Students are currently engaging in active, trans-disciplinary and collaborative learning projects in small groups around common research themes: creative cultural industries, shamanism, tourism, dictatorship, national identities, sport and nationalism, Church/gender/sexuality, gangs and narcoculture. Students chose their own group themes and are carrying out both studies of individual topics within the theme as well as a group project (a theoretical-critical overview of what is at stake in the general theme). They research together in tutorials, as well as online and in the library, and communicate both online and face to face. Group work requires them to be mutually supportive and solve communication and conflict issues (differences of opinion, workload sharing disputes, group work design, etc.)
Assessment activities are designed to have a self-reflective component both ‘during and after’ the submission of the assignment. This is achieved by encouraging students to request peer appraisal of their individual components of their assignments before submission. In addition, students will submit a half-page reflection on the tutor’s comments and mark on their assignment (thanks Simon) and their overall perception of the quality of their work. On the student side, then, teamwork and interactive interpersonal skills are key to success; on the staff side, clear guidelines and scaffolding techniques are necessary.