Mid-month Musings #7

From a conversation @BALEAPCreative Speakeasy to application in the classroom

by Jane VickersSenior Lecturer in EAP at Nottingham Trent University and our very own SIG Secretary

Impact. We all know the importance of evidencing impact. Usually from the perspective of the impact of our actions on student learning. But what about the impact of attending an event on our practice?

Imagine this:

  • an idea gleaned during a conversation at a @BALEAPCreative Speakeasy event
  • an online literature search
  • a spur of the moment decision to attend a drop-in with @NTUHUM_LTSU colleagues
  • a technical solution for aforementioned idea
  • a piloting in an online classroom
  • a positive reaction from learners
  • an @NTUHUM_LTSU blog post

Before I attended the December @BALEAPCreative Speakeasy event, I would never have imagined the impact that hour of my time would have.

The conversation at the Speakeasy event was about vocabulary. Specifically, about supporting undergraduate fashion students to increase their subject specific vocabulary. The idea of a collaborative glossary was mooted. A suggestion that lingered in the back of my mind over the Christmas break and into the start of the new term.

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

But how to put the ‘collaborative glossary’ idea into practice?

I carried out a (not exhaustive!) literature review confident that other educators would provide me with a technical solution more sophisticated than my idea: a shared Word document / Excel spreadsheet.  The review revealed Moodle (Hutton, 2017), Wikis (Notari & Honegger, 2016; Diez-Pascual et al., 2019), SDL MultiTerm, a software system for terminology management (Pixel, 2016 – see Stepanova & Svetova) and Google Excel (Garcia-Sanchez & Lujan-Garcia, 2020)…none of these really grabbed me. 

Luckily mid search, a Teams notification popped up on my screen for an @NTUHUM_LTSU (Nottingham Trent University’s Learning and Teaching Support Unit) drop-in session. On dropping-in and explaining that I needed a tool to create a collaborative glossary, it didn’t take long for @BethanyWitham & @JosephKenney23 (NTU Learning Technologist colleagues) to suggest that Microsoft Lists might be just what I was looking for. The rest, as they say, is history, and you can read about it in their blog post about my work.

An example of the online collaborative glossary

Have you developed an idea from a @BALEAPCreative event? Please do share with us if you have!


Díez-Pascual, A.M.; García-Díaz, P.; Peña-Capilla, R. 2019. Experience in the Use of Social Software to Support Student Learning in University Courses of Science and Engineering Degrees. Educ. Sci. [online] 9, 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010005

García-Sánchez, S., Luján-García, C., 2020. Lifelong Learning and ESP Vocabulary: Reflections in Telecommunications and ICT. ELOPE (Tiskana izd.), 17(2), pp.195–218. 10.4312/elope.17.2.195-218.

Hutton, W., 2017. Using Moodle’s glossary activity to promote the acquisition of historical and political terms on an International Foundation Programme. In Peace, M., ed., 2017. Innovative ideas for enhanced student engagement. University of Reading,15th July 2017. Reading, pp. 8-10

Notari, M., & Honegger, B.D., 2016. How to Collaborate using a Wiki. In: Notari, M., Reynolds, R., Kai Wah Chu, S., & Honegger, B. The Wiki Way of Learning: Creating Learning Experiences Using Collaborative Web Pages.  Chicago: ALA Editions, 2016, pp. 41-53.

Pixel, ed, 2016. Proceedings of ICT for Language Learning.  Florence, Italy. 17-18 November. Italy: libreriauniversitaria.it edizioni.]

Witham, B. 2022. Together We Can Do So Much: Building a collaborative glossary. [online]. Available at: https://ntuhum-ltsu.com/uncategorized/together-we-can-do-so-much-building-a-collaborative-glossary/ [accessed 14 June 2022].

Featured Image on main Blog Feed page by Merakist on Unsplash.

Jane Vickers is a Senior Lecturer in EAP at Nottingham Trent University. She teaches on and contributes to the management of the Pre-sessional EAP (PEAP) courses. She also designs and delivers In-sessional Academic English sessions to Undergraduate Fashion students and Postgraduate Graphic Design and Illustration students within the School of Art & Design.  Jane’s scholarship interests include using creative teaching practices to engage learners and encourage participation.  Read Jane’s full profile here.

Jane is also our Creative Disciplines SIG Secretary.

Jane.Vickers@ntu.ac.uk  @JaneEVickers


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