Bridging the Gap between School and University: ‘Get Ready for Languages’ Kirsten SöntgensInternational Blended Learning Conference 16th June 2011
Overview of ‘Get Ready for Languages’● Context● Pre-arrival on-line learning tool● Design and delivery● Evaluating impact● After arrival● What next?
Context: ‘Get Ready for Languages’● The ‘transition’ agenda and the perceived need for learner training/study skills for new students● Blended approach: Existing integrated course for first years● Funding and development of pre-arrival resources on Bb● Greater ‘perceived’ input in the light of increased fees??
Bb: ‘Get Ready for Languages’ :● Intro to Undergraduate life and study of ML● Inform, motivate and reassure incoming ML students shortly before arrival● Interactive orientation resources: Talking heads of current/ex students, staff Academic and language skills activities 2nd year students as mentor
Respondents and use of GRfL ● •Confirmed incoming 2010-2011 students were informed of GRfL: ○ –in an email from Admissions Office in late August 2010 ○ –on ML Induction website in September 2010 ● •Online survey (Survey Monkey) made available to Year 1 students Semester 1, Week 4 via Stages 1-4 Blackboards ● •Total responses (n) = 46 out of 173 ● •65.3% responded that they accessed GRfL on Blackboard and/or Facebook before coming to Southampton, with 10.9% accessing exclusively through Facebook ● •The majority of non-users quoted unawareness of GRfL’s existence as the main reason for not having accessed it ● •GRfL helped students get an idea of what to expect, and provided them with answers they had difficulty finding in other places
eMentors● •Only four of the respondents reported contact with eMentors pre-arrival● •Three of these gave further information on their eMentoring experience, and described their mentors as ‘helpful’, ‘effective’, ‘kind’ and as giving good advice.● •Most other students did not see the point of such contact (17 students), or were not aware that this choice was open to them (11 students)
Feedback and suggested improvements 1.Blackboard Facebook ● •Overall positive about choice of ● •Students did not think the content affordances of social networking and ● •Videos particularly well received timely updates were exploited well ● •‘Home’ page too information rich enough. ● •‘Social’ page was popular, but more ● •Not very informative, lacking in information sought purpose and seen as a signpost to ● •Degree option pages were very Blackboard popular, but also needed more ● •Students who did engage found it information ‘nice to meet other students before arriving in Southampton’
Feedback and suggested improvements 2. ● Earlier access ● • More in-depth course outlines/module information/reading lists ● • More details about Modern Languages ● • More contact with existing students ● • Address expectations for independent study/how to close the gap from A levels to HE ● • Helpful hints for language study
After arrival● The School of Humanities Induction website http://www. soton.ac.uk/humanitiesinduction/● Modern Languages Undergraduate Handbook● Induction week:tours and talksIntroduction to Study Skills for Language Learning● Integrated language skills course for first years● GerSoc: Buddy scheme
The way forward ● •Improve access to GRfL blackboard ● •Exploit further the opportunities for dialogue (e.g. eMentors, Facebook, GerSoc’s buddy scheme) ● •Use GRfL blackboard at taster, open days etc. to increase visibility of languages at SouthamptonFor further information contact email@example.com