Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning: developing academic strategies


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Richard Hall's workshop slides for SOLSTICE 2009.

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Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning: developing academic strategies

  1. 1. Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning Richard Hall (, @hallymk1) Heather Conboy (, @heaths123)
  2. 2. Some context <ul><li>In terms of your learners: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the journey they make into HE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the key issues that impact their transition into HE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how you manage these issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do technologies have a role in these descriptions? </li></ul>
  3. 3. e-learning rarely seen as separate or special mix of personal and institutional technologies advanced networking choice, access and control Complexity and blurred boundaries: an “underworld of communication and information sharing” Trying to understand the formal landscape
  4. 4. CoTIL project: headlines <ul><li>HEA e-Learning Research Observatory </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges of transitions: adapting to cultural and academic expectations; socialisation; contact with significant others; moments in time </li></ul><ul><li>The impact of read/write web technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Expand pedagogic borders beyond the classroom, campus and VLEs; radical or progressive pedagogies </li></ul><ul><li>Connectivism and personalisation - mentors rather than management </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ravensbourne, 2008
  6. 6. Enhancing transitions: mentoring <ul><li>As a programme leader or member of academic support you are considering peer-mentoring of “novice” learners. </li></ul><ul><li>You believe that technologies could enhance your approach. </li></ul><ul><li>What issues do you foresee in using technologies for peer-mentoring? </li></ul><ul><li>In order to address these issues, what will staff need to do to enhance student transitions using these technologies? </li></ul>
  7. 7. So, institutional or social tools? <ul><li>VLE = familiarity; ‘legitimate’ activity; administrative convenience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This preference related more to the mentors' intentions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social tools = chatty and informal; can be more critical. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ it was important that the mentees did not feel intimidated by the scheme, which was why we decided to use Facebook” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No greater engagement from mentees using social tools. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ as time went by without contact we resorted to any methods available” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Matters arising <ul><li>Social engagement and affective learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;it has been very rewarding for me, knowing that I have eased other peoples fears with regard to all aspects of the course.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Boundaries: mentors as stakeholders in an institutional scheme. However, being linked to the ‘institution’ might deter mentees from participating, and this impacted their selection of technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors having to ‘push’ their services and expertise. There are critical moments in time – assessments - that need to be seized. </li></ul><ul><li>More structured and earlier training, including on creating and maintaining communities, and emphasising the benefits for mentees. </li></ul>
  9. 9. One final issue <ul><li>Do staff turn technologies into an unnecessary boundary for mentors and mentees to cross? </li></ul>
  10. 11. Some references: 1 <ul><li>Anagnostopoulou, K. and Parmar, D. (2008) Practical Guide: bringing together e-learning and student retention, Middlesex University & University of Ulster, </li></ul><ul><li>Broad, J. (2006) ‘Interpretations of independent learning in further education’, Journal of Further and Higher Education 30(2), 119-43. </li></ul><ul><li>Giroux, H. A. (2005) Border crossings: cultural workers and the politics of education (2 nd edn.) Oxon: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Glasgow Caledonian University (2008) Learning from Digital Natives Project, HEA, </li></ul>
  11. 12. Some references: 2 <ul><li>Green, H. & Hannon, C. (2007) Their space: Education for a digital generation. London: DEMOS. </li></ul><ul><li>Ravensbourne (2008), Learner Integration : </li></ul><ul><li>University of Ulster (2008) Student Transition And Retention Project. </li></ul><ul><li>Yorke, M and Longden, B. (2008) The first-year experience of higher education in the UK (Phase 2), HEA. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Licensing This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license See: