Supporting the Development of Effective Learners
in a Digital Age
The University of Bradford has identified and supported a number of different areas relating to the
development of effective learners in a digital age. Our main area of activity has been our Develop Me!
strategy. Develop Me! is an umbrella term for a number of different activities all designed to support students
effectively during their time at University. The activities help students manage the transition into and initial
engagement with Higher Education level studies, develop their skills and confidence and ultimately succeed
at University. The activities included in this poster outline some of these areas of focus.
Research into the Student Experience Staff Development
Continuous research is conducted into ADEPT: Academic Development to Enhance
the student experience. This process Professional Teaching
begins prior to arrival where ADEPT supports the continuing professional develop-
students are asked about their ment (CPD) of academic and support staff involved in
expectations of university, and continues the learning, teaching and assessment process by providing:
throughout their lives at Bradford. The A Skills Mapping and Reflection Tool (SMART) which encourages staff to
influential first year experience (FYE) survey has identify and reflect upon teaching practice, current skills and
highlighted a number of issues which have been development needs.
addressed subsequently to do with induction, transition, Online development resources covering a rich mix of topics to aid skills
support and access to learning materials. The outcomes development needs identified through SMART.
of the research inform the development of policy at Opportunities for sharing practice, collaborative working and active
institutional level. learning through a series of online special interest groups (SIGs).
Tools and support for performance review.
Online materials help students to develop confidence and competence in different skills. Self study learning
materials include study guides, booklets and materials from LDU workshops. The university has developed a
bespoke tool, SaPRA (Skills and Personal Reflective Activty) to help students to reflect on their levels of
confidence in different skill areas. Each area (digital literacy, academic reading, academic writing, group
working and so on) provides an opportunity to think about how this skill will be used in the course and where
students need to develop more confidence. SaPRA utilises PebblePad to provide a holistic environment in which
to reflect, evidence and plan activities.
Underpinning our approach to supporting learners has been the ongoing development of key policies and procedures e.g. our IT
Strategy. Recent developments include a review into how we use our VLE as well as more work focusing on the use of social tools. Our
IT Strategy identifies a number of issues which affect the student experience. An approach which address four different levels has been
implemented. These four levels are i. personal; ii. department; iii. university and iv. world.
How we establish, embed and support our IT services and engage with our VLE is crucial to the overall student experience.
Use of Social Tools to Support Student Transition
The use of social media has exploded over the last ten years and we make use of a number of different tools to support and enhance
the student journey. Key to this approach has been the introduction of a university owned social network, hosted in ning. The Develop
Me! network provides an opportunity for students and staff to meet and chat with each other prior to arrival. For our international
students it provides an opportunity to engage in an equivalent learning experience to that of home students. For our mature students
there is an opportunity for them to engage in asynchronous discussions with their peers and to share ideas and support. The Student
Union make use of Facebook and Twitter to promote and share events.
For more information about any of these initiatives please contact Becka Currant, Dean of Students
Mobile: 07917 241214 Tel: 01274 236821 Email: email@example.com Twitter: beckacurrant