Tag Archives: Application

student experience

What is the student experience?

It’s that time of year again when we hear more about things like the NSS survey (and results), teaching and learning showcase, graduates & graduation, league tables, and of course the student experience. But what is this ‘student experience’?

Is it the application process, the hall of residence, the equipment, the availability of books in the library, the quality of teaching, access to support, timely assessment feedback, employability, skills, digital literacy? Is it this? Is it more?

For my perspective, and from my own experience working in HE for the past 10 years or so, it’s all the above and more. The student experience starts at the open day (or before if you include the planning the institution puts into it, as well as the prospective student looking at where to go). It really starts in ernest as soon as the application is accepted and a place is given, right through to the actual 3 or 4 years of study, all the way to graduation and the alumni network.

From end-to-end the student will experience the whole institution, not just their own course or department, and not even their own building or campus. Is the university spread across multiple campuses, across different continents as well? How the university manages this will impact on a single student and their time of study. Is the course modular and pulls different departments together for delivery? Then the culture of each department will impact and affect those students, and needs to be carefully managed (no one wants one module to be vastly different or better/worse than another). Is the student body multinational and diverse? The support and teaching needs to reflect and involve the different cultures and expectations of these individuals too.

The list can go on and on. It’s fair to say that everyone working in further or higher education, whether it’s front-line teaching or research, administration, management, estates, etc. has an important role to play in how the students view and experience the course, the department, the campus, the employability, and value of the course. For someone to say that the student experience is not part of their role is not pulling their weight and is making everyone else’s job far harder than is necessary.

Here are a few articles I’ve found useful over the past year or so when looking at the student experience. Please feel free to add your own favourites in the comments box below:

Image source: clement127 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

App Swap Breakfast

Build your own ‘App Swap Breakfast’ event #AppSwap #AppSwapLeic

This morning I saw an innocent tweet from my pal David Walker (@drdjwalker) about the concept of an ‘App Swap Breakfast’. Needless to say it got me thinking …

App Swap Breakfast

It’s quite simple – friends, colleagues, interested individuals, etc. meet at a set time & place and showcase their favourite App of the moment.

So, here’s a call for Leicester friends and interested individuals – do you want to set one up and try it out? Shall we try and engage this on a frequent basis … every month, and if so where? There’s plenty of space.

As per Fiona MacNeill’s insightful post ‘DIY: Build your own App Swap Breakfast Event‘ you will need:

  • A group of people with devices
  • Session leaders (learning technologists / librarians / teachers / student advisers / mentors / etc.)
  • A space/s for sessions to be held
  • Common interests (teaching / learning / scholarship / institutional / subject / revision / reference / entertainment / etc.)
  • Branding
  • Catering
  • A data projector
  • A wall or screen on which to project
  • Resource lists
  • QR Codes
  • Audience Feedback

The concept / idea put forward by Fiona MacNeill, from an idea on LifeHacker website, the AppSwap idea has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License meaning anyone can share and redistribute the materials, and adapt, remix, or transform / build upon them but with appropriate credit is given and that any new work is also provided under a Creative Commons license.

Anyone interested is trying to get a Leicester App Swap Breakfast working? If you are interested (or have a particular reason why not) then please reply below or tweet with the hashtag #AppSwapLeic. If there’s enough interest perhaps we can try it out?

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD AppVideoScribe HD (iPad): I’ve enjoyed watching videos from RSA Animate, as have others, that take an audio track (usually a presentation or speech) and animates the drawing of concepts and take-away quotes. The best of these is the speech of Sir Ken Robinson ‘Changing Education Paridigms’.

“Award winning software, Sparkol VideoScribe is a completely unique way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing that’s so popular on commercials at a fraction of the cost.”
VideoScribe HD (£3.99)
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/videoscribe-hd/id505464331

Advertised features of the App include (and are also available on the PC/Mac 7 day free trial):  Continue reading

BYOD4L

One More Thing … #BYOD4L

I didn’t want to leave my journey into #BYOD4L without one final reflective ‘thought’. I wanted it to be different, graphical, interesting, and fun. From the Foldify avatar I produced for the final day of ‘creating’ I had the spark of an idea … and here it is!

YouTube: BYOD4L Reflection

To do this I used the VideoScribe iPad app (I’ll write up my experiences and disappointments on this shortly).

BYOD4L

#BYOD4L Day 5: Creating and engaging

The final day for the short BYOD4L framework is here – creating! With the guidance and preparation of the below, we knew we were in for an interesting time:

“We want to encourage you to explore learning through ‘making’ – meaning how you can use smart devices and applications to develop original and meaningful outputs as an individual or within groups. An opportunity to find ways to express yourself creatively and develop personal learning activities that are relevant and meaningful to your needs.”

The first thing I saw on the final day of BYLD4L was Chrissi Nerantzi saying we needed to check we could tweet pictures. So I did. 8:31 this picture was tweeted as I waited for my day to start (a rare peaceful moment before the students arrived and made some noise):  Continue reading

Turnitin iPad App

Turnitin & GradeMark App

Turnitin iPad AppTurnitin (iPad): Many have asked about an iPad App for Turnitin, and we have waited a while for it. But now it’s here, let’s see if it’s any good!

“Everything you love about grading with Turnitin® is now available on iPad, allowing educators to Grade Anywhere™. Teachers using Turnitin’s grading tools save time grading student papers while offering more meaningful feedback and ensuring their originality.”

Turnitin (free): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/turnitin/id657602524

The App offers the same functionality we use and enjoy through a browser but in an App-environment. It does take a while to get used to, especially the subtlety when including and adding QuickMarks or comments to the text.

Continue reading

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts App

Google HangoutsHangouts (iPhone, iPod, iPad): From a couple of failed Skype calls recently, and a computer that has decided to not allow the Google+ Hangouts software to be installed, I needed an alternative solution, and quick. One quick trip to the App store, a short search query, and a short download time, and the Hangouts App is ready.

“Google+ Hangouts brings one-to-one and group conversations to life with photos, emoji and video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, phones and tablets.” Hangouts (free):
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hangouts/id643496868

While the App is for iPad and iPod, I’ve only used it on the iPhone at the moment (for you Android lovers out there, you can have it too!). The App is easy to use – just sign in and it picks up your Google+ settings and contacts / circles. The list of contacts makes it easy to see who’s online and who isn’t, and ‘calling’ them or joining a hangout is relatively straight forward.

There are a couple of things I’ll bring to your attention though:  Continue reading

FOTE12 FOTE13

Conference engagement – the next level? #FOTE13

FOTE12 FOTE13It was during FOTE12 that I had the first hint of an idea on how to take conference attendee engagement to the next level.

As the curator for the ULCC YouTube videos from FOTE12, I had hoped to collect a series of video interviews with deleagates and produce a number of videos on the delegate responses to the conference theme and ‘future of technology in education’ issues. It did not pan out as planned on the day, so instead I used the archive of tweets from the conference (thanks to Martin Hawksey), as well as the great photos of the day taken by the ULCC photographer.

Here’s what I thought … take the delegates engagement in the conference activity (weeks and even months before the conference itself), add in a new feature in the Conference App (or associated website), and a little bit of 1980’s TV, and you’ve made a great way for individuals to be involved in the conference.

Here’s my idea … Continue reading

Foldify App

‘Foldify’ App (#foldify)

Foldify AppFoldify (iPad): I can’t remember how or where I found out about this app but it is one of the best one’s I’ve ever bought/downloaded. It’s a simple idea – use one of the pre-defined blank templates of a 3D shape and draw on the explanded, unfolded, version to design your very printed 3D figurine. Through it’s simple and intuitive interface budding artists (and big kids alike!) can create and share their own unique paper figure creations.

“Draw, create, print and fold beautiful 3D figures with Foldify. You don’t need drawing skills, Foldify has tons of free content to create amazing, high quality figures!”

Foldify (£1.49): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/foldify/id527118971

Watch this video for an introduction on what it does and how it works … it’s really what touchscreen devices were made for!

Continue reading

“How I use my iPad” #edtech

Thanks to Terese Bird (@tbirdcymru) for sharing this resource earlier today on the use of iPads in UK Higher Education.

I really liked the short video (below) from Nathan Huneke from Manchester Medical School and how he uses his iPad for storing and organising academic papers:

How I use my iPad – Nathan Huneke from Manchester Medical School on Vimeo.

The post from Terese has a few more resources that are of interest and I’ll point you to the link at the beginning of this post to read them – they’re worth a few minutes.

Do you have a project where you’ve used or implemented iPads in academia (at any level, either for staff or student use, large or small scale) and would like to share what you’ve done? If so please leave a comment below linking to your resource(s) and/or project aims, I’d be happy to help publicise it.