Anne Tierney (Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, UK) & Louise Drumm (Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK)
In early 2020, we secured funding to develop a workshop for university staff, which used learning to play a ukulele as a way to demonstrate enquiry-based learning (Kahn & O’Rourke, 2005). Based on a workshop idea originally conceived by Laura Ritchie (Yes I Can?, 2020), we wanted to use a skill which was outside an academic’s comfort zone and support them to teach themselves (and each other) how to play the ukulele. Then COVID happened and we had to rethink our strategy. Like every other academic team, we had to move online. However, this was not a barrier for us as we were the current and former program leader for the MSc in Blended and Online Education at Edinburgh Napier University (https://www.napier.ac.uk/courses/msc–pgdip–pgcert-blended-and-online-education-postgraduate-distance-learning). We recruited 16 potential ukulele players and provided them with a scaffolded course on Moodle, which supported their learning over the course of 10 weeks. Using a curated set of YouTube videos and material available free on the internet, we worked asynchronously as a group, using discussion boards to communicate our progress and share hints and tips. Our hard work paid off with our play-ins, which we had at Christmas and St Patrick’s Day, playing together online. The group came together as a supportive community (Wenger, 1998), working together online, celebrating one another’s successes and helping each other learn to play. We present the evolution of the course, and our current plans to take it to a wider audience.
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