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Sue Watling
28 January 2013

Videos to support student transition to higher education

A recent survey of international students at Lincoln has generated valuable information about their specific learning development needs, in particular those they would find useful to access prior to enrolment.  These include experience of lectures and seminars as well as different types of assessment, reading, writing and using the library. A parallel survey with staff suggests information about referencing and plagiarism would also be beneficial. While information of this type is already available through Getting Started, the university’s pre-enrolment Blackboard site, it is largely text based. This project will enhance existing resources with a series of short video clips planned and filmed by students themselves. Students on Students Supporting Transition will produce a set of short video clips; maximum 2/3 minutes each with the final number of videos to be decided during initial consultation with students. Videos will be planned and filmed by students at the University of Lincoln in collaboration with the Centre for Educational Development and Students’ Union. These clips will feature existing students talking about their experiences of academic practice and how with hindsight they feel these might have been enhanced by early access to appropriate resources. Students across the institution will be welcome to get involved, but in particular international students will be encouraged to participate. Getting Started provides learning development information for students but findings from a recent survey carried out as part of the HEA/JISC OER International programme suggests for some international students, this information is not being accessed. As it is currently in text format, the idea of using short videos may enhance student access to transition information. It is also hoped the process of talking to students while setting up the video shoots will offer useful opportunities to uncover more about individual transition experiences. With inclusive design (e.g. alternative formats such as transcripts, captions, subtitles etc) video has the potential to create powerful learning experiences while empowering  students to support new students in coming years. Using the theme of ‘How to get the best from…’  the videos will go inside a variety of different  learning spaces and cover a range of learning development areas to support the process of transition to HE. All videos will be uploaded to the university’s Getting Started site in July 2013 for new students arriving in the next academic year. They will also be made freely available under creative commons licence, uploaded to YouTube and stored in JORUM for sector side reuse.

The internet and digital developments has seen video production move out of the professional studio and into the hands of everyone with access to the necessary equipment. However, support for developing effective multimedia for teaching and learning is often not provided institutionally. This project will offer opportunities for the lead coordinator to assess the viability of a DIY approach to multimedia in order to identify and transfer the necessary skills to other staff across the institution. 

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