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Further Education and International Student Transition to Edinburgh Napier University Supporting the Journey with Technology

Campbell, Karen

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Abstract

The Further Education and International Student Transition to Edinburgh Napier University: supporting the journey with technology project aimed to trial the use of a synchronous technology Elluminate Live! enabling students from articulating programmes to engage in joint activities with students in their receiving cohort before they commence their studies at Edinburgh Napier. The intention was to create collaborative opportunities through developing curricula and online materials, enhancing student articulation and respective assessment in four existing modules within the university. The four modules identified to explore this opportunity were one module on each of two key overseas programmes and two key college programmes, none of which had used this technology, but which had conducted successful student articulation programmes. In collaboration with staff development the key deliverables included the development of guidance and generic materials for future use by module leaders wishing to add such activities to their modules. Ultimately the project aimed to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of using this technology for enhancing the student experience of transition within Edinburgh Napier University.

1.2 Achievements
The initial part of the project required networking within Edinburgh Napier University, identifying and approaching key personnel involved in articulation with a second arm of the project highlighting the key personnel and programmes internationally and locally. There was considerable initial interest shown by university and college staff willing to explore the potential of introducing this into their programmes. Interest was further enhanced by presenting at the staff conference in June 2010 and the poster presentation at Learning Teaching and assessment at Edinburgh Napier: celebrating our practice in January 2011 (Appendix 1). Guidance documentation for university staff has been produced in paper and video format covering technical aspects of using the synchronous technology. The project has heightened awareness in general of the use of Elluminate Live! throughout the University, with the ability to translate its potential to other areas of learning, teaching and assessment. It is the purpose of this report to present findings in a case study format to allow staff members to identify key issues and guidance for implementation.
1.3 Issues
Significant issues were identified arising from the difficulty in recruiting programme teams to participate in the project. Identifying one interested member of the articulation partnership took time to explore within partnership discussions, concluding that implementation would not enhance their existing provision. The network cascading effect meant that key programme leaders were not identified in a timely manner, inhibiting the formation of pilot sites to trial the possibility of incorporating the technology. The project did highlight that there was, staff training issues, both within the University and the articulating sites, which recommendations for future practice are considered.

1.4 Recommendations
Recommendations to be considered have been drawn from this experience of implementing the synchronous technology in future projects and fall into two categories:
The project and the technology it is advocating
• Install and maintain profile of Elluminate Live! use by setting up community of practice within Edinburgh Napier Education Exchange.
• Promote the innovative use of this technology at staff conferences within Edinburgh Napier University.
• Encourage staff development by conducting sessions on the practical experience of dealing with the technology on a daily basis.
• Provide evidence for the LTA Resource Bank and podcasting site (in development stage).
• Integrate the technology of Elluminate Live! into the University ‘s New benchmarking for the use of technology in modules documentation as an teaching tool.
Projects involving new approaches utilising technologies
• Adopt a change management approach, identifying the key stakeholders at proposal stage to encourage ownership in moving the project forward.
• Utilise other key projects like The Edinburgh, Lothian’s, Fife and Borders Regional Articulation Hub (ELRAH), Enhancing the effectiveness of articulation through professional development (EEAPD), Articulation Social Online Collaborative Space (A_SOCS)and the Articulation Support Advisors (ASA) may help raise the profile of the project and potentially increase recruitment.
• Include Elluminate Live! in provision of continuous professional development encouraging collaboration activities with HE and FE staff, enabling staff to experience the benefits of the technology and help them translate this to their own practice. This could help develop the ‘work twinning’ strand of the EEADP project (Campbell, Fotheringham and Gray 2010).
• Familiarise Elluminate Live! with new staff within the Introduction to Teaching, Learning in Higher Education and PgCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education so that they are aware of the potential this technology could afford them in their future teaching and assessment, increasing it’s sustainability within the University. This could be further enhanced with provision of continuous professional development as an online forum.
• Introduce Elluminate live! in the new Introduction to teaching and learning in Higher Education in Scotland's Colleges module outlined in the in EEAPD report (Campbell et al 2010). The student cohort, which are staff currently practising in FE environment are being invited to relevant events on the Academic Development Programme.
• Integration of Elluminate Live! into the new University ‘s New benchmarking for the use of technology in modules (Smyth 2011) as an teaching tool.

Report Type Project Report
Publication Date 2011-07
Deposit Date May 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2015
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Student articulation; collaboration; international students; transition; online learning; Elluminate live;
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/id/eprint/8059
Contract Date May 12, 2015

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