Presentation on theme: "Capturing the Student Experience: What are the options?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Capturing the Student Experience: What are the options? Jason B. TruscottExperiential Learning CETLUniversity of Plymouth
2 Session Outline Experiential learning What are the options? Why capture the student experience?What are the options?Some ‘cyber’ & electronic based examplesWhy use them?How do you keep them interested?Which method should I use?
3 Experiential Learning ‘Learning by doing’ (Kolb, 1984)“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”TheorisingRelating experience to course work & theory.DoingUndertaking fieldwork, labwork or work based learning (WBL)PlanningPlanning future fieldwork, labwork or WBL activitiesReflectingReflective journalSelf reflection
4 Experiential Learning Our CETL is mainly but not limited to fieldwork, labwork or work-based learningGeography, Geology, Biology & Environmental Sciences disciplinesinterested in the wider student experienceWhat/how do students think/feel about their experiences during their degree?Affective domain (Krathwohl, Bloom & Bertram, 1973)
5 What are the options? Consider: Type of data required? Data in context (the student experience)Fieldwork is discussed in next sessionThe student concerns?Privacy, anonymity and freedom of speech?How the data will be collected?What methods adhere to the above?We have to consider the following…What type of data do we require?
6 Privacy, anonymity and freedom of speech Freedom to express yourself without consequence!Popular idea with the studentsAvoid situations where students feel exposed to their peers, consider:EnvironmentLocationStudent confidenceExpress yourself - We have found that this I very popular with students…But have to consider that the ethical implications of our data collection.
7 ‘Cyber’ & electronic based data collection The following can create an environment where data collection is personalised and ‘safe’:Video diaryAudio diaryOnline questionnaires (open ended)BloggingSMS or MMS (Mobile phone texts)‘Virtual worlds’ (future consideration)I have chosen electronic methods specifically. These examples meet the criteria. Although not exhaustive, we have tested these but for the exception of ‘Virtual Worlds’
8 Video or Audio DiaryStudents are provided with their own camera/audio devicevideo or audio recorderWebcam/microphone attached to PC?Students are free to make a diary in their own timeReduces bias
9 Video Diary example A female student Starts camera and straight into conversation (before even sitting down)“Hello! Today we have been going through personal stuff…it has been quite intense and people have got to know each other…people are quite tired today…I think a few of them are going to clash…”
10 Video Diary example A male student Waves at camera (to check it works)Shuffles around - a hesitant start“Hello, this is a little odd, right, what have we been doing…mainly just trying to understand each other [swallows hard] and how everyone works in the group…people have been holding back on what they expect of each other…”
11 Audio Diary Provides some data Tend to accumulate everything into one recordingSome read off pre-written notesautomated and lacking emotional contentUncomfortable with the idea of recoding their voiceNot that popular
12 Online questionnaires Questionnaires are web basedlinks (targeting audience)Open ended questionsAlso reduces biasedReturns can be the limiting factor (~35%)Current examples of its use:Student conceptions surveys
13 E-mail Why e-mail? (Woodfield, 2002) Email already used by students NB Students use ‘other’ accounts!Sets up a personal rapport with researcheronce or twice a weeksome s can and will be ignoredRuth Woodfield University of Sussex
14 exampleIf there was ONE element of your student experiences that you could NOT be without, what would that be? What is really important to you?“Mates and beer. its just the good times realy which make the experience so great. you could have a really bad day of lectures and courcework stress, but having a good bunch of mates (which you instantly get in halls) instantly makes you realise that really its all ok..... and a few beers help in extreme cases.”
15 Blogging (Weblogs) One week or the whole degree? students can express themselves without researcher interferenceRich topic range from: social, family to educational.Reveals their thoughts, perceptions and ideasSome students lack motivation or consistencyPrivate, group or open to the web?
17 Blogging example“two essays done one to go and friday as a deadline. heres heathfield landfill site, a sacred cow and phragmites Australis, which have been pretty much all thats been on my mind lately. Enjoy!”(male student)Interestingly, this student found the use of a blog to be a great way to get into the mindset for coursework! (Mature Student) Portrays the rich and diverse content that blogs provide… Scared Cows of Economics - Phragmites Australis or ‘Reed’ are analysed for metals uptake as part of a laboratory session…
18 Email & Blog returns Email Blogs Excellent response, typically 75% returnFairly consistent throughoutResponse tales off near endBlogsCan be sporadicSome students completeDropouts most likely near start of project
19 Texting (SMS + MMS) Take advantage of the students closest companion. Questions and prompts straight to the phone.SMS text + emoticons “smileys”… MMS multi-media possibleAudio, video and text.Can also be sent viaSMS – Short Message ServiceMMS - Multimedia Messaging Service
20 Texting Example‘Hi there, what is the best thing and the worst thing about your job today? Pictures, video and sound are also allowed. Thank you! Jason’ (111 Characters)‘Best is meeting with all the team this morning, worste is concern for a work mate who is not well and having to drive vp and down the a38’ (female student)Although the female message is brief K was able to convey emotional stress in regards to a fellow colleague.Equally, male participant was equally able to convey the emotions of contentment and loneliness within a short message.
21 Texting ExampleHi! Please send me a picture that bests captures your week so far. Feel free to add additional text. Thank you. Jason (118 characters)‘Mostly s so far?’ (male student)MMS reply to SMSFrom Male participant - Female participant did not reply…
22 SMS returns Pilot showed typically around 50% return rate Response tales off near endContent can be limiting factor160 characters maximum (std. SMS)Long SMS (Combines)Respondent replies are kept shortTexting long messages is laborious
23 Virtual Worlds Use of online virtual worlds… Takes cyber-social science to a new levelSecond LifeFlexible 3D computer social environmentHas some educational institutional backingLectures & EventsVirtual ethnography – Social interactionsFocus groups (can be made private)Questionnaires not uncommon
25 How do you get/keep them interested? Advertising – , fliers, posters and in person.Money…Vouchers, payment forms or cheques?Do it for no money?Non-financial incentivesFood!
26 How do you get/keep them interested? Create a sense of communityA place to go…a website?Appeal to their ideas of helping to improve their learning environmentFor others and themselvesShare the fruits of their participation,how have they helped their fellow studentsReduce the ‘black hole effect’‘What is happening with my personal thoughts?’
27 Which method should I use? What do you want from your participant?InteractiveResponse having commonality to all previous questions, discussions or prompts.ReactiveResponse is direct and related to researchers question or prompt.Non-interactiveParticipants own (unbiased?) response to their experiences.
28 Which method should I use? Methods that are:Mainly reactiveOnline questionnairesMainly reactive – some interactivity:SMS / MMSMainly interactiveVirtual WorldsSome reactive responses – due to environment
29 Which method should I use? Methods that can be:Reactive, interactive or non-interactive:Video diaryAudio diaryBloggingImportant to consider the amount of research bias in the data.
30 Which method should I use? Summary – what would we choose?Suitable for pre, during and post.Video diaryAudio diarySMS or MMS (Mobile phone texts)Suitable for pre and post-experiencesOnline questionnairesBlogging‘Virtual worlds’From our experiences, what would we choose…
31 Acknowledgments Methodological Innovations HE Academy HEFCE Experiential Learning CETL team
32 ReferencesKolb, D.A. (1984) Experiential Learning: experience as the sources of learning and development, New Jersey; Prentice and Hall.Krathwohl, D. R., Bloom, B. S., & Bertram, B. M. (1973). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook II: Affective Domain. New York: David McKay Co., Inc.Woodfield, R. (2002) Student Perceptions of the First Year Experience of University Results from a Qualitative survey, Final Report to University of Sussex: 1-169