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Leading by Example: Keys to successful Mahara adoption #maharauk14

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Starting projects from scratch can sometimes be a daunting experience, especially when it involves using a new piece of technology for the first time. For many students, having a template or framework to work from, or having experienced users available for comment can sometimes be the key as to whether or not they can successfully complete an assignment.

During this talk you will be shown how lecturers at Southampton Solent University have been able to inspire their students to push the boundaries of what’s possible in Mahara by:
- showing examples of past student work
- developing templates
- involving peer leaders
- using inspirational stories from around the world

Published in: Education
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Leading by Example: Keys to successful Mahara adoption #maharauk14

  1. 1. Leading by Example Sam Taylor (@samwisefox) Southampton Solent University
  2. 2. Assessment types: • Essay • Report • Presentation • Live performance • Video • Poster/spread • Audio recording • Interview • Portfolio • Physical media
  3. 3. …Mahara ePortfolio…
  4. 4. Lecturer engagement and enthusiasm is key to students building great ePortfolios
  5. 5. Strategies to try… Show students inspirational videos Create example templates Showcase previous students’ work Involve peer mentors
  6. 6. 1) INSPIRATIONAL VIDEOS
  7. 7. Video: “Hole in the Wall” Sugata Mitra: • 1999 experiment in the slums of New Delhi, India • Computer embedded in a wall with hi-speed internet • Left it there with no instruction Outcome: The local children worked out how to use it & organised themselves into peer learning roles http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves
  8. 8. Business Foundation Year “The rationale for showing my students Sugata Mitra's ‘Hole in the wall' video is to develop their self-efficacy, that they can use Mahara successfully. So long as they put the effort in to learn the system via watching the help videos provided. For the students, watching the video really made them reflect on the resources and support that they have around them, and importantly that compared to the children in India they are in a very advantaged position. My students were inspired by the children in the video and from this I have received no resistance from students who at first may be a little reticent about using Mahara software.” Dr Ruth McLellan, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business, Sport and Enterprise Unit leader for Introduction to Marketing
  9. 9. 2) TEMPLATES
  10. 10. Variety of approaches 1. Basic http://mahara.solent.ac.uk/view/view.php?t=WEqephHXslMjxaQFVu8C 2. Intermediate http://mahara.solent.ac.uk/view/view.php?t=raMgYKyip7VJSv45ED1Q http://mahara.solent.ac.uk/view/view.php?id=72504 3. ‘Full on’ http://mahara.solent.ac.uk/view/view.php?t=Ex3W2VbtsP90gmkOpZ5F This approach involves lots of input from lecturers!
  11. 11. 3) STUDENT EXAMPLES
  12. 12. Benefits • Great for past students: Promotion & pride in their work • Great for current students: Helps them to structure and visualise the aims of the assessment • Great for lecturers: It makes their job more interesting • Great for Sam & Mahara community! Every year the students are producing higher quality work to showcase at Mahara UK & elsewhere! http://mycourse.solent.ac.uk/mod/book/view.php?id=116379
  13. 13. MSc Shipping Operations “A Mahara portfolio is at the heart of the 'Professional Skills and Practice Portfolio Unit’, and this year I have had the huge advantage of last year's students' portfolios to share with the current cohort. I have chosen two good quality portfolios and made them available for students to view, review and discuss in a forum. The two I chose clearly stood out as well developed and designed portfolios that benefitted from the students getting started on using Mahara very early in the process - they got to grips with e-Portfolio concurrently with working on their professional portfolio, and the early work really paid off. I am confident that these examples will have a positive impact in demonstrating the value of Mahara and a standard that can be achieved or exceeded.” Andrew Doig, Associate Professor of Learning Technologies Unit Leader for Professional Skills Practice Portfolio (MSc Shipping Operations)
  14. 14. Next steps… What can Fashion Marketing students learn from Architectural Technology students? Maritime & Business Foundation? PR Comms & Teaching?
  15. 15. 4) PEER MENTORS
  16. 16. http://mahara.solent.ac.uk/view/view.php?t=Z5rY8yOvtqlD7CsaW0eh http://mahara.solent.ac.uk/view/view.php?t=f3xCGitHMwQcXy4WJB1o PR Communication: @SolentPR No.1 in the UK for Student Satisfaction (NSS 2013 Publicity Studies JACS subject area) 100% Professional Employment (DHLE 2013) Case study: http://bit.ly/pr-comms
  17. 17. Feedback on being a ‘Peer Leader’: “I think it has been useful for the students having two extra people to help them in class that have done the assignment and carried out amazing work placements themselves as we can relate to what they are going through. I have had some really good comments back from the students too and they seem very grateful for all our help, I definitely think this unit should have peer mentors next year too as I wish we had them last year. It has also made me feel really good that I can help, and I like sharing my experiences with them. I have also encouraged them to do as many work placements for long periods as I think it has been so beneficial to myself, and hearing that from a student opposed to a lecturer is really important too I feel.” Chloe Seaforth 3rd yr Student BA(Hons) PR Communication
  18. 18. Feedback on having ‘Peer Leaders’: “For me I find them extremely useful, mainly because they have had to work with the software directly whereas Sally hasn't had a lot of experience with it; so it's great to talk to fellow students on how to use it. It's also great to have them talk to us about the layout and creativity side; they've been able to give us advice, and show us examples of their work. We wouldn’t have been able to get the hang of Mahara quite as well as we have without the support of the peer leaders.” Paige Hiley 2nd yr Student BA(Hons) PR Communication
  19. 19. EXAMPLES OF LECTURER ENGAGEMENT
  20. 20. Organise an IT Induction
  21. 21. Drip-feed activities into schedule
  22. 22. Develop ‘How to’ guides
  23. 23. And if all that fails…
  24. 24. Direct email to all students!
  25. 25. Sharing stories I am looking for case studies on Employability-focussed assessments using Mahara:  Mahara for the recording of personal development  Mahara for career development planning  ‘Shop window’ websites using Mahara I’m appealing for you to send me a Mahara page with your college/uni/WBL provider’s case study(s) Please email secret URL to sam.taylor@solent.ac.uk Example: http://bit.ly/pr-comms See more: http://bit.ly/maharacall
  26. 26. Thank you! Sam Taylor Learning Technologist http://about.me/samwise

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