Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Student Inductions 2014 (February Starters)

The Elevate Team attended a total of six student inductions this month to introduce a new influx of students to some technologies they could use to enhance their learning outside of UCS. The tools that were on offer to the students were:
  • Using Twitter as a Personal Learning Network
  • Social Bookmarking with Diigo
  • Collaborative working using Google Drive
There has been a change this year to the lineup of tools, we moved Mahara out of the list of options to choose from and added it as a mandatory item, mainly to raise students awareness of the tool and encourage it's use away from the tools they have to use for their UCS studies. We used to mention it as an option students could pick from to discuss (Chosen using audience response clickers) further in the presentation, however it was a rarely chosen item.

The structure of the sessions runs through a couple of the services here at UCS, we don't run through any how-tos or tutorials, simply highlight the fact they are available and what they provide students.

We then move onto some tools that can be used outside of UCS to enhance the students learning, such as the above mentioned tools.

The idea was to then raise Mahara's profile to round-off the session focusing on bringing in some of those experiences and evidence into an e-Portfolio service. However after answering the influx of questions during and after the demo of two of the tools, we've found we regularly run out of time to discuss Mahara in any great detail.

Taking the above into account, we will look at rearranging the session again to bring Mahara back into the front of the presentation but explicitly removing any attachment to it being a mandatory UCS learning tool and more of a space 'provided' by UCS. We can then adjust the demo accordingly to how much time we have left, as we would rather leave out less important features from the tools rather than lose the pitch we could give Mahara give an allotted position in the session.

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