that make you feel?

For me personally and many of my friends our biggest concern currently is projects/dissertations. For those that still need access to lab equipment there is a worry that they won’t be able to do it and get the results that they need for their dissertation.

Our libraries are still open, however I have stopped going to the library as it feels like an unnecessary risk. I do work far better at the library compared to being at home so it affects me in that way. It is definitely harder to get things done with everyone home all the time but it is manageable.

  • How ready do you think your lecturers are to switch to online learning?

 There is the obvious fact that many lecturers are not the most tech-savy people and I wonder how exactly lecturers will transition to an online digital learning environment. 

I can personally identify the lecturers that I would be confident of online teaching and the ones that I am not. There is a big disparity in digital literacy between lecturers. It is the difference between the one that is able to wirelessly screenshare her tablet through the projector so is able to do annotations but still walk about and help students during examples and the ones that can barely get PowerPoint to work. One of my flatmates gave the example of her lecturer who would always forget which blackboard was video recorded and would invariably use the wrong one – so the content wouldn’t be recorded.

  • What is the most important thing that lecturers should be thinking about when moving to online learning?

I’m not sure what the most important thing is, possibly getting all the content delivered, and delivered in such a way that we get a comparable experience to what we would have got in face to face lectures. For engineering students, and I am sure many other subjects, it is important to have the opportunity to see and work through examples, as concepts and problems build in complexity it is important to get real time feedback, or you can quickly become lost. Ultimately students are paying a lot of money for this content to be delivered and the university has a responsibility to still deliver it.

  • Have you been told about changes to your assessments due to COVID-19?

Some people have had deadlines moved back, however the response does not seem to be consistent across faculties. There have been emails informing us that there will likely be changes, in particular to exams, but nothing concrete on what these changes will be. I imagine it is a case of when they know we will know.

  • How well informed do you feel about how your learning and assessment will be managed over next few weeks?

Right now there is a lot of uncertainty in particular about assessment, and how exactly lectures are going to be delivered. My research project is the biggest thing I am currently working on, and that is my main worry. It seems likely that it will still have the same deadline, but luckily my project is based on computer modelling and I have all the software I need on my own laptop. I know others are not so fortunate. Right now it seems that exams are far away and it will be a matter of crossing that hurdle, as ever the biggest concern is the next assessment. Such is university life.

Based on this interview Dr Kay Hack has written a blog on how we can continue to provide students with inclusive and equitable access to their education during this public health emergency.

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