Support Me! Develop Me! Retain Me!
How e-resources can enhance student
engagement!



Becka Currant
Head of Learner Develo...
Aims of Session:
• Introduce participants to different types of pre-
  entry online support available
• Identify what acti...
Overview

• What do we know about the student
  experience?

• Expectations of modern students

• Meeting those needs

• N...
Student Expectations
What expectations do you think new students
have about University?
 • Issues to Consider
   – Learnin...
Expectations


                           “I hope I can become more confident as
                           well as stretc...
How do students think they learn best?


                                      “I prefer practical learning as I like to d...
What is their best experience?

                       “I think the best part for me was meeting so
                      ...
What one thing would they change?

“Lecturers that present the course material in such a
way that what could be a boring l...
What Are Your Students’ Experiences?

• What happens at your University?
• How do you know what students are
  thinking? H...
Develop Me!

 Meet and chat, pre-        Online resources         Skills tracking
  entry activities




                 ...
A Brief History of Develop Me!


• Extended student model HEA Pathfinder, NTFS Outduction
   – Pre-entry to post graduatio...
E-induction

Primary objective: enable students to manage process
of transition in social and academic terms
Social:      ...
Integrated Online Support

Develop    E- Induction Course                    Targeted
Future support (2008 onwards)
Me! On...
What are the issues?


• What issues do you think might be
  associated with implementing Develop
  Me! or a similar activ...
The Issues We Faced…

• Time
• Updating of materials long term
• Staff engagement and ownership
• Taking it forward to nex...
Things That Weren’t Issues

                           • Dead space with no
• No one using the space
                     ...
The Student Voice

• “The forums are great as you can meet other
  people before beginning University. It makes you
  feel...
Student Reflections

• “I‟ve used Facebook before, and I‟ve used MySpace
  before that but found Facebook much easier to u...
Comments from Staff


• “This [Develop Me!] is great. I am so pleased that
  you have set this up and it‟s an easy way for...
Key messages

• Can‟t get people on board until they see it working –
  need to take a risk and see what happens
• Branded...
Discussion Topics


Pre-entry work and/or Induction/Transition Activities:
• What activities do you currently offer?
• Wha...
Next Steps…

• What one thing have you heard about
  today that might be of use to you?

• Write down an action point in t...
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Learn Higher Launch 23 Jan

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Learn Higher Launch 23 Jan

  1. 1. Support Me! Develop Me! Retain Me! How e-resources can enhance student engagement! Becka Currant Head of Learner Development and Student Engagement University of Bradford
  2. 2. Aims of Session: • Introduce participants to different types of pre- entry online support available • Identify what activities can be used to engage students in the pre-enrolment process • Offer an opportunity to discuss what approach may be appropriate for their students • Develop ideas of plans that could be implemented for September 2009 entry
  3. 3. Overview • What do we know about the student experience? • Expectations of modern students • Meeting those needs • Next steps
  4. 4. Student Expectations What expectations do you think new students have about University? • Issues to Consider – Learning – Assessment – Feedback – Initial experiences – Support
  5. 5. Expectations “I hope I can become more confident as well as stretch myself in lots of new ways, push my boundaries. I hope University can support me in this and help me when I flounder” “I expect to sign up to do a hundred and one things and then get stressed because I can't cope with them all. Or I expect I will try too hard and therefore overload myself with unnecessary pressure and get stressed”
  6. 6. How do students think they learn best? “I prefer practical learning as I like to do things and get bored when just listening to someone talking. I do quite well when working in a group as well as it gives me more ideas and opinions” “Through repetition. I like to study independently initially but then to consolidate the learning I like to discuss it and have feedback on it. I have a low attention span and so find a lot of reading and quiet time very hard work. I like to interact with people and so the discussion and debate of ideas appeals to me greatly” “I learn best from doing things or thinking through a problem with other people or by writing something down, drawing it. I don't learn much by just reading something”
  7. 7. What is their best experience? “I think the best part for me was meeting so many new people. I didn't know anyone else before I came here, and I was worried about not making friends, not fitting in etc. But on my very first day (the welcome talk), I already got talking to a few people, and that really worked wonders for my confidence. Since I've got here, I've got to know so many different people, and it's just been amazing!” “The tutorials were very helpful to guide the students during the year. Also seminars and other supporting classes. I felt that the lecturers were people who we can speak with and this is necessary for a non English student”
  8. 8. What one thing would they change? “Lecturers that present the course material in such a way that what could be a boring lecture is interesting” “More meetings to promote the relation among student (same or different years).. to exchange experiences, knowledge about life in the city, at Uni..etc…” “I want observers come to observe lecturers and see how they teaching. I also want them to ask students in private about lecturers” “More podcasts from lectures to be available” “More online FAQs to assist those of us who cannot always contact the university during opening times”
  9. 9. What Are Your Students’ Experiences? • What happens at your University? • How do you know what students are thinking? How successful are these strategies? • What else could be done? • 5 min reflection
  10. 10. Develop Me! Meet and chat, pre- Online resources Skills tracking entry activities www.bradford.ac.uk/ developme.ning.com developme Mobile guides Student voice • Expectations survey • First Year Experience questionnaire www.braduni.mobi
  11. 11. A Brief History of Develop Me! • Extended student model HEA Pathfinder, NTFS Outduction – Pre-entry to post graduation • E-induction HEA e-learning Research Observatory – Seamless transition into University • Integrated online support – 24/7 support available • Responding to diverse students ELESIG/JISC – Digital typology
  12. 12. E-induction Primary objective: enable students to manage process of transition in social and academic terms Social: Academic: • Start process of making • Early engagement with links with peers on academic materials and courses and other development of academic students in University skills (ning) (ning) • Share hopes, fears and • Completion of SaPRA to concerns about starting identify levels of course (ning) confidence and develop • Identify challenges and action plan to reflect on find answers to burning with personal tutor and questions (expectations evidence in PDP (online questionnaire) resources) • Feel „at home‟ (mobile guides)
  13. 13. Integrated Online Support Develop E- Induction Course Targeted Future support (2008 onwards) Me! Online Materials Specific additional Information Information Integrated Generic Bespoke Targeted support for University interactive information skills based exercises to relevant to development information promote particular and PLUS academic and courses e.g. understanding plagiarism and social Health & development referencing cohesion prior Safety needs materials to arrival and first few weeks
  14. 14. What are the issues? • What issues do you think might be associated with implementing Develop Me! or a similar activity? • 5 min discussion in pairs/small groups • Plenary feedback – make a note of what you discuss!
  15. 15. The Issues We Faced… • Time • Updating of materials long term • Staff engagement and ownership • Taking it forward to next level • Institutional buy in – using ning for other things • Usernames and passwords – IT buy in • Competing with other systems – e.g. facebook groups
  16. 16. Things That Weren’t Issues • Dead space with no • No one using the space replies • It just wouldn‟t work • Inappropriate content • Harassment and • Abuse of the space bullying • Too much to • Ning crashing handle/moderate • Using external service • Support issues for • USA based servers students using space • Yet another social • Data protection network for people to • And so on and so on join and so on!
  17. 17. The Student Voice • “The forums are great as you can meet other people before beginning University. It makes you feel less nervous.” • “[I like] being able to meet and talk to people before starting” • “You‟ve got his huge edifice which is a University, but what you need is a human face on it.” • “Thanks for the warm welcome note, it gave me a great first impression about the university of Bradford”
  18. 18. Student Reflections • “I‟ve used Facebook before, and I‟ve used MySpace before that but found Facebook much easier to use because it‟s much simpler. Where I was the computers weren‟t so good, so it was very important to have something simple and easy to load up. The Develop Me! website was somewhere between the two in terms of complexity, I found it quite easy to use” • “I knew their faces, so I was happy to approach them, and they recognised me as well.” • “Most of the things that related to the serious aspect of University I found on the University of Bradford website.” • “It was good to be able to find out about things any time of day.”
  19. 19. Comments from Staff • “This [Develop Me!] is great. I am so pleased that you have set this up and it‟s an easy way for me to talk to the new students and get to know them better” • “They did seem a lot more self reliant with getting themselves registered and getting going with things.” • “I thought I was too old to do all this [social networking] but it‟s not as hard as you think and the students obviously seem to benefit from it”
  20. 20. Key messages • Can‟t get people on board until they see it working – need to take a risk and see what happens • Branded social network [not FaceBook!] = less frivolity, more serious issues and posts • Need to have someone there moderating every day on a little and often basis to welcome students – Ruth‟s role was key. Make people feel welcome and part of the community. • Staff can be very reluctant to take a leap of faith into the unknown • Technology has to be part of retention strategy – most students are using this so capitalise on it but not at the expense of alienating those who aren‟t
  21. 21. Discussion Topics Pre-entry work and/or Induction/Transition Activities: • What activities do you currently offer? • What would you like to be able to do? • How well do your students adjust to University? Policy Issues • What implications does this have for your role? • How will you respond to an ever diversifying student body? • What else is on the horizon?
  22. 22. Next Steps… • What one thing have you heard about today that might be of use to you? • Write down an action point in the card, address it to yourself and make sure it happens!

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