What is user generated content? 

In a typical module, the learning content is provided by the subject tutor. However, with the development of online learning and the availability of content across a range of mediums, this has empowered students to gather and personalise their content in new ways.  

User generated content is subject information that is gathered by the student and published onto a platform without having to be a course tutor. This is a great way for students to learn, as they are gathering information for their peers whilst also learning from them at the same time. It opens up ways of discussion on a more personal level that a student may not always feel comfortable doing with their tutor. I also offers an opportunity for students to question the content and suggest ways in which it could be improved.  

Advantages of user generated content  

  • Increased user-friendliness: 
    • If the students create the content themselves, it is more likely to adhere to their personal needs. 

Disadvantages of user generated content  

  • User dependent: 
    • Not all students may participate in the exercise, which can lead to a biased bank of information from students who are more likely to push their ideas forward.  
  • Reliability: 
    • All content will need to be monitored for accuracy, as students are not subject matter experts. However, giving feedback on student’s contributions can be another positive learning experience for them.  

How can user generated content exercises be implemented in my curriculum? 

During this period of hybrid learning, a user generated content exercise could be carried out using a discussion board in Blackboard. Students could be given a subject matter/title and then encouraged to post into the discussion board with any knowledge or research they have gathered on the topic. For more information on creating discussion boards, try this help guide: https://eatsupport.tees.ac.uk/staff/knowledgebase/discussion-boards/ 

A Blackboard Wiki is another tool to use for this. This allows students to cocreate content with their peers. This help guidprovides more information on creating Wikishttps://eatsupport.tees.ac.uk/student/knowledgebase/the-basics-of-using-a-wiki/ 

Another way to carry out this exercise would be to use Microsoft Teams. Teams can be utilised in a few different ways for collaborative learning, more information on this can be found here: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/12/01/collaborative-learning-with-microsoft-teams-2/ 

If you require any further assistance, please contact eLearning@tees.ac.uk  


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