A question and answer session on students experience in Higher Education with real students. Chaired by Editor of Guardian Education.
Ex Chair HEFCE ( HE Funding Council England)
Changing world - two years of people who are emmersed in Web2.0 - learners who spend more time on-line than watching TV. At least 70% of 13 year olds have a web presence. New forms of social interaction - much wider groups of friends. Attitudes may be changing learners expect to be more participants in the learning process and greater democratisation a feeling that they can take part and have a say - a more democratic view of learning. The students are generally more proficient than the staff.
The commercial world is providing the kit. Implications for pedagogy and assessement - turning tide on plagiarism for instance is like King Canute -we need new ways of asking questions. We need to encourage critical thinking and robust deep research.
Edinburgh University Persective
E-services - need to support - learning and teaching , socialising , suviving , administration, and researching. Students see this as a holistic whole- they expect on-line services to book student accommodation as well as learning and the rest. Could be hi-tech grannies and low tech 17 year olds. Intake is highly variable. Some students can be quite conservative what you do can't be experiments it actually has to improve the learning experience.
Technology still comes second to understanding your business - what are the obectives of your learning organisation.
Students now have access to primary sources that they never have had before - do staff and students and the system know how to fully exploit this. Need to think about value for money even in learing and teaching we can't keep adding more.
Glamour sales and after sales - youtube, facebook, itunes - might be big mismatch between what is out there and learners experience when they get to a particular department. Students want predicatability and level of service.
We need to share learning resources and systems across institutions to drive real value from a lot of this.
Lecturers are changing their presentation styles - encourage learners to dig deeper to discourage cut and paste. We use plagiarism software - but to challenge learners to reference their sources properly. We use youtube and on-line video. We use Delicio.us.com and social bookmarking with cohorts of students - they add new references and help build course reference material. We use google docs and email rather than institutional one. We use text messaging around programme changes. E-Assessment working on policy and guidance across the institution. Accessibility is challenge too. Some students like video conferencing and will use this outwith normal working hours. Look at balance of on-line and printed teaching support materials.
Third year languages student mature student- started off using friendsabroad.com to develop language skills -developed network of French friends who wanted help with their English. Then used live Mokka , Babel and other sites with online dictionaries and phrase translators - even come with virtual keyboards that can cope with French characters. Have now taken this informal learning and almost finished degree in French - personal learning network has played major part in this. This practice now been adopted by faculty