Glenis Lambert Gradskills Dec08

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Glenis Lambert Gradskills Dec08

  1. 1. You can’t make it drink unless it is thirsty..” The use of learning objects to support students’ Graduate Skills: A case study. Glenis Lambert Canterbury Christ Church University May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Drivers and research </li></ul><ul><li>Aims of the Graduate Skills project </li></ul><ul><li>An overview of the site </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>More questions </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  3. 3. Drivers behind this project: <ul><li>Very diverse student body </li></ul><ul><li>Large number of “non traditional” students on vocational courses </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns about continuation and student failure </li></ul><ul><li>Need to move from a deficit model of student support to a skills enhancement model </li></ul><ul><li>Formulation of a Graduate Skills Policy </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/support/learning-teaching-enhancement-unit/key-skills/index.asp </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  4. 4. Drivers behind this project May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU <ul><li>Average time 34 seconds . </li></ul><ul><li>All students preferred searching to browsing. </li></ul><ul><li>In answer to a question about browsing for information- </li></ul><ul><li>“ You need to browse once you’ve found things once you’ve searched. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ … browsing is aimless. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you know the site, you can browse through. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m not going to browse the University site. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I use Google – wouldn’t use the University site. ” </li></ul>“ If you can’t find information by searching through links on the University web site, how long would it be before you go elsewhere? ” Searching versus Browsing; from a student focus group
  5. 5. Drivers behind the project May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU What is your preferred method of finding online study support materials? - Staff
  6. 6. Drivers behind the project <ul><li>Students told us that: </li></ul><ul><li>They had difficulty finding the many resources we provide online to support their study skills. </li></ul><ul><li>There was a confusing amount of advice on the University web sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the information was contradictory . </li></ul><ul><li>They want resources to have the authority of their academic staff by being contextualised with their programmes of study. </li></ul><ul><li>They would rather search for resources than browse for them on the web. </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  7. 7. Drivers behind the project May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU An Overview of existing online study support resources
  8. 8. Drivers behind the project <ul><li>Staff told us that they: </li></ul><ul><li>sometimes feel “ de-skilled ” when helping students with study skills and personal development planning . </li></ul><ul><li>wanted access to a body of generic central resources which supported key areas such as academic writing, avoiding plagiarism, citing references. </li></ul><ul><li>want central resources which are appropriate to their needs and can be delivered in context . </li></ul><ul><li>Final Evaluation Report, Kent PLPP Project March 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>wanted ownership of the resources, not just the ability to put links into their Blackboards, as these were sometimes ephemeral. </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  9. 9. Aims of the Graduate Skills project <ul><li>Our existing bank of student study support materials to be made into reusable learning objects . </li></ul><ul><li>Delivered via a search interface which allows both staff and students to access relevant resources, which are clearly described. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff to be able to download the resource and unpack it in their VLE . </li></ul><ul><li>Students to be able to download the resource and work on it offline . </li></ul><ul><li>All resources available in printable format . </li></ul><ul><li>Users have ability to add tags (user-defined metadata), rate and comment on resources. </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU A Wish List.
  10. 10. An overview of the Graduate Skills Website <ul><li>http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/graduate-skills </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  11. 11. Preliminary Evaluation May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU “ I think the way they were taught at school, like 'chalk and talk' has a larger impact than we imagine and they feel that they do not want to study for 'my benefit' in their own time. The bridge between personal study and drive and the wider concept of better assignments seems to be missing in their minds” “ Most students do not seem to take full notice of advice provided - they don't do the reading required, don't prepare for seminars properly - so why would they do the 'extra' study support?” In general, do you feel that your students engage with additional study support which they have to do in their own time?
  12. 12. Preliminary Evaluation May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU However - a significant proportion of the downloads were of single objects. How are staff using the site?
  13. 13. Preliminary Evaluation May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU Number of visits to site from 1 st September 2007 to 1 st May 2008 Access of Index Page, indicating search 7261 Access of remaining pages 5182 Total number of accesses 12443 Average number of accesses per month 1555 Visits to Download Page 312 Visits to Help page 46
  14. 14. Preliminary Evaluation May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU … .” I think a really BIG DEAL needs to be made of the fact that employers actually want applicants to have these skills and this is what they ask for in job specs “ Which of the following areas do you think students most need help with?
  15. 15. Some Evaluation May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU Top 10 Resources, Sep 07 – March 08 / Sep 08 – Nov 08
  16. 16. Preliminary Evaluation May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU “ Learning to study takes ... a lifetime. We must be prepared to keep engaging students with study skills. “ At which point in your programme do you feel that students most need help with study skills?
  17. 17. Preliminary Evaluation May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU Do you direct students to additional support for their study skills?
  18. 18. Preliminary Evaluation <ul><li>When supporting students with study skills, indicate which of the following </li></ul><ul><li>centrally provided items you would find MOST useful </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  19. 19. May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  20. 20. Conclusions <ul><li>The different ways in which staff and students prefer to access online materials affects the effective provision of study support resources </li></ul><ul><li>There is a tension between the way in which students want to be supported and the way in which staff provide support </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership by academic staff of both the site and resources is necessary if a central site based on learning objects is to be successful. </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  21. 21. More questions than answers.... <ul><li>Podcast to support student learning and developing study skills at Level 1' by Libby Rothwell, Kingston University, from the IMPALA workshop at the BDRA Learning Futures Conference 9th January 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>https://breeze.le.ac.uk/lfconimpalalibby/ </li></ul><ul><li>Are reusable learning objects still an appropriate technology for delivering student study support? </li></ul><ul><li>Are reusable learning objects an appropriate technology for supporting staff indelivering student study support? </li></ul>May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU
  22. 22. Self-starters May 2008 © Glenis Lambert LTEU

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