Thursday, 4 December 2008

Student Surveys - Part 1

So the student surveys are now underway…

On Tuesday 2nd December I spent the afternoon at Avril Robarts LRC and managed to get responses from 25 students. I was surprised at how hard-going the ‘clipboarding’ actually was and I hadn’t anticipated how long I’d be spending with each student on average. I did however manage to get a good range of students (although fresher’s were the most likely candidates to stop and chat…and with such enthusiasm…is it that we have officially seen the arrival of ‘Generation C’ students or is it just that the 1st year is the least stressful?!?)

Without looking at the results in too much detail as of yet – I’ve got two more ‘clipboarding’ sessions to carry out after all – I think it’s safe to say however that the overall consensus from the students was that they could not see a connection between their mobile devices and the ways in which these devices could enable them to ‘learn on the go.’ At first I was a bit disheartened by this level of opinion but having had time to reflect on it I have come to the conclusion that the reason this response was so is simply due to the fact that the students have never really been faced with this option and therefore have never really thought about it. I had many a blank face when I asked the students “in an ideal world, what could we (the university) provide for you (the student) in terms of content that could be used on your devices anytime, anywhere?” Almost every student needed to be prompted with ideas (for which I mainly used podcasts of lectures) and I’m glad to say that the majority of students would be keen to have access to such material. This is promising when considered in relation to the LJMU Podcasting Forum and the fact that the podcasting direction is one already been experimented with across several faculties within the university.

Out of the 25 students interviewed everyone owned a mobile phone and one even had an iPhone – yes I know I was pretty excited too – and this student was particularly keen to be able to access learning objects which he could use on his iPhone ‘on the go.’ I think the idea of m-learning is one that the students haven’t been fully faced with as of yet so a big part of this project needs to be about raising awareness and getting the students excited about ‘what could be.’

I won’t analyse my findings any further just yet, I’ve got a 3 hour stint this afternoon and a further session next week…I’ll update any further important outcomes of this afternoons session and provide more in-depth results next week after I’ve finished all the student surveys.

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