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Enhancing the student experience through technology training: A case study


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Developing operational systems and infrastructure to support students engaged in learning is crucial in enhancing the student experience. Monitoring procedures and related activities increases the delivery of intended outcomes. In 2010 the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) received two reports identifying a need for the institution to improve its processes around preparing students for engaging with the technology infrastructure provided by Wintec. Despite recognition that the strategic goal of flexible delivery is underpinned by technology, there did not appear to be any detailed information on the needs and capabilities of students with regard to technological support of their studies.

The technologies competency project commenced late in 2010, following the release of the Digital Information Literacy report undertaken at two New Zealand ITPs and two universities. The project goal was to increase students’ confidence and success in the use of course-related technologies and the attainment of digital information skills through the provision of a systematic training programme. It was based upon a number of assumptions including the majority of students studying at Wintec would encounter the use of various technologies during their course of study and that is was important for students to be competent in using technology. The project was run jointly by the Library and ITS Helpdesk staff.

Ten stages were identified as critical to the project. These included - receive feedback from teaching staff as to which technologies they required students to demonstrate competency in; create instructional packages; identify specialist trainers to train Library/ITS Helpdesk instructors; develop the programme of instruction; communicate with teaching departments and establish a schedule of instruction; deliver the programme to newly-enrolled students and evaluate the programme against an internationally-recognised, quality assessment framework.

Initial response by teaching staff to the announcement of the training programme development was positive, and the online training packages were developed and instructors trained ready for the launch at the commencement of the 2011 academic term. Technology instruction was initially included within the institution-wide orientation programme for first-year students, subsequent classes were offered in response to specific requests. During the first four weeks of Semester 1, 2011, around 1000 students were offered the technology instruction programme across the main and satellite campuses.

Informal feedback from students and teaching staff accompanied the programme, it was critical to conduct a formal review of procedures and outcomes subsequent to instructional activities. The e-Learning Maturity Model (eMM) capability assessment framework was employed as a tool to collect evidence-based information and to guide both the programme and Wintec in the objective of high-quality, efficient and effective delivery of student technology instructional support.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Uncontrolled Keywords: student technology training; technology competency
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Corporate > Library
Depositing User: Sarah-Jane Saravani
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2011 01:48
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:36

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