Community of Practice 1st Meeting Notes

Community of Practice 1st Meeting Notes

Date: 24th June 2016

Location: Loughborough University

In attendance:

  • David Roberts (LU)
  • Peter Green (HUD)
  • Peter Gossman (MMU)
  • Kae Reynolds (HUDD)
  • Liz Rivers (HUD)


  • Mark Dransfield (YSJ)

This Community of Practice held its first meeting at Loughborough University on 24 June 2016. It was lovely to meet such committed individuals, so clearly concerned with pedagogic development.

The meeting lasted about 2 hours, give or take; minutes were not formally taken this time.

David R presented (using images, of course) his own journey into imagery in large group lecture pedagogy. This is a manifestation of Multimedia Learning (MML) as posited by the likes of Professor Richard Mayer and others, which is underpinned by the literature on Cognitive Load Theory. DR outlined the method and how he had integrated it into lecturing and then tested student reactions across 9 disciplines over three years. He presented these research findings to the group and the data for Loughborough showed marked increases in engagement, active learning, understanding and retention. The material is presently under peer review.

It quickly became clear that the group would widen its interest into the use of images into small group settings, undergraduate and postgraduate.

Discussions revolved around how to evaluate effectiveness in terms of engagement and retention and a few methods were considered.

It became clear that everyone present was very interested in progressing organically with imagery. This means that MMU and Hud were keen to develop their own variations on the method and test look for methodologies suitable to research effectiveness.

DR was invited to consider visiting MMU or Hud (or others) to do possible ‘guest’ lectures with students who would then evaluate the method under the leadership of local academics to see if the visual method ‘travels’ beyond Loughborough’s demographic. A number of other initiatives were proposed, and arrangements are to be left with hoisting institutions. The essence of the thinking was to try the method in a wider range of contexts and identify apposite methods to evaluate it.

It was also proposed that we think about this from a retention angle, using the Learning Pyramid’s claims of 5% retention of lecture knowledge as a baseline for comparing how much is retained after image-based lectures.

The group recognized that as well as advancing pedagogic methods beyond bullet-pointed slides, the CoP, in pursuing this line of inquiry, would likely multiply the development of data that could be published in a wide range of pedagogic peer-reviewed journals suited to each member’s REF unit; and that the novelty of this method was evidence of innovation and entrepreneurship, all of which suited Professional Development Plans as well as Personal Research profiles. We felt there was not point not exploiting our voluntary hard work and initiative, in the current career climate of HE.

If any of this group wants to explore more, anyone may propose a meeting around any relevant topic. In addition, if you can cover my travel expenses, I would be happy to come to your institution and give a full demonstration to your Department or other group (timetables permitting). I have done this with a few institutions here and in the US.

Finally, I wonder if we should have a name. Any suggestions welcome J

Thanks for all your interest and support.