Context– Lack of research -international students using/adapting to online learning– Repel from passive international student induction– More engaging and active methods– Students should simultaneously practice and develop the required skills which are vital for success in UK Higher Education.
Purpose– Make the international students’ transition to the UK smoother, providing them with an idea of what to expect, increasing self confidence and empowering them.– SPICEonline– Student Pre-arrival Induction to Continue Education
Learning Tools: Student Voice• Podcasts• Experiences of current experienced students• Listening skills exercised – Flavour of speech pace/dialect - differ with each experienced student’s voice.
Challenges– Getting students familiar with online learning tools • Activities created to not only focus on UK HE but also get familiar with the learning tool – e.g. Discussion topic ‘arrivals lounge’– Unable to evaluate authentic potential international students currently based in home countries • Edinburgh based current international students were used
Evaluation– Mixed methods approach • 4 current Postgrad International students – 2 Indian, 1 Polish, 1 Columbian • 4 academic professionals/experts – Dr Jacqueline Brodie , (Napier-Entrepreneurship Lecturer) – Colin Gray (Napier: Academic Development Adviser) – Dr Christina Mainka (Napier-Visiting lecturer in Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning) – Karen Campbell (Napier-Lecturer)– Views and experiences of the design, engagement, and relevance of content and activities
100% Most engaging type of activity. 75% 50% 3 3 25% 1 1 0% Blog Discussion Quiz Student VoicePercentage 13% 38% 13% 38%Numeric (N=8) 1 3 1 3 Quiz • “must be some activities for students who are not that eager to take part in any discussions. It’s a kind of safe learning” • “a good way of activating shy learners”
100% Relevance of Student Voice’ podcasts. 75% 50% 4 3 25% 1 0 0 0% Not relevant Little relevant Unsure Relevant Very relevantPercentage 0% 0% 38% 13% 50%Numeric (N=8) 0 0 3 1 4 Student Voice • “…listening to the experiences of past students would create a sense of trust, rather than reading text based information on a website”
100% Potential for social interaction with discussion activities. 75% 50% 4 3 25% 1 0 0 0% No potential Somewhat potential Unsure Fair bit of potential Lots of potential Percentage 0% 13% 0% 50% 38% Numeric (N=8) 0 1 0 4 3Social Interaction• “SPICEonline enables a direct communication…Students have a chance to ask questions and give support to their peers”.• “asked my friends who either were studying or graduated from Napier about their opinions about that university. Basing on their views and experiences I decided to start a course”
100% Most effective tool for improving student’s English reading and writing skills? 75% 5 50% 25% 2 1 0% Blog Discussions QuizzesPercentage 25% 63% 13%Numeric (N=8) 2 5 1 Discussions • “…you need to be able to understand what’s been written and be able to post a coherent answer. Hence, it’s practising two skills in one activity- like killing two birds with one stone”.
100% How challenging would students find the language used in SPICEonline? 75% 50% 4 3 25% 1 0% Easy Medium DifficultPercentage 38% 50% 13%Numeric (N=8) 3 4 1
EvaluationHow well would international students be prepared for Higher Education in UK once they havegone through the SPICEonline induction?“…more self study work in the UK and I think that’s big surprise…even just knowing that’s going tohappen rather than just having it just as a shock maybe taking a week to get your head around itis a big help”“they would have an initial grounding…problem you’ve got with a lecturer is you have tocommunicate to students what they are required to throughout the whole 12 weeks…that can bea lot to listen to…can get heavy handed at the very beginning…this is a much more relaxedintroduction…almost like meeting someone who’s been to Napier and talking to them…also gotthe opportunity to go through a few activities”“will be aware of the issues they need to pay attention to…better prepared than throughtraditional methods of induction. I consider reading through a website as the traditionalmethods, SPICEonline makes students more active. I’d remember more from the Student Voicethan from reading a longish text full of raw facts on a website”“it would give them enough food for thought on how they need to prepare themselves for comingto the university and in combination with the SPICE project could arm them with all the academicskills they require! Maintaining the focus of sociable interaction but including skills at the sametime is a perfect mix… it is a great way to get students to interact with each other withoutrealising that they are gaining skills in technology and academia”
Future enhancementsCollaborative Wiki glossary• List of commonly used academic terminology – analyse, critical thinking, critique, and define etc• End product – self constructed academic glossary• Take ownership of this learning content• Focus not on end product, but also the extremely effective process throughout – During process many skills exercised/touched upon: • Group work skills • Basic research skills • Language skills • Communication skills • Organisation skills
Future enhancementsStudent Voice – experienced students invited as guests to online learning space • participate in discussions, further elaborating on experiences • answer questions asked by new students
Future enhancementsTaster of education environments – Provide sample readings • Discuss opinions on style of readings etc – Video/Podcasts of recorded lessons
Thank you• Other work: – Project - Usability in Interactive Digital Media course module (Online/Blended approach) – Learning/Teaching Activity Design • Using Wikis effectively for group reports • Enhancing the the Twitter education experience with ‘lists’