Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Digital students

This morning went to a session on the JISC Digital Student project.

The JISC project is well documented on the digital student blog

It has been running for a couple of years, and has involved literature reviews, stakeholder consultations, and school focus groups. Looking at what students think, and what they expect from university technology.

They found there was a clear difference between "entitlement" and "enhancement"

Entitlement, what they think should be there, as a matter of course:
Wifi, unblocked
Hardware/software. Students own all the technology they need to do their course, but there is an expectation that the university will provide it as well
Lots of digital,resources
Non mandatory support

Entitlement, didn't expect it, but if there, will use it.

Lecture capture
Organisional info
Use of technology in lectures
Social media, questionable, mixed views
Learning and teaching, very little expectation that this would use technology to be interesting. Expectation that university was about sitting in lectures.

This stuff slowly moving into entitlement.

Technologies will always creep, if find out others have it. Expectations are changing all the time. So, you need to have conversations with students.

The project has produced a lot of resources for institutions to use:

50 institutional exemplars

Digital students are different posters

Enhancing the digital experience cards

The student digital experience in 2020

"Enhancing the student digital experience: a strategic approach" guide.

Then there was a panel discussion with students doing different courses from different backgrounds, but their answers were very similar.

What did you expect when you came to university?
Reference point is college or 6th form.
Expected email, wifi, access to digital resources. Software to do their course. Not a lot else

How does online life overlap with the digital platforms provided by university?
Email. Have own personal one, usually user friendly available on mobiles etc. University uni one not very good. So they all forward their uni email to their personal gmail account.
VLE not accessible on mobile devices
Storage, want to use Dropbox, Google drive etc
Uni computer labs only used because of storage space. Their own laptops have better software on than university managed computers
Things like Dropbox are blocked.
Don't like using uni storage because servers down so often.
Systems not reliable
Synchronise all uni timetables to google calendar
If students want to collaborate, they set up a closed facebook group

What are your favourite tools or techniques when using technology in your course?
Google docs
Lecture capture
Google hangouts
Tend to use a lot of stuff the university doesn't provide
Loan of equipment, cameras etc
Powerful macs
Google sketch up

Very apparent that students are using their own software, often free to download especially Google, Dropbox etc.

One thing they all asked for is some way of students sharing good practice in what free software they could use. Mainly self discovery, or from peers. No formal system. Importance of induction.

Introduction of £9k fees has changed expectations. If software is a year and a half out of date or wifi doesn't work, don't feel they are getting value for money.

It led me to ask, what mechanisms do we have to capture this sort of information about what our students do?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Andrew Cormack said...

As well as peer exchange of good practice, I liked the idea in my session of peer exchange of bad experiences. Digital students might well see a warning from a peer as more relevant than one from you or me. That really does need a support structure, though