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Appeal and applicability: using emerging technologies to enahnce the Assignment Survival Kit. Adams, Pope & Walton

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Presented at LILAC 2009

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Appeal and applicability: using emerging technologies to enahnce the Assignment Survival Kit. Adams, Pope & Walton

  1. 1. Welcome Introduction Author name Information Services Appeal and applicability: using emerging technologies to enhance the Assignment Survival Kit (ASK) Julie Adams, Alison Pope and Geoff Walton Information Services 31 March 2009
  2. 2. Background: What is ASK? • Web-based tool • Supports first year undergraduates with first assignment • Launched October 2006 • June 2007 – Awarded CILIP UC&R Award for Innovation
  3. 3. Why was ASK Developed? • Contribution to SU’s Widening Participation agenda • IL Statement of Good Practice • IL Project Group • Deliverable to support IL at Staffordshire University
  4. 4. How does it work? • Helps students make the adaptation to study at a higher level • Encourages use and raises awareness of the wide range of resources • Encourages the development of time management skills
  5. 5. Supports assignment tasks • Writing a traditional essay or report • Creating a poster, making a presentation or submitting a group portfolio • IL support works best when embedded within the students’ curriculum • An intertwined framework approach using ‘hot topics’ and reflective learning (Bordinaro and Richardson (2004))
  6. 6. TQEF/RiT project strand • Rationale of RiT introduces students to the process of research • IL offers backbone to this process through inquiry based learning • TSL offers new opportunities to deliver interventions • Evidence that Web 2.0 fosters critical thinking
  7. 7. TQEF/RiT project strand • RiT, IL and TSL synergy for a new pedagogy
  8. 8. Widening ASK’s appeal Why do this? • Focus group feedback • Awareness of different learning styles • Involving Faculties to make it less generic • Updating the interface so that it fits a Web 2.0 world
  9. 9. Widening ASK’s appeal How are we going to do this? • Identifying appropriate technologies and applying them selectively • Choosing new products which will make a real difference to student learning • Not using technologies for their own sake to look “trendy” or “cool”
  10. 10. Allowing multiple ‘flavours’ • Starting point: – Vanilla ASK • Add your own preferences: – Virtual chocolate chips – Technological sprinkles – Web 2.0 Choc ‘n’ nut sundae – with optional
  11. 11. Widening ASK’s appeal What are we actually doing? • Creating podcast/vodcast material • Designing an empty scaffold framework for ASK • Linking to repository content produce by Faculties • Enabling personalization using Web2.0 technology
  12. 12. Creating podcast/vodcast material Research shows: • Podcasts can encourage active learning (Dale 2007) • Useful for auditory and distance learners • Useful for time-shifted learning (Roberts 2007) • Especially useful for dyslexic students (Berk 2007)
  13. 13. Creating podcast/vodcast material • Created a list of questions to ask academic staff to encourage them to explain what it is they look for in a good assignment • Filmed staff responding to these questions and have others lined up • Creating parallel list of questions to ask students • Looking for willing parties • Edit and slot results into ASK
  14. 14. Designing empty scaffold framework • Need to create a more flexible framework which can be used by those creating the content: not just us! • Need to create a framework which can be used by students to re-order the content “chunks”- focus group feedback • Modification of existing database and using new technologies such as AJAX
  15. 15. Linking to repository content Two strands: – Producing learning objects to contribute to the newly developed institutional repository (HIVE) – Looking to incorporate material created by Faculties to make it more applicable to particular groups of students
  16. 16. Enabling personalization using Web 2.0 • Content re-ordering • Reminders via RSS and allowing students to add dates from ASK to iCalendar
  17. 17. Pitfalls and problems • Time! – The call of the day job… – Releasing key staff for training and engaging substitutes – Timetabling, e.g. for podcast recording
  18. 18. Pitfalls and problems • Money! – Even though we have received a small amount of TQEF money it isn’t a lot – Ring-fencing of how funding can be spent: dates and what it can be used for
  19. 19. Pitfalls and problems • Obsolescence of Web 2.0! – Running to keep up – New developments all the time which then make ideas from last term seem dated
  20. 20. Pitfalls and problems • User alienation – Over-complexity may be off-putting – New technologies may be inappropriate in this context
  21. 21. Progress • Got the TQEF bid and so the money! • Staff training courses booked • Podcasts recorded • Liaison with repository project team • Some engagement with Faculty
  22. 22. Ultimately, their choice… VanillaVanilla v Sundae Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swamibu/1422981738/sizes/s/#cc_license conditions of use at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/
  23. 23. Welcome Introduction Author name Information Services Appeal and applicability: using emerging technologies to enhance the Assignment Survival Kit (ASK) Julie Adams, Alison Pope and Geoff Walton Information Services 31 March 2009

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