Becka currant elfyse march 2010


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Keynote presentation on using technology to enhance the student experience delivered at ELFYSE event in March 2010.

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  • But before we focus on that I just want to take a few moments to reflect on the preparation that students do/don’t do before they come to university.

    Journey metaphor: areas to think about. 2 mins for audience to reflect/scribble down some thoughts.
  • Sticking with the metaphor of transport for a moment…
  • Travel – wrong mode of transport for destination, lack of planning etc
  • 'in Britain there are 23 million active facebook users - that's 1 in 3 of us'
  • Becka currant elfyse march 2010

    1. 1. Using Technology to Support the First Year Experience: How could technology be used to support and enhance the student experience? Becka Currant Dean of Students University of Bradford
    2. 2. • "... programs which most effectively meet the range of transition issues…must be grounded and nourished within the "everyday life" of universities, in their learning & teaching environments and in their student support services, rather than developed and implemented from above. Qualitative data suggest that the extent to which students are "welcomed", their social interactions with teachers and their early experiences of course advice and support services are the most crucial variables in successful transition." Pargetter et al (1998) in Cook & Ashton, Student Transition: Practices and policies to promote retention Context
    3. 3. • How do your programmes become ‘grounded and nourished’? • What do you do to welcome your students? How? • Do you provide social interactions with teachers? • How do you embed course advice and support services? Key Questions…
    4. 4. What preparation do our students do before they come?
    5. 5. We need to help students understand… • What modes of transport are available • Which mode is the most relevant for that stage of the journey • How they can revise their travel plans accordingly in the event of: – Accidents and emergencies – Roadworks – Adverse conditions – Last minutes changes to plans
    6. 6. Students 2.0? • Who/what are modern students? • A vision of students today Wesch (2007) • JISC Learner Experiences projects • What issues do they face? • What challenges does this pose for us? • How do we respond to differences from the ‘norm’?
    7. 7. What about Universities 2.0? • Diversity of entry routes • Issues of dealing with developing autonomy • Older – with additional responsibilities/issues? • More local, many with existing established peer groups • Earning whilst learning • Unsure what University life is about – Moving from modular, assessment based units to ‘reading’ for a degree? • Funding issues; pressure to find solutions outside of ‘normal’ model
    8. 8. Why Do Students Leave University? • Because they are not engaged • Not engaged academically – “I am not clever enough” – “The course is not what I thought it would be” • Not engaged socially – “I feel lonely” – “I am homesick” – “The other students are not friendly” • Not engaged professionally – The course is not helping me develop the skills I need for future work – I don’t want to be xxxx anymore
    9. 9. • How students manage the process of transition? • What mode of transport are they using? • What do they expect to happen? • What are their hopes, fears and aspirations? Do we know…
    10. 10. Why Come to University? • Balance of power between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation • Why have they decided to come to University at all? • What do they expect… – of University itself? – to do once they leave?
    11. 11. Why Are You Here? • Because “I have nothing else to do” • Because “my parents/siblings told me to come” • Because “I don’t want to get a job” • Because “I want to study the subject” • What impact will this have on engagement? • What does it mean for our learners’ journey? • How can technology support the process?
    12. 12. What does all this mean? • Challenges with engaging students in their studies • Conflicting pressures and concerns taking focus away from University • Lack of ‘academic maturity’ • Poor decision making
    13. 13. • What we can do to make it easier/more effective? Do we know…
    14. 14. 1. Make Research-Based Learning the Standard 2. Construct an Inquiry-Based Freshman Year 3. Build on the Freshman Foundation 4. Remove Barriers to Interdisciplinary Education 5. Link Communication Skills and Course Work 6. Use Information Technology Creatively 7. Culminate with a Capstone Experience 8. Educate Graduate Students as Apprentice Teachers 9. Change Faculty Reward Systems 10. Cultivate a Sense of Community Ten Ways to Change Undergraduate Education The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University: REINVENTING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION Boyer, 1999
    15. 15. What Can We Do? • Identify student expectations of University • Make explicit institutional requirements • Provide holistic induction experience • Support assessment process – Provide early formative assessment – Engage with curriculum to inspire learners • Define curriculum engagement • Academic and Social integration
    16. 16. “Technology isn’t a solution though is it? People should be spending more time on campus face to face to deal with these issues. Students should be engaging with each other. Let’s have less online and more face to face.”
    17. 17. Student/Learner Development We’re on the fringes
    18. 18. Needy students will seek us out Student/Learner Development
    19. 19. Traditional advertising reaches a few more Student/Learner Development
    20. 20. What about social networking tools? There are many more but these are the ones we’ve been using
    21. 21. If Facebook were a country 0 200,000,000 400,000,000 600,000,000 800,000,000 1,000,000,000 1,200,000,000 1,400,000,000 Source
    22. 22. Two options Use existing networks Create a new network
    23. 23. Using existing vs. new networks Existing New Lots of people are already signed-up You have to get people to sign-up It’s a place where people are resident a lot of the time It’s a place people have to remember to visit They already use if for other purposes You can guide what it’s used it for You have to be careful not to invade There’s less chance of feeling invaded People can feel exposed It can feel safer
    24. 24. So we’re using social media… Student/Learner Development
    25. 25. …to help us reach many more Student/Learner Development
    26. 26. And they can communicate with us… Student/Learner Development
    27. 27. …and they tell their friends about us Student/Learner Development
    28. 28. …and they tell their friends about us Student/Learn Developmen “I think that the Facebook page is a great idea and I have since spread the word to mates and got them to join”
    29. 29. …who then follow our social media Student/Learner Development
    30. 30. …and numbers using our services increases Student/Learner Development
    31. 31. • Induction, transition and initial engagement • Engaging students in University life - building a real, sustainable and workable University community • Research into the student experience – listening to the student voice and making changes Some areas of focus…
    32. 32. • How do your programmes become ‘grounded and nourished’? • What do you do to welcome your students? How? • Do you provide social interactions with teachers? • How do you embed course advice and support services? • Can technology provide a solution to some of the issues?