Gill W: Scenarios for project to support students studying for Microsoft Certifications

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Gill Windall
18 January 2013

I will write several scenarios from the perspective of potential learners.  Aim is to explore the different needs learners might bring to the proposed support and different contexts from which they may come to it.  Should I also develop scenarios from the perspective of other actors (e.g. teachers)?   Not sure yet.  Model to be used is for each scenario (and I feel it is key to have more than one) identify: setting, actors, goals, actions, events, objects (as per http://www.slideshare.net/joshuau/scenario-based-contextual-learning-design) and then write a narrative scenario based on those elements.  That's the plan but let's see how it works out.

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Scenario 1

Alberta is a 2nd (or final) year student in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Greenwich.  She is keen to enhance her CV to help get a sandwich-year placement (or job on graduation).  She sees a poster about the various certification exams that can be taken at  Greenwich and decides to find out more about them from the website (QR code) on the poster.  She is working hard on her courses and has lots of assignments so doesn't want to have to do much extra study in order to achieve them.

She visits the website and looks at the list of certifications.  There are links to the syllabuses and details about what the certification exams involve, cost etc.    There is also information about how the syllabuses for the exams relate to various undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Uni.  She is thrilled to see that through her undergraduate studies she has already covered much of the material for two of the Microsoft Technology Associate exams.  As the exams are quite cheap to take she signs up for them without any further study.   She sees on the website that there is an online forum for students at the Uni who are preparing for certification exams and also the possibility of joining a study group for students studying for a particular exam but she decides she doesn't have the time or need to join either.

She takes the exams and although finds them more challenging than she expected she passes both.  She thinks about taking some more but decides they would take more study which she doesn’t have time for at the moment.  She receives an email for the short course team at the Uni inviting her to contribute her experience to the online forum but doesn’t reply.

Gill Windall
12:08 on 19 January 2013 (Edited 12:09 on 19 January 2013)

Quick refelction on Scenario 1

Even though I'd already for sketched out the goal, actions, events for this scenario as soon as I started writing the actual narrative Alberta started to take on a life of her own (good or bad thing?).  Reality check about how much people might want to get involved in online support.  Also focusses on practical questions e.g. would there be an open forum as well as study groups?  What would these actually be like?  How would a study group work if students are working to different timescales?  Need to group them into a cohort?   Useful idea that students would be very interested in how what they have already studied maps onto the certifications available.  Sounds easy but this information would need keeping up to date as both our courses and the exam syllabuses are liable to change.

Gill Windall
12:22 on 19 January 2013

Scenario 2

Bjorn is a final year computing student at the University of Greenwich.  His motivation for wanting to take certifications is similar to Alberta’s, i.e. he wants to enhance his CV.   In addition he is aware that some of his practical skills could do with improvement if he is to get the sort of job which he wants.  One of his lecturers mentions the programme of certifications offered at the University and Bjorn follows up by visiting the website.  Like Alberta he decides to take two MTA certifications (software development and database) without further preparation but he fails both by quite a long way.  One of the people supervising the exams talks to him at the end about the support available and he goes back to the website.  He signs up for a tutor-led briefing session for each of the two exams [think about the form and duration of these].    He attends these.  Other students attending one of them decide to set up a study circle and he joins this.   Bjorn and the other students in the study circle [again think about form of this – how much guidance is provided] work through some externally available preparation material.  He re-takes the exams and passes both.   Like Alberta he doesn’t reply to the email inviting him to share his experiences with other students.

[Am I in danger of getting too wordy and repetative?  Also getting hung-up on developing scenariois to "test" all possible routes. ]

Gill Windall
12:55 on 19 January 2013 (Edited 12:56 on 19 January 2013)

Slight change of tack - personas

Rather define actors  (with goals) etc as part of the scenario try defining the actor (now promoted to being a "persona") first and then think about incorporating them into one or more scenarios.

Gill Windall
18:36 on 20 January 2013

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