Learning Technology jottings at Goldsmiths

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The Welcome Project – improved induction at Goldsmiths

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Induction in higher education has traditionally been front-loaded at the beginning of the first year when we bombard students with information over one short week, after which they’re expected to know all they need to participate fully in their course and in student life. It’s been a class mistake of confusing being told things with knowing those things.

Consequently academic and academic support colleagues at Goldsmiths successfully proposed a project on induction as part of the Higher Education Academy’s Enhancement Academy Programme, and completed ‘The Welcome Project’ to design a new form of holistic induction which extends from the point of a students’ first inquiry well into their courses, anticipating needs, joining up the work of the different stakeholders at Goldsmiths, and diversifying communication modes.

Watch a video in which the people involved talk about the aims and outcomes of Goldsmiths’ Enhancement Academy project. The induction conference mentioned towards the end happened in September 2010, and you can see the presentations archived on Goldsmiths Learning Enhancement Unit site.

See other institutions’ Enhancement Academy Projects on different aspects of higher learning and teaching.

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Written by Mira Vogel

December 1, 2010 at 12:26

Emerging findings from ‘Researchers of Tomorrow’ study

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Emerging findings from Researchers of Tomorrow study

Emerging findings from the first annual report of a major three-year study into the information seeking behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students show that there are striking similarities between students born between 1982 and 1994 and older age groups.

Researchers of Tomorrow was commissioned by JISC and the British Library to establish a benchmark for research behaviour, against which future generations can be measured – and also to provide guidance for librarians, information specialists and policy makers on how best to meet the research needs of Generation Y scholars.

Download the report at <http://www.researchersoftomorrow.net>

The first annual report of this longitudinal study has just been completed and includes evidence-gathering from three groups of doctoral students in the UK, including: a cohort of 60 Generation Y doctoral students from 36 universities; responses to a national context-setting survey returned by over 2,000 Generation Y scholars and responses to the same national context-setting survey returned by 3,000 older doctoral students.

Generation Y students and older students concur on a number of areas:

–    Open access and open source – like students of other ages, Generation Y researchers express a desire for an all-embracing, seamless accessible research information network in which restrictions to access do not restrain them.  However, the annual report demonstrates that most Generation Y students do not have a clear understanding of what open access means and this negatively impacts their use of open access resources, so this is an area to be followed up in the next year.

–    Networked research environment – both Generation Y and older students express exasperation regarding restricted access to research resources due to the limitations of institutional licenses.  This is born from a sophisticated knowledge of the networked information environment and students regularly speak favourably about sector-wide shared services and resource sharing.

The research indicates, however, potentially interesting and important divergences between Generation Y and older doctoral students; for example, where students turn for help, advice and support and attitudes to their research environment.

–    Supervisor and librarian support – Generation Y scholars are more likely to turn to their supervisors for research resource recommendations than older doctoral students.  Also, 33% of Generation Y students say they have never used library staff for their support in finding difficult to source material.

–    Using library collections and services – Library collections are used heavily by students in their own institutions, but only 36% of Generation Y students have used inter-library loan services compared to 25% of older students, with 42% of arts and humanities students using these services regularly compared to 13% among science students.

Charles Hutchings, JISC’s market research manager, said, “What is striking about these interim results is the current overlap between the behaviours of these young researchers and their older counterparts. While JISC will use these studies to provide guidance for librarians, information specialists and policy makers across the UK on how best to meet researchers’ needs, we should also be aware that these behaviours are changing all the time with the advent of new digital tools for research.”

Dr Joanna Newman, the British Library’s head of higher education, said, “The first annual report of this three-year study provides an overview of the Generation Y research environment.  These emerging findings will ensure that the Researchers of Tomorrow study will focus on critical areas such as the role of supervisors, use of the academic library network, effective research support, open access and the main work base for doctoral students.”

Dr Newman concluded, “Consultation is at the heart of how the Library and JISC engage with their researchers.  We know that research behaviours are evolving and changing and it is through studies like ‘Researchers of Tomorrow’ that we will start to understand in depth the future needs and requirements of Generation Y students.”

Find out more and read the report at <http://www.researchersoftomorrow.net>

Explore JISC’s support for researchers at <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/campaigns/res3.aspx>

Written by Mira Vogel

July 26, 2010 at 13:19

Posted in project, research

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JISC publishes funding roadmap for 2009/10

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(JISC is an advisory committee to the funding councils. It looks after the ICT infrastructure of the post-compulsory education sector. It is also the funding body for a lot of project work e.g. digital preservation, repositories, interoperability, and research into technology-enhanced learning and teaching. It places an emphasis on innovation and dissemination.)

Press Release

JISC publishes funding roadmap for 2009/2010

UK education is to benefit from over £7 million in grants and funding
opportunities, as JISC launches its investment plan for the academic year
2009/2010.

Over the next nine months JISC will be investing in a range of projects across
universities and colleges to support innovation in research, teaching and
learning to aid the management of institutions. Projects will range from 12
months to three years in duration.

Among the areas JISC will be funding are:
• Cloud computing for research
• Learning and teaching innovation grants
• Business modelling and sustainability for online content and
collections to develop best practice
• A ‘digipedia’ prototype to bring together resources, standards,
policies, case studies, best practise and expertise on the digital
content lifecycle
• Shared best practice for university researchers working with
business and community groups
• Access and identity management

Alice Colban, head of finance at JISC says, “We fund projects across England,
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland through grant funding opportunities to
universities and colleges.

“In 2008/09 JISC funded over 300 projects across 24 programmes and during
this academic year JISC will invest over £7 million to advance the innovative
use of digital technologies in UK colleges and universities. Grants vary from
£20,000 to over £1 million, which are allocated through a bidding process.”

Sarah Sherman, Bloomsbury Learning Environment Service Manager for the
Bloomsbury Colleges explains the difference that being part of a JISC project
made for her consortium, “The projects we have been involved with enabled
people to take a simple step forward in trying something new with
technology.

“With JISC funding we were able to employ a full time project officer to work
with all six colleges encouraging collaboration across the entire consortium.
The shared funding meant that the benefits of the project were felt by a
wider number of people than would have been possible if a single institution
was funded,” she added.

The Millon+ group report ‘From Inputs to Impact: A Study of the Impact of
Jisc Funding on Universities’, states that even relatively modest awards of
£30,000 can have a ‘profound impact’ and that 44 per cent of the universities
in the study have had unanticipated benefits from JISC funding.

View the funding roadmaps at:
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/futurecalls.aspx

Access the JISC guide to bidding:
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/bidguide.aspx

Sign up to JISC Announce to receive funding calls. Email
jiscmail@jiscmail.ac.uk with your first name, last name and include ‘join jisc-
announce’ in the subject heading.

Read the Million+ report at:
http://www.millionplus.ac.uk/research/from-inputs-to-impact-a-study-of-the-
impact-of-jisc-funding-on-universities

Written by Mira Vogel

November 13, 2009 at 16:39

Posted in funding, project

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