Effective use of educational media

2 hour session with activities

Supporting materials


  • Group: up to 30
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Room: flat seminar room
  • Discipline: any, can be tailored
  • Level: any, can be tailored

Learning outcomes

After engaging with this support, you will be able to:

  • Reflect critically upon how to incorporate educational media into individual practise
  • Explore different educational media and their potential for implementation
  • Design a learning activity that incorporates educational media to support learning

Suggested online resources

Session content

Introductions (Slides 1 & 2):

The first part of the session introduces students to facilitators. Identify what will be covered during the session:

  • Exploration of different types of educational media.
  • Critically reflecting on your own use/current practice.
  • Designing a session or activity which effectively uses educational media

Summarise by explaining the format the session will take; discussions, action planing and activities.

Agenda setting (Slide 2)

Screenshot of slide asking students ‘What they want from the session’.

Students are introduce to 3 questions:

  1. How does educational media/technology make you feel?
  2. What do you want to know?
  3. What do you want to be able to do?

Students are asked to consider these questions and feedback to facilitators in order to shape the session. Responses are written on a flip chart and discussed as they are fed back. Facilitators use these throughout the session and revisit at the end.

Communities of practice (slides 3 & 4):

In this next part of the session students are introduced to the idea of communities of practice and key learning theories and frameworks related to education media.

Screenshot of slide 4 ‘’Connectivism, Social, Collaborative, Active, Peer-to-peer. Communities of practice’.

Facilitators give an over view of relevant educational media research and how it all fits together to form a community of practice. Social constructivism and connectivism, blended and active learning in particular are highlighted

Emphasise how educational media and technology can enhance learning experiences. It can support and enable learning, increase engagement; however it is not always the answer!

Highlight to students that the theories covered here have one thing in common and that is learning with others. Theory has its place: but it should be considered alongside other elements. References are given for these theories on the final slide and also at the end of this post.

Exploring current practice — (Group discussion)(Slide 6):

Ask students to discuss in their groups (5 minutes):

How do you currently integrate educational media into your teaching?

Students are asked to summarise their discussion on flip chart paper. Students are encouraged to continuing using the slip throughout the session to make comments and pose questions.

Learning challenge stalls (Slide 7):

In this next part of the session students are introduced to 4 stalls setup around the room. Each stall has a selection of case studies and educational technology examples. Each stall also has an example of a learning challenge we have identified, which may be answered by the use of some of technologies on the stall. Students are asked to spend time at each stall and carry out the following tasks.

Explore each station — paying attention to the case studies and educational media available.

Identify what would work for your own practise.

Discuss what mitigations are needed to incorporate this technology into your teaching.

Review the ABC toolkit identifying the various ways it can be applied or actioned.

Decide where it fits in relation to the 4 main areas of discuss, create, collaborate and reflect.

The facilitator will keep groups moving by asking them to change stalls every 5 minutes. If you have more time it is worthwhile extending this part of the session to 10 minutes at each station to give students enough time to explore each of the technologies.

Solving your learning challenge (Slide 8):

After all groups have have visited each station students are asked to take the learning challenge card from their current stall back to their table.

An example of one of the challenge cards from the first stall.

Each group will have a different challenge to use in this part of the session. There are 4 in total as follows:

  1. You are delivering a session for 200 students. It will be taking place in a lecture theatre on campus. Some of the students may not be able to attend as they are on placements.
  2. You are facilitating a problem/inquiry/case based learning group. There are usually about 12 students present.
  3. You mentor a small group of professional postgraduate students. The students all work at different sites and are on different placements around the region. You meet face to face 4 times per year at training events.
  4. You are supporting a small group of students who are working on individual research projects in your field. One of the students is currently working abroad.

Each of the groups is given the following instructions for the activity:

- Use the iPads to complete the form ‘Planning your session/activity’ based on their learning challenge from the stalls activity.

- Participants should respond to the learning challenge by planning a short activity to engage learners incorporating appropriate technology. Each group should be able to outline their rationale for their planning.

- You may want to start ABC learning design cards to identify the objective and then discuss appropriate technologies on the reverse.

Inclusive learning design (slide 9):

Screenshot of slide 9, ‘Inclusive learning design’.

In this next part of the session students to best practice guidance for designing learning which inclusive and accessible.

Accessibility principles:
To create inclusive learning materials that can be accessed by all audiences, including:

  • Students with disabilities and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
  • Students learning via distance and partially online, specifically those with limited access.
  • Students who speak English as a second language.

To enable all students to gain the most from teaching materials by removing barriers to access such as:

  • Taking a text-only approach to the first iteration of new materials.
  • Providing alternative formats such as transcripts, blogs, video, and audio.
  • Providing access to openly and specifically sharing these before and or after events as appropriate.

Students are provided with a link (embedded into their Blackboard space) to more detailed guidance on designing accessible materials, including links to further resources such as ‘Copyright for teaching materials’.

Creating an action plan (Slide 10):

In this final part of the session students are asked to reflect on their own practice, reviewing the flips at the start of the session and also what they have learned in the session. They are asked to contribute to a Padlet which has been embedded into their Blackboard space.

The Padlet asks students to add action(s) relating to:

  • What you are going to try?
  • Why you’re going to try it?
  • When you are going to do it?

Summary (Slide 11):

At the end of the session facilitators revisit the agenda from the beginning of the session and ask the SCONUL evaluation question.

Further reading (Slide 12):

Students are are advised of what has been placed into the course space on Blackboard which includes all the materials used in the session as well as further reading.

Suggested reading:


  • Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity.
  • Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3–10.
  • Tinto, V., 2003. Learning better together: The impact of learning communities on student success. Higher Education monograph series, 1(8), pp.1–8.
  • Vygotsky, Lev (1978). Mind in Society. London: Harvard University Press.

MEDN67090, R19–0518



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