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IBLC11-Abstract-Students as Change Agents: Using Consumer Technologies to Build Effective Learning Communities in an Internationalised Context

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Nannayi Dakat
16 May 2011

Author: Mr Dale Potter

Abstract:

This case study explores how off-the-shelf consumer technologies can be implemented to make a genuine impact on international learning communities.  It will focus on a two-year JISC-funded ‘Integrative Technologies’ project within the University of Exeter Business School – an environment where over 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students are represented from 82 countries.  With continuing rapid expansion in student numbers, the project sought to address three key themes: building an ethos in which students actively participate, engage and feel known; managing assessment and feedback with large numbers; promoting a collaborative community in which diversity is both valued and well-catered for.

In this session, specific technologies that have aided this transition will be discussed.  These include: 1) the installation of lecture capture technologies alongside student use of handheld video cameras to promote engagement; 2) the implementation of web-based wikis to promote engagement in student group work; 3) the organisation of a photo exhibition, along with 4) the development of web-based geo-mapping tools (Google Maps) to raise awareness of the rich diversity of the international environments in which students live and study.

The means by which these innovations have been developed directly with learners – with students conducting both qualitative and quantitative research amongst their peers – will also be discussed.  Running alongside the University of Exeter’s much-recognised Students as Change Agents programme, students have been both encouraged and supported in bringing their own innovation ideas forward, with some outstanding results. The session will outline how collaborative relationships with students have become embedded within the thinking of the School - for example, through the development of student-run societies and ongoing change agent initiatives run directly by Business School staff.  Through these initiatives, students have shown they are powerful co-producers in developing and delivering technology outcomes of institution-wide importance.

Keywords: Students as Change Agents, Co-production, Internationalisation

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