Global Twalkday – Engaging Students in their Course

Twalkday logoGlobal #Twalkday

Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Theme: Doing, being, becoming, belonging and connecting

Time: 3pm GMT (but options for other time zones to be decided)

What is Twalkday?

The Twalk will be co-ordinated globally and is planned to coincide with the start of the new academic year. It provides teachers with an opportunity to think about and engage their new and returning students in ideas about their course. The #twalk will last an hour and will be structured around five ideas:

  • Doing – what we do on our course and how we learn
  • Being – our culture, philosophy and identity
  • Becoming – our personal and social aspirations as our learning identities grow into professional identities
  • Belonging – how we foster a sense of home
  • Connecting – how the D3Bs work together and how we relate to the world beyond our course

About #Twalks

A twalk is a structured learning walk in which social media is used to connect us and our ideas with individuals and groups located elsewhere by following a common conversational structure. It epitomises a hybrid learning space in which the experience of the local is amplified and enhanced by the shared connected experience. It epitomises a generative learning space in that participants are networked co-producers of knowledge: as you walk and talk you find ways of representing your thinking through tweets and images using a common hashtag (in our case #twalkday).

Find out more about Twalks in the Twalk Toolkit.

The practicalities

#Twalkday coincides with the beginning of the new academic year and is intended to be experienced primarily as a local exploration of what it means to be on a course. The addition of Connecting to the D3Bs, however, situates that sense of local identity in ideas of identity beyond the local experience of the course itself. Course leaders, student leaders and other academic leaders at colleges and universities around the world are encouraged to run a #twalk involving their own students and staff. The outline plans, routes, and discussion structure will be common and this means that local #twalk leaders only need to think about,

  • How to establish your walking group
  • How to map the discussion structure to local places and practices at your college or on your course
  • How to introduce, embed, then follow-up the outcomes of the twalk activity.

More details about the #twalkday itinerary will be posted using that hashtag. You are strongly encouraged to use it as you adopt the idea and to double hashtag posts with a local variant so that your local #Twalk group has a common space.

Social media space

While a learning walk involves walking a physical route in a structured conversation, this is augmented by the use of social media space. Typically this has involved using a Twitter tweetchat as the method has a lot in common with a structured walk. However, other social media can be used. Instagram, for example, emphasises the visual and allows walkers to quickly capture significant moments and conversations. Using the hashtag in Google+ situates the activity within the context of an existing community, project or network. Similarly, where Facebook is familiar and established as an informal student space, Facebook Groups can work well.

Further information

Further information, guidance and outline maps will follow – watch this space! In the meantime, to find out more about #twalks, what they involve and how they are run look at our MELSIG Twalk toolkit on thgis site.