Guest post – DigiLearn: Maximise engagement with Sway

Published by Caroline Carlin on

Author: Kirstie Harrison, School of Nursing

Existing Approach or Challenge

“We’ve always done it this way”

I don’t know about how you feel when you hear this phrase, but I believe that it can really stifle a team’s motivation for change, hinder innovation and really disrupt a team that is looking to move forward and challenge the ordinary.  As facilitators of learning, I believe it is our duty to              challenge this corrosive phase!  As a new member of the team. I am always learning—so when I become involved in prepping materials for our students, I really wanted to see what else was out there – how else other than PowerPoint, could we deliver engaging material to our students.  Microsoft Sway was a new and exciting way to create slick looking presentations for the classroom.

 Value of Technology

A main selling point of Sway is that it has the ability to take the hassle out of formatting your content by creating pre built templates, otherwise known as ‘cards’.  You can choose from images, text, graphics, videos and Sway will automatically format your chosen item for you.  For example, if you want to create a ‘stop and think’ moment for the student then you can click the text and emphasise it.  No more formatting text size or text box – Sway will keep it looking Swish!   Another consideration is that these days, a smart device comes in all shapes and sizes; Sway (rather cleverly) will adapt your Sway to display appropriately across a range of devices.  Meaning your Sway will look slick on a mobile phone, PC or Mac.

I decided to test the use of Sway within the Pre Registration Nursing A&P Module – in  particular, the Respiratory System was my weapon of choice.  I created a systematic  journey of the respiratory system and the functions.  I embedded a short overview video to set the scene,            various text and graphics and enjoying taking those ‘stop and think’ moments to relate the system to a patients bedside.  Adding some real food for thought!

Impact on Learning and Teaching.

It created a new and innovative way to deliver a session.  I felt that there was no ‘reading from the slides’ which we all do try and avoid when delivering a session.  It was refreshing, bright and the slick presentation lent itself to a smooth journey through the respiratory system!  You could say a real ‘inspiration!’ See what I did there?!


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