Middlesex Workshop


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Slides from workshop presented at HEA Making Connections conference, 6 November 2008

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  • Middlesex Workshop

    1. 1. Support Me! Develop Me! Retain Me! How e-resources can enhance student engagement! Becka Currant Head of Learner Development and Student Engagement University of Bradford
    2. 2. Aims of Session <ul><li>Understand how Develop Me! works </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect on issues surrounding the development of online activities and interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Hear what students have to say about engaging in Develop Me! </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an understanding of how to approach embedding this type of activity within your institution </li></ul>
    3. 3. Overview <ul><li>What is Develop Me? </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the Issues </li></ul><ul><li>The Student Voice – what do they think about it all?! </li></ul><ul><li>Action Planning – what will you take away to implement? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Develop Me! Meet and chat online <ul><li>Expectations survey </li></ul><ul><li>First Year Experience questionnaire </li></ul>Meet and chat, pre-entry activities developme.ning.com Online resources www.bradford.ac.uk/developme Skills tracking Mobile guides www.braduni.mobi Student voice
    5. 5. A Brief History of Develop Me! <ul><li>Extended student model HEA Pathfinder, NTFS Outduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-entry to post graduation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-induction HEA e-learning Research Observatory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seamless transition into University </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrated online support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>24/7 support available </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responding to diverse students ELESIG/JISC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital typology </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. E-induction <ul><li>Academic: </li></ul><ul><li>Early engagement with academic materials and development of academic skills (ning) </li></ul><ul><li>Completion of SaPRA to identify levels of confidence and develop action plan to reflect on with personal tutor and evidence in PDP (online resources) </li></ul><ul><li>Social: </li></ul><ul><li>Start process of making links with peers on courses and other students in University (ning) </li></ul><ul><li>Share hopes, fears and concerns about starting course (ning) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify challenges and find answers to burning questions (expectations questionnaire) </li></ul><ul><li>Feel ‘at home’ (mobile guides) </li></ul>Primary objective: enable students to manage process of transition in social and academic terms
    7. 7. Future support (2008 onwards) Integrated Online Support Develop Me! Online E- Induction Materials Course Specific Information Targeted additional Information Integrated support for skills development and understanding development needs Generic University based information PLUS plagiarism and referencing materials Bespoke interactive exercises to promote academic and social cohesion prior to arrival and first few weeks Targeted information relevant to particular courses e.g. Health & Safety
    8. 8. What are the issues? <ul><li>What issues do you think might be associated with implementing Develop Me! or a similar activity? </li></ul><ul><li>5 min discussion in pairs/small groups </li></ul><ul><li>Plenary feedback – make a note of what you discuss! </li></ul>
    9. 9. The Issues We Faced… <ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Updating of materials long term </li></ul><ul><li>Staff engagement and ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Taking it forward to next level </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional buy in – using ning for other things </li></ul><ul><li>Usernames and passwords – IT buy in </li></ul><ul><li>Competing with other systems – e.g. facebook groups </li></ul>
    10. 10. Things That Weren’t Issues <ul><li>No one using the space </li></ul><ul><li>It just wouldn’t work </li></ul><ul><li>Harassment and bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Ning crashing </li></ul><ul><li>Using external service </li></ul><ul><li>USA based servers </li></ul><ul><li>Yet another social network for people to join </li></ul><ul><li>Dead space with no replies </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate content </li></ul><ul><li>Abuse of the space </li></ul><ul><li>Too much to handle/moderate </li></ul><ul><li>Support issues for students using space </li></ul><ul><li>Data protection </li></ul><ul><li>And so on and so on and so on! </li></ul>
    11. 11. The Student Voice <ul><li>“ The forums are great as you can meet other people before beginning University. It makes you feel less nervous.”  </li></ul><ul><li>“ [I like] being able to meet and talk to people before starting” </li></ul><ul><li>“ You’ve got his huge edifice which is a University, but what you need is a human face on it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Thanks for the warm welcome note, it gave me a great first impression about the university of Bradford”   </li></ul>
    12. 12. Student Reflections <ul><li>“ I’ve used Facebook before, and I’ve used MySpace before that but found Facebook much easier to use because it’s much simpler. Where I was the computers weren’t so good, so it was very important to have something simple and easy to load up. The Develop Me! website was somewhere between the two in terms of complexity, I found it quite easy to use” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I knew their faces, so I was happy to approach them, and they recognised me as well.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Most of the things that related to the serious aspect of University I found on the University of Bradford website.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It was good to be able to find out about things any time of day.” </li></ul>
    13. 13. Comments from Staff <ul><li>“ This [Develop Me!] is great. I am so pleased that you have set this up and it’s an easy way for me to talk to the new students and get to know them better”   </li></ul><ul><li>“ They did seem a lot more self reliant with getting themselves registered and getting going with things.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I thought I was too old to do all this [social networking] but it’s not as hard as you think and the students obviously seem to benefit from it” </li></ul>
    14. 14. Key messages <ul><li>Can’t get people on board until they see it working – need to take a risk and see what happens </li></ul><ul><li>Branded social network [not FaceBook!] = less frivolity, more serious issues and posts </li></ul><ul><li>Need to have someone there moderating every day on a little and often basis to welcome students – Ruth’s role was key. Make people feel welcome and part of the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff can be very reluctant to take a leap of faith into the unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Technology has to be part of retention strategy – most students are using this so capitalise on it but not at the expense of alienating those who aren’t </li></ul>
    15. 15. Next Steps… <ul><li>What one thing have you heard about today that might be of use to you? </li></ul><ul><li>Write down an action point in the card, address it to yourself and make sure it happens! </li></ul>