Researching student mobility in a digital world


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Presentation of the results of research into digital barriers for student mobility (final report of the Victorious project - )

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Researching student mobility in a digital world

  1. 2. Researching student mobility in a digital world Jeff Haywood & Denise Haywood, Edinburgh University, UK, Sue Timmis, Angela Joyce & Jasper Tredgold, Bristol Univ., UK, Aune Valk, Tartu University, Estonia, Cesare Zanca, Siena University, Italy, Anthony Baldry, Pavia University, Italy, Steven Verjans & Nicola Mrose, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, BE, Isabel Perez, Granada University, Spain, Louwarnoud van der Duim, Groningen University, Netherlands, Matti Lappaleinen, Turku University, Finland, Axelle Devaux, Coimbra Group, Brussels, Belgium
  2. 3. European Developments in Higher Education Education & Training 2010 Bologna Process European Higher Education Area / Research Area ECTS Diploma Supplement Erasmus Programme etc
  3. 4.
  4. 5. <ul><li>Existing digital university processes </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and teaching with technology; </li></ul><ul><li>Digital libraries (e-journals, e-books, online databases & help); </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of digital databases holding staff, student and course records; </li></ul><ul><li>Portals as single channels of access to digital resources; </li></ul><ul><li>Email as the major/dominant channel of communications; </li></ul><ul><li>Single/reduced sign-on to authenticated systems (portal, email, library); </li></ul><ul><li>Secure off-campus access to restricted digital resources (VPN, proxy); </li></ul><ul><li>Websites as the major/dominant channel for information provision. </li></ul>
  5. 7. The digital student <ul><li>Uses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laptop/PC/internet frequently & from a variety of locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of digital information sources, possibly preferentially to physical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat, email, sms, social network software (friendster, myspace) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Likes/expects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast & seamless services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Universities to be online & reliably accessible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BUT! </li></ul>
  6. 8. Sometimes it’s easier to get into a SL lecture than to get access to a computer at your host university
  7. 9. <ul><li>Interview fragment (when we can get the technology to work for us) </li></ul>
  8. 10. <ul><li>There is now also an increasing emphasis on virtual mobility in education (ie taking courses from another university (country) by distance learning methods, esp digital – e-learning ) </li></ul><ul><li>eLearning Programme </li></ul><ul><li>“ Development of existing instruments in particular those concerning virtual mobility as a complement and reinforcement for physical mobility (virtual Erasmus); recognition and validation schemes (based on ECTS); information and guidance services, and any other synergies between virtual and traditional models. ” </li></ul>
  9. 11. physical mobility = a proxy for virtual mobility <ul><li>Little virtual mobility at present in European traditional universities and so special cases = special efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Digital identities, access, facilities, services all affect most on-campus (traditional) students </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer between universities raises challenges to universities to give visiting students fast & automatic digital rights/routes/support </li></ul><ul><li>If we do not (cannot) automate & simplify our services to traditional visiting students, virtual mobility will be difficult to implement </li></ul>
  10. 12. We need a great deal of operational fine-tuning
  11. 13. Research methodology – triangulation of sources <ul><li>Desk research and case studies - Find the right questions </li></ul><ul><li>Student perspective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews  Identify right issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey: online, prizes to win  2400 responses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>University perspective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey: online, multiple people in 1 uni  55 responses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff interviews: explore reasons for some of the findings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pilots: testing some possible enhancements to the virtual experience, and their organisational consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Seminars: getting feedback on intermediate results </li></ul>
  12. 14. Topics & themes <ul><li>Before, during & after exchange period </li></ul><ul><li>Student perspective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to digital services & support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT (access to computers), library, e-learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to home services while abroad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continued access to host service when back home </li></ul></ul><ul><li>University perspective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Libraries, ICT provisions, Student records/Registry, International Offices and e-learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific services for outgoing & incoming students? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 15. Topics of pilots <ul><li>Quality of information about the host university </li></ul><ul><li>Assessing and attenuating digital culture shock </li></ul><ul><li>Exchanging and transferring e-learning materials between universities </li></ul><ul><li>Feasibility of a European course information database </li></ul><ul><li>Feasibility of using Shibboleth for digital identity sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Providing advice and support to outgoing students </li></ul>
  14. 16. Outcomes of research <ul><li>Research results published </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations formulated </li></ul><ul><li>Practical checklists for all relevant stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Published by (Summaries available) </li></ul><ul><li>Available as (online) publication at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 17. The free moving student?
  16. 18. Results from student perspective <ul><li>Digital culture shock: moving between </li></ul><ul><ul><li>highly integrated online services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>less integrated online services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ None at all: completely out of touch with modern technology! Everything was paper forms.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The information online to which I have had access were all relative to the previous academic year, the most part of it were mistakes” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I did use them but only the last month when I finally got my account  ” </li></ul>
  17. 19. Results from student perspective <ul><li>Information provision is weak </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to find – Mainly in local language only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insufficient focus on needs of visiting students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No or limited peer network for visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resourcefulness is needed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet cafés for access to PC and Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use services of home university (library access, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing of passwords </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. Results from university perspective <ul><li>Business processes directed at on-campus students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical presence needed for many services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Particularly libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International offices not very concerned with digital services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More services for incoming than for outgoing student </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Out of sight, out of mind?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to distant learning materials not obvious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness is rising </li></ul></ul>
  19. 21. Recommendations <ul><li>For universities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing good, structured, up-to-date info is ‘easy’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier enrollment and registration needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific training and support for digital provisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration across bureaucratic borders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For students and their associations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More wide-thinking in planning visits / virtual participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seriously consider everything that might go wrong (It will !) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect and share experiences and solutions </li></ul></ul>
  20. 22. Recommendations <ul><li>For European, national & regional agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide single search for course/programme information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single digital identity system(s) for students / staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. high-level (national) federations for Shibboleth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier Internet access (e.. EduROAM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help remove digital barriers </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. Follow-up project
  22. 24. <ul><li>EXPECTED OUTPUTS: </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation guidelines for students </li></ul><ul><li>Codes of good practice in designing pre-selection tests for students </li></ul><ul><li>Blue print for preliminary courses for students preparing for a physical Erasmus exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines on assessment and evaluation tools </li></ul><ul><li>A study on a Virtual Alumni Association for Erasmus students </li></ul><ul><li>A manual on ‘good-practices in e-coaching’ </li></ul><ul><li>A manual with validated procedures and recommendations for blended mobility activities at institutional, network and European level </li></ul>
  23. 25. Let’s try to make the (virtual) exchange visit more agreeable and decrease the (digital) culture shock
  24. 26. Positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. Herm Albright
  25. 27. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>