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Helping the Podders at Bedfordshire. Godwin

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Presented at LILAC 2008

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Helping the Podders at Bedfordshire. Godwin

  1. 1. Helping the Podders at Bedfordshire Alan Bullimore and Peter Godwin University of Bedfordshire
  2. 2. Helping the Podders at Bedfordshire  Who we are and where we are  A new curriculum in the Business School  The first year of its delivery  How Information Literacy fits in  Information Literacy for other Business students  Lessons and Conclusions
  3. 3. / http://www.flickr.com/photos/plentyofants/203275559 Alan Bullimore and Peter Godwin University of Bedfordshire
  4. 4. The Pods at UB Project Hall Staff Room IT area Relaxation lounge Brainstorm room Boardroom
  5. 5. Curriculum delivery in the Pods  Curriculum delivered in a “modern office” learning space  The learning space or pod is for 50 students who stay together as a cohort throughout the year.  Main space or project hall facilitates group working in teams of five.  Groups are altered periodically.
  6. 6. Curriculum delivery in the Pods  Student learning is structured around substantial projects  These aim to achieve learning outcomes within a “real-life” context and with involvement of external organisations.  Other inputs include occasional lectures and workshops which are aligned with the tasks.  Replaces previous skills unit.  Professional behaviour expected
  7. 7. Curriculum delivery in the Pods  Gives experience of office environment  Real-world tasks encourage student engagement, assist monitoring and improve retention  Group work is fundamental  It’s a constructivist learning environment
  8. 8. Learning in the Pods : all the buzzwords! Active Constructivist Collaborative Intentional Complex Contextual Conversational Reflective
  9. 9. First Year Business Students in the Pods  Five cohorts in 3 hour sessions  We participate for about an hour with each cohort at relevant times in the project-driven curriculum
  10. 10. Vauxhall Recreation Club  First piece of work was a collaborative venture with Vauxhall Recreation Club  Students were given the task of attracting more members  The club is a partner of the University and provides sports facilities for University students
  11. 11. What we did …  Short presentation in Project Hall and working with groups  Add context to the assignment, by looking at the broader picture  Recommend students to use electronic Key Note Reports about Leisure and Recreation Centres  Talk them through a SWOT of the market and encourage them to relate it to the specifics of Vauxhall  Make the most of government statistics ( local area health stats )
  12. 12. Explore Adventure Holidays  Students tasked with finding a market for an adventure holiday
  13. 13. What we did…  Short presentation in Project Hall and working with the groups  Advised on sources giving broader picture for Adventure holiday market  Use of full-text databases ( e.g. Business Source Premier )
  14. 14. Music Industry “Are writers, musicians and other creative artists worth their pay?” 3000 word essay
  15. 15. What we did…  50 minute lecture to over 200 students about scoping the topic Worked with groups in the Project Hall :  Formulating 5 sub-topics related to the question  Keyword selection, and finding information  Importance of different sources
  16. 16. PLAN RECORD REFLECT ACT The research process
  17. 17. Future developments in the Pods  More use of the separate rooms to work with individual groups  Web access in the Brainstorm Room  Work with academics to reflect on what worked and how to improve the student experience  Pod active learning will spread to other years as the whole curriculum is re-shaped into longer, larger modules and terms.
  18. 18. Opening the Pods, 18 Feb 2008 “The skills and talents that students are developing here using the business pods will be highly sought-after by prospective employers." Bill Rammell
  19. 19. Support to other Business students  Management project framework requires us to work with small groups in order to help them focus on their topic and use the best sources
  20. 20. Management projects  Final year undergraduate dissertations have been replaced by a 5,000 word project  Students are assigned a question and one journal article to get them started  They work in small groups ( about 6/8 students initially ) for 3 weeks and after 12 weeks submit a final individual piece of work
  21. 21. Example Question… “ You can’t learn to be Alan Sugar at business school. You are either an entrepreneur or you’re not. Discuss”
  22. 22. Logistical issues this term  450 students in groups of up to eight in 6 hours teaching time, using the Social Learning Space in our LRC  We have needed to involve all available subject librarians  Information Assistants have helped ferry the students into our Social Learning Area…
  23. 23. What we did
  24. 24. Discuss and select keywordsAdvise on type of information found Demonstrate databases Search tips
  25. 25. Lessons from our experiences  Forced us to review our purchasing priorities, as learners require access to journal articles and data rather than books  Led to new database purchases  Blurred boundaries between academics and LRC staff  Moving from formal teaching toward facilitating student learning, using more ‘improvised’ techniques
  26. 26. Conclusions  Enables us to work with first year students in a project based curriculum  Advantages of small group contact in a flexible environment  Building block approach to skill development ( e.g. getting used to accessing databases through the library catalogue )  Use of databases in one project may encourage use in others  We’re moving toward changing habits, creating a way of thinking, rather than imparting a set of skills

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