Digital Placemaking


Event: Digital Placemaking: how we use media across our learning spaces
Date: Wednesday 31st May 2017
Host: Edge Hill University

There are no more tickets at the moment – but please sign up to the waiting list from the link below

Sign up to the event:

Follow #melsig and #SIGCLANS for alerts
Joining instructions: to follow
Parking: Parking will be available for free onsite, simply quote the Gathering of the Clans event to the parking attendants. Please use car park entrance 1 (see campus map). The Business School is a few minutes walk from the car park.
Rooms: The Business School – B001 Lecture Theatre (building 9 on the Campus Map)

Organiser: MELSIG (@melsiguk) in partnership with EHU, ELESIGNW & ALTNWESIG
HASHTAG for the event: #melsig and #SIGCLANS

Description: The event will consider how learning space becomes learning place through the use of digital and social media in and out of the classroom. We will hear from academics and developers about how the learning space is becoming richer through blended and more personal and networked approaches.

The discourse around learning place relates the “salient qualities of specific learning places to successful learning activities, enjoyable learning experiences and good learning outcomes. Such connections between place and learning can be subtle and powerful.” – Ellis & Goodyear (2016)

Presentations and workshops will allow us to hear about and develop innovative blended learning spaces. The focus of this event relates to the range of ongoing MELSIG interests and provides an excellent networking opportunity.


The shape of the programme is firming up.

09:15 – 09:45 Registration and coffee
Business School Foyer

09:45 – 10:00 Welcome
Lecture Theatre B001

  • Welcome to EDGE HILL – Mark Schofield, Claire Moscrop
  • Welcome from representatives of ELESIG, MELSIG and ALT NWE SIG

10:00 – 10.25 What digital placemaking means to me
Lecture Theatre B001

Key activity

The concept of digital placemaking will be introduced briefly. Individually and collectively we will develop it during the day. Each presenter during the day will offer a response to this question and colleagues connecting into the conference will also give us their thoughts. We will pull together our answers in the plenary discussion at the end of the day.

10.30 – 11.20   Innovation at Edge Hill
Lecture Theatre B001

  • Kate Johnson and Helen Street – UX and the VLE: Looking at the VLE through students eyes (15 mins)
  • Carl Simmonds – Using video to engage students in other spaces (15 mins)
  • Phil Dixon and Derek Murray – Future gazing, learning spaces through VR and AR technologies (15 mins)

11.20 – 12.20   Innovation in the region and beyond
Lecture Theatre B001

  • Tunde Varga Atkins - Cityscape as a metaphor for assessment practice: report from an institutional evaluation of e-submission and e-marking,  University of Liverpool (20mins)
  • Esther Jubb - e-portfolios as digital place. University of Cumbria.
  • Philip Rothwell – A review of the current provision of ‘in class’ technology,  Liverpool John Moores University (20mins)

12:20 – 13.00      Lunch
Business School Foyer

Tune In! - experience Virtually Connecting over lunch wherever you are

13.00 – 14:00 Parallel sessions

Option 1: Learning Space Twalk
We leave Room B101 at precisely 13:00 and will walk and tweet in sync with other universities – sorry, we won’t wait!

Join us on this walk – wherever you are. Get a group together and join us at Edge Hill as we tweet, chat and walk the campus. Get yourself a group and follow this itinerary.

You are encouraged to organise your own #Twalk on your own campus if you can’t be here at Edge Hill. Here are some tips that will help you to plan it and connect around the hashtag #SIGCLANS. Here is an example guide for your walkers at your place

Option 2: Reaching out to the digital place
Lecture Theatre B001

Virtual Connecting: Place and displacement

Maha Bali, Center for Learning & Teaching at The American University in Cairo
What we can learn about place from Virtual Connecting (VC). VC is a global network of committed open educationalists who will discuss how their global hangouts foster digital placemaking. (20 mins)


A Sociologist walks into an arts centre… Getting “Beyond the Paywall”
Dr Paul Jones, University of Liverpool
Reflecting on my residency at Bluecoat, the UK’s oldest arts centre which is housed in Liverpool’s oldest building, in this talk I aim to share some strategies for creation of spaces for education ‘beyond the paywall’ (Back, 2008). (20 mins)

14:00 – 15:00    Parallel sessions

Option 1 – Digital Placemaking in a Hybrid Learning Space
Andrew Middleton, MELSIG and Sheffield Hallam University
Room B101

In this workshop, we will create, populate and publish a map of our hybrid learning space. A series of group challenges will explore the different types of formal and non-formal spaces we use for learning and how they connect to create a lifewide learning space.

Option 2 - Extending Lecture Spaces
Room B104

Examining how coalescent spaces can transform in-class and out of class learning
John Couperthwaite
How can we learn to blend live, in-class learning between physical and digital spaces? And how can teaching pedagogies adapt to new opportunities? This session will examine how digital advances in classroom learning are creating ‘coalescent spaces’ (White, 2016) in which students are empowered to collaborate through activities, discussion and feedback during class. Teachers also benefit from greater engagement through disrupting passive teaching approaches and being better informed of learner interaction and behaviours. Not only can this establish more engaged communities of learning in class, but it also encourages greater sequencing of learning before, during and after class based on the non-linear affordances of digital spaces.

Using Lecture Capture to Support Students with Disabilities
Stuart Philipson, University of Manchester
Software developments at the University of Manchester now mean that every lecture theatre and classroom space is used for the mass production of digital media to support students with disabilities. This short presentation will cover how we are using traditional lecture capture in a new way to provide targeted support to over 2,000 students with disabilities. Our developments will be freely available later this year as part of the open source system, Opencast.

15:00 – 15:45
Lecture Theatre B001

Option 1 – short presentations

Coding or Bust: The HiPy Story 
Robert Treharne, University of Liverpool  (15 mins)
HiPy (“Hello Python”) is a grassroots, student and researcher-led initiative that facilitates the learning of coding skills by helping to overcome the challenges of starting from scratch. The overarching aim of the project is to provide an open, warm and welcoming community for anyone who wants to learn how to code FOR FREE.The initiative relies heavily on the use of social media for promotion and the sharing of resources. It also uses a novel “Hive Learning” methodology to ensure that highly effective training is delivered using minimal resources.


Undergraduate use of video resources
Martin Gillie, University of Manchester  (15 mins)
A variety of video resources  - lecture capture, key concept videos and tutorial solution videos – are in increasingly wide use.  This talk will present the findings of a research project examining how undergraduate engineering students use these resources, how they are best developed,  and where the benefits and disadvantages of using them in teaching lie.


Facilitating innovation through collaboration: Central Teaching Laboratories’ Education Brokers
Dr Cate Cropper (University of Liverpool)  (15 mins)
The Central Teaching Laboratories at the University of Liverpool have become a multi award winning centre of innovation in laboratory teaching. Acting as education brokers, the CTL academics continue to support innovations such as new experiments, interdisciplinary projects and co-curricular events. Key to the success of the team are their modes of collaboration; co-location both physically and digitally. This presentation will provide a whistle-stop tour of CTL, innovations therein and the role of digital media in their achievement.

Or, Option 2 – short presentation and delegate thunderstom
Room B101


Delegate Thunderstorm: Make an offer! Short presentations and discussions hosted by you.

15:45 – 16.15 The Social Place! – Plenary
Lecture Theatre B001
We will all share what we have found out to make a record of the key take away points from today’s activities.

16:00 Finish and Depart


Ellis, R.A. & Goodyear, P. (2016). Models of learning space: integrating research on space, place and learning in higher education. Review of Education, 4(2), June 2016.