The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
eSTEeM continues its seminar series with presentations from project teams. March's seminar will explore the methodology and findings of the following two eSTEeM projects.
At the Open University (OU) we are still learning about the best way to support our apprentice learners in their module study. Apprentices are provided with 20% of their paid working time for study, which is often during the working day, however, to accommodate their study intensity of 90% per year they often also need to study within their own time. The OU’s all-inclusive flexible study approach ensures the learners can study whenever is appropriate, but we also provide synchronous tutorials. In this research we investigated how apprentice learners engage with synchronous online tutorials and the barriers they face to participation. We used three activities to investigate their engagement.
Currently apprentice learners are allocated to tutors in the same way as other learners. An initial pilot was undertaken for TT284, to explore the benefits for apprentice learners in being allocated together in the same cluster and in apprentice tutor groups. As these learners are all on the same qualification pathway it was hoped that we can build on a sense of community and that the learners through the cluster forum can benefit from peer support. An evaluation of the student’s tutorial preference was undertaken alongside the monitoring of the use of the cluster forum to establish whether it is beneficial for apprentice learners to be allocated in this way. We will continue to have rising numbers of apprentice learners and as such as an institution we may want to ensure we provide a study framework appropriate for their needs.
The talk will present activities and findings from an eSTEeM-funded project which surveyed and interviewed ten ALs tutoring on computing modules to explore how Office 365 and Adobe Connect was being used to support active learning. Best practice in the use of OU approved digital technologies will be highlighted. Dr Jewitt, who carried out the research, will describe the strategies used by ALs to engage students to participate in active learning rather than simply receiving knowledge. The talk will also share recommendations and impact on practice. It will discuss tangible deliverables from the research, activities that have been carried out and outcomes to benefit ALs and ultimately the student experience.
This seminar is open to all OU staff. Please visit the registration form by Friday 17th March to book your place.