Using an e-portfolio to assist first year students through their transition into higher education
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The Cloudworks Team
26 August 2009
- Phil Alberts, Brunel
- Funded by West London Lifelong Learning Network
- To east transition of non-traditional & mature students into first year studies
- E-learning experience extending the notion of a bridging course
- Students invited at end of July 2008, initially West London but extended to all UK
- 125 responses, participation entirely voluntary. Some students had conditional acceptances so did not all end up at Brunel
- Mailed complimentary memory sticky containing tutorials and log-on details
- Three intervention - 1) ‘Getting started with u-LINK (VLE)’ - students said gave them confidence, useful to work at own pace 2) Higher Education Preparation - core skills e.g. ‘Note-making strategies’ most popular 3) ‘Personal Development Programme with e-portfolio’
- Showed example of introductory message and home page
- Weekly activities from the advisor team, discussion tools and topics, way to make suggestions, creative and strategic thinking tools, etc.
- Participation in GetPROGRESSive.
- Quantitative evidence of engagement constantly reviewed - participation rates and size of e-portfoilio
- Students quite involved in demands of academic programmes, but project team continued to organise events to keep people on board
- Participation couldn’t be supported by lecturers as not everybody partipating
- Project evaluation: Used life grid technique to create retrospective data
- Indications retention positively affected by comparison of participating and non-participating students
- Also compared first year performance and progression between the participating and non-participating groups
- Students need encouragement - don’t always realise value of e-portfolio
- Pattern - students explored everything came back when remembered something useful
- Comment from audience: Were patterns dues to self-selection or to the e-portfolios?
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