AI in education: conversation online and the impact agenda

Trish Strzelecka
Wednesday 21 February 2024

In this workshop, we will consider how the impact agenda has accelerated the use of social media by academics and explore whether this agenda might incentive certain kinds of behaviour online. We look at how social media algorithms influence how well or badly conversation, and communication more generally, goes in online environments, and consider whether, and to what extent, social media actually fosters public understanding of research. We also consider ethical issues at stake when communicating research online and what it might be to converse responsibly online.

Increasingly, academics use social media to disseminate their research. This uptake in social media usage is partly driven by the prominence of the impact agenda in higher education. But while communication and conversation online sometimes goes well, it also can go badly, and it is not obvious that disseminating one’s research online does (or even can) foster public understanding of it. Future teachers and lecturers will find it useful to have the opportunity to think about and discuss how social media algorithms incentivise and drive conversation online, especially in the context of the impact agenda, and they need to think about the ways in which this can go both and badly. They will also need to understand the advantages, disadvantages, risks, and ethical issues surrounding the dissemination of research on social media. This workshop is designed specifically for postgraduates who are interested in further developing their skillset in order to enhance their employment prospects in the context of teaching, especially in the context of higher education. In advance of the workshop, participants will be asked to read an academic paper and a blog post that will be discussed in class. This will help students to recognise and relate to specific algorithmic practices in the context of education and will enable them to then use the knowledge and understanding they gain in the context of their own work.


Monday 4 March 2024
14.00 to 16.00

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