Totally Tactile

I’ve always been a firm believer that lectures, seminars and taught sessions should be tactile. My background before educational technology involved teaching students complex pieces of hardware which usually required individuals to interact with tangible objects to further their understanding.

Personally I feel physically handling objects and investigating how something works keeps students interested. Students comes to sessions wanting to learn about a piece of equipment, seems only fair that they should have a chance to pick up said equipment, explore and examine.

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I like to think that the same approach can be taken with software within Educational Technology. I’ll only give sessions in a computer suite where individuals are able to recreate whats being demonstrated. If I see someone on a one to one basis I’ll insist that they use their computer.

I’m proud to say I’m not a mouse stealer when it comes to software instruction! This has been particularly hard now I’m in more of a service based role. The majority of individuals I teach come with a need; something needs to be fixed, there is a problem. The instinct is to hand the mouse over, have it fixed. I’m passionate about individuals solving there own problems, and solving them kinetically. The mouse doesn’t bite and most of the time problems are a lot simpler to solve than you think.

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National Student Survey

Although the academic year is now in it’s final term for Undergraduates, as educators we’re still very much increasingly busy at this time. Projects and handins are in progress and we can just about see graduation for final year students looming on the horizon.

Now is also the time in the academic year where we start the process of reflection. The National Student Survey has been running since 2005 and aims to obtain honest feedback from final year students about to graduate.

Commissioned by HEFCE the survey aims to provide institutions with an honest account of student opinion during their period of study. The survey is broken down into 8 key areas and allows for qualitative and quantitate feedback. The areas are as follows;

  • The teaching on my course
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Academic support
  • Organisation and management
  • Learning resources
  • Personal development
  • Overall satisfaction
  • Students’ Union (Association or Guild)

The survey itself is open for a period of several months allowing students plenty of time to leave their opinions. This years survey closed at the end of April with results expected to be released early in 2014.

The process of reflection is one we’re taught within our sessions as part of the PGCHE course. The survey itself allows us an additional resource to use as part of this reflective process and is a valuable tool when improving the student experience within Higher Education.