This session will be a presentation on the ‘E-learning Production Scheme’ which has been successfully running at Queen Mary since 2012.
Many lecturers have great enthusiasm for using technology to help their students learn. However what better way to do this than involving the students themselves. At Queen Mary University of London we run an ‘E-learning Production Scheme’ to help academics develop their ideas and put them into practice with the help of an assistant – not any assistant but a student `e-learning assistant`. These students help to fill in the gaps by working collaboratively with academics to help develop teaching and learning resources for their discipline allowing them to steer their education in the direction they feel is right. Although the notion of ‘Students as producers’ is not entirely new, there is no better way to learn than teaching yourself. Through meeting academics and staff around the university we come across many ideas which have potential to develop into projects in e-learning. However due to the lack of resource these projects require a ‘kick-start’ to get them going. This may involve learning to use some new technologies (e.g. tablet devices), setting up an online module or putting together some brand new materials like video footage or online quizzes. By getting students involved in these interesting projects we allow the student to produce exciting e-learning content with their ideas, and improve the quality of e-learning. The projects don’t stop at developing courses but extend to departments who have ideas to improve e-learning such as the ‘disability and dyslexia service’. Recently we trialled a closed caption service to see how this could benefit students with disabilities with the help of an e-learning assistant. Through this process academics/staff at Queen Mary submit a proposal to the E-learning Unit and we shortlist the most exciting projects which have a big impact on student learning. We then recruit e-learning assistants (yes – we pay our students!) to work on short-term projects across the College. Each project differs in length (with a maximum of 100 hours) and the level of technical or academic skills required. Some will involve working with multimedia files on your own computer, whilst others require working with a lecturer in the classroom. The students don’t have to be experienced in e-learning as we provide them with full training on the technology they intent to use. This doesn’t only allow the student to build on their skills for future employability but also exposes them to the world of e-learning and you never know they might end up working in e-learning like me! We also ask our academics to produce a case study in return for funding their project, which we showcase on our website and at events. These case studies give staff a taster into what they can also produce and as a result allows different academics to develop new, exciting and even better ideas!
Session content: evaluation and reflection
The session is based on a scheme run at Queen Mary University which consists of different projects. The scheme has been running for nearly 7 years and has developed greater interest over the years as E-learning has become more and more important around the institution – all of our courses are now on our VLE!
In the past as many academics or students were not aware of the scheme we have developed different connections around the institution to make staff aware at Queen Mary. We have also developed a page on our website called ‘Inspire’ (which will be shared with participants) to inspire our staff with new ideas for their courses using e-learning. We have displayed the results of the projects to our staff and gathered feedback during events and are currently looking at ways we can improve the scheme in order to accommodate larger projects as the current limit is 100 hours per project. We are also looking to fund projects which are display current and new e-learning ideas.
Rowlands, G. 2016, ELESIG Symposium “Student as Producers” – Bristol University, Available at: https://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/learning-technology/2016/07/11/elesig-symposium-student-as-producers-bristol-university/ [Accessed 03/2018]
Neary, M. Saunders, G. Andy, H. and Dan, D., 2010, Student as Producer, Available at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/student-producer-research-engaged-teaching-and-learning-institutional-strategy [Accessed 03/2018]
Resources for participants