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eReaders and ePublishing for flexible learning

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BILETA 2012 Conference presentation

BILETA 2012 Conference presentation

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  • The University of London International Programmes, in one guise or another, dates back to 1858 when the University of London resolved to admit students to its examinations irrespective of whether they were enrolled and in attendance at a constituent College. Such students were known as external students and for Bell & Tight (1993) this initiative was indicative of the development of a first generation open university. For many years, students either presented themselves for examination or attended a third-party institution (other than a constituent College) for supplementary instruction prior to taking the examination. As it happens, a number of these third-party institutions in the UK and across the globe were sufficiently successful in tutoring external students that they eventually emerged as prominent universities in their own right.   The academic and business model was minimalist and yet afforded the students some flexibility as to how to study. The university provided advice and guidance on how to approach each examination and the student fees reflected this. The student either chose to study independently or pay an additional fee to their nearest third-party institution for tuition and support. Over the years, the advice and guidance offered by the university to independent students became more elaborate, particularly on the postgraduate programmes where online delivery is prevalent. The dominant mode of study for undergraduate provision, however, remains for the student to attend a third-party institution. However, very recently the university has developed an overarching corporate strategic plan and a learning, teaching and assessment strategy which reinforces its commitment for quality provision in the context of both competitive demand and student needs and expectations. Integral to these developments, a new policy for third-party arrangements has been agreed together with an accompanying institutions ’ quality assurance framework. Additionally, our focus on accessibility and flexibility of student choice has encouraged us to re-visit the nature of online learning and programme development.   However, the challenge for us is that the University of London is not a unitary university as the constituent Colleges operate in a relatively autonomous manner. Within the past forty years, each College has developed as a discrete legal entity, has its own governance and funding arrangements, is assessed separately in terms of quality assurance and research excellence, and determines its own curricula independently. Until quite recently and irrespective of which College a student attended, all students were awarded a University of London degree. Now, many of the Colleges have secured their own degree awarding powers; some exercise them whereas others prefer still to offer University of London degrees.   Nevertheless, twelve Colleges work with the International Academy - a central academic body - in a collaborative endeavour to develop and offer a range of international programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level for distance study. The academic lead falls within the remit of the Colleges who take responsibility for the academic direction of the programme ’ s subject development. Even though students are registered with the University of London and on successful completion of their studies are awarded a University of London degree. Whilst there is an agreement between the International Academy and a College which lays down respective responsibilities and accountabilities, there are critical discussions about the nature and extent of learning provision and the use of appropriate business models. The prevailing issues in relation to programme development revolve around who determines what, how, when and why which in turn reflect the sensitivity in transformational change in distinguishing between enhancements to established programmes and new initiatives. As we have more than 50,000 students studying in 180 countries, this engagement has become more acute in light of aspirations for more intercollegiate initiatives, market competitiveness and rising student expectations together with the need to harness good practice and secure greater efficiencies. The approach we take below allows us to mediate between the respective interests and perspectives. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University College (UCL), Royal Holloway, Institute of Education, Heythrop, Queen Mary, Kings College, Royal Veterinary College, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Definition tool and translation tool good within a global context. Battery life (Kenya where not good access to power supply) Compare to VLE access where need wireless access.
  • Broken e-readers: lack of support/after care. Touch screen- gorilla fingers It ’ s like a juggling act on the train with SG and e-reader- and trying to write notes Perfect as a back up it reinforces The concept is fantastic but because it is in its early stages, teething stages there ’ s a lot to build on.
  • Key here is that students spent more time on more productive time on the learning and teaching activities. Things which the students said changed their behaviour Unexpected consequences: Using other books Some free some purchased several Gutenberg Classics Bleak House Books not worth putting on a shelf UL newsletters Creating their own mini library Some students tried downloading all sorts of stuff- problems formatting etc. Some students needed more guidance than we thought Using the e-books in a range of formats esp the mobile phone- sometimes easier to check If tablets didn ’t exist we probably would not have these criticisms. We’re refelcting on the inability to replicate what we can do on an ipad in a handheld machine Suggestion to add additional functionality for formative assessment re MCQs Using the stats- average stat is 45 mins- gets me out of trouble with the wife because I was able to show on the Kobo that ’s my average- she thinks I’;m sleeping on the train.
  • EDUCATION = enhances student learning or opportunities for student learning. BUSINESS = scaleable and accessible.(device agnostic; power users) ROI = cheap; easy to use
  • Transcript

    • 1. eReaders and ePublishing forflexible learningSteven WarburtonPatricia McKellarBILETA Conference29th to 30th March 2012
    • 2. • 50,000+ students• 15,000 Undergraduate Laws• Global market (190 countries)• 75 recognised teaching institutions• 100+ degrees, diplomas and certificates.• Academic quality and direction maintained by ‘lead colleges’• Laws: three student ‘study types’ from self study to fully supported.
    • 3. why?eReaders and ePublishing
    • 4. our context: print-based text
    • 5. our student context: mobile
    • 6. problem spacePrint driven publishing model that effects: • Sustainability (learning technologies); • Costs; • Logistics (global dispatch/delivery; timeliness); • Leanness (warehouse stacked with books/study guides not ‘doing anything’); • Waste (over publish; out of date).Lack of flexibility in outputsLack of flexibility for students
    • 7. explore ePublishing and eReaders as part of ourstudent learning and study environment
    • 8. other projects, other studies• University of Leicester ’Duckling’ project• Kindle US Universities project• California Lutheran University pilot project• University of Manchester JL Library• Loughborough University e-reader project• World reader project (http://www.worldreader.org/)
    • 9. how?
    • 10. action• consideration of ePublishing formats (.epub /.mobi)• end device/s• designed activity/s• identification of pilot groups• success criteria for the stakeholder groups• evaluation and data gathering methodology via survey and focus group
    • 11. five pilot groups: Pilot groupsGermany; Kenya; Singapore; two in UK.
    • 12. stakeholder impactPrimary Secondary• For students • For tutors• For the UoLIP • For provider teaching• For publishers institutions• For device manufacturer • For content authors• For HEA (funding body) and • For publishing teams wider research community • For DRM managers
    • 13. our project Kobo and eBookStore (distribution)Publishersand ePubs(access) Students (learning and teaching)
    • 14. results
    • 15. What were the best aspects of this approach?• Convenience and portability, light and handy (1);• A large amount of study material to be stored and accessed on the go (1, 3);• Able to study in more bite size chunks because I had the option of using ‘dead time’; (2, 4)• I can optimise the amount of time I spend studying (4)• The ability to have the subject guide, the study pack, the textbook and access to the online resources and case databases on the 06:19 to Waterloo (2)• Functionality: annotations, bookmarking, highlighting, definition tool, translation tool, return to a section, battery life, search facility (1, 3)
    • 16. What did students not like about this approach?• Functionality: sufficient light, annotations, bookmarking, highlighting, battery life, search facility, slow loading, speed of changes, no hyperlinks, touch screen not always effective, lack of colour (1, 3);• Not having all the subjects on the eReader and having to go back and forth with hard copy (3);• A bit too one dimensional [hyperlinks] (3);• Sometimes its hard to concentrate as it feels like staring at a PC (1);• Impossible to look at two books at once (1, 4);• If it was just supplied like this and said do the UoL course you’d struggle but in conjunction with the VLE or hard copy it’s perfect (4)
    • 17. is the approach working?• I can read the materials in situations where I would never have brought and read the hard copy versions (2)• In my prior classes I often did not do the ‘further reading’since the books were so heavy (4)• Overall I was able to increase my reading hours for a topic (2)• Attention and retention improved (2,4)• Easier to carry around hence inclined to finish activities (2, 4)• Footnotes are very accessible and interrupt flow less frequently than reading hard copy (3)• Unintended consequences -> life-styling; power users
    • 18. If you are still sitting on the fenceIncrease in further Lack of ability toreading; time efficient see more than one documentLightweightand portable Highlighting and notetaking limitedFlexible, adaptive Device functionalitySuits different learning styles –ve viewsUse of ‘dead’ time Limited interactivelyDevice functionality+ve views More guidance needed ROI: cost benefit analysis based on educational and/or business processes. What is your context?
    • 19. distribution DRM andPublishers eReader manufacturer Student eTexts; Preloaded eActivities eReader Educational institution Flexible Mobile Connected
    • 20. thank you

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