Student’s Perspective of Interact


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Student’s Perspective of Interact

Ash Johnston,
Charles Sturt University (Student)

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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Student’s Perspective of Interact

  1. 1. Interact: How students perceive and use the tool in a university environment.
  2. 2. About Me: Ash Johnston <ul><li>I began as a student in 2007 at CSU studying Teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>I swapped to a BIT with no prior experience in the field. </li></ul><ul><li>I got a job with the IT Service Desk at CSU late 2007, and went full time 2009. </li></ul>
  3. 3. [email_address] <ul><li>Interact was introduced early 2008 into the CSU environment. </li></ul><ul><li>It is maintained by DIT and DLTS. </li></ul><ul><li>BUT – why do we NEED it? </li></ul>
  4. 4. 8 Local CSU Campuses <ul><li>Bathurst </li></ul><ul><li>Wagga </li></ul><ul><li>Albury-Wodonga/Thurgoona </li></ul><ul><li>Orange </li></ul><ul><li>Dubbo </li></ul><ul><li>Goulbourn </li></ul><ul><li>Parramatta </li></ul><ul><li>Canberra </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1 CSU campus abroad <ul><li>Ontario,Canada </li></ul>
  6. 6. 9 Third Party/Specialist Centres: <ul><li>4 in China </li></ul><ul><li>1 in Cambodia </li></ul><ul><li>1 in Malaysia </li></ul><ul><li>1 in Hong Kong </li></ul><ul><li>1 in Manly </li></ul><ul><li>1 in Sydney </li></ul><ul><li>1 in Melbourne </li></ul>
  7. 7. Student Intake for 2008: <ul><li>Domestic Student count – 28,076 </li></ul><ul><li>International student count – 4609 </li></ul><ul><li>Of that: </li></ul><ul><li>19,603 Female </li></ul><ul><li>13,082 Male </li></ul>
  8. 8. Where are they all? <ul><li>Internal full time – 10,604 </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Part Time – 1783 </li></ul><ul><li>Distance Education – 20,298 </li></ul>
  9. 9. CSU’s Vision: We Are <ul><li>A National University for Excellence in education for the professions, strategic and applied research and flexible delivery of leaning and teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>We value – discovery, refinement and dissemination of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>We value – Our staff and students, their well being, and their development. </li></ul>
  10. 10. CSU’s Mission: <ul><li>To provide distinctive educational programs for the professions that prepare students for work and citizenship. </li></ul><ul><li>To lead in the quality provision of flexible learning and teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>To enhance it’s communities including; Rural/regional Australia, Indigenous Australians, professions and industries, national and international associated parties. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Equity & Equality <ul><li>CSU’s mission to standardize learning and subject delivery for ALL students </li></ul><ul><li>To synthesize a way for cohorts to communicate with each other, to share, and contribute information &/or knowledge with their peers. </li></ul><ul><li>To provide a constant, and consistent positive work environment. </li></ul><ul><li>To form a collaborative network of knowledge </li></ul>
  12. 12. Interact does all these things! <ul><li>Provides a one-stop way to get all the information, and even share information for a user on a particular subject. </li></ul>
  13. 13. My own experience: <ul><li>As interact was new many of my lecturers steered clear of using all the features provided. </li></ul><ul><li>I found interact relatively easy to navigate. </li></ul><ul><li>It was a great way to extend on the already available tools which were the forum and subject outline. </li></ul><ul><li>It did scare me to be using a brand new tool, but I soon got the hang of it. Having th background in IT helped alot! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Interact Survey: <ul><li>59 students partook in a survey consisting of 10 questions on interact. </li></ul><ul><li>The survey was volunteer based and was open for around a week. </li></ul><ul><li>I purposely placed the link to the online survey ONLY on the Mature Age Forum. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Why only on the MAF? <ul><li>Firstly, on the Service Desk, for our job logging statistics, one of the main issues that we have is users are unsure how to use the tools. </li></ul><ul><li>From the slide on students@CSU, the majority of our students are Distance Education students, and have varying knowledge of IT systems, young and old, and different internet facilities. </li></ul>
  16. 16. 1. How useful is CSU Interact in aiding learning and participating in a subject?
  17. 17. Q1: Results <ul><li>The vast majority of participants agreed that interact facilitated learning and group participation. </li></ul><ul><li>A small group perhaps has developed a stigma against the tool. </li></ul>
  18. 18. 2. The first time you used Interact at CSU, did you find that it was easy to navigate your way around the tools?
  19. 19. Q2: <ul><li>No participant was unsure – everyone had an opinion. </li></ul><ul><li>The Vast majority thought that interact was easy or reasonable to navigate. </li></ul>
  20. 20. 3. Do you feel that interact brings you closer to your peers, or helps you feel as a part of the group?
  21. 21. Q3: <ul><li>This is an interesting result due to: </li></ul><ul><li>A majority thinks that is does make them feel like part of a group, but another large chunk thinks “Not Really.” </li></ul><ul><li>The “group” tools in interact are the forum, and the chat rooms, which many lecturers use to encourage participation in a collaborative environment. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Q3: <ul><li>This same question had a box left asking whether the student was DE or Internal. </li></ul><ul><li>6 of the 59 surveyed were internal students. </li></ul><ul><li>Of the 6 that were internals, all of them said they felt as if they were a part of the group. </li></ul>
  23. 23. 4. Does Interact enhance your learning of a subject?
  24. 24. Q4: <ul><li>Almost three quarters of respondents thought that interact aided and helped with learning the subject requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>There will still be some textual based learners in any group who steer clear from the technological side of things as you can easily get caught up in it, especially if you are new. </li></ul>
  25. 25. 5. Do you feel that interact enhances interactions with lecturers for subjects?
  26. 26. Q5: <ul><li>Before interact, the only interactions you had with your lecturer were email, phone, and the forum. </li></ul><ul><li>More than half of the participants believe there has been a growth in the amount of interactions and communications </li></ul>
  27. 27. 6. What is your favourite tool in interact?
  28. 28. Q6: <ul><li>So the favourite is the resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Closely followed by forum </li></ul><ul><li>Lastly, the wiki, and the blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Test centre is almost brand-new with our old system being OASIS. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Comments from students on Q6 <ul><li>thats about all I use on interact, to retrieve powerpoint presentations by lecturers </li></ul><ul><li>Being my first subject there is plenty of activities to do in the resources to help </li></ul><ul><li>more info that i can use </li></ul><ul><li>Good central location and because i lose paper copies:) </li></ul><ul><li>Lecturers post lots of cool stuff there </li></ul>
  30. 30. Forum Feedback Q6 <ul><li>Good way to communiacte as a DE student </li></ul><ul><li>like being in a classroom enviroment via DE </li></ul><ul><li>lecturers tend to reply on forum </li></ul><ul><li>Quickest method to compare notes and ideas </li></ul>
  31. 31. What is your least favourite tool in Interact?
  32. 32. Q7: Hands down, chat room is out. <ul><li>If you remember back to Q2, we found that a large chunk of students felt like they did not belong to part of an online community? </li></ul><ul><li>This could be partly the reason why. </li></ul><ul><li>Lets have a look at some of the comments... </li></ul>
  33. 33. Chat room comments: <ul><li>It never seems to work, or it shows people in there who aren't. I have given up on it personally. Easier to chat via forums. </li></ul><ul><li>Noone is ever there </li></ul><ul><li>never used it </li></ul><ul><li>I never use it! </li></ul><ul><li>Haven't used it. </li></ul><ul><li>not useful -- scattered around world so time frames vary for real-time use of chat </li></ul>
  34. 34. More opinions on chat room... <ul><li>it isn't used at all in subjects i have done, people favour the forum instead </li></ul><ul><li>Useless unless people use it. </li></ul><ul><li>no reason really, just haven't used it </li></ul><ul><li>No-ones ever on chat room when I'm there. </li></ul><ul><li>can't ever get anyone onit </li></ul><ul><li>havent found anyone in it when I am </li></ul><ul><li>The chat room is a useless gimmick. They should promote the forums. </li></ul>
  35. 35. 8. Is the design of Interact appealing?
  36. 36. Q8: <ul><li>The majority of respondents have suggested that interact is designed well with: </li></ul><ul><li>The navigation pane on the left and the display panes in the middle </li></ul><ul><li>That the colour scheme works well in the context of being able to view and see text </li></ul>
  37. 37. Q8 cont: <ul><li>The reading pane is large enough to view lecturers materials. </li></ul><ul><li>The buttons are large and clear enough for navigation </li></ul>
  38. 38. 9. Does interact make it easy for you to find your subject material?
  39. 39. Q9: <ul><li>Three quarters of users think that interact houses all they will need in terms of subject material. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a great result! - Interact was designed to be a one-stop-shop housing all information relevant to that particular subject. </li></ul><ul><li>We do have lecturers that prefer to post resources on their personal websites. </li></ul>
  40. 40. 10. How would you improve interact?
  41. 41. Q10: <ul><li>Around one third of respondents have suggested that interact at the moment is fine – what needs to happen to improve interact is to effectively train the lecturers in proper, and frequent participation in a subject </li></ul><ul><li>Who knows – If lecturers got the ball rolling, we might see an increase in the number of participants on the chat room, or in the blog tool. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Further Investigation: <ul><li>I interviewed 2 students, it was a volunteer basis, one DE student from England. One Internal student from Wagga in order to engage just how effective Interact is in delivering what we want it to. </li></ul>
  43. 43. DE student abroad: <ul><li>Q - How do you find Interact as a whole? </li></ul><ul><li>A - I hated interact when i first started with CSU. All of my lecturers seemed to want us to use it as much as possible and i hated it! On top of my subject i had to learn how to use this new tool and get myself from A to B to fulfil weekly tasks set by my lecturer. Im glad they did make me use it though. It has become second nature. I can use any of the tools without a problem, and even find myself helping other students out with their issues. I still wouldn’t call myself Computer-savvy, but i’m certainly now interact savvy. </li></ul>
  44. 44. DE student local: <ul><li>I first started in CSU in 2006, 2 years before interact came about. In 2008 when it did come out, it was like anything i could think of to do with my subject was available for me. We now had blog and wikis, and after a few google searches on what these terms actually meant i felt like this was a step in a 21 st century direction for CSU. My mates at other unis have similar sets of tools, but the buttons are small, and it’s hard to find what you’re looking for...even their text was small. I think that interact as a whole brings about the best options for enhancing your understanding of a topic to no end. Although it can be tricky to use at first, I think it's really just a matter of practice and playing around looking at what’s available for you to use and share info with others in the same subject. I’ve made a few DE friends that way. </li></ul>