Skill Clouds Project Briefing Sept08


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A briefing on progress on the SkillClouds project given by John Davies and Carol Shergold in Sept 2008

Published in: Education
  • If we move on to the University perspective – the following slides outline the advantages and disadvantages of pulling in the skills data from different sources. Note that the information theoretically becomes more fine-grained and that the sources are not mutually exclusive.
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  • She wants to talk about her leadership skills. She clicks on the tag “leadership in her SkillCloud

    She sees links to a number of posts she has made for which she has used the skill tag “leadership”. One of these posts is the reflection on the mentoring scheme she took part in. Jo finds it useful to re-read the reflection and remember how much she learned during that volunteering activity.
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  • At the start of her 3rd year, Jo has used her Sussex Plus graduation review summarising her reflective activity and achievements at Sussex and she is now applying for a place on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme.
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  • Conceptually, this is how the two could be linked.

    As part of the Sussex Plus process, ‘Jo’ is writing up her reflections about what she has learned from working as a mentor. On the web page where she is posting her reflections, she is encouraged to think about the skills she’s developed and to view a display of skills with accompanying materials from a career expert.

    She feels that she’s developed her leadership skills, her team-work and her interpersonal skills, so she tags her post with these three skill tags and includes this in her end of year Sussex Plus personal development review.

    She can then “tag” her post with these skills.
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  • The next slides focus on the option to record data as part of Sussex Plus
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  • The context for this work is that SkillClouds is a pilot project, funded by JISC The University will need to decide if it is a good idea to implement it for all UG students, and if so how this will be resourced. We wanted to start addressing these issues, to give some time for thought about it, and also so that your input can shape the pilot phase of the project. Background May 2007 - TQEF action plan item ‘build a skills database’ To address the issue of making it easier for students to understand the transferable skills they are acquiring as part of their degree courses, and how they can use these skills in their future careers. Issue - the INTERFACE to the database would be very important - how could we encourage students to make use of this database?
  • Skill Clouds Project Briefing Sept08

    1. 1. SkillClouds: briefing and next steps <ul><li>The overall aims of today’s session are: </li></ul><ul><li>An overall briefing on the background, current progress and short term plans of the SkillClouds project </li></ul><ul><li>To look further ahead and think about its future direction </li></ul>
    2. 2. SkillClouds: briefing and next steps
    3. 3. <ul><li>Three types of activities with learners </li></ul>User-centred design sessions Tag cloud experiment Card sorting sessions
    4. 4. <ul><li>User Centred Design sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropology </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering & Design </li></ul><ul><li>Student Reps from range of subjects </li></ul>Students were strongly in favour of the ‘pervasive’, browse-style SkillClouds approach, and the idea that skills information would come to their desktops without them needing to search for it. In general they liked the tag cloud presentation of skills and the ability to drill down to deeper information on a given skill. General consensus away from weighting skills No strong preference for a user-generated content approach
    5. 5. Students’ ability to articulate their skills I think it’s quite hard to think about yourself in terms of your skills, especially when writing a CV and trying to sell yourself  to employers– if someone asks what skills you’ve got - I don’t know! Like I’m friendly and can write an essay !
    6. 6. Students’ experiences of skills information <ul><li>“ It’s quite difficult. We don’t say – right, we’re learning this skill and this skill. We just say we’re writing an essay or doing whatever course - it’s not thought of in terms of skills.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>“ They put it in our course documents, our skills or learning objectives or something, but I don’t think anyone ever reads that, because they all say the same thing.”  
    7. 7. Card sorting exercise
    8. 15. “ Woo! It knows things about me – I’m quite amazed !” “ This looks exciting – keywords [..] I can put in all those words you feel stupid for using like ‘team work’ but then you know [that] these are the words they are  probably looking for” “ [It] gives me ideas of how I can assert skills better on a CV and mention things I wouldn’t have thought of – [I’d] use it more as a springboard than a copy and paste.”   “ I think it’s really useful to have these initial headings and ways you can get across you have these skills and not sell yourself short [..] where it came up with all the synonyms of  how to describe a skill I think that is really useful and something I would use as well”
    9. 16. Next steps <ul><li>Autumn term - pilot the tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Career Development course for Biology & Environmental Sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A selected large degree programme within HUMS/SOCCUL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work on including student generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Work with any universities who are interested in exploring the tool </li></ul>
    10. 17. University data Student data
    11. 18. Options for student generated data <ul><li>Students can simply add/remove items from the cloud </li></ul><ul><li>Students can increase/decrease an individual tag in to reflect current priorities (and can save the cloud in this state) </li></ul><ul><li>Data recorded as part of Sussex Plus can allow students to record activities as tags that can be drawn into their cloud </li></ul>
    12. 19. How SkillClouds and Sussex Plus could be linked Jo writes a reflective piece on her webpage Can view a display of skills derived from SkillClouds skill database Leadership Team-work Interpersonal
    13. 20. Two years later…
    14. 21. Posted by Jo
    15. 22. Options for University sources of skills data
    16. 23. Source: University-level data <ul><li>Very cheap </li></ul><ul><li>One set of default resources </li></ul><ul><li>May lack credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Ignores importance of authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing in some elements of personalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Skills not tailored very closely to the individual </li></ul><ul><li>Careers experts can populate the cloud </li></ul>Source: School-level data
    17. 24. Source: Degree-level data Source: Course-level data <ul><li>Potential for high level of personalisation - could reflect actuality of students’ choices i.e. electives, options </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud could help inform course choice </li></ul><ul><li>Skills may be similar across courses so could end up with ‘degree-level’ cloud despite substantial investment </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive to collect for all courses – high level of academic input </li></ul><ul><li>Positives: </li></ul><ul><li>Reflects the core degree skills </li></ul><ul><li>High level of authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Negatives: </li></ul><ul><li>Skills not tailored very closely to the individual </li></ul><ul><li>Requires more academic input </li></ul>
    18. 25. Map assessment types to skills <ul><li>Relatively inexpensive in terms of resource requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Links skills with assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Not all skills will be covered </li></ul><ul><li>Won’t always know when a skill is in a course </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud may not be very rich if assessments are similar across courses </li></ul>